Oftentimes, people have the best of intentions to get their home organized, but they get bogged down in those age-old questions, “Where do I start? and “How do I do it?”
First, start with one room, maybe just one closet at a time. What is the purpose of that space? If it is a dining room, the purpose might be to eat, entertain, and do homework. What is that space being used for now? If you plan to eliminate some activities from happening in that room (e.g. kids working on art projects), be prepared to find a new spot in your home for those activities. Otherwise, guess where those activities will start creeping back to?
Plan to remove everything in that room that doesn’t have anything to do with the room’s purpose. Get several boxes or bags. Label each box with a different use: Donate, Trash, Recycle, Goes in Another Room. If you have several things that will be going in different rooms, get a few boxes and label them with various spaces in the house such as “Goes Upstairs” and “Goes Downstairs.”
Start sorting everything you touch into one of those boxes. Work from one side of the room to the other; don’t jump around. Items that are staying in the room can be piled into a corner. Don’t get bogged down going down memory lane with your stuff; stay on task. If you can’t decide whether to keep an item or not, ask yourself “Do I love it?” and “Do I still use it?” Organizing books often have you ask yourself several questions when it comes to deciding whether to keep an item, but I often find those questions boil down to these two.
Once every item has been sorted and the boxes have been sent to their various destinations, it is time to put back the things you are keeping. This is often the tricky part, so I will go into more depth about it in Friday’s post.