Decluttering

Tidying in 3 Steps: Step 2: Organize

Welcome back! We’re ready to move on to step 2! If you haven’t purged through your stuff and cleaned through the spaces they occupied, please go back and read Step 1. No cheating! It won’t work if you skip ahead.

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Find Everything a Home

You likely already had a place for the things now lying around your house in piles, but now that you’ve freed up all this space after getting rid of things, you can make a more educated decision about where things should go.

This is the best part because it’s the time to get creative. Assess the storage space you have in your home. Think about how much you use certain items and how accessible you want them to be. Scour the internet and Pinterest for ideas. There isn’t a wrong way to organize your stuff. There’s only one rule: Everything needs to have a home.

I’ll repeat for good measure: Everything needs to have a home. One home. Not two. Not several. One. What good will it do if you have pairs of scissors scattered all over the house. Chances are, when you need it, you won’t remember where they were. You might go out and buy another pair. Then you’ll forget where that one was, and go out a buy another. And the cycle continues and then you have 6 pairs of scissors. Excessive? Yes. Unless you’re a professional paper snowflake maker.

Be mindful of the homes you make for your belongings. If it doesn’t make sense, you might forget where those things are. Put bathroom items in the bathroom. Store craft supplies in an area where you are likely to be doing crafts. If you’ve purged successfully, you should have room for everything. If you run out of room, consider putting it in a closet where it’s easily accessible and in view when you open the door. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ran from room to room, closet to closet, trying to find something I misplaced, only to find it was in the darkest, tiniest corner of the closet.

Use What You Have

When it comes to organizing your stuff, I encourage you to use what you already have. There are a lot of products that promise to solve all of your organization problems. But truthfully, you don’t need them. I’ve used baskets, bins, shoe boxes, shipping boxes, and empty canisters to organize and corral items in my house. It works just as well and it’s FREE!  If you don’t have those things already lying around, the dollar store has containers that work really well.

You don’t have to buy expensive, highly advertised organization products. Even Pinterest boards are full of expensive organization projects. I, too, dream of a pantry with glass canisters and chalk paint labels. They look pretty, but they cost a pretty penny. If you can afford it and you want a stylized pantry, then go for it. For the rest of us who have no choice but to scrimp and save, functionality over fashion is my advice. Put the glass canisters on your birthday wish list. (Don’t judge me! I’m an organization addict remember! This is my fun!)

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My pantry is currently decked out with food storage containers and shoe boxes to corral smaller jars, canisters, and bags of food.

Once you’ve found everything a home, take a good look around. You did it! Admire your work. Take pictures. Show off to your workmates and the other moms at a play date. Eat a piece of chocolate!

 

Now, all that’s left is step 3: Maintain. Some of you are groaning with dread. But if you followed the steps and didn’t skip or cheat or breeze through carelessly, then this part should be easy. Stay tuned!

As always, feel free to leave a comment below!

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