Organizing 101: How To Organize Like A Pro
With the start of every year, I love to rearrange and reorganize our home. I feel like it is the easiest way to create change and start fresh.
And with that fresh start, comes so major organizing and purging. So, in order to keep the organizational process going, I always follow these five steps for every project.
Organize By Category
I always found myself struggling to keep things organized when I would go room-by-room. Finally, I tried collecting things by category, and it worked wonders! Then I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and it reaffirmed my notion that organizing by category is much more effective than organizing room-by-room.
Group everything from one category, such as clothing. Find every single piece of clothing you own. Look in the car, workout bag, laundry, and make a giant pile of all the clothes you own.
Once you have created a giant pile of one category, you are going to need to go through each item and decide if you are going to keep it or donate/sell/trash that item. I call this step editing. Think of it as if you were editing a book. You only keep what is essential in order for the book to make sense. So you should only keep what is essential for you.
This is when you need to be really brutal with yourself. My family jokes that I have no sentiment when it comes to “stuff”. I strongly disagree. I am able to remove my emotion for an item in order to determine if that item is necessary for my life.
For example, I have trashed all my year books. Since I have graduated high school, I have never looked at them. For me, they have served their purpose and I am now done with them. But, my pictures from all my years in school are all in photo albums, some even turned into a scrapbook. Those items I will keep. Those are the things that mean more to me than a yearbook.
I know it sounds harsh, but I truly want what I own to have purpose. I have bins for each family member to keep our special items, such as baby blankets, first outfits, first shoes, etc. I have turned favorite t-shirts into canvas to hang on the wall, quilts, and pillows. I find that repurposing meaningful items is a better way to keep what I love, without creating excess clutter.
Once you have edited your items into what you are keeping, it is time to sort them into subcategories. For clothing, you will sort your t-shirts together, pants together, sweaters together, etc.
I recommend doing this as it gives you a clear idea of everything that you have in that one category. You might notice that you have a lot of black t-shirts, but no white t-shirts. It will give you an idea of things you might actually need in your wardrobe!
Create A “Home”
Once things are sorted into subcategories, it is time to create a “home” for each and every item. When creating homes, try to keep each subcategory together in the same area.
For example, keep all purses and bags together in one home. The reasoning behind this is for you to be able to see exactly what you have and be able to use each and every item you own as frequently as you want! There will be no need to hunt down a particular purse for a night out because they will all be stored together!
Tweak As You Go
Finally, and most importantly, tweak as you go. When you grab a pair of shoes, take a quick glance at the other shoes. Notice a pair you haven’t worn in forever? Throw that in the donate/sell/trash bin. Is there a pair of pants you don’t wear anymore? Remove it from your closet.
By tweaking as you go, you will NEVER have to do a major organizational overhaul again!! Seriously!! Because you will be keeping up with your organizational system you created, you can remove or rearrange a few items at a time, instead of clearing everything out and starting over.
So grab a few bins and trash bags and get to organizing! Start with one category and edit that category. Sort into subcategories, then create a “home” for each subcategory. Finally, tweak as you go so you will never have to do a major organizational overhaul again!
And for more guidance, grab a copy of The Ultimate DIY Home Organizing Workbook, where I break these steps down even further, with worksheets, guides, and specific step-by-step processes to get your entire home organized!
The Organized Mama
My name is Jessica and I am the founder and editor of The Organized Mama. I was born and raised in Minnesota and currently live in Illinois. I graduated Indiana University with a degree in elementary education. I decided to share my tips and tricks to keeping things organized in hopes of helping people stay organized with little ones. I am in the process of becoming a professional organizer to help assist families in keeping households organized. At The Organized Mama, you will find ways to keep organized, stay crafty and, most of all, enjoy motherhood!