These 4 steps to organizing will help keep you on task and they will produce awesome results!
I love to organize and can often be found rearranging and organizing closets and cupboards and different areas in my home. A clean and organized space just makes me happy – especially when I was there every step of the transformation. Sometimes organization projects can be simple – like a small kitchen cupboard – and sometimes they can be daunting, like a garage full of boxes and tools. So whenever I decide to tackle a space, I simplify the task as much as possible by following these 4 simple steps.
4 Steps to Organizing Any Space
Clear, Clean, Sort and Style
1. Clear it Out
The first thing you need to do is clear the space. Whether it is a tiny cupboard or a huge garage – get everything out. This can be tough, I know, especially when you’re dealing with a bigger area, but it is important to start with an empty space so you can visualize how you want everything to look when you’re finished.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been motivated to start a project and then you get discouraged or distracted part-way through. You tell yourself you’ll finish it later, so you stuff everything back where it originally was and the space looks worse than it did before you started. Just me? Here are a few tips to consider:
- Make time for your projects. The longer you wait to finish them once you’ve started, the less likely you are to finish them.
- Do not pull out more than you can put back in the amount of time you have.
- Set a goal of how much you want to accomplish by a certain time and then work hard to get there. (1 cupboard in 1 hour, the entire garage in 3 days etc.)
- When you have your goal set, pencil it in your calendar and take note of any conflicting tasks. For example, if you know your garage is going to take several days to finish, don’t try to tackle it on a week that is busier than normal. And don’t start it on a Saturday when you know you won’t get to it again for several more weeks.
2. Clean it Up
Now that everything is cleared out, it’s time to clean that space. Because let’s be honest, it’s been forever since it was cleaned and you probably won’t get around to cleaning it again for a really long time!
- Wipe down any shelves and surfaces
- Vacuum/ sweep the floor
3. Sort Your Stuff
Before you start putting anything back, make 4 piles of all your things: Keep, Put Away, Donate & Trash.
- All things in the KEEP pile are what you plan to keep in that space.
- Items in the PUT AWAY pile are things you want to keep, but they do not belong in the space you are currently working on.
- The DONATE pile consists of items that can be used by someone else and can be donated to Deseret Industries, Goodwill or The Salvation Army.
- Items in the TRASH pile are things that need to be discarded or recycled.
Once it is sorted…
- Take your KEEP pile and set it aside.
- Take your PUT AWAY pile and put everything in its new home. (Do not let it sit there – put it away right now!) Anything that does not have a home should be added to your DONATE pile.
- Take your DONATE pile and bag or box it up. Put all these items immediately into your car so you can drop them off at a donation center the next time you are out and about.
- Take your TRASH pile and toss it. Don’t rescue any items – toss it or recycle it immediately!
4. Style Your Space
Now it is time to put everything back and make it pretty! Keep like-items together, make labels, add fun design elements etc. Have fun with this! Make it so each time you see this newly organized area you smile. 🙂
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And that’s it! 4 easy steps to organizing any space.
Do you have any organization tips you’d like to share?
Leave us a comment, we’d love to hear about them!
This post originally published in January 2012. It was updated in August 2016.
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