You’ve decided to get organized, but have no idea where to start. Organizing jobs, big and small, have the same five basic steps. Like going up a staircase you should take each step one at a time. Unless you have really long legs, you aren’t going straight to the fourth step. You are going to start at the bottom and work your way up. STEPS is an acronym for getting organized and will remind you what comes next. Following STEPS in order will save you money, time and confusion. So what does STEPS stand for?
Sort – Whatever area you are getting organized you need to see what you have. Take everything out of the area and sort similar items into categories. Keep it simple and use keep, donate and trash. Depending on the size and contents of the space you may need to create categories such as photos, magazines, or important papers. Keep like with like as much as possible.
Throw Away or Donate- After you have sorted you will have piles for trash and donating. Don’t delay getting these items to the proper place. The feeling of accomplishment by clearing out what you don’t need will get you motivated to move up to the next step. There are lots of charities who love to take the stuff you no longer need. Visit Steele Organizing’s resource page to find out about charities in your area.
Establish a Home – You’ve thrown away or donated everything that you don’t need. Now look at your categories of sorted items. It is time to find a home, a place where all your keepers live. Think about how often you use something. Make homes for you most frequently used items in a place that is easily accessible and with in arms reach of where you will be using them. Items you use less frequently can be stored up high or even in the attic, garage, or basement. If possible, label the new homes. This way if your family members need to put something away they will know exactly where it goes.
Put items in Containers – Now is the time to find all of you unused containers or go buy some new ones if needed. This is often a favorite step, and one that people generally want to start with. If you don’t know what you have it is hard to buy the proper container. Also, if you don’t know where something is going to live how will you know what size container to buy? Taking the steps one at a time will lend to smarter shopping when trying to find containers to corral your “stuff”.
Schedule Maintenance – Every system needs to be maintained. Put it on your schedule to sweep through the area to put away items that may be landing in your newly organized space. You may find that you need to do a little tweaking. Our lives are constantly changing and so is the “stuff” that comes into them. Re-evaluate the space and make changes as needed. If this is done at regular intervals your space will stay organized and inviting.
Being organized is a process, but once you know the STEPS you can organize any area of your home. If you need help at any point contact Steele Organizing and we help you take it one step at a time.