Organizing Phases

Posted on 19. Jun, 2012 by in Organize

When I help someone organize a problem area in their home, I have noticed these stages that we go through:

  • Overwhelmed
  • Get Started
  • Sort
  • Rearrange / Decorate / Maintain

My clients get to a point where they are very overwhelmed and simply just don’t know where to start. Most of my clients have a very organized home. There’s just one or two areas that seem to be a problem. It’s great to enlist help, someone on the outside, seeing the problem area with a new set of eyes. And it’s more fun to tackle the problem with a friend!

  • When I arrive, we discuss the problem areas. We talk about their goals for the areas. We talk about a plan of attack.
  • You might make a sketch of the room and decide what you want the purpose of each area to be.
  • Make notes of what goes (yes, some things must go!) and what stays as you glance through the area.
Get Started

Ah, getting started, the hardest part! When you work with an organizer, your time to tackle the project gets put on the calendar. It’s a very important time, because it’s where you get started.

Take “before” pictures, you’ll love to look back at the progress that you make. And it’s a reminder to not let it get bad again.

  • Start in one corner of the room and work my way around the room.
  • Empty table tops, make the bed, pull everything out of the closet.
  • By clearing the room, you have a new clean blank canvas to get started with.

When I come to a clients home, I bring lots of white laundry baskets. I bring trash bags, labels, markers, and other useful items for sorting through stuff.

  • Pull items out off shelves, out of closets, off of desks and counters.
  • Sort through items basket by basket.
  • Depending on time, we might leave some for homework and the baskets can be moved out of the way for next time.

I don’t know about you, but there is something refreshing about rearranging the furniture. Ever since I was little, I just love to reorganize the furniture in a room. It just gives everything a new prospective.

  • By pulling out the furniture in a room, you can quickly vacuum and dust behind those big items, and you will feel great about a new clean space.
  • Setup seating areas in a fun new way to encourage a new social area.
  • Come up with a new traffic pattern so you are not tripping over things.

This phase I call decorating because it’s the fun time where you bring your items back into the room. Just bring in the things that you love and enjoy.

  • Consider rotating items in and out of the room, so you can enjoy special items. Store rotated items under beds or in a basement.
  • Refer back to your original sketch and plans for the room.
  • Look thru magazines or online pictures for decorating ideas.

Once you have reorganized an area, take “after” pictures. Compare and enjoy the progress that you made. Whether it took 1 afternoon or 1 month, just enjoy the investment you made to better your area.

  • To maintain the area, pick up items daily.
  • As you bring in stuff to the space, find a home or spot for the item right away.
  • Keep a donate bag somewhere, maybe a back of a closet, so that items that aren’t used anymore can be recycled for someone else to use.

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