Over time, life gets in the way. Cabinets become cluttered and we can not find things quickly. That can become frustrating and then it leads to more disorder when you can not put things away. Purging allows us to streamline and get rid of the excess so we can be more productive. More productivity allows more time for other things you would rather be doing.
So where do we start?
Pick a space that you want to tackle. If this is your first project on your own, you might want to choose a small space. It will be less overwhelming and you will see progress much faster...that will fuel your enthusiasm! I suggest starting in a bathroom. Not only is it a space you use everyday and will be able to enjoy, it is one of the smaller spaces in the house. Another suggestion might me a laundry room or coat closet. I will use the bathroom as my example in the following steps.
Pull everything out and sort it into categories of “like” items. Once all items are sorted into categories, you can see what you have, and this is the time to decide what you will keep. If you have multiples, if it is broken, stained, outdated, etc. consider letting it go! Set a goal for yourself...get rid of 25 or 50%?!? This is a great time to wipe down shelves and cabinets with everything out of the way
Ex. All bathrooms have different amounts of storage space so some of these items may be stored elsewhere. In general bathrooms may contain linens, personal care items (including soaps, shampoo, conditioner, lotions, shaving creams, cosmetics, grooming supplies, oral hygiene products, feminine hygiene products), and household cleaners. Once you have your items sorted into categories, you can decide what to let go. Expired products are the easiest. If you can, rinse containers and recycle. Consider condensing similar products like shampoos. If there are products you discontinued using because you didn't like them, get rid of them. It does not matter what you spent...if you will not use it, lose it!
Utilitarian. Once you sort and purge, it is time to decide how the items that you are keeping will fit back in to the space. One key here is to think outside the box. Items that came out of a drawer do not have to go back into the same drawer. Identify what items are used most often and store those items closest to where they will be used. Not only are you more likely to find it, but putting it away will be much easier. Make good use of under-cabinet storage by using containers to store items that are small and can tip easily. Before going out to buy new baskets or storage containers, try using things you already have around the house. Shoe boxes and plastic kitchen storage are good places to start. Later when you determine if your new system is working, you can upgrade if you feel necessary. Organizing does not have to be expensive. Repurpose what you have!
Ex. Travel cosmetics and personal care. These are items that you do not need access to every day or even week. These can be stored out of the way or even with your luggage.
Reassign- Return items that do not belong in the space to their new homes. Put it in the most obvious place, but do not spend all day trying to get that space organized too! It is easy to get distracted.
Give- Make your donations! Life: Organized really promotes donating when possible. If items can not be donated, please recycle. We are happy to help you research the proper recycling recommendations for the City of Madison.
Ex. Used towels in rough shape...not garbage! The Humane Society is always in need of towels for the kennels.
Enjoy! Decluttering and organizing may not be your favorite activity, but hopefully you will enjoy the end product and get motivated to keep going! It can change your life!