Monday, May 18, 2009

The First 5 Steps to Organizing

The first 5 steps to Organizing:
Organizing a desk, room or home can be completely overwhelming. Where do you start? What do you do with everything? How much will it cost?

So often we don't do anything because we don't know how to do it, or it seems too "big" to do anything. But to do nothing accomplishes nothing.

Step 1: Pick your target zone.
Decide what area you want to work on first. Don't say, my whole house. More like; I want to work on the desk in the corner of the family room. The hard part when you get sorting is to stick to that target zone. You can't take an item into another room to put away, because then you will see something in that room that you want to move and you will lose focus.

Step 2: Set an appointment on your calendar to start your project.
Try to give yourself at least 2 hours to start your project. Hopefully if you haven't started too big you can finish. Take "before" pictures. When you finish and take your "after" pictures, it will help to keep you motivated to not let it get back the way it was before.

Step 3: Have your supplies ready to start.
Do not go out and buy a bunch of organizational products. You do not know what you are going to need yet. You may have it somewhere in your home.
I suggest getting
1) Black trash bags for trash
2) White trash bags for donate (so you don't throw away your donate bags.)
3) Boxes or clear bins
4) Labels - masking tape can do the job and a sharpie marker.
5) Your sorting lists

Step 4: Make Sorting Lists
Just get any piece of paper and a marker and write this on each one:
1) KEEP - Love it, wear it, use it, Can't live without it
2) DONATE- Dont like it or use it, doesn't fit, it is still in good shape.
3) MOVE - It doesn't belong in this room
4) STORE - Seasonal items, occasional use like camping or skiing equip etc.
5) TOSS - Trash, torn, broken, missing pieces, not in any shape for anyone to use.

Step 5: Start Sorting
Each item in the space needs to be decided on. You have to make fast decisions. Give yourself about 5-10 seconds for each thing. Do not sit and recall memories for each item, or start looking at old pictures. When you do that you are "personalizing" that item. The goal here in order to get through these things is to "depersonalize" the items.

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