I’ll admit it –I’m a nerd. I really, truly love reading books on various organizational theories. Actually, I really love reading books about a lot of things. And I love organizing. So I guess it makes sense that I like to combine the two.
One of the best organizing books that I have read is Julie Morgenstern’s Organizing From the Inside Out. If you’re someone that struggles in this area, I would highly recommend that you check it out. I really love the way that she guides a reader through some of the emotional work of figuring out what is driving negative patterns and then offers practical advice for developing better habits.
Today I thought I’d share one tidbit from her book that helps me focus on being as productive as possible. Whenever you set out to organize a space, just remember S.P.A.C.E.
Sort – divide all of your “stuff” into categories that make sense to you.
Purge – get rid of anything that no longer belongs in your life. This can be trash, donations, or things to be returned to their owners. I find that it’s easier to part with things if I can set them aside and give them to someone else that can enjoy them. For example, I’m an unreptentant beauty junkie so I end up with a ton of samples and products that don’t always work for me. I save the castoffs and bring them with me to family gatherings. I barely have time to set down the bag before my cousins nosedive into it for nail polish and perfume. It’s fun to be able to bring others joy while also cleaning out my vanity.
Assign a Home – decide where a particular item or category of items belongs. This is possibly the most important and most difficult step in the process. Once everything has a “home,” it is super easy to make sure you always know where it is when you need it.
Containerize – This is where you can go buy cute bins or shelves if you choose. It’s better to wait until you know what items remain and where they’ll be located so you don’t risk being stuck with a bunch of expensive organizational gadgets that you don’t need. The goal here is to contain your stuff rather than to end up with even more junk that you have to organize. You can also use free items that you may already have around the house. Shoeboxes are great for crafts, furniture with built-in storage saves my ass daily, and an old jelly jar serves as a cute shabby-chic toothbrush holder. Use your creativity to find solutions that fit your lifestyle and budget.
Equalize – Remember how I always say that getting organized isn’t a destination? Still true. You will need to devote some time to maintaining your new space. The good news is that if you’ve made it this far, the rest is a piece of cake. You can probably even get by using the One Minute Rule that I discussed last week.