We all have them. A room, a closet, a storage unit or even just a drawer that is in desperate need of clearing out and reorganizing.
Whether you’re deciding to convert a college-bound kid’s room into a craft room or you are looking to de-clutter a closet, sometimes just diving in with a trash bag can make things difficult. You may have sentimental attachment to the items kept in that space or you may be a little reckless in your removal process and regret it later.
Before you start to reorganize a space, Julie Stobbe, a trained professional organizer, recommends going in with a blueprint for how you want it to turn out.
“The best pre-planning strategy I have is to have the client write down a plan for the room. In the plan include what it will look like, how it will feel, and what it will be used for. Once the client has a mental picture of their goals it is much easier to decide if an item fits into the plan,” says Stobbe.
We thought this was a great idea! So we came up with a quick checklist that you can run through before you start reorganizing any area.
- Decide if you’re reinventing the space or if you’re just trying to rid yourself of “junk.”
If you’re repurposing the space entirely, follow Stobbe’s advice by setting your new vision for the space and determining what (if any) of the existing items will remain necessary.
If you’re simply clearing “junk” go to step two.
- Choose how you will determine what should stay and what should go by setting some standards for your stuff.
The rules you come up with will depend on who you are and what you need, but some examples of these rules may be:
- Anything that has gone unused for 3 years or more that doesn’t have sentimental value will be donated, sold or thrown away.
- Furniture that doesn’t go with the household décor anymore will be restored or sold.
- Any duplicate items will be split into a keep pile and a hand-me-down pile for a family member in need.
No matter what your rules are, setting them before you start will assure you stick with a plan. It’s very easy to get lost in the shuffle and ultimately end up making very little progress.
- Set a plan for revisiting the room or storage space. No matter how good you do the first time around, odds are you may have kept some items you didn’t actually need or avoided clearing out a particularly crowded area that still needs attention.
Rather than letting that space return to its original cluttered state make a plan to go back to the project.
Set a reminder on your phone during your first reorganization session to comb over the space again. You may find that reshaping a particular space is a process. And while you may not be ready to rid yourself of certain items the first time around, going back six months later you may feel a little different.
Organizing an area that drives you crazy can often be a spur of the moment project, but with a little dedicated planning you can make sure this effort is as beneficial as possible.