On Monday, I posted about how I am taking back control of my house with project organize.

project organize 2

Today, I am going to share some ideas about where to start. As tempting as it may be to just jump right in and start tearing your spaces apart, this is almost never a good idea. Without a plan in place, you will often burn out way before you make any real progress and then you have a huge mess on your hands.

The first thing I did was to sit down in each room of my house with a pen and paper and start writing. I wrote down every. single. thing. that I wanted to organize in the room. If a particular area was large (such as a closet), I broke it down even further – top shelf, hanging rack, hooks, anything on the floor. This way I can work on areas I can realistically complete in one naptime or afternoon and check things off as I go.

I am limiting myself to just the inside of the house. I have two big sheds (no garage) and outdoor areas that will need to be addressed down the road, but right now I want to focus on the inside, since this is where we spend the most time.

One thing I do to get motivated is to read and find inspiration from other people that love to organize and simplify. Below are all the books I have been reading lately. They focus on organization, time management and simplifying.

(Disclosure: The following links are affiliate links for my Amazon store. By purchasing any of these books through my links, you are helping to keep this blog running, and it doesn’t cost you anything extra.)

I refer to these types of books (and sometimes magazines as well) when I am feeling stuck about a space. Getting ideas about what might work in my spaces that I haven’t thought of before can be really helpful to get started. Plus, I might be a bit nerdy, but I love to look at beautifully organized spaces. Makes me happy!

You can also search Pinterest for great ideas. I have an entire board dedicated to organizing ideas. You can search by room or area that you are organizing and find a lot of great ideas to fit any budget.

Pinterest Organization Board

There are some simple rules to follow when organizing any space, big or small.

  • Get some boxes or trash bags and label them – trash, sell/donate, keep and belongs in another room. This is how you will sort your items.
  • If you can, empty out the space completely, but if not work one shelf at a time, etc. Emptying out the space can show you what you have all in one place. It can also help you to see your space in a new way. It is easy to get hung up on believing certain things belong in certain spaces in your home because they have always been there. Do what makes sense for you and your family, not how you think it is supposed to be.
  • If you find items that belong in another room, simply place them in a box (laundry baskets work great for this, too) to be dealt with at the end. It is easy to get distracted by putting away things that don’t belong and all of a sudden, you are cleaning out the fridge when you should be working on decluttering the linen closet!
  • If you are feeling really unmotivated, utilize the power of a schedule and a timer. Schedule time with yourself every day to do a little bit. It is an appointment with yourself. Timers can help you try to beat the clock. It can also get rid of the feeling of not wanting to start. If you give yourself permission to quit when the timer goes off, in say 15 minutes, it isn’t so overwhelming!
  • Lastly, only buy containers or bins AFTER you have finished organizing and purging. There is no way to adequately know what you will need until you are only left with what you are keeping. This can keep you from over-buying. Remember to take any necessary measurements with you to the store.

I would love to share my detailed list with you, but in all honesty your list is going to look different than mine. Each person has different levels of organization, each home and family is unique.

I plan to begin by tackling the areas that are bothering me the most. The rooms with unfinished organizing tasks that I have never done. The areas that seem to be clutter magnets pretty much all the time. I may finish one room completely, or I may just do the part that is bothering me the most before I move on to the next most bothersome area.

This is not how I usually work. I am normally a complete the entire room before moving on to the next one. But this time I am going for motivation. And seeing those organized spaces that used to make me cringe helps me to keep moving forward.

What is your favorite source of organizing inspiration?

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Laura Silva

4 Comments on Project Organize: Where to Start

  1. I wish you were my neighbor!!……we could help each other…I think I need someone to come in and just suggest better storage arrangements to me. Seems as if I can’t look at my house differently in order to make better use of my space…..make sense??

    Good luck with your organizing.

    • Aww. Thanks! I would be great at giving you suggestions on your home. If you want to send me any pictures, I would be happy to look at them and offer some suggestions! Thanks for the encouragement here on my end. :)

  2. Hi Laura, I’m very interested in participating in your project organize. With 3 boys ages 3-12 I need all the advise I can get on keeping my home looking like civilized people live here. With so much to do and not knowing where to start, I’m looking forward to following along with your daily tasks. Thank you for the motivation and inspiration you provide to so many that you can have an organized life and home.

    • Thank you so much Connie! I love to hear that what I am writing about is helping my readers. Just take it a little at a time and you will get there! I am a work in progress myself. :) Be sure to check out the giveaway for the life planner that I talked about as well. Have a great week! xo, Laura

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