It’s very important to get organized. It creates more space in your living area as well as leaves you with a feeling of accomplishment. The need to get things in their place seems to run wildly around this time of year since a new beginning is just around the corner, being that it will be a new year and all.
The first step to organization is visualizing a space to look the way you want to see it as the end result. This will help you get started. Maybe you have a closet with so many clothes in it, you don’t end up wearing anything but the same 5-7 outfits day in and day out because you don’t realize some of the other options you have available. Perhaps you have a laundry room that has become a collect-all area. First things first, look at the space the way it is disfunctioning now and envision how you would like it to function in the future.
A good rule of thumb is “if you haven’t used it in the past year, throw it out!” This may not always be true of everything. There may be a plumbing snake packed away in your attic that you really needed when the toilet got backed up a couple of years ago. You may not have used it since but the chances that a drain or two will again get clogged in your lifetime warrant keeping that plumbing snake around. Plan on storing it in a garage on a top shelf somewhere or in a corner. Don’t forget where you put it though, otherwise you could find yourself running out to the hardware store unnecessarily someday to purchase another.
So pick a space to tackle be it a garage or a closet or an entire room. Focus on that one space for now. A lot of times folks get so into organizing that they try to take on too many projects at a time. This will undoubtedly leave your home in a state of disarray. Decide if you will be taking the items that are to be gotten rid of to a local charity or if you will try to resell them. I generally go for the charity option. It’s great to see your old junk being put to good use by someone that really needs it. If you decide to resell I would say try to take the online approach with this. Use a service such as Craigslist or Ebay. Have a digital camera on hand so that you can document these items to catalog online later.
Next, enlist help! Going through old goods is always more fun and much quicker and easier to do with friends or family. It can really make for a fun event. Also if this person does not live with you they may find that some of your old belongings could be put to good use in their home. This will save you time and energy when it comes to getting rid of the items.
Then you will want to get a large box or a few garbage bags ready. Start going through the items one by one and separating them into groups of things to be kept or given away. I suggest moving all items out of the space temporarily even if they will be held onto. This way you will have a completely empty space to return them to when you are finished. This will enable you to recreate the space and make it “new” compared to the way it may have previously been set up. You may find that that some of the kept items don’t belong in this space after all and they may be better stored elsewhere.
Finally, recreate the space. In order to do this you may need to make some changes. You might see once it is cleared out that you need more cupboards in a kitchen in order to properly and neatly store items, or you may find that a closet, garage or utility room needs more shelving options. If this is the case rectify this situation by having the items needed installed or purchased. Bins and tubs make storage easier as well. You can mark on the outside of them with a Sharpie marker for easier location later. For example you may have a bin marked “Winter Clothes, Christmas Decorations,” etc.
Now that you have refurbished this space it will become more functional and you can rest assured that you will now be easier able to find those items that had all been lost in the midst before.