Like a magician who reveals his secrets, I’m about share with you my lessons organizing. I have written two books on the subject (now combined into A Mom’s Guide to Home Organization) so you can read the book, follow the steps and then it as a reference for whenever you have your next organizing project. But think of this as the “Cliff Notes.”
1. Allow for 8 hours per room – Many people think an hour or two should do it, but that’s not a thorough organizing job. For a full room – a full day. Chances are it took several years to get into this current state of disarray. So now you have to find the time to make it better.
2. Pick a point and work clockwise – I usually pick the worst corner to tackle first. If the floor is cluttered, de-clutter it first so you have room to move and sort.
3. Clear surfaces first – Floors, counter tops, table tops and wall hangings should be taken care of first. Then get into closets, drawers & cabinets.
4. The process is CPR – Categorize, Purge & Re-Arrange. Categories can go in boxes or on the floor. If one category is too big, you may have to sub-divide it. For instance, papers in an office might be divided by subject matter or put into categories like: new mail, files, bills, work & personal, or reference material. Have trash bags or boxes ready for your purged items. These may be broken down into: trash, donations, recycle or move out of room. Do not re-arrange until you have gone through everything in that room and thought about a logical place and an appropriate container for each category.
5. Add your finishing touches – Once the CPR process is complete, you can make a shopping list of items you may need to add to the room. These would include pretty bins (which many people make the mistake of buying first to organize), decorative pieces or practical items like a trash can, hangers, or lighting fixtures. Don’t forget to take measurements. If bins are going on a shelf or in a closet, measure the height, width & depth. Nothing is more frustrating than coming home with the wrong size organizing bin.
There you have it! With 8 hours and 5 easy steps you can now organize any room in your home. The trick is focus, perseverance and decision making.
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