Start Organizing by Thinking Small

Tips on how to tackle your next organizing project.
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Professional organizer and Mission: Organization guest, Kendra Muscella, offers web-exclusive tips for organizing your home.

  • Break down large organizing projects into smaller pieces. Divide a room into quadrants to make it less overwhelming. You can then tackle the space one piece at a time. Based on your time or your ability to remain focused on one task the project could be finished in just four days.
  • Do you find yourself thinking that it just takes too long to sort through a pile of papers, put away the laundry or even make a bed? Try timing yourself to see how long the task actually takes — it may be shorter than you thought it would be.
  • Allot yourself a block of time to work on one project. When the time is up, simply move on.
  • Enlist the help of a neutral party when you are working to reduce clutter. This person should be able to look at your items and objectively analyze their usefulness.
  • Once you have decided what you will keep, donate, recycle or throw out, remove it from the space. Either you or someone helping you can take the bags or boxes away to remove the temptation to revisit them.
  • On your next shopping trip stop to evaluate the items that you are going to buy and ask yourself the following questions:
  1. Do I need this or do I just want it?
  2. Will I be able to purchase this item with cash or do I need to use credit? If using credit, will I be able to pay for this in full when my statement comes?
  3. If I buy this item do I or my family have to do without something?
  4. Do I have a place to put this item?
  5. Can I take away something and replace it with this?
  • Remember, sales don't mean that you have to buy. Evaluate purchases based on need. Yes, you may be able to afford the item and you may want it, but that does not mean that it deserves to take a place in your space.
  • Reduce paper clutter by keeping as much on your computer as you can. Be sure to frequently back up your important files on a network, CD or floppy disc.
  • Whether your paper file system is organized by date or project, file papers in folders by putting the most recent in the front. When you go to clean out your file you will know to begin working back to front to remove old papers.
  • Finally, don't be too embarrassed to ask for help. Everyone has both strong and weak areas when it comes to organizing.
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