Organizing for 2013

By Noel Costumbrado

We’ve all got a room, drawer, closet that we have planned to get organized one day.
These 10 tips are to encourage and empower anyone who is overwhelmed with clutter in their lives.
First, let’s understand what organizing is all about.

define: organization, noun*
The act or process of organizing or of being organized
The condition or manner of being organized
The structure or arrangement of related or connected items

Organizing is a great way to become free of some of the guessing, wondering, and worrying in your life. By choosing to live a more organized lifestyle, you’ll be on your way to living in a space that works exclusively for you.

Organizing and storage supply list:
Storage Bins (of any material)
Permanent Markers
Garbage Bags
Small and Large Containers
Bindings (paper clips, staples, rubber bands, large clips, etc.)
File Folders
Filing bin/cabinet
Camera (optional)

How to start:

1. Organization begins with a choice.
With any item in your home, you’ve made a choice. Either you’ve decided to keep your favorite brown leather sofa, or you’ve already thrown that unwanted mail into the recycling. When it comes to organizing, try to follow this linear process to help you make better decisions about what should stay, and what can go.

Organizational - Thinking Pattern
2. Always return from where you took.
Once your space is in order, this tip becomes the only thing you need to remember to maintain your home. You will avoid piles, everlasting messes, and cleaning for “hours.”
By making a habit of giving yourself an extra minute or two to put something back properly, you allow more room and space for other things to come.

Ex. Cleaning up while cooking is a great way to avoid dishes piling up and cuts down on the wash time after a meal.

3. Understand your surroundings.
Discover what your space can hold for you. Get rid of what isn’t serving you anymore, and allow everything that is a positive reflection of who you are, shine.

4. Find a home for everything.
Designate areas throughout your space for:

Short and long term storage
Important documents
Hobby supplies
Seasonal décor/furniture/clothing
Camping/hunting/sports equipment

5. More is More.
The more detailed and specific you can get while organizing and labeling, the better off you will be. You might realize that creating a folder for “Coupons from 2011” really isn’t going to benefit you. Get rid of what doesn’t serve you anymore.

6. Get creative!
There are wonderful resources at our fingertips when it comes to interesting ways to store things. Some of my favorite places to shop at for storage are Target, The Container Store, and Michaels. Find great ideas and get inspiration from magazines, Pintrest, and Instagram. Everyone has their own style (even when it comes to organizing), express yours.

7. Be Free!
I love to keep my home organized, but I do allow one place in the house to be “free” with “moving” items. Usually it’s the mail, coupons, spare change, something I need to return to a friend, etc. Since these items tend to get filed away, used, or given back, the clutter only lasts for a short period of time.

8. The gift of giving.
It’s always a good thing to donate gently used goods. Places such as Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and local thrift stores take donations all year long. The winter is one of the best times of the year to donate for those in need, where you may also receive a small incentive for your good deed.

I find it best to cycle through your things at least 2 times a year (typically beginning of spring and end of fall). Begin in any room (with anything) and start separating into the four choices (keep, sell, donate, toss) to help you make room for more. Your donation and toss piles should be larger than keeping and selling.

9. Sell the experience.
When you are ready to sell, check out online websites like eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, Etsy (for vintage pieces or handmade goods), or send in an ad to your local paper. Give extra thought to the quality of the photos and text for your items – present things in an enticing way to draw in attention to your item and away from similar posts. Research your item to make sure you are starting at a fair price, and be prepared for some negotiating/bartering.

10. Love what you love!
You’ve donated, sold, and thrown everything else away, now it’s time to enjoy the treasures you’ve collected all your life. By surrounding yourself with things you’ve decided to have as a part of your daily life, display them in a way they deserve.

All of these tips translate to any area of your home that requires a bit more order.

1. Organization begins with a choice.
2. Always return from where you took.
3. Understand your surroundings
4. Find a home for everything.
5. More is More.
6. Get creative!
7. Be Free!
8. The gift of giving.
9. Sell the experience.
10. Love what you love!

And remember, by choosing to live a more organized lifestyle, you’ll be on your way to living in a space that works exclusively for you.

Got a great organizing tip? Leave a comment!



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