Often we put off organizing because we aren’t really sure where to begin and how to go about it. I have found that the best method to organizing any room, shelf, closet, or living space is to first, PURGE, second, SORT, and third, FIND A HOME. This approach is effective and thorough, allowing the greatest satisfaction, especially for the most difficult rooms and spaces to organize.

PURGING. Select a space or room in your home that you want to organize. Remove everything from that space. If you are purging a shelf or closet, you can place the items on a table, bed, or couch in the same room. If you are purging a room, use boxes to place things in.

SORTING. If you are organizing an entire room, you should sort as you purge since you will be placing items in boxes and won’t necessarily want to sort every box again. Label each box with category titles of things you will be placing in them. For instance, if you are organizing your bedroom and you are purging several things that really belong in the kitchen, then label one of the boxes, KITCHEN. Other labels may include, BOOKS, MEDICINE CABINET, ELECTRONICS, MOVIES, and CHILDREN’S ROOMS. As you purge the items, you will see what categories exist. If you are organizing a smaller space like a shelf, closet, or night stand, sort the items you purged from that area and place them in categories. For instance, if you are sorting a night stand, after purging, you may discover extra books, numerous paperclips and pens, plates or cups from mid-night snacks, movies, a lamp, cell phone, lotion, cough medicine and cough drops from the last cold you endured, and other miscellaneous items. Place each item in categories such as the plates and cups under KITCHEN, cold medicine and cough drops under MEDICINE, paperclips and pens in OFFICE SUPPLY and so forth. You can write the categories on sticky notes and place the labels with the correlating items.

FINDING A HOME. Once you have removed everything and sorted all the items, evaluate the space you are organizing and determine what exactly you want to go back into that area. Only put back what is pleasing and efficient for that space and what you really use. Avoid the temptation of putting something back in that space just because you aren’t sure where else it belongs. Once you have placed the selected items from your sorting pile into the space you are organizing, then it’s time to find a home for everything else. Some things may be easy to put away, like the kitchen items; simply place those things in the kitchen. But some items will have to take some thought. If you can’t think of a place to put something and you don’t really use that item (you only find excuses of why you might use it), then perhaps it is time to say good-bye and let that item go. If all else fails and you can’t find a home or the heart to let things go, place the items without a home in a storage box or tote and label it: THINGS WITHOUT A HOME. Place the storage box on a shelf in the basement or garage where it is easy to find if you decide to look for it.

Hopefully, as you go through the process of organizing, you can take the courage to let go of a few things and donate them to a second-hand store. As you add space to your home by eliminating things, you will find more room for the people and things you truly enjoy. Organizing your home will help to strengthen your relationships, re-align your inner goals and desires, and allow peace and energy to flow more abundantly.