The Process of Organizing – 5 Easy Steps

How do I get organized?.    How do I even start to get organized?  These two questions are ones that I hear not only from clients but from  colleagues, friends and family as well.   To answer these questions I’m going to provide you with five basic principles to organize pretty much anything.

  1. Sort:   This is where you evaluate your items that you wish to organize and sort them into broad categories, like items with like items. You can then further sort your broad categories into smaller ones.  For instance, if you’re sorting clothing, begin with placing all your long, short and sleeveless tops in one pile then further refine it into 3 separate piles: one for sleeveless, one for short sleeve, and one for long sleeve.  This will help you clearly see how much you have of each type of item.
  2. Purge:  This is the elimination phase of the organizing process.  I don’t much care for the term “purge” and would rather call it “editing”.  Make piles for giveaways (charity or elsewhere); put away (those items that belong in another room or space) and throw away (items for garbage or recycle).
  3. Assign a home:  This is where you determine the best place to store items based on how you function on a daily basis.  Ask yourself these questions:  Where is this supposed to be stored? Where is a convenient place for me to keep this where it is most often used or needed?
  4. Containerize: This is usually the fun part.  Once you have completed the previous steps, you can shop your own home or office for the appropriate sized containers, or go out shopping for the containers you need to adequately store the items you have.  Remember  to store items in containers using the smallest possible container that will house all of the items in a particular category. Where possible and practical, use clear bins and label them. Of course there are some great looking decorative bins and baskets that you can purchase as well. It all depends on the space your are organizing.
  5. Equalize: This means conducting  regular, on-going tune-ups and evaluations to maintain the organization that you have now implemented in your space.

And here’s a little added bonus for you on the principles of storage in a closet.  Items that are used most often should be stored within easy reach. Items used infrequently should be stored below the waist.  Items seldom used and that are lightweight only, should be stored above the head.

These points should give you a good start on your next project in getting organized so you can make room for living! Get your project started and tell me how things are going.  I’d love to hear about your successes and your challenges! And if you need some help, let me know.

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