Updated: Sep 14
So, you have made up your mind that you want to get an organized home. You have made time to get the project done and you are mentally ready to tackle all the mess. As you start to assess the situation you quickly realize that you have no idea what you are doing and can't figure out what to do next. Don't panic, I have got you covered. Here are the steps that I use to get any space organized as a certified organizing specialist.
Step 1: Pull everything out!!!
Yes, I know, pulling everything out of the space seems like such a daunting task. In the end, it will make the process easier, I promise. Taking everything out of the space should always be the first step when decluttering and organizing any space in your home.
Step 2: Eliminate the Trash
Okay, now that you have taken everything out it is time to do the simple task of eliminating the trash. Find anything that is broken, empty, expired or unusable and throw them away.
Don’t worry about sorting into categories or anything else. You are just focusing on decluttering the obvious things that need to be disposed of.
Step 3: Sort into Three Large Categories
Once you have gotten all the trash out of the mix you can begin sorting your products into three specific categories.
The first category is the Keep category. This is for items that you plan to keep in the space that you are organizing. This category will most likely have the biggest number of items in it so make sure you give it plenty of room.
The second category should be labeled Does Not Belong Here. This is for items that belong in another space within your home. Once you are done sorting through everything in the space, take some time to return these items to the room that they belong in.
The third category is Donations. These are items that no longer serve you but would still be useful for someone else. Maybe you have a friend who is a teacher who might find use for old craft supplies or a sister who just had a baby that might want toys or clothes that your kids have outgrown? Tie the act of removing the items from your home to a specific person to make it a little easier to let items go that do not serve you anymore.
Step 4: Sort Your Things into Broad Categories
Now that you have removed items that do not serve you or belong in the space it is time to sort what is in the keep category. Look at all of your things and start grouping items that are similar or may be used together. Also, in this process think about whether you have other items within your home that would also fall into these categories and round them up as well. Nothing is more frustrating than organizing a space and finding more stuff around the house that you want to put there after all the work is done.
Step 5: Time to Put Your Things Back
Before you start putting things away you need to come up with a thought-out plan for your items. Map out how much space you would like to dedicate to each category within the space that you have. If you find that you don’t have enough room to put back all your items, then it is probably time to edit each category. My challenge to you is to edit 3 items from each category at a time until you are able to fit everything left into the space in a way that is satisfactory to you!
Bonus Tip: If you are having trouble parting from your items for fear that you will regret getting rid of them then I have a painless solution for you. Store the items that you edit in a sealed box labeled with the current date on it. Store this box away from this space such as the garage or basement. Set a reminder to revisit the box in 6 months. If there are items still in the box, donate them! This is a stress-free way to test whether you really need the items.