Has another year gone by and you still have not tackled that messy desk or cluttered kitchen?  You want to be more organized, but either life gets in the way, or no matter how much you clean up the piles return.  This six step process will help you to tackle any organization project.

  1. State Your Goal – What do you want from the project?  A cleaner kitchen, an easier way to find the papers you need, a home office you can work and think in?  Write your goal down and use it to plan how you will approach the project.  As with any goal, you’ll need to set a time to work on it and a deadline to complete it.  Put it on your calendar and make a commitment to get it done.
  2. Gather Supplies – When organizing a space your going to need a place to stage the items you’ll be sorting.  A table or the top of a counter are often useful.  You’ll also need a separate container for each of the following: Trash, Recycle, Shred (if organizing papers), and Donate.  I like to use cardboard file boxes to hold these items, but you can also use paper bags or plastic bins.
  3. Sort & Purge – Go through your pile or your space and get like items together.  This will allow you to see how much you have of similar items as well as help you to begin to organize your space.  As you’re sorting if there are items you don’t want or need place them in your trash, recycle, or donate bins. Once you’ve completed the sorting process, go through your “like items” once more and determine if you can cut the amount you’re keeping even more.  It’s a lot easier to decide to let go of an item when you see how many you have of something.  For example, after emptying your closet you sort all of your jeans and realize you have 20 pairs.  At this point it’s much easier to determine which are your favorites, which ones fit, and which ones can finally go away.  Once you’ve done a second pass at sorted items it’s time to take out the trash and recycle and remove items for donation.
  4. Determine a HomeHome Organization takes purpose and intention. Where are your like items going to live?  Try to choose a location where they are most accessible for you and others who will use them.  Some questions to consider:  Should they be on a shelf or in a drawer? Do you need a container to keep the items together?  Should the container have a lid?  Should your container be clear or more aesthetically pleasing (If a container appeals to you, you’re more likely to use it.  Clear containers are sometimes distracting when placed in open spaces, so you may want to go with something more attractive.)? Should you label the container/drawer/shelf for easy identification?
  5. Implement Your Vision – You’ve done the hard part, now comes the fun part–setting up your organization system.  Place items on shelves and in containers and label as needed.  If you want your family to put things away, it helps for them to know where things go.  Be sure to familiarize others with where things are located.
  6. Maintenance – Once your space is organized you want to keep it that way.  Recognize that life is busy and your space will not always look perfectly neat and organized, but you should be able to quickly recover. You’ll only have to spend minutes rather than hours cleaning your space because you know where everything goes.  Make a commitment to maintain your system by scheduling daily or weekly clean ups to continue your success.

No more excuses!  Use this six step process to finally get organized and create the space you’ve always wanted.