If your house is a mess after the rush of the holidays and you just need to get it back on track, it's time to get organized. In order to truly get organized however, you must first declutter.
Decluttering is getting rid of the stuff that you don't use, want, or need. In order to get your house to run efficiently, you don't want to organize things that you don't need. That's just silly. So, decluttering is a necessary first step.
If you want tips on decluttering after the holidays, check out last Friday's post here.
There are really 2 ways to go about this process. You can declutter your whole house in manageable chunks and then go back through the whole house and get organized. Or, you can declutter an area and then organize it immediately after. Then continue to declutter and then organize throughout the house.
I personally like the latter choice because just decluttering leaves me feeling incomplete and unsettled. Plus, I like being able to look back at the space and see it completely set up. It makes me feel like I have actually accomplished something. And who knows how long it will take to declutter everything in the house; you might not get back to that area for months to actually get it organized.
On the other hand, some people get into decluttering mode and then go on a mission to get rid of 50% of their stuff. They go area by area, and room by room, just decluttering until they have gone through the whole house. This can help you really downsize and then you can go back through your house to get organized.
Do whatever option works for you.
So, assuming that your decluttering is complete, its time to organize. Here are the steps:
Make A Plan For Your Space
Look at the area that your are going to organize. What is in the space and how do you want it to be arranged? This doesn't require detailed drawings and blueprints, but you should have an idea of how you want the space to turn out.
If you are organizing a drawer, maybe you want the socks on the right in balls and the tights on the left in cubbies based on color. Maybe you are organizing your desk and you want paper supplies on one side in bins and the computer on the other side.
Have a plan before you attack the space.
Combine Similar Items
Next, gather together all of the similar items. If you are doing your socks, have a spot for all the crew socks, one for ankle socks, one for the fun patterned socks, and one for trouser socks.
Combing similar items means that they will be a whole lot easier to find when you need them. Have all the pens in one spot, all the craft papers, all the scissors, all the glues. Having like with like means you know exactly where to look when you need something.
Match Your Stuff To Your Space
This is all about choosing the right locations for your stuff. You wouldn't store sports balls loose on a shelf, they would just roll off. They need to be in bins or on stands. You don't want to store breakables on the bottom shelf, at least not if you have toddlers!
Look at the space available to store the items you have and match the item to the best available space. Some things to consider are the ease of access to the more commonly used items, having things in safe distance from kids and pets, having the areas be aesthetically pleasing, and ensuring that it is the best use of the space.
Now it's time to purchase organizers. Some people decide that they want to get organized and they buy a ton of cute organizers and containers up front and then bring them back home only to realize that they don't match the number of items they have or the space available.
You won't make that mistake. Save the purchases for after you know exactly how much of what items you need to organize and where they will be stored. You want containers that both fit the space and accommodate what you have.
Clean and Finish
Once you have any organizers you needed to purchase, it's time to clean up your space, put the items in the organizers and finish. This is the most satisfying part of the process. Plus if you completed all of the other 4 steps, this is super simple. You know where things go, its just a matter of putting it there.
Once your spaces are organized it's time to make use of your new systems to become productive. We will talk all about that on Friday. For now, let's get get those spaces you decluttered over the weekend, organized.
What space are you dying to get organized in your home? Let me know in the comments.