Getting Organized – The Plan
Hello, my name is Kathy – and I am so very easily distracted…I confessed this in my post – Getting Organized – Where to Start – for the Easily Distracted. I also confessed, I am a collector – which means I have a lot of stuff to organize – stuffed, so to speak! In addition, I am a multi-talker. I have several projects going on at once. So, not everything is in a specific place…making it a challenge some times to find things I need.
go here to read this post on ‘where to start’.
Getting Organized – Being Organized – Is Something All, if not Most Desire
Most of us desire order and the beauty that comes with it in our lives. Some, very few, can live with the confusion and chaos clutter brings…not, me! But, as I speak/write…I am surrounded by my own organizational challenges. There are areas in each of our lives that present to us challenges where it comes to organization. One of these is once organized KEEPING IT ORGANIZED! Also, most of us don’t live on an island where we keep things in order – and no one else touches it. We not only have to get ourselves in the mindset of keeping order, but also those around us….so, now that we know we need a plan, where do we go from there.
Assessing Your and Your Home’s Organizational Needs
O.K., on a day you have about fifteen minutes to an hour to dedicate to assessing your home…go from room to room identifying the purpose and uses of those rooms. Identify the storage uses currently in those rooms. AND identify the challenges in those rooms.Most of us desire order and the beauty that comes with it in our lives. Some, very few, can live with the confusion and chaos clutter brings. Getting Organized for the Easily DistractedClick To Tweet
For example. A room that requires constant cleaning and organization is our kitchens. Here’s where my love for collecting can be affected. Dishes…not only do I love white pitchers…but I also love white dishes, Transferware, vintage dishes, teacups, teapots and so forth…this love of collecting can present quite a challenge. So much so that the kitchen alone cannot house my dishes! I have to come to a mindset that not all can remain – so that my dishes can be used – and not forgotten (oh, hello! I forgot I had you…have you been there?!!!) Also, in the kitchen I have limited cabinet and drawer space…I don’t have a separate pantry for food stuff and I have a desk…which houses all kinds of things in the drawers. In the hutch I have napkins (quite a collection, sigh)…well, I guess you get the idea here.
So, standing before the kitchen taking a dispassionate view – I assess my storage needs. I identify what ‘use/s’ the kitchen has:
- cooking (pots & pans…cast iron is another of my collectibles)
- china to include cups/teacups
- serving dishes
- decor (hey, we have to add this! Or else our kitchens would be purely functional!)
So, now that I’ve identified the uses in my kitchen. I can begin my plan. Remember, I suggest doing our organizing in doable settings where we can begin and end this task. So, if I allot time to fully clean the kitchen – I need to make sure I can finish the job!
If I decide I can do the whole kitchen – I need to also plan what I want it to look like – which includes taking note of storage items I may need to purchase – or make – to accomplish the organizational needs.
Organization Can Be Attractive
I’ve seen some who take everything out of their pantries and transfer them to clear glass and plastic containers (some opaque such as white, black, red or whatever color scheme is in their kitchen) then everything is labeled. This can be very attractive! If you wish to go this far, perhaps you can divide your kitchen into smaller – doable actions to accomplish this.
Plan, Prepare and Perform
The first step. Assessing room by room your storage needs and what the use/s these rooms function….
One quick note: I have an old house with precious little storage space – getting creative there includes using furniture for storage, baskets, boxes that are pretty if they’re displayed. Here’s the key here….it’s like real estate – location, location, location…also important to note -stick with what you decide goes into certain drawers and cabinets…Junk Drawers occur when we just stuff things away (guilty). This also adds to our inability to get things done efficiently and in a timely manner…
talking about efficiency…if you want to have fun and to take a break find the old version of the movie, ‘Cheaper by the Dozen’! The father was an efficiency expert – it was fascinating and hilarious the efforts he went to to get himself and his family to perform more efficiently – you see….total squirreling here!
Begin where you can accomplish a task completely. A desk, a closet, a cabinet…select a place you can feel the joy and benefits of your organizational efforts!
After you’ve assessed the uses of your storage area/needs for a place – decide how you’re going to store things. We have so many options…check out The Container Store…it’s a dream! You can find storage items everywhere now! Because retailers know this is the BIG, BIG time to get ourselves organized…let’s take advantage of that! Preparing also includes providing yourself with bags or boxes for items to be donated or discarded! You can label boxes (I’d suggest ones that are small enough to tote such as banker’s boxes) Label these boxes: storage, discard, donate, other places, long-term storage, heirloom (this one is for items you don’t use often, but have sentimental value to the extent you wish to pass them along- if these items don’t become decorative – store them long-term for whom their intended)
Let’s use a closet scenario here…
First step: Take everything out! Clean out the storage area. Then with your prepared boxes and bags sort all of the items that were stored there. BE RUTHLESS with yourself…this is where we can get distracted, so very easily distracted by reliving memories or thinking I can fix this! If you haven’t fixed it by now…well, I’ll leave that up to you!
Second Step: Return to storage – ONLY those items intended for this area. You may have a few boxes labeled ‘other places’ Having them in banker boxes with lids will help us not get tempted to try to put them back! We may need to dedicate a room – the last room organized – as a way station for these boxes! If you were dedicated and ruthless enough with yourself – you only kept those items that were useful and in good shape – one special note here: there’s a suggestion that if you haven’t touched it in a while – you may not really, really need it! Here’s where you can decide if this item is worth keeping – does it mean enough to you to become an heirloom…if you’re like me, you may look at an item and decide – I can create something with this! So, if you have a place for long-term storage for such items – make sure their labeled accordingly…heirloom, future projects etc…
Third Step: remember, location, location, location…well, here’s where it comes to play. Return the items you USE MOST in a place that’s accessible…if it’s used occasionally, place it higher on a shelf or boxed below.
Now, you’re closet, drawer cabinet is cleaned, cleared and organized! A VERY important step to note – tell your family of your efforts so that they won’t go behind you and add to that very, organized, beautiful space…if you’re a squirrel like me, you may have a family of squirrels! If you do, you focus on your and common areas…let them have their spaces….if they get inspired you can show them how you’re organized OR, if they ask you to organize them (I’m talking old enough to take care of their own spaces here) THEN you can add that to your plan…
Remember, when we’re easily distracted we can also be a bit scattered…a little here, a little there. The most important thing for us is to remind ourselves – when we decide to start a project in organizing – finish the one place, one step at a time THEN move on to the next.
Organzing won’t happen overnight. It might take a month…it might take 90-days or more! Whatever it takes, commit yourself to accomplishing your elephant of tasks – one bite at a time!
Are you ready to begin? Are you inspired to transform your spaces? I’d love to hear from you! Also, are there areas where you struggle the most…I’ll address that issue next!