Monday, May 25, 2009

Organizing 101--Part 2

"How To Get Started!"
Before we can actually organize, we first have to get rid of our clutter!

Wow! What a great response to the Organizing 101 series!! I plan to address those clutter issues that you are dealing with throughout this series. But first things first! I think for many of us the hardest part of getting our home organized is just getting started!


Before you do anything else, Take Some Time For Evaluation:
Get a notebook and pen and write down your thoughts regarding the following:

1) If you haven't read my last post, take a minute or two to do that. Determine what your home's clutter could be a result of. This will help give you insight to the start of the problem.

2) How do you want your home to feel? How do you want your life to be?

3) Where are your home's organizational "Problem Areas"? This could be an entire room, or sometimes just a smaller area like a countertop. List them all. Next to these spaces, write down your answers to: How does your family really use these spaces?

These answers will give you insight on how to come up with a system that works for YOUR family!


Choose one of your "Problem Areas" to begin in. I would suggest starting with the smallest space/job first. Not only will this be easier to get your organizing skills going with, but it will give you great satisfaction when you're done & motivation to do the next job!!

Don't think about ALL the organizing that you have to do in the house, just focus on the one small task at hand. (*this is especially important for women like me who get overwhelmed easily & freeze up, only making the problem worse!)


I guarantee that if you objectively look at the objects in that space, much of it is not needed.

Make 2 piles: "Get Rid Of" & "Keep". Trash will immediately be put into a wastebasket. The "Get Rid Of" pile will be for donate/sell items (you will sort that at the end -- keep your decisions now focused only on whether you'll get rid of or keep the item). Only keep what is beautiful, useful & ACTUALLY USED, or loved.

Now, this is where I'm going to get tough, people!

I think that getting rid of the clutter is the most important step in the organizational process. I also believe it's the hardest step for people to actually do. This is where you have to detach yourself a bit and think objectively. And if you have trouble with letting things go, this is where you ask your friend to be the "tough guy" and challenge you if you really NEED the item. Not WANT the item. Not think you'll use it "someday". But do you NEED it?!!

Only you can determine what you really need to keep on in your home. But think back often to your evaluation lists. Does having extra clutter around help you reach your goals of how you want your home and life to feel? Does keeping these clutter items help you with how your family uses this space? Will hanging on to so much ultimately bring you peace or stress?
Think about this if you're having trouble deciding if something goes or stays.

Once you've gone through the entire space, take a look at your "Keep" & "Get Rid Of" piles.

Quickly look at that "Keep" pile to see if anything else in there could be added to the "Get Rid Of" pile. I'm sure that a couple things you weren't sure of before can make their way over there!

Next, go through the "Get Rid Of" pile and sort into "Donate" or "Sell" items. Immediately bag up the Donate items and place in your car trunk or call an organization to pick up. If you are going to Sell any items, then right now determine when your garage sale will be in the short future or get them listed on Cr@igslist.

Congratulations!!! You did it!!! :)

On Wednesday I'll give you the next installment of the Organizing 101 series!
Come back tomorrow for a fun post :)!

Again, if you have any questions about problem areas in your home, or spaces you'd like to see mentioned in this series, let me know in the comments section! I plan to go over each of your issues starting later this week!! :)


Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

I LOVE this series. :)

Shanda said...

Oh I so wish my "clutter" had disappeared while I read that post!! We are planning to take one of the kids rooms at a time when school is out - so much to go through!

Great series!!

Melissa Miller said...

Very good organizing ideas Stacey!
I'm a clutter buster and enjoy organization.
I really feel better and more relaxed this way.

Have a blessed week.
~Melissa :)(

Melissa Miller said...

Oops! I have no idea what the other symbol is doing under my smiley face...:)

tmiller said...

I read this post and thought you were describing me! I found a website that helped keep me on track called and it has done wonders!
I would like to see some info on children's rooms. I have a 5 year old but also run a small home daycare so even though he's grown out of toys, I still need to keep them for the other kids I watch. Help!

meg said...

I do have a major problem in my house. I don't have a mudroom or a closet that can stow anything out of the way. Front door opens right into the living room. No entry or anything. I've tried a billion different ways to contain and nothing works. Any suggestions?