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Get Organized: Where to Start

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Getting started is the hardest part.

Getting started organizing is similar to the start of a new diet or workout routine. It takes intentional effort, thought, and maintenance to see results. Honestly, just like exercising, it can feel easier not to start, but everyday you don’t take action, is another day you feel crummy about life…and yourself.

Let this help point you in the right direction! Here is advice on how to get started organizing, today.

Intentionally Commit
The first step to getting started is to commit to the process. You will set yourself up for failure if you half-heartedly try to organize. You’ll end up with the contents of a closet on the floor and be overwhelmed by the choices and give up. You’ll end up creating more clutter than you started with. Intentionally commit to one project at a time.

Schedule Time
Block out time on your calendar to get started. It wont happen unless you plan for it to happen. You don’t have to have a whole day open to get started, so don’t use time as an excuse. Set a timer and spend 25 minutes in one drawer or shelf.

Determine the Scope
What do you hope to accomplish? Determine the larger goal and then break it into smaller projects. The big goal of “organize the kitchen” could be way to much to take on at once, and if you don’t get all the drawers finished, you’ll feel incomplete [and probably have a mess]. A more practical goal would be to “organize the pantry” or “organize plastic containers” and match lids to the bottoms and discard unused or worn out items. Determine your project goal based on how much time you have. Have realistic projects that can get successfully crossed off the list, one at a time.

Have Necessary Tools
You don’t need much to get started organizing, but there are a few items that will make the process a little smoother. Get your organizing station set up so you don’t walk away from the space more often than necessary. Ideal items are: bag for trash, box for donation items, sticky notes to temporarily label items or categories, sharpie for writing on boxes or sticky notes, and a pad of paper with pen for taking notes and making lists.

Get Started
Though there are a variety of approaches to organizing a space efficiently, there is no right or wrong way to organize. Your learning style and strengths will determine how you organize and work best. The Proper Place’s recommendation is to take all the items out of a space and determine what you have before deciding which containers to use and where items will live. Once you’ve purged you can better see the space with fresh eyes. Get started purging before worrying about what the end result will look like. We can spend hours looking at The Container Store website and never work towards getting organized.

Keep moving forward
If you feel overwhelmed, make the project scope smaller. Some personalities and schedules allow you to do full days of organizing, and others need small bites. Regardless of which boat you are in, every drawer you conquer is one drawer closer to making your life a little easier.

Commit, get started, and push forward. The rest will follow.


A few articles to help the process:
Kitchen organizing
Closet organizing
How to decide what to keep
Where do I put everything?

Organizing with Intention workbook: a guide to transform how to organize and live


Need support knowing where and how to get started? Michelle Kuiken, Organizer + Coach, can help you identify what is really making you feel stuck and find solutions that will work for your life stage. Contact Michelle today and reclaim the order you are craving!

Together we will work to make your days flow smoother so you can be free to do more life!