Ep. 26 How to Organize Any Area of Your Home
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blog recap for this episode
We’re back with another episode about home organization, this time chatting about the four simple steps to organize any area of your home. We covered the overall strategy, a few general tips to keep in mind about decluttering, leaving margin, and finding momentum, then broke it down into two specific examples from listener questions about areas of their home they struggle to get organized.
First up, a few tips:
Make a commitment to declutter! Try not to be overwhelmed by this project, but just start with the mindset shift of learning to live with less.
Remember: if you can’t keep an area organized, there’s probably too much stuff in it!
Notice where piles accumulate and find a place or system for those things.
Give every item a home.
Leave margin -- keep a drawer empty or part of a shelf clear. It sends a powerful signal to your brain that you DO have enough space!
Expect to have to re-organize as you figure out what works and doesn’t.
Now for the most important part!
The four simple steps to organize any area:
- Pull everything out (and wipe down the closet or shelves you’re organizing if you have a little extra energy).
Sort items by type, asking yourself where you’d look for these items later.
Declutter as you go. Only put back what you truly want in that space!
Put your sorted groups of items back using separate baskets/bins and label them.
The containers don’t need to be fancy or expensive -- check the dollar store or thrift stores.
Same goes for labels. You don’t need a label, a printer, or anything more than a Sharpie and some labels or washi tape!
Example #1: Organizing Important Documents
Pull everything out of wherever it’s currently being stored so you can start fresh.
Sort papers by type. Make piles for the obvious things like insurance paperwork, taxes, important receipts, medical records, etc.
Declutter. Decide what truly needs to be kept going forward and get rid of anything you can access online again later if necessary.
Put your sorted papers back in the box or cabinet in their folders, making sure you’ve labeled them clearly so it’s easy to know where things go in the future.
Extra tips for paperwork:
Reduce the amount coming in by opting into e-statements.
Consider using a yearly catch-all folder for all those random papers that might need to be kept short-term but don’t merit taking the time to file individually. You can shred the items in that folder after a couple years.
Don’t make it more detailed or complicated than it needs to be!
Example #2: Organizing Your Pantry
Pull out ALL the food! Wipe out your pantry shelves.
Sort food by type, grouping like items together (i.e., baking ingredients, pasta, oils/vinegar/sauces, snacks, etc.)
Declutter. Throw away expired food, food you’ll never get around to eating, etc.
Gather or purchase baskets or organizers for your newly sorted food and return it to the pantry, leaving margin for the weeks you buy extra groceries. Label the baskets! This is especially important for the pantry if you can’t quickly see inside your containers.
links mentioned in this episode:
Kristin's favorite thing this week: The wonderful documentary of Fred Rogers: Won't you be my neighbor?
Laura's favorite thing this week: A great series on Netflix: My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman