Your pantry. Your closet. Your office. The toy room. The linen closet. There are SO many spaces in the home, and each space seems like it takes a unique skill set to organize. I am here to tell you that this is NOT the case! In this blog post, I am going to walk you through how to organize ANY space in your home in 7 easy steps!
Step 1: Mentally Prepare
The first thing you want to do is prepare. Identify the space you want to organize and ask yourself: “What is driving me nuts?”, “How do I want the space to look when I’m done?”, “What do I want to preserve about the space?” Taking some time to reflect on your vision and goals will help you stay focused and provide inspiration to complete the project.
Step 2: Gather Supplies
Once you’ve done some reflection and planning, it’s time to gather your supplies! Here is what I recommend having on hand:
- Trash bags
- Empty boxes or bins for sorting
- Vacuum cleaner
- All-purpose spray & cleaning rags
- Post it notes & Sharpies
- Label maker
- Notepad & pen
- Cell phone & charger
- Water bottle & snacks
Step 3: Remove Everything and Clean
Yes, you read that right. Take everything out of the space. All of it. Every last item. You want those shelves to be bare. Remove everything as QUICKLY as possible – don’t even think about the items as you remove them. Then, take advantage of the space being totally empty and vacuum and wipe down the surfaces. It’s super gratifying, and it will give your finished product that extra sparkle!
Step 4: Sort By Category
Now you have this huge pile of stuff on the floor, and it looks overwhelming. Fear not! Step 4 is here to make organizing WAY less intimidating. In this step, you are going to sort everything by category. Disclaimer: your categories do not have to be perfect. They just have to make sense to YOU. Pens with pens. Shirts with shirts. Books with books. Group every last item into a category. Then, step back and take a deep breath. Look at how much BETTER everything looks already! I believe it’s so much easier to process information when items are grouped by category.
Step 5: Make Decisions
This is the most difficult step. This is where most people lose steam. I am here to say – YOU CAN DO IT! Try to make decisions as quickly as possible. The longer you linger and hem and haw, the more momentum you will lose, and the quicker you will lose interest in the project. You have made it this far, you just need to push through Step 5, because Step 6 is SO MUCH FUN!
Here is some helpful guidance in this decision-making step:
1. Keep – This is the easiest decision to make! You want to keep the item. Hooray! Make a post-it note that says “Keep”, stick it on an empty box, and start putting your keeps in there. NOTE: Some of your “Keeps” might not belong in the space, just set those aside and you can move them to the appropriate room later. An example might be your winter boots in your bedroom closet – you want to keep them, but they actually belong in the garage with the other boots.
2. Toss – What can you just plain throw away? Most of the time, this will be obvious. Grab one of those trash bags, and start tossing.
3. Donate – I love this decision. Donating an item releases it back into circulation, and allows someone else in the world to find JOY and USE in that item. What a gift to give someone! Put a post-it that says “Donate” on an empty box, and start filling it up.
4. Sell – This is also a great decision, BUT keep in mind that selling can take a lot of work. If you sell by consigning the item, it can be quite easy (put in car, drop at store, wait to get paid!). If you are going to list the item online by yourself, you need to take pictures, write a description, decide on a price, deal with negotiations, and coordinate a pickup. Make sure the item you are selling is worth the time and effort. I personally love to sell on Facebook Marketplace because it’s relatively easy, and I just leave the item on my front porch for the person to pick up (they leave money under the mat!)
Now that you have made your decisions, be sure to take action: throw out the trash, put your donations in your trunk, post some items for sale, and make room for the “keepers” to shine!
Step 6: Buy Product
OK, the fun part is FINALLY here! Containers, bins, baskets, oh my! This is where aesthetics come into play, this is where your interior decorator can come alive, this is where you curate the look you’ve envisioned. But before we jump in the car and drive to the Container Store, we need to pause and measure. “Measure twice, cut once”, right? You have your keep items sorted in front of you, so you know what’s going back into the space. Think about how it makes sense to store those items, whether in an open bin, a bin with a lid, a tiered drawer, or not in a container at all. Search the internet for storage solutions for your particular space – it’s amazing what you can find on Pinterest, YouTube, and organizing blogs (like mine!)
And measure, measure, measure. This is what your pen and notepad is for (or phone!). Write down the measurements of your space before you go to the store, so you know what to buy, and how much of it to buy. Try to not get overwhelmed by all of the container options, because there are a ton. What I want you to focus on is keeping it simple, keeping it streamlined, and keeping things budget friendly. A pro tip is to use the same style/color bin in your space to achieve a cohesive look. I love these white storage bins for just about everything in my house! You can also crowdsource help by posting your empty space on social media and asking friends if they have recommendations.
Step 7: Label and Admire
Now you’ve got your bins and you’ve played a little tetris until you have just the right look in your space. It’s time to put your sorted keeps into the bins! Then, using your label maker, create a label to affix to the outside of the bin. You did it! Time to do your happy dance. Doesn’t it feel great?
There you have it. 7 steps to organizing any space in your home. You can apply these steps to any drawer, cabinet, closet, hutch, built-in – you name it! That’s the beauty of organizing. It’s following the same process every time. Pretty soon, this process will become second nature to you and you’ll carry the confidence to tackle any space! I believe in you – you can do it!