Have you ever felt motivated to organize your home but felt completely paralyzed about HOW to start?
As a Professional Organizer, this is a struggle I hear daily from women just like you. They’re fed up with living in a cluttered, chaotic home that makes them unhappy. The struggle is real, my friends!
That struggle is why I developed this simple, 5 Step D.R.E.A.M. Method for getting organized. It’s easy to follow and will help you tackle your clutter and create a home that feels peaceful and welcoming.
Before we dive into the D.R.E.A.M. Method, let’s dig into your motivation for getting organized. With any goal, we first need to know why it’s important to us! Your ‘why’ will be the fuel to keep you focused long after you’re having fun! (okay, maybe it’s only me that’s having fun while organizing).
WHY Do You want to get your home organized?
There are SO many benefits to creating an organized home. Here are just some of them.
- Save money by not re-purchasing items you’ve ‘lost’ in your house.
- Save time by eliminating the endless searching for ‘‘lost’ items
- Save frustration caused by never knowing where to find what you’re looking for.
- Create more mental clarity when you’re no longer surrounded by clutter which confuses and distracts us.
- Enjoy socializing with your friends in your home...yes, YOUR home!
What are your motivators? Once you know that, you can move on to taking action and creating the magic! Here’s the D.R.E.A.M. Method breakdown.
Making Decisions to Get Organized
DREAM - Decision Making
You can’t get organized without making a few decisions. You’re not alone if you’d rather bury your head in the sand and avoid the whole thing. Some of these decisions will be tough, no doubt. There are likely sentimental items from your childhood or from loved ones who have passed on. It can be SO hard to let those items go.
The good news is that getting organized isn’t only about what you let go of but about what you keep. Think of decluttering like a treasure hunt. Find what you love the most and make sure it’s on display not buried in a box in your garage. Once you find what you love, need and use and it will be easier to let all the other things go!
- You’ll need 5 bags, boxes or bins. The categories are KEEP, DONATE, RECYCLE, GARBAGE, and RELOCATE (in house).
- For each an every item onthe shelf or in the box you’re sorting, make a decision and place it in the right box.
- If you’re finding this process very difficult, you may want to add a box called UNDECIDED. Try not to put too many items in there! However, better to use this box than to get completely paralyzed and unable to move forward.
- Keep going until every item is in the correct category
Clear Out the Clutter
DREAM - Removal
One of the most satisfying parts of decluttering is feeling the ‘space’ in our homes start to grow. So, get all of the donation bags, garbage bags, etc. out of the house ASAP. You’ll feel the progress and give yourself more room to complete the next steps. Also, make a specific plan for when you’ll deliver the donated items...and yes, put in in your calendar! For now, put everything in the trunk of your car if you can.
Any boxes labeled ‘RELOCATE’ should be emptied with all items ending up in the correct room. Sometimes, this creates a bit of a mess in another room. That’s okay...you’ll get back to that room later.
Group all Like-Items Together
DREAM - Establish Categories
Now you’re left with only the items you want to keep! Group the items into categories. If you’re working in the kitchen, your categories might look like this.
- Eating Utensils
- Baking/Cooking Utensils
- Food Storage
- Dry Goods
- Canned Goods
- Pots and Pans, etc.
This will help you make a great plan for arranging and storing your belongings. You need to know how much of everything you have in order to decide how big the container or shelf you’ll need.
Organize Your Space
DREAM - Arrange
Here’s where it gets pretty! This is my favourite part and likely yours too. Now that you have everything sorted, it’s time to decide on the best way to store and label each category.
Cue the angelic choir...this might involve a trip to IKEA! Oh I love IKEA! It could also just be a trip to your local dollar store (or even your basement).
- So grab a pen and paper and write down the categories.
- Look at the volume of each category to help you decide on the size of the bins/boxes/containers needed.
- Consider the style of containers you want? Fabric, bamboo, plastic, wicker?
- Do you need to purchase any storage furniture?
- What is your budget? If you don’t have a budget for storage items, no worries. Google DIY storage solutions and make use of items you already own.
- Before heading to the stores, I recommend you do a little online research first. This will help you get clear on what you need before facing the overwhelming options a store provides.
- Happy Shopping!
- Now arrange all items into proper containers. Use labels where you like. Place containers were they go. Voila! You’re a pro.
Keep it Organized
DREAM - Maintain
As you have likely learned along the way, organization is not a one-time-event. Even though it takes lots of effort to get your home organized it takes almost no effort to undo all of your hard work. What’s needed now are some NEW HABITS.
Here are my favourite ways for staying organized:
- Make sure everyone in the family knows where everything now belongs.
- Use labels as a good visual reminder of where everything goes.
- Be mindful as you put things away. It only takes an extra moment to place the item where it belongs. If you don’t get into that habit, the stuff will start to pile up again. Honour the efforts you made to get organized! That was precious time you spent so you may as well protect the investment.
- Organizing Blitzes
Daily - Crank the music and for 10 minutes every day (or as often as you can), get everyone involved and get everything back to where it goes. Pick a different room every day and you’ll notice how awesome it stays!
Weekly - Again, crank up the music, get everyone involved and spend 30 minutes organizing the area that seems most out of control. This can be a good weekend activity. We do it on Sunday evenings to start the week off right.
Monthly - Spend 2-3 hours doing a more thorough organizing of one or two rooms. Ideally, the whole family is involved. This might be a good time to dig into the pantry and get rid of expired foods or pack up the off-season clothing.
If you can make these shifts in your daily habits, you’ll notice everyone becomes more aware and mindful about where they put stuff. Honest! I’ve seen it happen.
Are you someone who’s looking for more support getting your home organized? You’re welcome to join my free Facebook Group The Home Organizing Sisterhood.
Here’s the link