How to organize without making a bigger mess

I have always loved organizing. However, my organizing usually made a bigger mess than what I had in the first place! My closet looked amazing, by drawers were all organized, and my shelves had everything strategically placed just how I wanted it. The problem? Everything I took out didn’t go back in. Or something came up and the mess stayed because life happens! Been there?

I love the big project and with my clients that’s what we do. We have a 4 hour session dedicated to just that project. But at home organizing in my own house it takes a completely different strategy. Why? Because life happens…the phone rings, someone stops by, etc.  Something is bound to come up, and the unfinished project sits there staring me in the face for days.

Here a a few tips to keep from making a bigger mess than what you started with:

  1. Keep the project small. Take mini sections at a time. So instead of doing the whole cabinet or dresser at once. So one shelf, or one drawer at a time. That way if something comes up there is only a small area to tidy back up instead of the whole closet.
  2. Keep a donate box. I always have a donate box (one of my favorite organizing tips). As I come across things that can be donated, they go in the box. And when the box is full I can just drop it off at the local donation station.
  3. Put things away as you go. If you come across something that belongs somewhere else, take it there. If something can be donated, toss it in the donation box. It may seem counter-productive to take the extra time to put things away in different areas of the home, but trust me when it’s done it’s done. Creating piles of stuff that goes here and there is the last thing that you want to do.

I still love the idea of the big project and getting it all done at once. But at home that rarely happens, so a different approach was needed. So next time get ready to organize, remember: Keep it small, use a donate box, and put things away as you go. You’ll save yourself the trouble in the end.


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