You can successfully manage your belongings and turn your home into the sanctuary you seek with these suggestions:
1. Gather three or four cardboard boxes to use as sorting containers. Then, grab a pen and paper and do a walkthrough of your home.
2. Focus on one room at a time. Right now, don’t concern yourself with the entire house – just the room you’re in.
3. Make notes. As you look around the room, make notes about areas needing better organization. You’re compiling a task list.
• For example, maybe you have clothing and books piled on a chair and want the chair to be clear of all items. Record this in your notebook.
• If you feel overwhelmed by the prospect of straightening the entire room, focus on just one wall or corner of the room. Confidently tell yourself you’ll eventually get through the whole room. Right now, though, you only have to think about this wall or corner.
4. When can you start? Determine when you can begin the de-cluttering and re-organizing process. Ideally, start as soon as you complete your list. If that doesn’t fit with your schedule, find a block of time each day to tackle listed tasks.
• For example, if you have an extra thirty minutes before leaving for work, make that time count by completing one or two tasks on your task list.
5. Plan your process. Once you’ve scheduled the time to take action, you can decide how to go about organizing the room.
• The first method is to follow your list from top to bottom. Begin with the first item you noted and work on that particular task.
• Using the piled chair example, remove items and put them away until the chair is clear. Hang up clothes or place them in the laundry bin or in drawers. Put books on shelves or your desk. Then, go to the next item on the list.
• The second method is to prioritize the areas and tasks you listed by numbering them in the order of importance. Start your work with the task you prioritized as #1 and continue on down the list.
• Regardless of the method selected, take a garbage can or bag into the room before you start. You’ll no doubt find items you no longer need and wish to discard.
• Complete your listed tasks one by one. Don’t start on the next task until you’ve finished the one you’re on.
6. Keep at it. If you think you’ll become distracted, set a timer (on your watch or cell phone) and vow to continue organizing the room until the timer sounds.
7. A place for everything. You might notice some items that don’t have a specific storage spot. Designated storage places are important to being organized.
• Knowing the location of something is far more efficient than having to look all over the house or in every drawer.
• Place these belongings in a cardboard box labeled “Need a storage place.” You’ll get to these items later.
8. Label your boxes and begin sorting. Label one box “Donate” for items you want to give to your local charity. Designate another box “Unsure” for items you aren’t sure you want to keep. Use these sorting strategies to organize and dispose of belongings you no longer want.
9. When you’ve completed all listed tasks, the room is organized. It’s time to find storage solutions and space for the items in your “Need a storage place” box.
• Store similar items together.
• Feel free to place items no longer wanted into your “Donate” box.
• Throw away belongings you no longer need if they can’t be donated.
10. Follow through with every room. Now that you’ve organized the first room of the house, apply these steps for each room one at a time. Your goal is to find a place for all belongings and donate or throw away items you don’t want to keep.
• When your “Donate” box is full, take it to a local charity.
The path toward organizing your home leads you through many challenges. Following these steps will help you achieve your goal of having a clutter-free and organized home. When you’re done, you can relax and bask in the sanctuary you’ve created!