It's Week 2 of creating a Happy Home (and Happy You!) in 2016. Last week we went over the steps to creating a design concept and coming up with an overall vision for your new space. If you haven’t completely nailed that down yet, don’t worry! Just stick with the process and things will come together. Heads up though--this week we're talking about a challenging step: organizing. Don’t be overwhelmed! You can do it, and your entire life will change in the process!
I get it, organizing a space, truly organizing it, will take time and can seem like a daunting task. But remind yourself that this is just the start of a process of resetting your life. So take the big plunge to begin a new more orderly lifestyle. You don't have to do it all at once, but if you make the time to dedicate a few hours to organizing you will feel better. And then the dramatic change in your space will motivate you to keep going. Let's do this!
Before you begin, start here:
- Block 3-4 hours in your calendar
- Gather (3) garbage bags or bins/laundry baskets and label for: donations, garbage, other (to move to different room in house eventually)
- Grab a drink and turn on some jams
WEEK TWO: Organize the space.
When you start the organizing process, remember the word “SPACE”. Here are the steps to guide you:
Sort: By category. For example, if working on your bedroom, get ALL of the t-shirts you own in one place before you start purging. Then get ALL of your blouses, then sweaters, then pants, etc. A key part in this process is to clearly see all of what you own in each category at the same time in order to make the decision to keep or to toss.
Purge: Is this item useful? Do you find it beautiful? If it doesn't fit in at least one of these categories, it’s time to let it go. If you end up really missing it weeks later, you'll find a way to replace it. This is the time to get rid of duplicates, things that you no longer use or things that you just don’t love.
Tip: For sentimental items, narrow it down to those things that you really cannot part ways with and set aside to be placed in a “Memento Box”. Keeping and displaying the items that have meaning for you is a great way to personalize your space and add character to the room, but be picky as to what stays--you don’t need ALL of your sentimental things out on display.
Assign a Home: Everything needs a home. This is a super important step and the key to maintaining organization long-term.
Tip: When deciding where to store your things, remember that you want the items that you use frequently to be at eye-level and super accessible. The things that you use less often can go up on a top shelf or tucked away.
Containerize: Finding stylish, functional storage for your items is fun, and often will make the visual impact you need to freshen up the space. But, don’t be tempted to go out and buy your baskets, dividers and trays until you have seriously purged. Be sure to measure the area that needs storage and have the measurements on hand when shopping.
Tip: drawers are awesome for storage- but often end up being a messy hodge-podge of things. To keep drawers neat, use dividers and don’t stack items- instead roll so that you can see everything in drawer. Watch this to see example.
Also, if you’re purchasing a new drawer system, be sure you keep enough clearance for the drawer to open.
Now the really hard question—how in the world will you maintain your newly organized space? If you’ve designated a home for each item, it’s simply a matter of being diligent and putting your things back where they belong on a regular basis. As best as you can, try to:
- At the end of each day, take 5-10 minutes and do a clean sweep to put things away. (i.e. clear the counters kitchen counters and tables, bring toys back to playroom, hang coats, purses, etc.)
- At the end of each week, take 20-30 minutes and get organized (i.e. go through mail, pay bills, put clothes away according to your organized system, plan meals for the week, etc.)
Tip: If you’re a parent and find your house routinely being taken over by toys, keep a basket in the common area (one for each child) where they can drop their toys when they’re done (or you can use to quickly gather toys at the end of each day) and take back to the playroom.
To get started this week, pick one space to start. I’d recommend choosing the one that really bothers you and tackle it head on. I guarantee you’ll feel a million times better having it organized and that much more inspired to finish your design concept for the space. After you have a clear vision of how you want your space to look and function, and have completed the organizing process, it’s time to let the real fun begin: Styling your space! Next week I’ll walk you through the styling process and give you my tips on how to refresh a space using items you already own and adding new pieces that make a big impact.
Happy organizing! I’d love to hear from you on how it’s going for you. Feel free to contact me if any questions along the way.