My friend Karen is an organizer and is the owner of Organizeology. She is fantastic at helping my clients purge, organize, and design custom systems for their office and closets to insure they stay organized. Organization is such a large part of the editing process when it comes to designing rooms. Given the new year – I asked her if she could give us tips on getting organized…
Getting organized accomplishes more than just clearing a space. It reduces stress, saves money and time, creates inspirational spaces and allows you to spend more time on the things that matter most. Do you want to spend time constantly sifting through an unorganized space or do you want to spend time with family and friends? I’m guessing you picked family and friends.
My most successful clients are those who appreciate good organization and storage but have had a life change – a move, a home renovation, birth of children, a divorce, a new job, illness and death. They just needed a little help from a professional organizer to get back on track.
Below are my 10 easy steps on how to organize any room.
1. Decide that you’re ready to make a change and commit to the process. It doesn’t make any sense to start editing your stuff and then stop because you don’t know where to take the items that you’re letting go. Hop on the internet and call a charity for a scheduled pick up. Can’t do that? Call a friend who will take the items to charity for you in exchange for a bottle of wine or a Starbucks card. They don’t have an attachment to your stuff.
jenna lyon’s closet
2. Starting in one room, remove items that no longer support the life you live today. Does that “vintage” suitcase from your mom really fit your clothes? Doesn’t it make your clothes smell kinda funny? The idea of it is cool, but the reality is that it isn’t practical.
3. Set parameters on what really needs to stay. Do you LOVE it? Do you NEED it? Is it BROKEN or WORN? Does it MAKE YOU HAPPY? We naturally gravitate toward the things that make us feel good. Do you still feel beautiful in the dress you wore to five different weddings ten years ago? Are you going to keep the game with the missing pieces just because you think you might find them someday? Really?
4. Sort your stuff. Create designated areas for TOSS, DONATE, OTHER ROOMS, KEEP, STORE and if you have to….. MAYBE.
5. Get real. Can’t give something away from the MAYBE pile because Mom gave it to you? Ya…. and???? Reality check – Your mom has given you a lot of things. You really don’t need to keep them all. If it was so special, then why is it in a heap on the bottom of your closet?
6. Sort your stuff…again. Sub-sort the KEEP area and put like things together. One area for kids games, one for videos, one for cds, another for art work, etc. Once you see how many of one type of thing you have, the easier it is to make a decision on how many of that thing to keep.
7. Remove unwanted items immediately. The longer they stay, the more time you’ll spend regretting and feeling bad. I’ve never had someone call to say how much they missed their Members Only jacket from the 70s. (or was it the 80’s?? Does it really matter?)
8. Contain and label everything. Put like things in containers and label them. Be sure to use matching containers and ones that inspire you. There are so many choices so why just go with clear plastic? Have you been to The Container Store lately?
9. Give the room a facelift. There’s nothing nicer than a fresh coat of paint to bring a room back to life. It’s cheap and you can do this at 11 o’clock at night when the kids are sleeping.
10. Decide what this room is going to be and make it so. Is it going to be a guest room / office? If so, you’ll want to have plenty of storage in the closet for your guests to hang their clothes and to tuck office supplies out of sight. (in the cute boxes – right?) Don’t forget to have plenty of lighting. You won’t spend time in a room with poor lighting.
See, now wasn’t that easy? This is the part where you enjoy the room. Let your kids have a sleep over in your new guest room. Have your next cup of coffee in the comfy reading chair that you now have room for…. while you ponder your next organizing project, of course.