9.24.2012

Where and How to Begin Organizing Your Home & Life

Have you ever asked "where do I even begin organizing my home or life?" or "How do I create calm out of chaos?"  If so, let me just say, you are not alone. I've received multiple e-mails asking the very same questions. 

Most of the time people get overwhelmed looking at the big picture and they don't know where to begin. So they don't start anywhere. They continue to live in the chaos, the piles, the clutter and the UN-organized spaces, dreaming of having things in order.  But dreaming and not doing only causes stress and more un-organization.  So I say, how about now? Now is a great time to becoming a more organized you!

While there is no right or wrong answer to where to begin organizing, here are a few of my suggestions.

In order to avoid becoming overwhelmed, one must focus on one project at a time. 

MAKE A CHOICE ON WHERE TO BEGIN  
  • Begin with whatever area bothers you the most. 
  • Start in a room that you spend the most time in.
  • Start with the first thing you see in the morning.
  • Start with the first thing you see when you get home from work.

No matter your choice, the number one thing that I suggest is to tackle small, do-able projects ~ I always recommend starting with something easy in order to get quick results. A small project can be finished quickly and with less effort, which can build momentum.   

Here are a few projects that I'd suggest:
A linen closet can be done easily and in little time.

 You could begin with the bathroom cabinets.

or maybe you'd like to start organizing toys in the playroom.

 or you could start by organizing childrens hand me down clothing and shoes.

 Under the kitchen sink is an easy one too.

You could start with the medicine cabinet...

or simply create a sippy cup drawer for the kiddos.

and speaking of the kiddo's, you could start by organizing their schedules and homework.


or... organize their  special school papers

.. or how about creating a family planner to organize your papers.

it could even be as small as organizing coupons and receipts.

Small steps is one step closer to being organized, so even tackling that one little cabinet, or that one closet or that one stack of papers on the counter, you are on your way to becoming more organized!  How great is that?!!

To see more organized spaces, visit the organizing page in my post gallery at the top of my blog. This page is continually updated, so feel free to visit it as often as desired.


MAKE A PLAN 
It's often much easier to make a list or a plan of attack.  To help you get started, I've created this FREE project list printable

Simply click on the list above and print the FREE pdf file.

On this list, write the projects that you would like to accomplish in that space.  Ask yourself what it is you are wanting from the space.  Do you want dvd's in the toy room? how about games? where will those go?  Write down what it is that you like and dis-like about the space.  What's your budget? Write that down.  Is there anything from elsewhere in the home that you would like to re-use for this space?

SORT & ELIMINATE
Another HUGE key is to NOT have too much stuff. Get rid of, donate or sell whatever you don't need or use.  If you haven't used it in the last 6 months, chances are you probably won't. Too many toys?  Store some of them in the attic/basement and switch them out every few months or so.  Kids love this - they feel like it's forever Christmas :) 


Donate to goodwill, have a garage sale, sell on Craigslist or simply toss.  I've already shared how to host an organized garage sale.

Grab a couple of garbage bags or laundry baskets to sort your items.
  
When sorting, group like (same)  items together. If you have more of those same items somewhere else in the home, now is a great time to go and get them and add them to this pile. 

No sense in having many areas of the very same items scattered throughout your home. Group them together.  This is huge.huge.huge!! Think of it as creating zones or sections in your home, kind of like how any store is set up.  

Picture going into Wally-World (that's Walmart in my language ;) or anywhere, for that matter.  Picture... your in a hurry and your only there looking for blue sticky post-it notes. You head to the back of the store. There's a section there with sticky notes in it, BUT they only have the yellow ones in this area, the blue ones are clear across the other side of the store and the pink ones, well if you want pink ones, those would be in the very middle of the store. Say WHAT?  Wouldn't you be a little frustrated and ask "now why would they have sticky post it notes all around the entire store?  Why wouldn't they have them in the same section to make it easier for us to shop?" 

AHA! See... that's what I mean? Group like items together and make it easier on yourself.  Why run from every room in the home looking for shoes, when you can have all the shoes in one location?

When tackling your spaces, remember these 3 things.
    • Keep
    • Toss
    • Donate
and while sorting, remember these:
    • When in doubt, THROW it out!
    • One thing in, One thing out!
Give yourself time to devote to that one area for as long as you need until the job is complete.

CREATE A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING
Give it a home ~ Create a place for everything and try to teach yourself and your family members to put everything back into it's proper place.  

When you walk in the door, don’t just drop your stuff, put it in it’s designated space.  When you slip into those pj's each evening, simply put the dirty clothes you're taking off  straight into the hamper, not on the floor. :)

ORGANIZE IT. BIN IT. LABEL IT
I've already showed you so many boxes, bins, baskets and more storage ideas.  There are endless ways to store all your stuff. It doesn't have to be expensive.  It could be Dollar Tree bins or it could be as simple as using free cardboard moving boxes.

Some of my very favorite stores for organizing items are the Dollar Tree, Ikea, Target and Walmart. I'm also a huge fan of Tupperware (which you can see from my pantry.)

Figure out what makes the most sense to you to have most easily accessible, those items should be the easiest to get to.

I sell a bunch of labels in my Etsy Shop.  Some of them you just print and cut-out and I even have some that are edit-able, where you can type in your own wording.
 
Cute labels make for delightful order.
  You can view all the different label designs RIGHT HERE.

When the sorting and eliminating is done and all is put into it's proper home, sit down and call it a day.  Unless you're inspired to continue on, then GREAT ~ do keep going!

So again, let's look at the breakdown on becoming a more organized you:
  • Choose your space
  • Make a plan
  • Sort & eliminate (trash, sell or donate)
  • Organize it ~ Bin it ~ Label it (creating a place for everything)

KEEP IT IN ORDER
NOW at least once every week or two, bring that space back to Delightful Order,  just  the way it was right after organizing it.  That's how you keep it up. Organization is a process.  It takes time, commitment and learning. Changing old habits is important.  It is doable! 

I've found that the easiest way in keeping up with  an organized home is having all family members contribute in helping to keep it that way. 

Remember itsy bitsy baby steps ~ it really works.   

So tell me are you inspired to get up and start organizing today? Does this give you a pretty good idea on how to begin the task ahead?  Do you have any great advice that may help others? Do share!  We'd all love to hear what you can contribute. 

May you be a little inspired! 
Until next time,  
DaNita  

Linking to some of my favorite parties



11 comments:

  1. Great post! Definately inspiring! I love how with cheap bins & printed labels organizing can be easily achieved! :)

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  2. Such great advice! I found a system that really works for me: every Monday, I clean out SOMETHING. it could be a drawer, a cabinet, a closet...doesn't matter what,

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  3. Sorry! Not done yet...I usually start small (like the silverware drawer) and then find myself motivated to do more ( the utensil drawer, towel drawer, junk drawer, etc). If I only have a little bit of time, then one drawer is okay! Workd for me. By the time I finish everything in the house, it will probably be time to start over!

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  4. I'm drooling over your beautifully organized and labeled spaces! I've been hard at work organizing our home office space. I've thrown out 3 full trash bags just from that one tiny room and I'm not done yet. It wont be as beautiful as your pictures, but it will be a huge improvement! Tidy makes happy!

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  5. Hi! I am mad about organizing and this post just makes me so happy on so many levels!!! I am hosting my very first link party over at http://madaboutorganizing.blogspot.ca/2012/09/Inspiration-Wednesday-Link-Party.html and would love if you could please share this post and any other one you'd like (there is lots of room ;) )

    All the best,
    Kristina

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  6. hi.

    thank u for posting the tips. I really need this as we are going to move in our new home. u are an inspiration. :) I cant wait to start organizing.

    love from malaysia

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  7. loved this post and your blog!thank you for sharing!!!!

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  8. Wow! These are great ideas. I love the homework organization stuff. Good job! Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Awesome idea's and (palm to face) YES! It does give me an Aha moment!! Thank you for the inspiration to organize-and to donate.

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  10. I'm always stuck into the matter where to start from.
    Daniel

    ReplyDelete

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