One of the biggest myths about organizing is that an organized person was just born that way. (I certainly wasn’t!) The truth is organizing can be learned. And all of us – even those of who make a living organizing others – can improve our organization skills in some way. Whether it’s organizing a particular room; dealing with items that tend to accumulate (such as mail or toys); or making the most of our time; we all have “clutter bugs” that make our lives less productive.
So, what’s the solution to dealing with clutter – at least the accumulated kind of “stuff” that takes up too much space? First, start with one small area (such as the place where bills and other papers collect in the kitchen). Next, set a timer for 15 minutes to start with, and see how much you can tackle in such a short time. Then follow the rules of SPACE, a common organizing acronym that I’ve adapted as follows:
Sort.... your clutter into boxes or piles of similar stuff (e.g. newspapers in one stack; bills in another).
Arrange... similar items in a logical place, such as moving magazines to the bedroom where they’re more likely to be read and keeping your pantry and refrigerator stocked with easy-to-find staples.
Containerize... find the right size of containers to hold items, such as an outbox for bills and other outgoing mail, a cup for pens, folders for “read later” articles or flyers, and other storage products for things like toys and books.
Edit... maintain your system by updating your shelf, cupboard, closet, desk or room on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to ensure clutter doesn't return to your reformed SPACE!
And if you need help with a project (due to time contraints, lack of motivation or because you feel overwhelmed), enlist the help of a friend or hire a pro!