Saturday, January 12, 2013

3 Tips to Start Organizing Your Home

Let's get this party started with my first blog post! Happy New Year! Did you know that January is "Get Organized Month?" We say it every year. "I can't take it anymore! This year, I am going to get organized!!!" Then it's June, and you look around your home and realize it's still one big hot mess. It can be hard to get motivated if you don't know where to start or have some tried and true tips and strategies on how to get started organizing and STAY organized.

Let's start this relationship off on the right foot. I have a confession to make. I have not always been the most organized person. I know, I know. You're thinking..."You're a Professional Organizer, Megan! How can you not be an organized person?" It's true; I struggled with organizing myself for the longest time. I still have moments of weakness. I'm one of those Type B people who appreciate the Type A personality. I have to work at being organized and need systems to follow.

Now Brian, my hubby, he's another story. He was the kid who categorized his Legos. He's the kind of guy who lines up his tools from small to large on the floor before he builds another piece of Ikea furniture in our house. Seriously. And, I LOVE that about him. Brian is the ying to my yang. I'm a big picture kind of gal. I can walk into a client's disorganized office or home and know exactly how to rearrange their space to maximize it's function. I can take 10 stacks of unorganized files and create a functional and easy-to-use filing system tailored to their business. I personally get a lot of fulfillment in helping someone rediscover and repurpose their space. We both enjoy organizing, just in different ways.

So, here a few tips to help you get started. They've worked for me and my past clients. I hope they help you, too!

3 Tips to Start Organizing Your Home in 2013

One: Start Small

Pick one room in your home to begin organizing. You cannot tackle the whole house at first. Start in one corner of the room. Once you have that spot cleared, then move on to the next. Before you know it, the room will be done, and you can pop open a bottle of wine to celebrate. It's five o'clock somewhere, right?

Two: Follow the 4 D's: Designate, Donate, Ditch, & Decide

Take four empty bins, buckets or baskets (Whatever you have on hand in the house or can be easily purchased.) and label them the 4 D's. As you move through the space picking up items, place them in the appropriate bin.


These are items that currently have purpose in your space but need to designate a new spot for them or need to be put away. Get your pile together and then go put them away at the end of your organizing session. If you're like me, you don't want to get up in the middle of organizing to put an item away. Once I've moved to another room, my monkey mind will find another task that needs attention. Next thing you know you've spent an hour on something other than your organizing project. Once your are done with the 4 D's, put your designated items in their new home.


Place items that no longer have purpose in your space and life in this container. Find your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or local charity that accepts lovingly used items.


This is simply your trash pile. If you don't need it and can't donate it, throw it away. There's no sense in keeping trash. I guarantee you, this bin will probably be the most full of all four. It's amazing the crap we keep.


It's easy to say, "I'm not sure what I want to do with this or that." "Maybe I'll need it again one day." If you haven't touched it in six months and forgot you owned it, get rid of it. If you are really not sure where to put it but want to keep it, place it in here. Make a decision about what to do with these items after you are done sorting.

Three: Take 10, 15, or 30 Minutes Here & There

Schedule 10, 15 or 30 minute long organizing sessions into your week. Take 10 minutes every day to go through your mail and toss junk mail. End each day at work by taking 15 minutes to tidy up your desk, put files away, or write your To Do list for the next day. Spend 30 minutes picking up around the house after the kids have gone to bed. You will wake up to a fresh start every morning.

Happy Organizing!!!

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