Simplified Living and Organized Spaces-Part 2
In my last post I talked about organizing and simplifying your home. Today I will walk you through the steps to implement the process.
Before you dive in, I think it’s only fair to warn you, that when organizing your home, things always look worse before they get better. Seriously, when I am in organizing mode it looks like a bomb has gone off!! You’ve been warned ;)
There is no right or wrong place or way to start, no magic formula. The important part is to start and keep going. If you can do it in a week, great! If you would rather do one area every two weeks, great! Do what works for you and keep moving forward. If you get overwhelmed, invite a friend to help you and cheer you on, or step away and take a break for a bit.
When starting out, I would suggest to start with big scale organization (a room) first, instead of starting with the nitty gritty (paperwork from 7 years of taxes). Once the rooms are organized, then tackle the paperwork. Otherwise you’ll end up feeling discouraged. As you move along and get areas done you gain momentum and maybe even some excitement…maybe that’s just me because I am a wee bit strange ;)
- Step #1-Before you start, collect 6…or more…large boxes or bins. Label them:
-To Use/Keep (accessible)
- Step #2-Once you have your boxes, pick a place to start.
- Step #3-Now that you’ve picked a room, pick a drawer, closet, cupboard, etc. and get to work pulling things out.
- Step #4- As you make your way through each item, sort into appropriate box/bin.
Make sure to WORK QUICKLY!! DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT go down memory lane with each item. It will slow you down and you will end up keeping more than necessary.
- Step #5-Wipe and Clean shelves, drawers, etc. as you go.
- Step #6-Before putting things back, determine if this is the best location for said item. If it is, then put it back, if not, place it in the relocate bin.
- Step #7-Once everything is cleared out of that location, determine storage needs for that area. Do you need containers, boxes or baskets? Make a list of what’s needed, but before purchasing, shop your house first. Look around your house to see if there are containers that you can swap out and use in a different area or some that aren’t being used at the moment.
I don’t suggest going out to buy storage after each little drawer or cupboard. Go through the entire room first and create a list. Once the room is purged of excess stuff, go shopping for containers for the items that are left.
Just a tip, but one thing I have learned with all my organizing, is that items are more likely to go back where they belong, if the container is open. If there is a lid, the said item will be placed on TOP instead of INSIDE. Please tell me my family isn't the only ones that do this!
I know it’s only one teeny tiny extra step, but it seems so hard for them to take that last step. My solution? Use open containers…baskets are my personal favourite. Everything can be thrown in there, but the shelf still looks neat and tidy, even if it's not inside the basket.
- Step#8-Work room by room until your entire house is complete.
My house is organized…now what?
Two big factors to maintaining an organized home, is to SIMPLIFY and to revaluate continually. It’s not a do it once and you’re good to go process. It’s constantly evolving as your life changes…from family size to seasonal changes. All good times to revaluate.
Once your space is how you want it, makes sure that before adding items to your newly organized space, you consider two things.
1-Think about the things that you’re purchasing and putting in your home, is it useful/practical and/or do you LOVE it? Just because someone gave it to you, doesn’t mean you need to keep it...just sayin' ;)
2-Create a plan to maintain it. It’s so much easier to keep an organized, simplified home if you keep on top of it.
I have a cleaning schedule for daily, weekly, monthly and annual tasks. It's not set in stone, but it gives me an idea of what needs to be done to keep things maintained.
Now that your home is simplified and organized and you’re thinking/considering before adding something new. Your next step is to implement a cleaning/maintenance plan. It sounds more complicated then it is, but don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!