Here’s my tried and true methodology for organizing any type of space – from a cluttered shelf to an entire closet or garage:
1. Identify your priorities. What are your goals for that space? Do you want to make more space by getting rid of things you really don’t need? Do you simply want to be able to find things easily?
2. Visualize your ideal space, imagining organization. Keep that dream of the end results in your mind rather than the process of getting there!
3. Dump it all on the floor. (Yes, that’s what I said!) Whether it is a junk drawer, your closet, or the garage, you need to begin by emptying it so you can start with a clean slate.
4. Group similar things together. This allows you to see what you have and makes the decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of easier. For example, if you’re sorting your clothes closet, your similar group items might be: Daily wear (casual), Daily wear (professional), Sleepwear, Exercise clothing, and Special occasions.
If you’re sorting the garage, your similar item groups might be Sporting goods, Tools, Automotive, Entertainment, Pets, Gardening and Other.
5. Create decision piles, such as:
- Keep here,
- Keep somewhere else,
- Donate, and
6. Now execute the decisions made in Step 5. This means taking action on the Toss, Shred, Recycle, Donate and Sell piles right away before they become new sources of clutter! You may wish to move the Donate and Sell items to the garage or somewhere out of the way, and schedule them to be picked up. Immediately find appropriate places for the items that you want to keep but which belong somewhere else. Put the Toss pile in the trash can as soon as possible! Return only the items which belong in that particular space (i.e., Keep Here).
7. Container-ize it! Now that the volume of items is more manageable, put them in boxes, bins, bags, shelves, etc. for storage in your newly organized space. Label them appropriately.
Have ideas to share? Leave a comment, or write to Crystal and let her know!