Tips: starting an organizing project

Before starting an organizing project….. Here are a few general organizing tips:

  • Take BEFORE pictures so you’ll be able to see where you started!
  • Some of the most common {and easily fixable!} clutter issues:  (a) items have no specific home, (b) items that do have homes but aren’t easy to get – or put away, and (c) rooms that aren’t set up to optimally function.

“Organizing is not just about getting rid of clutter and making the space look “neat.” It goes much deeper than that. Organizing is about designing your space so that it reflects who you are and what’s important to you and arranging things logically and efficiently so that staying organized will be easy for you.”

– Julie Morgenstern

 

Julie uses a kindergarten classroom as a model of organization. {Those of us with kids will be able to completely visualize this!}

  1. Each room is divided into activity zones
  2. It’s easy to focus on one activity at a time
  3. Items are stored at their point of use
  4. It’s fun to put things away – everything has a home
  5. There’s a visual menu of everything that’s important

from Julie Morgenstern’s Organizing from the Inside Out {published by Henry Holt & Co.}

 

Some more tips…

  • Schedule time on your calendar to declutter – and keep that appointment!
  • When doing a project like this, I’ll create an on-going list with relevant categories including: to-do’s, purchases, and repairs. {You may need one page for each category.} Keep this list in one easy-to-find place. {I love keeping mine on my clipboard.}
  • Designate a container for each of the following: Trash, Return, Repair, Recycle, Donate, Other Room {or a basket/box for each family member – where items can go that he/she is responsible for handling/putting away}.
  • Other organizers may disagree with this one but when organizing a space, I also have a container to put a few things that I just can’t part with quite yet. Then, the newly organized space contains only those things I truly love and/or need which enables me to experience that space in it’s best form. Plus, making that initial break seems to make it easier to part with it completely at the end of the session – or soon after.
  • As far as how to decide whether to keep or toss, I love this approach:

When deciding what to keep and what to keep and what to let go, here are some points to consider:

  • How much time, energy, space and money are you devoting to old stuff?
  • What do these possessions contribute to your life now?
  • How often do you utilize, enjoy, or interact with these objects?
  • What would happen if you no longer had them?

from Skye Alexander’s 10-Minute Clutter Control: Room by Room {published by Metro Books}

  • Give yourself time at the end of each STEP* to wrap up. {* Breaking projects like this into smaller steps – vs trying to do it all at one time – is something I’ve recently gotten better at!}

and finally…

Be patient! Becoming more organized doesn’t happen overnight – it’s a gradual thing – but by making changes, little by little you will begin moving towards that vision you created.

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