We’d all like to be more organized. We’d love to get rid of all the clutter and have a place for everything. Sadly, real life isn’t as neat and tidy as all that. When we think about getting organized, we often feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. But you really can get your whole home organized if you start with one area at a time. Here are some tips that apply to any space you’re trying to whip into shape.
1. Set a Time Limit
How busy are you today? Can you spend 30 minutes on the linen closet, or do you have 2 hours for the master bedroom? Maybe you only have time for a drawer or two. The amount of time you have in a given day will help determine which area you tackle. Just be sure to choose an area you can actually finish in the time you have, and be realistic; things usually take longer than you think they will. Set yourself a timer and go for it.
2. Empty the Space
And I mean EMPTY IT. Taking everything out of the space you’re going to organize might seem counterproductive, but it’s really not. If you don’t empty the space, you can’t possibly see everything that’s in there. You’ll need to go through everything and decide what to keep and what to pitch. With an empty space, you’ve a clean slate to really decide how to store the stuff that’s staying put.
3. Clean Your Stuff
Once you have everything out of your space, take a little time to clean stuff up. Wipe down jars, dust shelves, grab the vacuum. You don’t want to put dirty stuff back into a dirty closet, do you? Of course not!
4. Get After It
Now that your space is empty and everything is clean, decide what you’re going to donate and what you’re going to keep. And be aggressive! If you haven’t used it in a year, get rid of it. Ask yourself if you’d buy this item today in a store. Does it add anything to your life, or is it just sitting in a closet? Ask yourself the tough questions and make quick decisions here. 🙂 This step involves categorizing things and deciding what should be stored elsewhere. Don’t put this stuff back in this area.
5. Break it Up
If you’re organizing a room or large closet, try braking it up into zones. Maybe different types of items should have dedicated shelves, drawers, or cupboards (serving spoons, washcloths, baking supplies, socks).
6. Maximize Space
When putting things away, you’ll probably find you have more space after de-junking. However, you can always maximize your storage and help things stay neat. Use hooks on walls, get some shelf dividers, and be creative with how you fold clothing or towels to make the best use of available space.
With a little bit of maintenance, you can keep things organized after all your hard work. Set yourself a reminder to revisit the space weekly, every two weeks, or monthly — depending on how often that space is accessed. If you take a few minutes on a regular basis to evaluate how it’s working and make sure things are still neat, you won’t have to go through a deep organization process there again.