Whether you are organizing a garage or a dresser drawer, the basic steps are the same no matter what. Learning the steps below will allow you to get any space in order.
Step One: Get a few boxes and label them like this:
TOSS MOVE GIVE/SELL DON'T KNOW
To organize any space you have to take all items out of the space they are in. Yes-I do mean ALL of them. Closet, Garage, Drawer, File. Whatever it is. ALL of the stuff. But as you do it, you sort it. Pens with pens. Shoes with shoes. Find. Put the items into piles and focus on simply sorting. Try not to think about the items too much. This isn’t the time to make decisions unless you are sure it belongs in one of those boxes. Don’t cut corners -- go through every single thing.
Go through each of your sorted piles and make decisions about the items. Seeing all your black shirts in one place might make it easier to decide to donate or toss ones you don’t like. Test pens and toss those that don’t write. Toss expired items.
Now you’ve got just the good stuff left and the “I don’t knows.” Take a look at those ‘IDKs’ and see if they actually fit in any of the piles you created or into any of the other boxes. Still don’t know – leave it alone.
Start putting things away -- keeping like with like, as you sorted it. But that’s different for everyone. In the closet that might mean color-coded for some. For others it may mean casual vs. formal. Or short sleeved vs. long sleeved. You need to organize based on your habits and psyche. Always think about storing what you use most in the most prominent easy to access way.
Now and only now do you think about containers. In a drawer, that might mean dividers or specialty organizers. They can be fancy fabric covered or acrylic…or they can be shoeboxes. Never toss a box from your mobile devices – they make amazing drawer organizers!
What you have left are your boxes. This process isn’t done until you deal with them. You can leave the IDKs for later review, but not too long. Leave it where you’ll see it and consider if it’s been lost and unused this long, maybe that’s your answer. Don’t be like Congress and kick the can down the road… Deferred decisions just create new clutter. Make a decision, what’s the worst that could happen?
Lastly – get the trash and giveaways out of your house ASAP. Make a plan, schedule and execute it to get it gone. You don’t have to find the perfect charity – they are all in need, so pick the one that’s easiest for you to use.
Ready to try it? Try this system on one of these mini-organizing projects to try the system out:
2. Your Purse
3. Under the Kitchen Sink
4. A Toy Box
5. Shoes in Your Entryway or Mudroom