How To Organize Any Room in 5 Easy Steps

When was the last time you said, "Now where on earth is that?" Was it in the past week, the past couple of days, or was it just this morning? If we were just a little better organized we'd all be set, wouldn't we? (OK...a lot more organized. I was trying to be nice.)

What if I told you it only takes five simple steps to organize any room in your home, not matter how large or small? Are you already laughing hysterically at me? Just wait until you try them.

1. Make a wish list. This is the fun part! Take a look at the room and think about exactly what you'd like to see it used for. Do you want new storage? Would you like a different floor plan so it's not so cluttered? Now is the time to put pencil to paper, plan exactly what you'd like to see this room be and get your ideas written out.

2. The design phase. Measure the room and make sure that what you're thinking is feasible. Locate all the outlets, the vents and the washer/dryer hookups - you'll have to rethink your plans if you're covering all the important things. Then decide what size you want new organizing accessories to be, where furniture can be moved to and how much space you have for storage.

3. Materials. Whoo! Take your list and your measurements and see what's available. If you want rolling carts in the pantry, you have the measurements with you to find exactly the right size. If you're getting a mail center for the kitchen, make sure you'll have enough counter space or wall space for it. There's nothing worse than making twelve trips for one silly little accessory. (Note: remember - you're buying for one room at a time. Don't get carried away.) Also make sure you have plenty of trash bags and cleaning supplies- this could get messy.

4. Work time. While this step can be labor intensive, it all depends on how disorganized you really are. Completely clear out the room in question so you have a blank slate to work with. As you take things out, decide if they're (a) something you have to keep, (b) something you need to take time to sort or file later, (c) something to donate, or (d) something that can do straight in the trash bag. Once the room is empty, clean from top to bottom, paying special attention to the walls, corners, windows and floors. Then pull out you master design lists and begin putting things back in the way you planned. Don't bring anything back into the room unless you've put it in its new home. That's how we got this way to begin with.

5. Keep it looking this way. When you get done with something, put it back. When you open the mail, throw out the envelope and little ads and file the forms. When you buy something new, get rid of something used. Take a mental picture (or real one if you want) of how the room looks all clean and organized as a prompt to keep it looking that way.

Clutter is not only dysfunctional, but it creates anxiety and chaos in an otherwise healthy home. Organization simply makes what you're already doing well just a little bit better - and working more smoothly. That sounds like motivation to me!


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