Did you know that January is National GET ORGANIZED Month? It’s a great time to throw out the old, sort through what remains, and organize what you are bringing into 2019.
This counts for thoughts as well. If you think “I’m not an organized person” – change that mantra! It’s not that you aren’t organized, you just haven’t found the system that works for YOU.
There is no ONE way to organize anything. And even if something worked for you 5 or 10 years ago, you aren’t the same person you were then. So don’t be so hard on yourself if your system isn’t working for you now.
No matter what you’re trying to organize, breaking the project into smaller steps is the best way to begin. For example, if you want to organize your kitchen, but feel overwhelmed with the task, don’t tackle the whole thing at once. Instead, start with your pantry and work your way out from there. Or start with one drawer if the thought of your pantry is overwhelming.
So whether you are trying to organize your kitchen, files, sock drawers, or your garage, here are some universal points on organizing anything:
The project will look worse before it starts to look better. If you’re going to tackle that kitchen organizing project, you may want to warn anybody living with you that things will look pretty messy before you put things away.
And it always takes longer than you expect.
No matter what you are organizing, create three piles.
- Keep – things you know benefit you and you will use in the future
- Trash – outdated, unusable, broken
- Donate – what you don’t need any longer, but could benefit another
Most excess clutter comes from things we don’t need or have purchased duplicates of because we couldn’t find the first (or second or third) item we bought for the same task. If you have the tendency to hold on to things, ask yourself if the space used in storing the item is worth the cost it would take to (and how accessible it would be) to replace it.
Once you have three distinct piles, get the Trash items thrown out. Box up the stuff in the Donate pile (and out of temptation’s way to sneak an item or two back in).
You are now ready to sort your Keep items! (Yay!)
Start by putting similar items together in piles, stacks, or areas. This mess should be a little smaller than the one you started out with. You may actually find this “fun” because you’ll see some good progress.
You’ll need a place to store what you have kept – and, of course, we want it to look good too. One of my all time favorite places for storage items that are as functional as they are aesthetically pleasing is you guessed it, The Container Store. Target is another good place for cute storage solutions.
If you have a place to display things you love, take advantage of it and show off your treasures! This home office has beautiful built in shelves that are full of special mementos and memories.
In the end, just remember to take your time and don’t spend a lot of money trying some fancy system that a salesperson swears is the best solution. Ease your way into the process and find out what works for YOU. The trick is to also maintain the organization. You have to put things back where you designated them and continue to mentally (and physically) maintain those three piles of keep, donate, or trash.
Don’t give up. Keeping your spaces organized and pretty is a really great feeling. Your home will become happier AND more efficient!