Getting Started with Organizing

I have a natural talent for organizing, it’s okay if you glare at the screen as you’re reading this.  What I’ve realized from helping those that don’t have natural talent is that the most frequent barrier to organizing is where to begin.  So here are some basic steps to get you started on your organizing journey.

  1. Start small.  This is extremely important to remember when you are just beginning.  Pick a small area such as a medicine cabinet, a shoe rack, a drawer, etc.
  2. Set aside a sorting area.  Since you are starting small this shouldn’t be an issue. Counter space, a clear area on the floor, the bed, any space that has a larger cleared area will work.
  3. Brace yourself for a mess.  It will get worse before it gets better.  Take a deep breath and gather yourself.
  4. Have a trash can handy. I guarantee you will end up throwing something away, it’s easiest just to have one within reach.
  5. Take every single item out of the area that you are trying to organize and place the items in the sorting area.
  6. Throw away anything broken, that has missing pieces, that is expired, or that you will never use but you can’t donate.  Place items to be donated in clearly marked bags so that they are designated from trash and easy to toss in the car when you are ready to take them somewhere.
  7. Sort items according to likeness, pairs, or items you want handy at all times.
  8. Will the items fit in the organizing tools that you have purchased?  If not rethink if you need everything or if there is another location that the items might possibly fit.
  9. Place items neatly in bins or drawer organizers according to how you need to access them.
  10. Place the rest of the items neatly in the cabinet, rack, cupboard, etc.

Have a hard time determining how to neatly place items in an area?  Here is an example:

under kitchen sink

Items I use the most are placed at the front of the bin along with smaller items so that I can see everything at a glance. Dish items are grouped together and cleaning products are grouped together.  Shorter items are also in the back so that the bin fits underneath the disposal.

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