7 Steps For Organizing Your Home – Without Getting Overwhelmed
I have been digging through some of my favorite posts and sharing one with you today.
I must admit something.
Sometimes, I don’t do something simply because of the fact that it is trendy.
Really, that is just silly. If I like something, I should buy it. If I want to do something, I should do it – whether it is trendy or not.
But something in me feels a need to resist.
And one of those trends that has been around forever is that at the start of the new year, organizing.
Are you starting plans for organizing your home too?
As much as I don't want to get caught up in the trends, I am craving the need to organize and get SO many things in shape and more functional in my home.
But then, I start to feel panicked and overwhelmed because the list keeps growing and it seems so unachievable.
But then, I did one something.
I organized our mudroom / laundry. Actually, I should say WE organized it. It was really a mess and needed a full team to pull it together. And when it was all said and done – it felt good.
So, I thought I would share some thoughts on how I am planning on approaching a long list of projects for getting my home organized – without getting overwhelmed.
But, these are not New Year’s Resolutions – those are way too trendy! ;)
1 – The obvious step of starting with a list
I am a visual person and having it front of me is helpful. And nothing feels better than crossing each item off and then seeing it all done. Give yourself the satisfaction of crossing something off by starting with a list.
Break the list down into manageable pieces whenever possible. Don’t just write down bedroom. List out closets, dressers, shelves, tabletops, floors, etc.
Also, getting it out of your head and onto paper gives a realistic view of what you are setting out to accomplish.
2 -Include at Least 5 Projects that can be done in less than 30 minutes
This is a big one for me.
We were down to one light bulb in our foyer light – of 4. The challenge was we need to drag in the big 10 foot stepladder to change it – which I can not do by myself. I enlisted Dana’s help, and while he was at, he also cleaned the glass for me.
It took about 20 minutes in total – check!
And while I was at – 4 bulbs were out in the kitchen – check, check, check, check!
Don’t only list out your big projects that are overwhelming you. Write down a group of projects that have been staring you in the face that will take ten minutes, twenty minutes and even an hour. Give yourself the satisfaction of completing a few projects.
Space those out over several days so you know that you are moving forward even if you are not yet completing overhauling the attic.
This also ties in with point one – break each project down. The more you list – the more you can cross off and know that you are accomplishing things.
3 - Don’t set an unreasonable time frame
I have a tendency to write to-do lists, that even if I didn’t get distracted, even once in day (squirrel!) I would never accomplish them and then I feel like a failure.
Projects always take longer than you think they will and usually lots of commitments come up in between that prevent you from getting started and finishing.
Pick one or two projects a week, or a month, or a quarter. Do what is realistic, but still keep yourself on task. There is nothing worse than getting discourage right from the beginning by feeling you have let yourself down.
And while you are at – don’t make it into a project bigger than it needs to be. Someone I love tends to make a project so huge that it never gets started. Just do the simple stuff and get started!
4 – Don’t Spend Money Right Away
Don’t run right out and spend a ton of money on new cabinets, containers, labels, etc. Try, as much as possible, to start organizing and sorting first. If you understand better what is left and how it will function in your home, you will be better suited to invest in the right materials and supplies.
There will be a need for some purchases of course, but don’t overlook what you already have that can be used in a new way to organize something.
5 – When you do need to spend some money, do your research to maximize your space
When I organized my craft supplies, I had one specific cabinet to get everything in and a set of lockers for any overflow. If I went out all willy nilly buying containers, I would not have maximized the storage. I first looked until I found a cabinet that fit in the space – then, based on the measurements of the cabinet, I researched every online place possible to find the type of containers that would maximize the space inside.
This same approach can be used for any type of organizing cabinets, storage bins, etc. Make sure you are maximizing your space both in the room and within the storage pieces.
6 – Have a plan for what you are doing with what you are not keeping
Did you ever watch that show on TLC with that guy who was an organizer, the British guy? Well he knew what he was doing. He always had piles right from the beginning of where it was going.
Have a bag / box / container available for each location: trash, donations, sell, etc.
And if you are selling it – when, how and where? Have a plan!
Think out of the box too. We have a local auction house here that happily takes all kinds of household stuff. We don’t make a ton of money – but it is a little something and then we feel better that we are not throwing as much away.
7 – Get it out of your head and get started
This is sometimes where I struggle the most. When I start to think through the list, I keep adding more. I feel anxious about the next one while I am working on the current one.
The only way to solve that and to really getting your home organized is to start.
So this is my plan. Like I said, we already crossed off a few things, so is good!
By Mid February:
Replace Bulbs in Foyer and Kitchen
Organize and Purge Mudroom
Get Peanuts Room Organized and give her better systems for staying that way (this is a big job!)
Purge workout roomand set it up better
Purge and find a better storage system for the unfinished area
Sort and purge kids toys and crafts in the basement
Figure out a better system to get the hall closet in gear
Organize our bathroom cabinets and closet - done but needs to be redone!
Figure out where to go with the stuff in the hall cabinet
By Beginning of June:
The dreaded task of sorting through all of the stuff – especially the baby stuff in the attic and purging what needs to go and organizing what is staying. (this will have to wait till it is warmer to start)
By End of Summer:
Switch the upstairs and downstairs purposes of the detached garage. Right now the “workshop” is upstairs and storage is downstairs. That is not working right now – so we are switching it and creating a real workshop area for projects. I am very excited about this one – but this is also tied to weather.
So, I have to admit, seeing it all there, with a time frame, it seems much more achievable. I guess I will have to keep coming back into this post and crossing them off when they are done!
Oh, and if you still feeling overwhelmed about taking on organizing your home, reading this post really helped me gain perspective.
So, what do you think? Are you interested in seeing some of the results? Do you like organizing ideas? Should I share more?
Thanks so much for reading and wishing you a great day!