Have you ever wondered what exactly is the process to organizing? How do we get from the "Before" to the "After"? Just know that it always, always gets worse before it gets better!
It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed about the daunting task of getting organized and not knowing where to start. I often talk to my clients about their "pain points" for deciding where to start. This simply means what area bothers you the most.
I always recommend starting small, whether this is a drawer or one cabinet, you want to choose an area that you can do easily and do well. You want to win and feel successful so you continue organizing. If you choose a larger area and fail, you are less likely to want to pursue other areas.
Let's get into the process.
1. Clear the space
First things first, take everything out. Yes I mean everything! You want a clear, blank space to work with. This helps to visualize the actual space you have to work with but also if you plan on utilizing storage containers or bins you can more easily plan the space when there isn't anything in it. While everything is out, also give it a good cleaning. We don't want to put items back into a dirty cabinet or drawer.
2. Sort into categories
While you're taking the items out, you want to sort into categories and keep "like with like." For example, in a kitchen, you would group together all the spatulas, all the spoons, all the baking pans. This helps visualize the quantity of every item you have and will make the organizing process easier when you go to put things away again. This is also the time to re home items that don't belong or aren't used in that space.
Take a look at what you have. Really think about what you use and what you love. Consider donating anything that you haven't used within 6 months to a year. And if you don't love it, sell or donate so someone else can use it. Anything that is broken, chipped or is missing parts should be recycled or discarded.
This is the fun part! Now that you know what you have to contain, you can purchase storage bins and containers if you choose. Be sure to measure the space first! It sometimes takes a little trial and error to figure out what products work best so I find overbuying to be helpful and then you can return what you don't use. Bins and containers are not necessary, you can always use what you have on hand, but they do help with the maintenance of an organized space and make it look aesthetically pleasing.
5. Put away
Based on the various categories you've designated, you can put things away into their "home." Keeping like items with other like items, everything should have a home and if it doesn't, then reconsider whether or not it belongs in that space or if you actually need it.
Labeling is key! Once you have established a "home" for your items, labeling helps identify this home so that this is where they go back to when not in use. Generic categories for labels are better than the more specific categories.
Last but not least, the key to staying organized is maintenance. Don't let all your hard work go to waste by not maintaining your newly organized space. Scheduling regular de cluttering sessions is helpful to keep you on track. Also following the one in, one out rule can be beneficial to prevent clutter from accumulating.