As I was making my bed this morning I realized that how we make our beds is a good analogy for how we go about organizing. You can just pull a corner here, a corner there and make it look okay. But to really do a thorough job you’ve got to take off each layer, fluff it out and replace it neatly on the bed. Some mornings all you have time for is a quick fix and that’s okay. But if you really want the bed to feel crisp and clean when you get into it at night, taking the sheet, blanket and comfortor off is the only way to go. So I recommend doing that at least once a week.
I find that a lot of people try organizing in this half-way mode or little by little. They’ll put things in a little box and think that’s organized. Or they’ll do one corner of a room today and not get to the rest of the room for a few weeks. The problem is, that in the meantime other things come into the room and pile up. The ONLY WAY TO ORGANIZE is to go through everything in a room. Categorize, Purge & Re-arrange (this is my CPR method). This means to take everything out of the drawers and closets, sort into categories and decide what needs to stay and what can go. Once you have piles of everything that stays in a room and you know that these are things you NEED, USE and WANT, then you can begin to put them back. Sometimes you’ll need to purchase bins or organizers but you’ll know exactly how big a container is necessary. And on day 1 it’s not going to be perfect but you will be able to see what you have without all the clutter. Then you can play around with the best places to keep things. Use the system for awhile and then you can fine tune.
For planning purposes, figure that each room will take you 8 hours to organize completely. If you have a lot of clutter and lots of little things to go through, you may need to add another 4 hours. Knowing how much time you’ll need takes the fear out of getting too far into a project that you can’t finish.
So, back to making the bed. It only takes about 5 minutes to do thorougly so why not do it every day? Your reward is a nice place to lay your head when the day is done. Anything worth doing is worth doing right.