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9 “don’ts” of organizing

by respaced on April 16, 2012

  1. Don’t start organizing without making a plan for your space first. Take the time to sit down and write out a list of all the functions the room has to serve. Otherwise, how will you know what should stay or go?
  2. Don’t expect to get your entire room organized in a day. Can you say burn-out? Because those will be your last dying words if you try to sort through every object in a room that hasn’t been organized in years. Break your project up into chunks of hours over the course of a week or two instead.
  3. Don’t buy containers before you have sorted through everything you own and figured out exactly what you are going to store and how you are going to store it. To do this, group your like items together in a pile on the floor and eyeball the pile to get an estimate of the size of container you will need to hold it all.
  4. Don’t buy all new organizing containers before looking around your house to see what you can repurpose. Most people have extra plastic bins, decorative boxes and baskets sitting around unused. Furthermore, if you want an eclectic, funky look, make use of containers such as terra cotta pots for organizing your spatulas on the counter or sorbet cups for holding paper clips and rubberbands. Save money by using what you have first.
  5. Don’t forget to take snack and water breaks when you are organizing for more than a couple of hours. Organizing can be hard, sweaty, tiring work particularly if you are working in a room that holds lots of heavy objects such as the garage or basement. Make sure you have a chilled water bottle nearby to keep your energy up.
  6. Don’t make all the decisions about a space yourself if you are not the only one who uses that space. For example, if everyone in the family uses the living room, they will probably have opinions about which direction the TV should face, where the video games should be stored and how many board games should be kept. Making these decisions by yourself is a sure way to prevent the organization from being maintained by the rest of the family.
  7. Don’t forget to label boxes, bins and tubs. You might remember which container each object should go in, but I guarantee you the rest of your family will not remember precisely how you organized everything without labels. And if they don’t remember, they won’t put things back where you want them too.
  8. Don’t let the Goodwill pile and dump pile sit in your garage for weeks after you organize your space. This is where most people stumble after taking the time to sort through all of their belongings. Put those discard bags in your car immediately and get them out of your house!
  9. Don’t forget to take time to bask in the glory of your newly organized space. Take photos to remind yourself of all of your hard work. Invite people over for a party. Celebrate your amazing achievement!

Image courtesy of Little Luck Tree. Thanks!

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