Conquer the clutter in your living space in five easy steps from home organization expert and blogger Ginny of Organizing Homelife!
Getting organized at the beginning of a new year is at the top of the to-do list for many of us. We set goals and make plans endeavoring to make our busy lives a little easier.
Unfortunately, lots of people give up on their goals of becoming organized before they accomplish what they set out to do. Why? Because conquering disorganization and clutter seems insurmountable. Defeated before they begin, they don’t know what to concentrate on first. So they give up.
Home organization is a journey, not a destination. It is something that happens over time and changes as family and life situations change. What used to work may need a tweak to become effective for your current life situation.
I used to have a desk in the room that is now our kids’ playroom. My desk became theirs and is now where they use the computer for school work. Since I don’t have a dedicated office, I do most of my work in my dining room.
To keep myself organized, I put together a “portable desk” with this rolling cart. It’s perfect for keeping my office supplies neat, but can easily be rolled out of the room when we have company for dinner.
One of my favorite ways to encourage people not to give up on their organizational goals is to start with organizing places that will make you happy. Sure, you might need to organize a huge pile of paperwork, but if your desk is a disaster, you aren’t going to be very motivated.
Start by bringing order and beauty to an area that will boost your motivation. If the places you use and look at the most are in disorder, you’re not going to feel inspired.
Before you start, set aside time to organize one space at a time, not your whole house. Determine how much time you think you will need and then double it. If you allow more time than you think you’ll need, you won’t become discouraged if it takes longer than expected.
Step 1: Clear the space. Empty the contents of the drawers and surfaces so you have a clean slate. Speaking of clean, this is a great time to dust, vacuum, and wipe down the area.
Step 2: Get some boxes and label them: Relocate, Donate, File, and Trash (or use a trash can).
Step 3: Sort the contents. Only keep what you really use or need, and toss the trash.
- If things belong in a different place, put them in the “Relocate” box.
- Look for things you no longer use and put them in the “Donate” box.
- Paperwork that needs filing should go in the “File” box.
Step 4: Organize your space. Only keep in this space things you will use there. Little bins or baskets can be helpful for keeping smaller items in order.
To help my teen daughter keep her things from getting messy, we organized an area of interest for her: hair accessories. We found these drawer organizers and fit them into the space to keep things neat. She loves how it looks now and it makes her happy to keep it organized.
Step 5: You’re almost there. Don’t forget to put away the things in the “Relocate” box and drop off the contents of the “Donation” box.
Once your space is organized and neat, it will be easier to tackle a bigger job like organizing paperwork or cleaning out a closet.
I keep a bin in the top of my closet for out of season shoes. The other bin just below it is an easy to reach place when I can put clothing that needs to be donated. Once the bin is full, I can take it to the donation drop-off.
Organizing small spaces in your home that bring you happiness will inspire you to tackle bigger jobs. Give yourself grace and remind yourself that it will take time. Celebrate your accomplishments and start new habits of keeping those small places neat before you take on the bigger spaces.
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