You would like to get organized, but where on earth do you start?
That is a GREAT question and there are really a handful of answers to consider. You could start with the area that drives you the craziest, for example, start with the kitchen cabinet that you have to slowly open so nothing falls on your head. You know the one you shut quickly to stuff everything back in? You could also start with the most used space, such as your “command center” in your kitchen because this is what everyone will see once entering your house. Or, you could tackle the smallest space first (linen closet perhaps?) or start with one draw in your dresser and see how that feels. If it feels good, do another drawer and then another. If you hate it and find it dreadful, take a break and tackle another drawer another time. There is no rush to organizing your spaces, no one is going to come in and rate your efforts 1-10 (with ten being excellent) and make you do it again, unless you are married to an organizing nut such as myself. (Kidding, I don’t rate my husband’s organizing skills. I may be a nut but I am not an idiot!)
Personally, I like to keep the main areas of the house clutter-free. In my house that means my kitchen and living room, which is what you see upon walking in the front door (thank goodness!) In fact, I have to re-do my junk drawers because they are jammed which in turn means that stuff is sitting on the counter top. (biggest pet peeve of mine!) My 3 year old just discovered that he can reach the junk drawers and I have to figure out plan B for pens, pencils, markers, crayons and scissors. (Note to self: Get this done tonight after he falls asleep!)
The first step to any organizing project is to get started. You should get rubber bands, snack and sandwich size zip lock bags and a Sharpie pen.
This is what I do when I look in a junk drawer that needs to organized:
1. Grab the garbage cans-both the recycle and the non-recycle cans
2. Take the drawer out and empty it the contents completely
3. Place all the paper in a pile
4. Put all pens, pencils and all other writing utensils in a separate piles
5. Find all like items and place in a pile (all business cards, scraps of paper, coupons, schedules and so on)
Now, go through each pile and throw away the stuff you don’t need or no longer work (such as business cards that you can enter in your Outlook or batteries that don’t work, the one earring that has been in your drawer for 5 years and keys to your old house)
Once you have gone through the contents of the drawer and thrown items away in the appropriate piles, the fun starts. The simplest solution is to rubber band pencils, pens, crayons in individual bundles. Paperclip paper that you want to keep and put working batteries in a snack sized zip lock type bag and so on. Make sure you label the zip locks bags with a Sharpie, this helps tremendously if you are the not the only one who uses the junk drawer.
To take the rubber band and zip lock bag idea one step further, run to a dollar store and get bins to place in your junk drawer. This will hopefully reduce the amount of organizing touch-ups you your junk drawer will need in the future.
To make the organizing jobs more bearable, turn on your favorite movie and watch that as you tackle the first job. I turn on my iPod and crank out some great music and try not to sing out loud—I get some of my best work done with great "tune-age" in the background. Even better, hire me to do it for you. It is therapy for me, and instead of me paying a therapist, you can pay me! (Shameless Plug!)
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Until next time, keep reading for Simply Amazing Organizing Secrets and Cost Effective Organizing Tricks!