Whichever space you are looking to declutter and get in order, think first what you want that space to be. What items do you want to store there? What items make sense to have in this space?
Once you’ve identified your vision for the space it is time to declutter it and create the space of your vision. Before you start make sure you have a garbage bag and an open space – a clear kitchen table, a made bed, clean open floor space.
Step 1: Now, start in one corner of the room. Take every piece in that room in your hands and say out loud, “does this belong in my newly created space?” If it does not, designate a spot in the area or an empty bin for the “does not belong in the room”, put the item in the designated area and move forward. I encourage you to fight the urge to put in the correct room – that will come later.
When you come to an item that DOES belong in your newly created space set it aside and create a category for it. A category is basically what the item is: t-shirt, batteries, suntan lotion, tupperware. Within a category you can create subcategories to get more detailed (AA Batteries, work-out t-shirts etc. BUT subcategories come later. Just focus on high level categorizing.
Once you have worked your way ALL the way around the room, empting everything, every shelf, drawer table top. We are on to:
Step 2: Wipe down every surface, drawer, and tabletop. Clean it all because nothing is less gratifying than having it all look pretty at the end but the shelf remains dusty or sticky.
Step 3: Back to the categories you’ve created. Visit each pile and look through everything, again….yes again! Is the item stained, cracked, expired, worn out, duplicate, tupperware that doesn’t have a bottom or top, broken makeup, dried out paint – these are just a few things to look for to help make instant decluttering decisions. Keep going through everything and decrease what you have in each category.
Step 4: Look at each category – the size of it. Big pile with small pieces, small pile of small pieces, a few items of large pieces, you get the idea. This will help you determine what is the best TYPE of storage unit is best for that category. I typically like clear sturdy storage units. You can see what is inside without having to open or pull out anything. Measure the height, width and depth of the areas you are planning to put your now very decluttered items. You will need these measurements when you go shopping. Do not forget to bring a measuring tape with you to the store. You will save yourself a ton of time returning things that didn’t fit or didn’t work for the space. Don’t worry – even with measuring – if the storage container you buy doesn’t work for your space don’t fret because sometimes it just doesn’t…and sometimes you need to live with it to see if it works for your routine.
Step 5: When you are strategizing what goes where in the space you want to put the things you use very often in the areas that are most assessable. This is something you should think about before buying the storage units as well. So if you want something specific for the top drawer or middle shelf you want to bring all of those parts into play when choosing the best storage unit.
Step 6: Put the remaining items left for the room in their designated bins. Label the storage units once everything is in their places so everyone in the house knows where everything belongs.
Congratulations, you’re done!
Now enjoy your newly organized space!