As you enter the room, you randomly pull things out of piles and create new piles. Each pile brings about new ideas or old memories. The hours tick by and eventually you realize your space looks nothing like you thought it would and all your hard work has had little effect on the state of the space.
It’s hard to go from vision to reality without a plan.
Before your next spontaneous organizing mood erupts, let’s take some time to create a basic plan.
- Define Your Vision. You already know what it LOOKS LIKE thanks to Pinterest and Google images, but now you need to think through the specifics. What is it that you particularly like about some pictures and not others? Is it the color palette? The amount of natural light? Is it the textures of the containers or the emptiness of the counters? Identifying what you like about the images you WISH were from your own home or office will help you better understand how to make that vision a reality in your own space.
- Find Your Function. Look through your inspirational pictures again. Do they capture spaces functioning the same way your space will? The all-glass containers on the Pinterest pantry look amazing, but are they practical when all your snackers are under the age of five? Acrylic containers would be a better bet for you! Does the office that looks so motivating and work-oriented lend itself to the type of work YOU do? Will the desk space accommodate what you need in order to complete daily tasks, or will it feel cramped once you get all your materials out? This step may be a bit depressing. Don’t wallow in it. Problem solve and look for similar solutions so you can get the look you want without sacrificing functionality.
- Get Organized. Once you know what you want, where you want things to go, then it’s time to plan your attack on the piles. Start with one side of the room and move around in one line. Running all around the space will wear you out and muddy the process. Use the center of the space for staging and sorting. “Keep” only items that are part of your vision and function in the space you’re working with. If you haven’t used the item in a year, it doesn’t belong in your house period. If you’ve recently used it, but it doesn’t fit the function of that space, then place it in a bin called “Elsewhere” so that you can put it where it belongs later. You’ll need a bin or bag for “Trash” and “Donate” too.
- Dream Come True. The only things that remain in the space are those that passed the “Keep” test. They need homes in your space. Try to use what you already have, but think back to step 1. If you don’t like the look of what you already have, consider changing it to the look of what you love in your vision. A space that feels ugly is rarely used for anything except collecting clutter. Buy lamps, invest in matching containers, pick up a new rug, you get the idea. Part of staying organized is motivating your spirit to WANT to stay organized. A space that feels mish-mash and unhappy won’t motivate you.
Good luck with your next organizing session! If you need help navigating these steps, just give us a call.