Reader Jane wrote in and asked us how she should decide where to begin uncluttering and organizing in her home. I got the feeling from her e-mail that she feels overwhelmed by the tasks ahead of her and doesn’t know where to start.
I always suggest starting in one of three ways:
- Small. Tackling a drawer or single shelf in a cupboard can be a simple step moving in the right direction. You’ll get a quick boost of motivation and figure out your uncluttering and organizing pace. From something small, you can move onto another small project or gradually enlarge your scope.
- Grating on you. When you are in your home or office, what is the thing that causes you to grumble the loudest? Whatever is the one thing that irks you the most is where you should begin your uncluttering and organizing project.
- First thing you see. If the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning is chaotic, your entire day starts off on a bad foot. Organize your closet, your bedroom, or your coffee station if they are where you first focus. At work, organize the first place you see when you walk in the door. Having these Firsts organized will help you move onto the Seconds and Thirds.
I also recommend establishing a minimum of three piles when sorting through your things and creating a plan of action for what you want to accomplish before you dump or pull everything out of your cluttered space. A little preparation will pay off in the long run.
Also, don’t run out and buy organizing supplies before you know what you’ll need. Wait until all of the clutter is gone before deciding how it’s going to be contained. You may find that you don’t need any extra bins, boxes, or doo-dads than what you already own.
How do you prioritize your uncluttering and organizing projects? Add your suggestions for Jane in the comments.