If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed deciding where to even start when it comes to organizing, you are not alone. No matter the size of the space, decluttering and organizing your home can be a daunting task. But have no fear; Simple Home is here to help you along the way with our simple 6-step process to taking control of any space– whether it’s decluttering your kitchen, purging your pantry, rejuvenating your closet, or taking on a full home organization.
Let’s get started!
Before you start, make sure you have set aside enough time to complete the project from start to finish. Our advice is to consider how long you think it will take and then add several more hours to that estimate. Organizing projects almost always take longer than initially planned, so it is best to adjust your expectations beforehand to set yourself up for success and prevent burn out. For perspective, it typically takes one of our professional organizers 6–8 hours to complete the full organization of a walk-in closet.
Step 1: Take everything out of the space
The first step to organizing any space is to take EVERYTHING out. This allows you to start with a blank canvas and make sure that everything ends up in its most logical and efficient place when you are finished. This step may feel overwhelming as you learn just how much you have been collecting over the years and it may leave you wondering how you will ever fit it all back in the space. But remember– it always gets worse before it gets better! Stay strong.
Pro tip: after you have cleared everything out of the space, use this opportunity to wipe down all your shelves, cabinets, and drawers so your belongings go back onto a clean surface.
Step 2: Sort & categorize your items
After you have cleared everything out of the space, it’s time to make sense of all your items. Sort everything and place them into categories that fit logically together, make sense to you and that will help you to know exactly where to find what you are looking for in the future. Depending on the size and layout of your space, you can decide whether to make your categories more broad or to micro-organize into very specific categories (ex. a general cleaning supplies category vs. separating into floor cleaners, glass cleaners, sponges & scrubbers, etc.). We prefer micro-organization when possible because it makes it easier to quickly find what you are looking for and keep the space organized.
Some examples of categories to consider for specific spaces:
- Medicine Cabinet: pain killers, cold, flu and allergy medication, stomach aids, tools (thermometers, syringes, etc.), first aid
- Laundry Room: Detergents, stain removers, dryer balls & sheets, mismatched socks, lightbulbs, batteries, cleaning supplies
- Pantry: salty snacks, sweets, breakfast, meal prep, cans, sauces, supplements, baking, back stock
Step 3: Purge old, unnecessary & unwanted items
Once you have made sense of your belongings by sorting and categorizing, it’s time to purge. In this step, you will look through everything and decide what to keep and what to part ways with. The easiest place to start is to go through expiration dates of all perishable items and throw away anything that is expired. Next, toss anything that is broken or worn out. From there, remove any items that you have duplicates of or no longer use or need, and put them aside for donation. Be honest with yourself in this step and do your best to part with unnecessary items. Purging is often the most difficult step of the process for people, as we tend to attach sentimental value to things, making it more difficult to let go. But this step is incredibly important. The more you purge from your space, the better you are going to feel at the end of the process, and the more clutter-free the final result will be, which will also make your space that much easier to keep organized.
Where to donate your unwanted items in the Twin Cities
- Clothing & small items: Prism (Located in Golden Valley) https://www.prismmpls.org/
- Large Items & Appliances: Bridging (Located in Bloomington and Roseville) https://www.bridging.org/
Step 4: Space Planning
After you have gone through and gotten rid of all old, unwanted, and unnecessary items, it is time to figure out how and where you will put everything back into your space! In this step, you will choose new homes for your categories with logic, function, and your personal lifestyle in mind. Put items you use most frequently in the most easily accessible spots (eye-level shelves, top drawers) while placing infrequently used items up higher or in the harder-to-reach places. Further, make sure to place like categories next to each other (pens and pencils next to paper and notebooks or pasta and grains next to meal prep, for example).
Step 5: Implement organizing products
The penultimate step in organizing any space is to contain your items using organizing products. Depending on your space and layout, products you may want to consider are bins, baskets, turntables, drawer dividers, or canisters. These all serve to contain your items and keep them organized. While you may think you don’t want to spend extra money on your organizing project, using organizing products (and choosing the right ones for your space) is incredibly important in creating a sustainable organizational system that you and your family will be able to keep up with long-term.
Note: Don’t forget to measure your shelves and drawers before purchasing organizing products. This saves you time and ensures you are making the most efficient use of your space and avoids you buying products that don’t fit. Check out our last blog post to see some of our favorite budget-friendly products!
Step 6: Label
The final step in creating a space that is well organized and sustainable is to add custom labels. Labeling all categories keeps everyone in the household on the same page and makes it much easier to quickly find things when you’re looking for them and put them away when you’re done.
Our favorite labeling essential: The Brother P-touch CUBE Plus
Still feeling stuck?
If DIYing your home organization still feels like too daunting a task, leave it to us. Our team can come to your home (we travel all over the U.S.!) and help get you organized! To book our home organization services, fill out our inquiry form, and we will transform your space using our expert organizing skills and insights so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
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