Friday, April 6, 2012

8 Steps to Getting Organized

Getting organized and creating an environment that is clutter free can be a challenge. At one time or another, many of us have struggled with clutter, and some of us have mastered the art of staying organized. However, I find myself sitting somewhere in the middle and I am able to organize some things with great efficiency, while I have an un-going struggle with other things. To address this in my own life, I have adapted a system that I have found great success with and over the pass few weeks I have been discussing the topic on Crafted Spaces Radio in the segment: "Getting Organized: Steps to De-Cluttering and Organization"

Whatever your reasons are for wanting to get organized, there are a number of common elements. The following tips are great for tackling a number of organizing projects, but is especially helpful to those wanting to organize their home office or studio. 

8 Steps to Getting Organized

1) Identify Your Purpose
Look at the space that you will like to organize and determine what function you will like the space to serve. Access if the space works well for its' current purpose or if another location will be better suited.

  • What will you like to get out of the space?
  • What is your objective?

2) Take an Inventory
Take an inventory of the items you are organizing or the space that you are organizing. Identify the purpose of the items and it's continued usefulness. Place items into one of three categories; keep, maybe and to-go.

  • Are there items that clearly do not belong in the space?
  • What items are needed in the space for it to function well?

3) Gather Your Resources
Identify what tools or additional resources you may need to get things organized. What can you repurpose in your home or office to help organize items.

  • Do you have adequate storage?
  • What is your budget for purchasing additional items for getting things organized?
  • How much of the work can you do yourself?

4) Categorizing
Remove items from the space and designate an area for the purpose of organizing them. If you are organizing a room, remove all the items that do not belong in the room for the purpose you have identified in Step 1. If you are organizing a closet, remove all the items from the closet. If you are organizing your desk or workspace remove all items from the space. Follow by organizing the items into the categories you identified in Step 2, automatically reducing your clutter by 1/3.

  • What is the usefulness of the item?
  • Is the item in good condition or does it require repairs?
  • When was the last time you used the item?
  • Can someone else benefit from using the item?

5) Eliminate
Donate items or take them to your local dump. Those items in the "Maybe" category will require your attention; therefore designate a time for sorting at a later date. Take the time to evaluate what items you need to keep for the purpose and function of your room or task.

  • Is there a local charity that can benefit from some of the items you have?
  • What is the safest way of discarding each item?

6) Reworking your Space
If needed, make additions to the space or move furnishings around for better use of your space. Add shelving, baskets, rubber containers and other items to store the contents you are organizing. Refer to Step 1 to guide you through this process.

  • What items can you repurpose to assist with storage?
  • Do I want to consider giving the space a complete facelift?
  • How accessible does the items need to be in the room?

7) Everything has a Home
Create a home for everything. Every item should have a place. You can use labels to identify contents or use containers that make it easy for you to see its' contents at a glance. Labelling items properly will assist in helping to keep things organized.

  • What type of labelling system will work best for the items you have?
  • Do you need to identify the contents of your storage containers at a glance?
  • Will using a colour coding system work for you?

8) Keeping Things Organized
Return items to there home after use. Create a system or a process for dealing with each item or activity. Keep it simple and easy to follow.

  • How will you deal with new incoming items, such as mail, bills, inventory, craft materials, etc?
  • Are you able to dedicate a few minutes each day to putting things back in their place? 

I also suggest that after you have gotten things the way you like it, that you access the effectiveness and overall functionality of your newly organized space or task and determine what works and what may require modification. You can do this evaluation after a few weeks or months. On a regular basis it might be a great idea to do this as a way of keeping things on track and ensuring that the changes you have made still meet your needs.

(Please visit again as more items and links will be added to this list.)

Pinterest Board - Organization and Storage

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