Getting organized doesn’t happen overnight.
It’s a process or a “lifestyle change” that develops and improves over time. The more action you take toward an organized lifestyle, the more time you will have for family, friends, hobbies, life goals, and yourself. With faithful practice, you will become more organized. Here are six simple steps to get you started:
- Pick a zone
- Make a list
- Sort like items
- Give Away/Sell/Donate
- Congratulate yourself
1. Pick a zone.
Choose a room or area of that room where with a little decluttering and organizing you will get instant gratification. Don’t try to tackle the entire garage or house in one day…stick with a SMALL area of one room, such as one small closet or cabinet. Focus on getting this area completely organized just the way you want it. The positive feeling of SUCCESS helps to keep us moving toward our goals.
2. Make a list.
Prioritize projects to complete within that zone before moving on to another (1., 2., 3., etc.). For example, if decluttering and organizing a pantry:
- Pull out and compost old and expired food
- Wipe down shelves with a cleaning solution
- Arrange food into categories
- Make a list of food that needs to be replaced and/or organizing supplies to pick up that will help streamline the pantry.
3. Sort like items.
Do you have multiples of something you prefer to store in this zone in different areas around the house? Bring them together. Don’t stray too far! Stick with organizing this zone. Finding things that don’t belong here? Put them in a pile and find them a home later or drop them off in the general area that *should* be their home and leave them there for now. You’ll fine tune later. Get back to sorting your priority zone. Do a little dusting while here.
4. Give Away/Sell/Donate.
Gather paper or plastic grocery or trash bags, cardboard Amazon or moving boxes, and label them accordingly for Give Away, Sell, and Donate. Fill them with things found in this zone that you want to bestow upon someone you know and love (Give Away), things you would like to make money back on (Sell) and things you don’t want that aren’t worth the time to sell but still have a little life in them (Donate). Place a Recycle and Trash bin or bag nearby, in case you come across this stuff in the process. #4 is an optional but very important step to de-cluttering and downsizing.
Place items where it makes the most sense to you. Should everything in this zone be tidied up and left here or taken somewhere else in the house where it makes more sense to be? Did you find keys that should instead hang on a hook by the door, or go in a specific drawer in the kitchen? Did you happen upon a set of winter gloves that should go into a drawer in your dresser, or into each jacket pocket so they are instantly there when you need them? (I leave mine in my jackets and LOVE always finding them there.)
6. Congratulate yourself for coming this far.
Great job! You completed organizing a zone. Now set up a date with yourself to tackle another zone and add to the accomplishments.
Isabella Guajardo has provided professional home organizing and residential move management services to hundreds of individuals and families from all walks of life including single parents, school teachers, college professors, lawyers, doctors, Pulitzer Prize winners, and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. The thing 90% of them have in common? Too much stuff they were ready to downsize. Bella Organizing helps you to tackle and reach your declutter and organizing goals.
Call (510) 229-7321 to schedule a complimentary telephone consultation.