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Don’t Know Where to Begin with Home Organization?

November 29, 2011

To some people, organizing comes easily. It is a habit, a way of life. These people can organize in their sleep. They can’t possibly imagine why non-organizers are not like them.

To others, organization is equivalent to putting a 1,000 piece puzzle together without the foggiest notion of how the finished picture is supposed to look. To them the best option is to simply light a fire and call it arson.

Do you need a place to begin with organization? Here is a quick rule. When organizing anything, limit yourself to one area or room at a time and finish that room before moving on to another. There are generally four options for any item.

1. Throw it away.

Is it obviously garbage? Old papers, mail, junk that you pulled out of your purse to take care of at a later time. If you are never going to look at it again and you do not need to keep it in your records (such as for taxes, retirement, etc.), erase any compunction you may be feeling from your mind and mercilessly (and immediately) throw it into the trash.

2. Give it away.

Is it something that you never wear or use but that others may? Then give it to a charity such as Goodwill or Salvation Army and  take it as a tax deduction. Would a family member or friend love it, use it or wear it? Then ask them if they would like to have it. (A word of caution: no one wants to take all of someone’s old junk. However, if it is in good condition and they genuinely say that they would like it, then by all means, give it to someone you know.)

3. Store it in a box to save for old times’ sake.

Some items, such as your great grandmother’s china dishes, an old book that your father would always read to you when you were a child or a Christmas dress that your mother sewed for you when you were 10 years old, hold very special memories. I am a firm believer in saving some things simply because they are sentimental objects. However, typically you only need to save a sampling of the most precious items. If you save every single thing, chances are that you will never open the dozen boxes that they are stored in to look at them again.

Another option with especially bulky items or large sets is to take several photographs of the items. Then save these files to a much-more-easily-stored compact disc.

4. File it away or make a home for it.

Everything that is left now needs to be put away. Put it back in its original place or make a new home for it. File papers by subject such as health insurance, cell phone bills, craft patterns, recipes, etc. Place other items in cupboards, closets or storage baskets in the rooms where they are most likely to be used. Remember, like needs to go with like.


From → Organizing

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