Archive for January, 2014

I’m Getting Organized this Year! Where do I Start?

Many folks set up New Year’s resolutions to be better organized. They run to the local home or office store and find bins and containers at the store front just waiting for those looking to “get organized”. The clincher is that the bins and boxes are not the first step in getting organized, they are the third step.
  1. Clear – Remove all items from the space and dispose/donate those items no longer used or loved.
  2. Categorize – Sort remaining items by category to determine the size and type of container you will need.
  3. Contain – Place the items, by category into the containers.
  4. Place – Determine best placement for the container and put it there.
So, the first step is to clear. Consequently one of the questions I often ask my clients who are looking to get organized is, “What percentage of the items in here can you get rid of?” I encourage you to ask yourself the same question. Look at your spaces and determine what percentage you feel you can get rid of. Then, on your calendar set a goal. You might mark a recurring period of time to work on removing the clutter or set a goal for the number of items you’ll de-clutter.

As a guide to decision making ask yourself about each item.

  1. Do I need it?  (Items you need now, not those you used to need or believe you might need in the future.)
  2. Do I love it?  (Not kinda’ like it or could like it, but keep only those things you love)
  3. Do I use it?  (Items you use now, not those you used to use or believe you might use in the future.)
If you can answer “no” to these three questions it is time to set that item free. It is your clutter.

You will notice that as you lighten up your spaces through this process, it gets easier and more rewarding. You will also realize that as you get to the “contain” step, you need a lot less containers than you thought because you now have a lot less stuff!

Folks can easily give up on getting organized when there is too much stuff to organize. By clearing first you eliminate that bottleneck and can keep moving along in your organizing process.