Do you dream of getting organized in 2015? What about your other 2015 New Year’s Resolutions? Even if getting organized in 2015 is not on your resolution list, getting organized can be the first steps to help you with all of your New Year’s resolutions! Getting organized will free up the time and energy you need to tackle the other things on your list. Getting organized means more time to spend with your family, more energy to exercise, maybe even more money to do all the things you’ve dreamed of!
So, whatever your 2015 New Year’s resolution; the first step is getting organized. And getting organized is easy with our no-fail, 5 step process to organize anything – Manage Your STUFF™! When it comes to organizing, it can be hard to know where to start and easy to get overwhelmed. But with the five steps to guide you, you’ll always know what to do next. This will help you feel in control of your organizing projects and goals. So, if you’re ready to take control of your STUFF, read on…
What is STUFF? STUFF is the easy-to-remember acronym for our 5 step process to organize anything! Let’s summarize the 5 steps.
- Sort – Sort your stuff into like categories
- Toss – Decide what to do with each item: Keep, Sell, Donate, Toss
- Unify – Assign the keepers to their new homes by zone
- Fill – Find and fill containers for each group of items or activity
- Follow Up – Commit to a regular maintenance schedule
So remember: Sort, Toss, Unify, Fill and Follow Up – these are the steps that will get you from where you are to where you want to be!
Now let’s get into more detail.
Step 1: Sort
Here is where you want to give it some thought. Think about how you use the item and where you will most easily find it again. It’s all about what makes sense to you. Keep it simple by choosing broad categories such as office supplies, toys, and sporting goods. Avoid miscellaneous categories, which allow you to postpone decisions.
Step 2: Toss
Start with the obvious. The simplest way to begin is to do a sweep of your house and collect items that are obvious trash. Take a recycling bin and garbage bag and collect things such as expired coupons, holiday catalogs, magazines, and old newspapers. This is an easy task that will give you an immediate sense of accomplishment. Once you’ve found some motivation, move to the next level and start collecting items to donate or sell.
Tip: Find a reason to let it go. If you’re feeling guilty about getting rid of things, then do something good with them. Make some money by selling your items online or through consignment. Or, donate them to your favorite charity and take a tax deduction.
Step 3: Unify
Clutter usually accumulates because items have no home. So, make a home for everything. Create zones that make sense. Look at where clutter collects and set up ways to organize it. Place a bowl or basket where mail and keys tend to fall. Can’t make it to the coat closet? Put up hooks where you tend to throw your jacket.
Step 4: Fill
Now that you’ve sorted items into categories, it should be easy to find the right size containers for everything. Choose containers that are large enough for the items they are storing, but that also fit the space where they are being stored.
Step 5: Follow Up
Once you have systems in place, take just a few minutes each day to maintain them and you’ll never have to worry about clutter piling up again. Follow these rules to keep your clutter in check: Clean up as you go. File, Don’t Pile. Follow the “One in, One Out” rule
Let’s face it, life is busy, and organizing projects can often lag behind other seemingly more pressing priorities. Be sure to schedule time for your organizing projects, just like any other appointment or priority, so that you can reach your goals and feel the benefits of a more organized life.
If you’d like to learn more about our STUFF™ process, take our Manage Your STUFF™ – Five Steps to Organize Anything e-course! You’ll learn even more tips and tricks! We’ll also provide you with real-world examples, so you’ll really know how to tackle your STUFF!
Here’s to a Happy and Organized 2015!
Certified Professional Organizer®, Sarah Buckwalter has over 15 years of experience running Organizing Boston, the 2014 winner of Best of Boston Home™, Best Professional Organizer. Highly regarded and nationally recognized as an industry expert, Sarah shares her knowledge and experience through her speaking, coaching and training programs at OrganizingU.com