Getting organized? Trying to figure out where to start? Thinking about a plan of action?
Cabinet? Drawer? Shelf? Pile? Stack? Closet? Corner? Room? Bedroom? Bathroom? Office? Garage? Kitchen? Basement? Laundry room? Big space? Small space? Awkward space? Kid's space? Space under the stairs? Art supplies? Shoes? Clothes? Pots? Pans? Files? Toiletries? Books? Toys? Office items? Electronics? Sewing supplies? Scrapbook items? Belts? Utensils? Movies? Games? CDs?
Lots of questions, read on for the answer!
Everyone has their own way of doing things, but there is a general organizing procedure I follow when conquering almost any space or item...
and lastly, a continuous step if you will, is to maintain. Utilizing this process ensures you always have a place to start and breaks down the task into doable sections.
The first step in getting organized is to pare down. Trash or recycle items that are no longer usable (i.e. broken, worn, old), and donate things that you don't want anymore but are in working condition (i.e. gently worn clothing, functioning electronics).
This part of the process can be tough as it involves making concrete decisions. Ask yourself a series of questions if you get stuck. They can vary according to what you are getting organized, but below are some general questions to get you started.
• Do I still use it?
• Have I ever used it?
• Does it still work?
• How often do I use it?
• Is it still in style?
• How many of this same item do I have?
• Does it have sentimentality?
• Is it something I need to refer to?
• Can I access it elsewhere without keeping the item?
Once you make a decision about an item, it needs to be placed in the corresponding pile, box or bag...
Trash: items no longer usable
Recycle: items no longer usable but can be recycled (i.e. electronics)
Donate: items in good condition that others can use
Distribute: items in good condition to be given to people you know
Keep: items you still want and/or use
Complete the purging step of the process by taking out the trash and recycling and putting the donation and distribution items in your car (if possible). This finalizes your decisions and hinders you from undoing all of your hard organizing work!
Now that you have gotten rid of everything there is to get rid of, it's time to focus on what's left. Step two of getting organized is to sort your items using one of the basic organizing principles: like goes with like. This will show you how much of each type of item you have and help determine how to store your things (step three).
If you can complete the organizing procedure in one session, then feel free to separate your items into piles. If not, then use labeled bins or boxes to create solid divisions. This will ensure your things stay organized until you complete step three.
Optional: Between step two and three is the time to buy organizational products, as now you can see what and how much you have.
Having sorted all of your items and possibly purchased organizing products, you can now move on to step three of getting organized! Store your items according to size and convenience. Keep in mind this doesn't necessarily mean things are going back to the same place. In fact, they almost never do!
If you are conquering a linen closet and have gotten rid of a variety of sheets and pillow cases with no matches, the linens may not need to go back on the shelf with the most vertical space. Instead, the bulkier towels are going to go there now.
Congratulations! You have completed initial organization! Give yourself a pat on the back. This is a huge accomplishment and you should be proud. I am!
This means that you have finished organizing
whatever it is that needed organizing and all that's left is to maintain
(which is SO much easier and less time consuming).
Create habits for yourself, so that you can keep up with all the hard work you have accomplished. For instance, at the end of the work day, take 10 minutes to put away office supplies and to file papers in their corresponding file folders. These short, simple tasks will ensure you stay organized and take no time at all!
LET'S GET ORGANIZED!
Now that you know the procedure, what would you like to organize?
AN EXTRA PUSH
If you think you need more help than the do-it-yourself information provided above, the assistance of an organizer might be necessary. Here's how to tell if getting organized requires a professional organizer.
If you know you need assistance but don't know how to go about it, here's how to hire a professional organizer.
If you have found or have been given names of professional organizers, how do you know if they are qualified and/or a good fit? Here's a general interview checklist to get you started.
Welcome to The-Organizing-Boutique.com - my customized shop of all things organizing! My name is Nealey Stapleton. I am passionate about being organized and love helping others get things in order! Learn more here.