Fresh year, fresh start? If you want to get organized this year, get specific, says Peter Walsh, author of "Lighten Up: Love What You Have, Have What You Need, Be Happier with Less" and host of "Enough Already!"
"The problem in making a resolution like 'get organized' is it's so generic it doesn't mean anything," Walsh says. "The most important thing in making any resolution, especially in getting organized, is you have to be extremely explicit."
Get paperwork under control first, he says. Create a "very simple mail center" in your home. "Immediately put mail that needs attention" in a dedicated bin or box. "You know where your mail is, and you avoid losing stuff and incurring late fees -- which, with the people I work with, is a chronic problem."
He says: "Don't even let junk mail in the house." Tear anything sensitive into small pieces, then put half in the recycling bin and half in the trash.
You save money from late fees, missed payment fees, mail expediting costs and being overcharged or charged for items that aren't yours. You'll learn about any changes to your accounts. Plus, you save the time previously lost to disorganization.