Drumrolllllll please. Are you ready for this? 5 Steps makes it sound so easy doesn’t it? I hope you can have fun with this and look at all your stuff with fresh eyes. Try to think outside the box… .
1. Take a before photo of the mess. You’ll be glad you did when it’s awesome later! Then, remove everything from the space you are organizing (even if it is just to the other side of the same room). Try to put papers with papers, photos with photos etc. as you stack stuff. But don’t spend a lot of time on that right now.
2. . Vacuum and dust everything thoroughly. Take a picture of the clean space. Use your cellphone, so the picture will be portable. And drink in the emptiness of it all.
I love labels and matching containers. I use what I have, figure out how much it will cost to upgrade to matching and then save a little cash in an envelope every month until I can go for it.
3. Measure the space. Make notes of anything that might be important later such as space between windows, height to the window sill. etc. Type this info into a note sheet on your phone so it will be handy with your blank room pictures for shopping purposes.
4. Sort through your items throwing all trash away, recycling what you can, and filling a box for donation or garage sale. While you’re sorting ask yourself:
“Do I use it?”
“Do I want to decorate a room around this object?”
“What’s the worse thing that would happen if I got rid of this?”
“What’s the consequence if I keep it?”
Make note of what you have left. What kind of storage solutions do you need? A gift wrapping center? Photo albums? A scrapbook supply corral? Ask yourself, “What is causing this chaos?” “What would make it better?” Create a wish list of the items that would make your space ideal. Don’t worry about expense at this point.
5. Shop your house for immediate storage solutions. Is there a bookcase that you can re-purpose from another room? Canning jars? Washed-out food containers? Shoe boxes? Make it as lovely and useful as you can without spending a dime. As you put things away, put items that you use all the time in easy reach. Use them every day? They can go on top of a desk or counter top. Use them once a week? Slip them into a drawer or cupboard and make sure nothing gets put on top of them.
Take another picture! You need to compare the mess, with empty, to how it looks now.
You should be exhausted right now. If not,
you cheated you have amazing stamina! Now you can have a healthy snack and scour the internet looking for ideas. Set the timer so you don’t forget to cook dinner, lol. I like to get ideas from pinterest <3 ; houzz.com; potterybarn.com; and iheartorganizing.com.
After I get a general idea of the items that would make my organizing masterpiece complete, I start shopping for the lowest cost options. My favorite places to shop for these types of things are: Dollar Tree; Amazon.com; Target; Old Time Pottery (especially for baskets!); Hobby Lobby (shelf brackets–yes please!); and Jo-Ann. If I had an Ikea I would be all over that. (We are getting one in 2014!!!!).
I do a lot of shopping online, but then like to go visit the item in store if possible. That’s when my cellphone pictures come in handy–and my measurement list from before. I can hold up my picture of my room next to the item and imagine how it will look. Sometimes I buy several things just to try them out and take back what didn’t work.
Since September I’ve had a cash envelope for organizing and home decor items. I love that! Before I had to squeeze these kind of items out of my music lesson earnings or garage sale cash. I love having a set amount to count on each month that I can choose to save for larger items or gradually pick up a few smaller ones. It may be years before my home is the organized paradise I imagine, but every day is better than the day before.