Home Organization

Start with your Center: Create a Relaxing Space

When it comes to organizing our homes, we often want to start with the spots that bother us the most.  In reality, we should begin with the space where we can feel good and relaxed, a refuge and sanctuary.  For many of us, that place is our bedroom, but it doesn’t have to be.  It can be a home office, an outside space, a little reading nook, or simply a corner with a comfy chair.  The important part is that this space is just for you.

Many of us want an organized and tidy home.  Many of us are also EXTREMELY busy!  So how can we tidy and organize our home when we’re exhausted?

The answer is start small and find your motivation.  When tidying means constantly cleaning up after others, it’s hard to find the motivation.  What if getting started on the road to organized meant creating a space just for you?

Take a moment to close your eyes and imagine what you would feel in a spot that was just for you.  Whatever it is that you want to feel: peace, inspiration, focus, or quiet, let’s look around your home and find a place to create it.

Steps to creating the perfect space

Only you know the type of decor that will suit you.  What we are talking about is clearing and decluttering the space so that you can feel good in it.

Step 1: Take out the trash.  Literally!  Spend a few minutes looking around for any trash, cups, empty boxes, etc. Don’t sort through any papers yet, just find the obvious trash.  If the bag isn’t full, leave it in the room for now, we might find more to throw out soon.

Step 2: Start sorting through your belongings.  Gather all like items together into piles.  It is very necessary to go through everything.  All clothing, for instance, should be put in a pile together.  All books in another pile.  Papers in another pile.  All small electronics in another pile, etc.  I also like to grab a jar for any loose change I find.  Often our bedrooms become the catch-all for random things, especially when company is coming.  Anything that does not belong in your room should be put in a basket or pile of its own.

Step 3:  This step can be challenging, but I know you can do it!  PURGE!  Take one pile at a time and start purging.  I recommend choosing the pile that you have the least emotional attachment to, like paperwork.  Unless you are sorting business receipts and bills, most of us do not need to hold onto receipts and paid bills.  If you find any unpaid bills, put them in a pile to keep.  Do not throw out tax returns, tax documents, insurance or mortgage documents, or any other important papers like identification documents.  The rest of the papers you don’t need should be put in a box to be shredded.  I am always making lists and I often find dozens of notes to myself that I have tucked away.  Do this for each pile in turn and work quickly.  Don’t think too hard about it.

For many of us, clothing takes the longest.  The clothes you wear regularly should immediately be put in a pile to keep.  Then start going through the rest.  Get rid of the old underwear you never wear, the torn bras, the ripped leggings you are holding onto because one day you might patch them up.  If you haven’t done it by now, you’re not going to!  Anything that is ripped, has holes, or is so stretched out it doesn’t fit right…throw it out!  Are you holding onto clothes that don’t fit?  Clothes that you wore once and didn’t like the feel?  The money has already been spent.  Free up your closet and donate or sell them!

Once you’ve finished, take all of the trash out to the trash can.  Take the donation items out to your car and the items you want to sell should be put in a box and removed from the room for photographing.

Step 4: Now it’s time to take a look at what is left and find it a home!  Are you putting them where they are easiest to access?  Is there anything you need to change?  Look for the best place that makes the most sense.  With fewer items, you may be able to relocate your belongings to a place that is more efficient for your routine.

Step 5: It’s time to start putting things away.  Is there anything that bothers you about how you have stored your belongings in the past?  Think of all of the organization methods you have tried.  Which ones worked and which didn’t?  Do you know your personal organizing style?  Read this short article to see which method fits you best, then let’s start putting away your purged and organized piles.

If you are a Traditional organizer, you may prefer to micro-sort your piles into even more specific categories before storing them.  Just remember to keep track of your time!  If you don’t have the time to do it, leave them macro-sorted for now and come back later to tackle each category individually later.  You may prefer to put some items in closed, labeled bins inside your closets.  Bins will help you take advantage of vertical space on the shelves in your closet.

If you are Visual and Detailed, you also may prefer to micro-sort, but resist the temptation if you don’t have the time.  It’s important to finish the project as soon as possible and then come back later when you have more time.  You may prefer to choose clear bins that are clearly labeled so that you can see your belongings.  If you have a small closet, consider removing the doors so that you can easily see your clothing!

If you are Simply Visual, clear bins are definitely the answer!  Just remember to label them clearly and consider leaving off the lids to make putting things away easier.  To take full advantage of your vertical storage space, you may need to add shelving.  Removing the doors on your closet can make it much easier to see everything in your closet.

If you are Simple and Uncluttered, clearly labeled, opaque baskets or bins are definitely a good solution.

Step 6:  Once you’re finished, give it a few weeks and see if you find it easy to maintain.  If not, you may need to tweak those specific areas that aren’t working to make them work for you.

Want additional tips for organizing for your personal organizing style?

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