Visit these pages first to start the awakening to clutter process:
How to Awaken To the Clutter in your home – Part 1
How to Awaken To the Clutter in your home – Part 2
Last time, in the "Awaken to the Clutter" in your home series, we completed the sorting process in every room of your home. How did you do? Were you able to finish the homework?
Our next step in the process of ―Awakening to Clutter is sorting the kept items. This part of the process will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. The initial preparation is the most critical part of this process. Following the next steps will make the actual sorting process that much more comfortable.
Steps To Organizing Your Kept Items
Now that you cleared out your donating and gave away items, you should have the space to sort your keep items. If not, clear a space for sorting.
Create categories that are descriptive and not too general. Instead of using the words ―Spices and Herbs use ―Spices for one group and ―Herbs‖ for the other group. Here is a list of descriptive titles for your categories:
gardening tools, gardening soils/fertilizer, beads, ribbons, markers, pens, hats, tops, pants, winter shoes, summer shoes, pots & pans, forks, knives, spoons, tea, breakfast, bread, kid’s hair supplies, etc...
Using the different color papers, write one of the specific categories on each piece of paper. Place them in various areas around your space. If you are dealing with small items, you can sort them on a large countertop or table, so you don't have to travel too far, and the process will be quicker.
Let’s get to work and sort those like items! One by one place the items in the appropriate category. If you need to add or subdivide a group, it will present itself in this process. You may have to modify the sorting process while doing the work because doing comes more clarity on how the process will work most efficiently. Be flexible in your system. If you get stuck, ask a family member or friend what they think of the process. A fresh look at what you are doing will make the system work even better.
After completing the sorting process, measure the area of each category. This step will give you a good indication of how big and how many bins you will need. For several smaller items, consider storing them in one small container with dividers. Be sure that you decide on a place to store the bin or drawer as well. Make a list of categories you used, where it will be stored, and what size bin is needed for that space. Mark the depth, height, and width of the area as well. Take this list with you to the store to purchase the needed bins.
There are many places to purchase affordable containers. I like places like discount stores like T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, dollar stores, online discount stores like Overstock and Wayfair, and even yard sales and flea markets. Be creative in finding these bins. You may also have them in your home already. Check-in those storage areas. We tend to have them holding items that have not been used for years.
After purchasing the bins, place the items in the appropriate container and store them in the assigned place. This process may take some time. Work through one room at a time and get it the way you want it. If you have smaller items to organize, try sorting them while watching TV or listening to music to help make the time go faster.
Be sure to label each bin. To help you maintain the space, you can use a labeler or just handwritten stickers for your labels. It will help you and everyone using the area where things go. For children that do not read yet, I like to use pictures and put the word under the images. Full sheet labels for your printer works nicely. After they are printed out, cut them into squares and affix them to the front of the box. Here are examples:
Have a family meeting! After you finish each space, have a family meeting and explain where everything goes. You may have to explain it a few times. This happens to every family when one person initiates the organizing process, and the others aren't wholeheartedly involved in the process.
That's it, congratulations! You completed the organizing process. After the three phases of ―Awakening to Clutter, your home will feel more efficient and calming. Be proud of all the work you did. Modifying the space in the future will not take nearly as long. So, revisit each area once a year to see if it will still work for you.
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