I have written before about how organization can help save you time in the long run. When things are organized, they’re easy to find and you’re better able to keep inventory of the items in your home. I cannot even tell you how much time I used to spend trying to find random items that I knew I “had around here somewhere” with no idea where. Also, I wouldn’t be able to remember if I had enough hand soap or disinfecting wipes because many of these items had multiple homes within my home instead of being kept together in a place that made sense. I think at one point I ended up with like 20 back up hand soaps. I wash my hands A LOT but 20 hand soaps is just excessive. I had no idea my lack of organization was a problem nor did I realize how much of my time it really took up until I started organizing my home. I can now see that hand soap is on sale and know exactly how many I have and how many back ups I have room for. I don’t have to stand there for 5 minutes debating on the correct number of hand soaps to purchase.
Moving on from hand soaps, let’s talk about the actual logistics of organizing your stuff. In just about any organizing situation, there are 6 key steps to getting your space organized. These steps are important and will help set you up for success and avoid the situation where you take the time to organize something and it doesn’t end up working for you long-term.
1. Figure Out Your Style
This step is absolutely vital to your organizing success. You need to figure out what is going to work for you. Do you appreciate seeing your things? Are you a visual person? Or, do you prefer to have your things hidden away and out of sight? Also, you need to figure out if you will prefer a simple system or a more intricate system. Be totally real with yourself here. What will you keep up with? Try to realize your current habits and work around those. For me, I need it to be just as easy to put an item away as it would be to leave it out. Otherwise, it will just get piled on the kitchen table until I can’t stand to look at it anymore.
If you want to take this step a little further (I totally recommend you do), you should try to anticipate what will work well for the rest of your family as well. Do they like to see their things or have them hidden away? Do they need simplicity or will they be able to keep up with an intricate system? Knowing the styles in your household will help keep your organized systems working if it’s easily adaptable for everyone in the family.
Once you’ve had some deep thoughts on what type of organization will be most successful for your household, it’s time to declutter and start getting rid of some stuff. I think even the most organized people can still probably find some stuff to get rid of. When you are organizing a drawer, cupboard, basement, bathroom, literally anything, more than likely you will find plenty of stuff you don’t need or use. For me, half the work was done when we did our purge. We got rid of more than half of the total items in our basement and it was magical. I don’t totally know why but decluttering in this way can be very therapeutic and quite literally feels like a weight being lifted off of you.
When you are doing your purge portion, try to make decisions about things in 30 seconds or less. This will help you be a little more ruthless and keep this step from taking way too long. As some might say “If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no.” This is usually used in personal development but it also works when purging things around your house. 🙂
3. Sort things
This step can be done while you are doing your purge. You should have a donate pile, trash pile, and keep pile at bare minimum. If you are organizing something like a drawer in the kitchen, you can group items accordingly within your keep pile. Doing this while doing your purge will help save you time doing the actual organizing. For instance, put all your spatulas in one pile, serving spoons in another, etc. Then when it’s time to put it back in the drawer, you can keep these items grouped and easier to find what you’re looking for when you’re getting your Master Chef on in the kitchen.
4. Get some containers
You’ll want some way to separate out the items you’re organizing. For most people, bins/containers are the way to go. Other people like peg-board type organizers but you will still likely need some sort of receptacle on those too. Beyond making sure you have the correct size of containers for your space, I would also recommend carefully selecting the type of container you’ll need. Do you want to be able to see through them? Do you prefer them to have a lid, or will that one extra step derail your efforts to put something away? Are you OK with opaque containers?
I personally prefer to use Dollar Tree containers the first time I organize something. Getting something inexpensive to try out first is a good idea. That way if you have to revamp your organization later because you realize you actually do need clear bins, you haven’t made a huge investment. Keeping the price low even further – you could get creative and cut down cereal boxes or use cardboard boxes or baskets or other receptacles that you may already have. You can always upgrade later once you feel you’ve got the right system in place for that area.
5. Label your stuff
This step seems like it might be extra and unnecessary, but it truly is vital to the success of your system. Labeling your bins further takes the guesswork out of finding something or putting something away for your entire family. If things are labeled, your family members will easily be able to find whatever they’re looking for instead of going “MOM, Where is my dinosaur eraser with the matching pencil?”, you’ll hear nothing as your child quickly finds what they’re looking for in the bin labeled “writing supplies” or something of that nature. Sounds kind of nice, doesn’t it?
6. Adjust as needed
This one is ultra important to remember as well. You will likely find that your first time organizing a space isn’t going to last long term. But guess what? You can adjust it as needed! Just get it organized to start, but don’t overthink it. You can always change it as time goes on when you discover some aspect of it isn’t working. If your husband can’t seem to open your lidded containers to put away the flashlight, then you remove the lids and change your system. You can adapt it as necessary to find a solution that works for the entire household. Remembering this can also save you time during your initial organization. As they say “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of done.”
There you have it folks. My top 6 steps to organizing anything. Feeling inspired? Go forth and organize!! You’ll be happy you did!
Much love and productive vibes,
Momma Caped Nerd ❤
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