Friday, February 19, 2010


Are you a natural organizer or a natural pack-rat? Either way, this is the place for you.


Organization is not something that you do once and you NEVER have to do again. Think about your life, pick and choose what will work for you and please leave me your ideas or comments. I am constantly looking for new suggestions.


1. Make a TO DO list.
2. Tidy the kitchen before you go to bed.
3. Set out your clothes for the next day.
4. If you take something out, put it back.
5. Put one foot in front of the other....START.

How did it work for you?

Did you find those three empty boxes and label them: Trash, Donate/Sell, and Put Away? Well, grab that sharpie and let's get started!

OH NO! DOES THIS MAKE YOU WANT TO RUN AWAY SCREAMING!?! If this task seems daunting to you, then a room will only make you frustrated and I don't want you giving up before you even get started. When you feel more confident and you decide to tackle that garage, you may want to divide it up into sections and do it over a long weekend.

In later posts, I will go into detail on specific areas of the house, but for now the lesson is, start small, like with a drawer, box or closet and set aside enough time to do it to completion. If you are choosing a drawer to start with, you may only need 10 minutes and a box or closet, maybe 30 minutes to an hour.

Have you ever seen Peter Walsh on Clean Sweep? Watch the show you'll get tons of ideas. I used to make piles of things that went together and then sorted and put them away. Now I do it this way..... more tidbit...ONLY TOUCH IT ONCE! If you pick something up, you HAVE TO decide what to do with it immediately. There is no putting it down again and saying, "l'll get back to that later."

1. Open your drawer, box or closet and pick up the first item......

BOX #1 TRASH: Is it broken, wripped, in tatters, moldy or not sellable? Put it in the TRASH box. Pretty cut and dry so far.

BOX #2 DONATE/SELL: Does it fit? Try it on immediately. If it is too big or too small, put it in the DONATE/SELL box. Your weight issues are for a different blog. For now, it's just taking up space and we don't need that. Besides, once all the purging is done, you can go shopping for clothes that make you feel wonderful! Do you have 3 sets of binoculars or 5 tea cups and only 4 saucers or a velvet painting of Elvis, DONATE/SELL box? Is this something you haven't used in the past year, then put it in the DONATE/SELL box. Did your Uncle Louis give you a set of Encyclopedia Britannica to hold for him? I have a very simple answer for you. Call your uncle and let him know that if he wants them, to come get them, because otherwise they are going in the DONATE/SELL box! Your house will not longer be a storage unit. In fact, my husband and I decided, a long time ago, that we would NEVER own a storage unit. Your home IS plenty big enough to store everything you NEED, VALUE and USE! If it's at the bottom of a pile of 10 boxes and you haven't seen it in over a year, I don't think it's really necessary in your life, especially if it's just making your life more cluttered and complicated.

The next step with this box is to decide if you want to DONATE or SELL. If you are planning on having a yard sale in the next 2-3 months, I would say save it and try to sell it, but IMMEDIATELY after the yard sale, whatever does not sell, is donated to GoodWill or your locate second hand store. It does not come back into the house. You can also make a little money by trying to list it on eBay or Craig's List. I like Craig's List best because you can advertise locally and you don't have to worry about shipping. I will only list something for 2-4 weeks and then I DONATE it. There are also consignment stores that will take gently used clothes, toys and furniture and, in some cases, give you a credit to use in return.
BOX #3 PUT AWAY: Do you love this item? If you really love it, it shouldn't be in a box or closet. I have a few wall hangings and such that I switch out every once in awhile, decorations that only come out once a year and seasonal clothes that have to be swapped out, but most of the stuff I love is displayed proudly. Is this a kitchen item? Then put it in the kitchen. Is this garage item? Then put it in the garage. Is this your marriage license? Then put it in your filing cabinet. Are you getting the picture? In other words, PUT IT AWAY!

Fellow organizers, is there anything I forgot? Please leave me a comment and let me know.

Pack-rats, was this helpful? Do you have any questions? Suggestions for future posts? Let me know.


1 comment:

Jacksmom said...

Ha, I started yesterday while my son was in school because he has way TOO MANY toys, and I wanted to be able to put away some things without him seeing. I also threw out things that were broken, chewed up by the dog, etc...I started with my kitchen where the top of our dog crate has become a catch-all place. I had my boxes out and labeled, and I have a few things in my donate/sell box, a ton of trash, and a box of put away stuff. I then went to our coat closet, then to the playroom. Next on my list---my bedroom!