Next time you get the urge to purge, don’t put everything on the dining room table with ambitions of hosting a garage sale.
Take it from me, all it does is sit there for months on end.
If you need to jump start your organization aspirations, we’ve got a few clever tips to get you going.
Make a master list, suggest Ellen Karas and Tory Day of Creative Organization Solutions. Take a notepad and walk room to room, noting the things that need attention. Then prioritize your projects. One of the best places to start is your “command center” (that heaping pile of papers, calendars, keys, cell phones and chargers that’s supposed to be the organized brain of your house). And if you don’t have a designated area, then create one—preferably with order.
Pick a project you have the time and energy to start and finish, advises Linda Goldman, owner of Altogether Organized in Highland Park. Suggestions include your make-up drawer, kitchen junk drawer, front hall closet or kids’ craft corner.
If space and cold weather demand tackling the garage, the last thing you should do is take everything out onto the driveway. As with any daunting task, break it up into manageable jobs, says Goldman. Start with the tools, then move to sporting equipment and bikes, and so on. Take inventory of what you need for the upcoming season, and put the rest away. If space is at a premium, consider using a specialized garage organization company such as White Rabbit Garage Organizers that offers the equipment and vision to utilize every inch.
Schedule time for your project. Just as you would make an appointment with a doctor, set aside time for a particular job. Make it less arduous by pairing your work with a large latte and favorite music. If you’re sorting through paperwork or cleaning files, turn on some reality TV and add humor to the task.
Whatever you do, don’t motivate yourself by shopping first. Buying organizational supplies first puts the cart before the horse. The goal is to organize around what you need, not what supplies you bought. If it’s your closet you need to tackle, buying fancy hangers just tempts you to keep clothes that should be weeded out.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Start slowly and applaud the little steps you make. Before you know it, you’ll never wonder where you put your cell phone and keys.