Updated: Jan 19
New Year’s Resolution: Be More Organized
[00:00] Organized Sav Podcast Intro
Hey! It's Sav, your host of Organize Sav - Savvy Solutions to Get Organized! I'm a professional organizer based in Santa Cruz, California serving the Bay Area.
Host: Today we're joined today by Trevor, my husband and fellow business owner. He also has the joy of going into hundreds of strangers' homes [silence - 00:31-00:32] and has seen it all.
Trevor: Thank you so much for that [inaudible][00:34]
Sav: So today's show has three parts all themed around new year's resolutions and that all too true cliche: be more organized. Part 1:Setting your new year's intentions, Part 2: Be more organized, and Part 3: Actual steps. 'You ready?
Trevor: (uhm) I was ready.
Sav (host): First off, do you have any new year's resolutions that you'd like to share?
Trevor (guest): I don't particularly believe in new year's resolutions, so no.
Sav: Funny, I kinda feel the same way. [laugh]
Sav: Yeah, I feel like resolutions are oftentimes just end up failing. A study on this, recently from the University of Scranton, found out 23% of people quit their resolutions after one week and only 19% of individuals are actually able to stick to their goals long term. Five reasons for why our solutions do not stick , 1. We're not ready for change, 2. No self-monitoring, 3. Lack of planning, 4. Overconfidence, and 5. Not looking at what has to be given up. What do you think? Any surprises?
Trevor: Not really. I always kinda' felt like new year's resolutions were pressure that I didn't need.
Sav: uhmm (verbal nod)
Trevor: I think looking at your list, uh not ready for change, I think there's definitely some value in that as far as how new year's resolutions have played out in my life. There's a difference between wanting change and then being ready for change.
Sav: Right! I think that's what the first reason is. Well, when I looked at it, I was thinking about the lack of planning and no self-monitoring and it makes me think of what in the education world we've always called SMART goals. It's a [inaudible-00:26] but the idea that we're actually thinking of realistic goals, that's the R in SMART as an acronym. So a SMART goal is something that's Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
Trevor: Looking back on the years, I kinda' feel like new year's resolutions just kinda' get in the way of what I'm already trying to pursue and achieve. Take for example, I've already got A, B and C on my plate that I'm doing and trying to achieve and pursue, and if I throw D in the picture as a new year's resolution, that's extra stress and work on what I'm already pursuing. And that, that's a lot of work.
Sav: It is!
Trevor: And if I'm not gonna give up those other things, then that just doesn't seem realistic unless I have a smart action plan to achieve it.
Sav: Well I think that you get to a good point which is, you know, most people take on too much. Period. And then when that's the case, it's hard to prioritize, but I think that you have to. Otherwise you're just, you know, you have a thousand tabs open. You're gonna run slower and not function.
Trevor: I mean it's kinda' like the physical realm too. You go into someone's garage, you know I go into people's garages everyday, and they just have too much stuff.[crosstalk 00:46]
Sav: Way too much.
Trevor: They take on, they take on way too much in the form of possessions. We also take on way too much in the form of goals and aspirations.
Sav: [laugh] Okay! So you're saying pare it down.
Trevor: Yeah, absolutely!
Sav: For sure. Alright I have another gem and it is not from the research, it is from Reddit. The post was Do you have any New Year's resolutions about decluttering? Preventing clutter? Top response was "Buy nothing January '' which I think is a really cool concept. Okay so, if you wanted to try "No buy January", here are the rules: You obviously need to have your bases covered so you can buy groceries, you can buy gas, absolute essentials but everything else is out. So instead of hitting checkout on Amazon, think again and wait.
Sav: Let's do a quick recap, 1. Resolutions are out, instead try something that has built-in accountability and realistic for your starting point like SMART goal. If SMART goals are new to you, it's specific, it's measurable, it's achievable, it's realistic and it's timely. Resolutions [crosstalk 00:58], yeah! It's really effective.
Trevor: I like that.
Sav: And instead of saying, you know, I'm gonna be smarter. It's just not specific enough. You have to say what you're going to be using to measure it so you can celebrate the success when it happens. Were I - I like goals because they're flexible. And it gives you the space to revise and edit, and refine and really prioritize. Lastly, break down your goal. Whether you set a goal or an intention, break it down. Think backwards map, what's your actionable step. Any other thoughts?
Trevor: Nah, I like that.
Trevor: Uhm, the quantification. [crosstalk 05:38] No, the quantifying -
Sav: We do them all the time!
Trevor: Yeah, I know. And I'm also just [inaudible 05:44] gently thinking about my friend who's trying to stay sober in the new year. He's given up drinking
Trevor: It's just interesting to think about how he's approaching his resolution.
Trevor: I don't know the details, but I wonder how long that would last.
Sav: Well that dig, like the cliche resolution is "I'm gonna be more organized", and it's just, it's a joke unless you're actually getting specific about what that means, like defining it and then what does it look like on a weekly basis and how you're going to measure it, it's pointless. So, that's why I'm pushing everyone but instead to incorporate a behavioral change that you can measure.
[06:27] Part 2: Be more Organized.
Save: Part 2: Be more organized. So now we're gonna jump into a really juicy story, which is true. Not from my clients but instead from Reddit. These people are writing in and wondering am I the a**h*le. And at the end, you're going to say whether you think the person is an a**h*le or not. Am I the asshole for suggesting we get a housekeeper since we are chronically unable to keep our house clean/organized? I, 42 male, work a very long stressful job and make just shy of a half a million a year. My wife, 42 female, is a piano teacher in the evening maybe makes 20K a year. That's fine, I knew when we dated that I'd be supporting her financially as her lifestyle would not work on her salary. We have two young boys, 3 and 5, and they make it a wreck a lot of the time. Neither my wife nor I am very good at picking up after ourselves. Kids' underwear everywhere, food out, dishes out, stuff stuck to the floor, nasty bathrooms etcetera. At first I'd viewed the family/house as an enterprise which takes both money and labor to thrive. I was putting in the cash so she should be putting in something, mainly some work to make it function and have a safe clean place to raise our boys. She's stressed and tired from taking care of the kids all day and I come home and I'm mentally exhausted from work. I like to hang out with the kids but I don't have the mental or physical energy to do much other than be present for my children and help them get to bed on the nights when I get home early. Therefore, nothing gets done. I've come to the terms that my wife is simply not a homemaker. I don't expect all women to be homemakers, but I did sort of expect her to pick up that end of the house as an enterprise thing because I'm bankrolling everything and working incredibly hard to do so. Will it kill her to clean the floors and put away the toys with the kids? But I digress. Today, I tried to suggest that we hire someone to come in and do this work. It might be expensive but it's a small price to pay for our kids to live in a safe, clean house and clearly neither of us are doing the work. She flipped out that it's my fault for not picking up after myself. She keeps wanting to put systems in place but nothing ever comes of it. But it feels like she keeps putting up roadblocks that keep us from actually making progress. I'm tired of living in filth and have been blessed with the means to potentially pay for our way to take the stress away from both of us and let her focus on the kids and me focus on work. So am I the a**h*le?
Trevor: Is this a real story?
Sav: This is a true story from Reddit. Yeah.
Trevor: I wonder how dirty and unclean their - You said their house isn't safe and unclean?
Trevor: How bad is it really if it's not safe for the kids.
Sav: I think safe was an [crosstalk 05:38] exaggeration.
Sav: But he gave examples like dishes on the ground, underwear on the ground, and I believe it. I have been to some really chaotic houses to put it nicely.
Trevor: No, I don't think he's an asshole for offering or wanting to hire a house cleaner. He makes 500k a year, just get two of them.
Sav: Oh get someone coming in every week! So first off, it's kind of a hard scenario because he is away so he's really not contributing in a physical way. But I agree! They have plenty of income where if you don't want to do it, you and your partner don't want to do it, hire out. I always recommend that to clients.
Sav: Bottomline, I don't think he's an a**h*le.
Trevor: Not at all.
Sav: But what is a red flag to me is that she is so, uh I don't know he said putting up a wall, not willing to have the conversation. He's really not putting it on her to do. And I get that she wants to do it, that's very reasonable. But she wants to make these big changes. Seemingly that she has a mental block though 'cause she has these wants but she hasn't taken action. So if that's the case, that's a symptom of a bigger thing. She's overwhelmed.
Trevor: Yeah, there's a psychological roadblock going on.
Sav: Back to our SMART goal. I think that for them to take on that job of doing all the work. It's not realistic to wear their act. If they want to move on, like have a house cleaner come once a week to help with reset and like deeper cleaning. That's great. And then they could shift until it's actually manageable. But it's not manageable. Does not sound fun.
Trevor: I mean I'm basically a three-year old and a five-year old but we manage to keep the house tidy.
[11:12] Part 3: Actual steps.
Sav: Part 3: Actual Next steps. So we actually have a top response from the same story.
Trevor: Oh this is like a comment on reddit.
Sav: This is in response to that person posting. So this person writes: Not the a**h*le. You have a problem and you're addressing it by getting the additional help that you need. I mean it would be one thing if you were telling your wife her job is to clean up, but you're pointing out that there is a need to help keep the house clean and you're willing to pay for the help to get it done. I look at it no different than saying that you need to get your oil changed. Well, I certainly can change the oil in my car but if it's worth the money for me to have someone else do it, that'll do a better job than me, they should do it. Same thing for the gardener, there's no difference and you're simply hiring someone to do the task that you and your wife can certainly do but it's not worth your time and money and you could pay someone else to do it.
Sav: So how do we actually get more organized? Well, start with a SMART goal like "I will declutter one drawer a week for the next 5 weeks." Next, incorporate one new routine that will change your behavior which is the key to staying organized. You could try something like this: "Don't put it down, put it away". You've heard that Tiktok sound?
Sav: Uh! you're not organizing Tiktok, are you?
Trevor: But you've told me that before around the house and I practice it usually.
Sav: [laugh] Lastly, stay consistent. As author James Clear of Atomic Habits states, " The most effective way of motivation is progress.
Sav: And with that my friends, thank you for listening. If you love this episode, please subscribe and leave a review on whatever platform you listen in on. Find us on social media Tiktok: @savvysolutions and visit my website:savvysolutions.net
Trevor: Pretty sure that everyone is organizing [inaudible 13:10].
Find us on social media: Tiktok: @savvysolutions and visit our website: www.mysavvysolutions.net | See you next week!