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Your Simple 5-Step Plan for Getting Organized

Your Simple 5-Step Plan for Getting Organized

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!

 

  1. You’ll need 5 bags, boxes or bins.  The categories are KEEP, DONATE, RECYCLE, GARBAGE, and RELOCATE (in house).

 

  1. For each an every item onthe shelf or in the box you’re sorting, make a decision and place it in the right box.

 

  1. 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. 

 

  1. 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
  • Gadgets
  • Bakeware
  • Dishware
  • Seasonal
  • Food Storage
  • Dry Goods
  • Canned Goods
  • Spices
  • 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

https://www.facebook.com/groups/livingorg/

Three Questions You Must Ask Yourself Before You Start Organizing

Three Questions You Must Ask Yourself Before You Start Organizing

1) What’s your vision for your home?

 

Vision? What could that possibly have to do with something as practical and hands-on as getting your home organized? Well, it turns out, quite a bit!  When I first meet with a prospective client, one of my very first questions is “What is your VISION for this space, this room, your home? A lack of clarity about the vision for the space will make it very difficult to plan and execute the organizing project. 

 

In this day and age where we are bombarded with so many beautiful images of perfectly organized bookshelves, impeccably designed living rooms and hand crafted kids lunches (bento box style),  It’s easy for us to get caught up in thinking that’s the ideal…that’s what we should all be striving for. Reality? We all know that those staged pictures rarely reflect reality! Reality looks more like kids toys all over the place, piles of paper work on the kitchen counter and (occasionally) rotting food in the fridge…oh, is that just me?  

 

So here’s my question for YOU.  What does having an organized home look like to you? Yes, you! That’s all that matters here. You don’t need to compare yourself to the perfection you see on Instagram or your favourite Pinterest Board.. This is only about what you and your family need in order to function happily and efficiently in your home.

 

2) What level of order do you need?

 

Some people can tolerate, and in fact love, being surrounded by lots of momentos and personal belongings. They feel cozy in their home and the ‘stuff’ doesn’t register as clutter. Others want the walls, counters and shelves as clear as possible. They breathe more deeply when they see lots of space!   

 

Where are you on this continuum? Are you determined to keep every countertop clear or are you okay with a little catch-all basket, or even a couple of planned piles? Does your clothing have to be colour coded to help you achieve bliss or are you okay as long as everything in your closet fits and doesn’t have holes? We’re all different and that’s a beautiful thing!  

 

Embrace You!  Really think about what you love, what you need to maintain a peaceful existence in your home.  You’ll also want to challenge yourself to be realistic. If you have 2 toddlers running around, don’t set yourself up for failure by demanding that toys shall never enter your beautiful living room!   This is the fun part of organizing…and should happen before you even start…write it down, post it, find pictures of inspiring homes you’d like to emulate. Never make it about perfection though…you’re better (and more real) than that!

 

 

3) How do you want to FEEL in your home?

 

With each of my clients, I always ask  how they want to feel in their home? In my mind, the space in which we reside is like another family member. It has a role. Do you notice that?  It can either make your life and daily tasks run smoothly or it can trip you up at every turn! Also, like many teenagers, it can be moody and is rarely in the same state 2 days in a row. Consider how you want to feel when you enter your front door at the end of a long day? How do you want to feel when you enter your bedroom after finally tucking your overtired and grumpy kids into bed?

 

When our homes become cluttered and out of control, it’s so easy to forget that we are in control of our space…even though it’s ‘bossing us around’.  The first step to taking back control is to decide what your dream is for your home, what level of order you need to feel at peace, and how you want to feel when you’re at home.

 

Also, before starting your organizing project, you might find it really helpful to create a mantra which reflects your vision for your space.  Print it off, make it pretty, post in on your fridge or somewhere visible to help you stay on track and stay inspired!

 

A recent one? “I want my home to feel like a luxurious hotel suite so that when I walk in I feel like I’m on vacation”. Nice!!

 

 

Okay, to summarize here are the 3 questions you’ll want to ask before starting your organizing project:

 

1) What’s your Vision for your Home?

 

2) What level of order do you need in your home? 

 

3) How do you want to FEEL in your home?

 

 

 

4 Fabulous Tips For Your Smoothest Move Yet

4 Fabulous Tips For Your Smoothest Move Yet

We all know that moving can be one of the more stressful events to happen in our lives.  What if there was a way to be fully prepared for your move? Imagine the feeling of freedom you would experience if you knew that every item you pack is something that you love and that you use!  Unpacking in your beautiful, new home would be a smooth and enjoyable task! Imagine that!

 

Here are 4 TIPS to get you started!

 

#1 Plan Ahead

I know planning ahead is difficult for many of us! There’s nothing like a deadline to really light a fire under us!  Best to start the process of decluttering at least 2-3 months prior to the move. Label  3 different boxes/bags as follows: TRASH/RECYCLING, DONATE (to charity), GIVE (to a specific person).  Ideally, store these boxes in an area where they won’t be in the way of daily life. Book time into your calendar when you will tackle the clutter. Whether it’s 30 minutes a day or several hours at a time, you’ll be on the right track.  The biggest clutter offenders are typically: kitchen cabinets/pantry, clothing, toys, books, and garages.  

 

#2 Sort It Out

So, you have your sorting boxes ready and you have a great schedule for completing this task. Now it’s time to make those tough decisions. No more DELAYED DECISIONS!  Here are some great questions to ask yourself as you decide:

  •  Do I use this?      Do I love this? 
  • Do I use this often enough to justify the space it takes?
  • Could I easily borrow this item on the rare occasion I need it?
  • Do I have more than one of these?  

 

#3 Eviction Notice

During the decluttering journey, you will likely find there are oodles of bags and boxes to go.  Make sure they are removed from your home right away. Don’t wait until the time of the move to make your run to Sally Ann or to the dump. You will have more than enough to focus on.   

 

#4 Pack Smart

Now that you have decluttered your house so beautifully, packing up will be easier and, YES, even enjoyable!  Remember, every item has earned its’ right to follow you to the next home! When you pack, try to use the categories in which you intend to store them in your new home.  Do yourself a favour and use effective labelling on all of the boxes to be moved. That way the movers can place the box in the correct room right away. The more specific the labels, the easier it will be to unpack your items and put them away where they belong right away. 

 

All the best with your move! May it be your smoothest yet!

3 Organizing Hacks You Can't Live Without!

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