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Ever stare at an unorganized space baffled at how to start? Many of my clients are exhausted by their disorganization. They are frustrated at the lack of a working system and report that they spend so much time trying to “fix” the area themselves. By the time I am called in, the space has overwhelmed them to a point of raising a white flag. Here’s what I do to EVERY space no matter the mess or the goal.
1. Assess the Space: What is the problem? How much space do we have? Is the area devoted to too many uses/users? You have to figure out what you want eventually to get out of the area. Is it a guest room that has become a catchall? Or an entry that stores shoes, coats, and backpacks? Until you figure out what is there and what you really want to be there, it is impossible to move forward.
2. Sort the items in the space: I suggest taking everything out and making several piles. It is never a problem to have too many piles or specified groups. I actually prefer making more smaller groups than just a few larger grouping piles because it allows you to join like items at a later time. For example, I was working with a woman who inherited many items from grandparents and elderly parents; she had so much that it did not benefit her to create one large pile of sentimental items. Instead, we broke it down into many various piles from the specific family member. We ended up placing these in labeled bins for easy access and minimized the mess in the closet.
3. Weed out unwanted items: Make sure that you are in a mood to let go of the items you no longer need. I suggest sorting these as you create the piles mentioned above. Make one trash pile and one donation pile. Do not make a “sell” pile unless you know for a fact that you will sell the item within the week. If you are honest with yourself and know that you will just move the donation/to sell pile to another location only to gather dust and cause more stress, just trash it and do it immediately. I promise you, letting go of the items will relieve more stress than attempting to make them fit into a space for a just-in-case scenario.
4. Put items back: Ask yourself a few questions as you start to put items back into the space. How often do I need this? Will it be difficult to take it out and put it back? Would it benefit me if I labeled the box/container/item? These can be incredibly helpful in creating systems. As a professional organizer, I LOVE labeling and could find use for a label everywhere. 🙂 Sometimes this is beneficial and sometimes it’s excessive. The key is to find what works for you, your family, and your space.
I hope these steps helped! Sign up for more tips and tricks and message me if you have any questions.