We’ve all been there. Standing in front of that disheveled pantry, chaotic closet or messy bathroom cabinets wondering, “How am I ever going to get this organized?!” or “Where do I even start?!” While organization these spaces can easily feel like an unachievable task, that doesn’t mean you aren’t capable. That’s why implementing the following tips can help turn the organizing process from seemingly impossible to possible.
Here, Emily Rainier, founder of The Renewed Space, outlines five tips for home organizing this spring.
Tip #1: Schedule it into your calendar.
It may sounds silly, but we tend to get so busy that we come up with every excuse not to tackle those untidy spaces in our home. We also oftentimes assume that it will take us an eternity to complete these projects, which causes us to run for the hills when it comes to committing to organizing the spaces that need it most. This is why scheduling a block of time will not only help hold you accountable, but puts an end to the daunting project in sight. Pick a day, commit whatever amount of time you feel comfortable with, and just see how far you go. Maybe you surprise yourself and complete the project, and in the case that you don’t, schedule another block of time on your calendar until you do. This is more of a marathon rather than a sprint, and whether it’s one hour or 10, you’re still taking steps forward to achieving a goal!
Tip #2: Set a budget.
It’s really easy to see an Instagram-worthy pantry and immediately run out and spend all your money at The Container Store, when realistically, it may not be the smartest move for your budget. While I love a gorgeously organized space just as much as the next person, I’m here to tell you: you don’t have to spend your kid’s college fund to get a space that looks amazing and functions for you and your family. Setting a budget before you get started will set you up for success in the long run without breaking the bank. Plus, you’ll still get a killer new organized space that brings maximum functionality to your everyday life!
Tip #3: Empty the space.
These unorganized spaces can feel much more overwhelming if you just start pulling items out one by one with zero plan. This is why I always love to clear everything from the space first before making any decisions. This means either taking every single item out of your closet and throwing it on the bed, or every item out of your pantry and placing it on your counter or kitchen table. Start with a blank slate because having the ability to see your space completely empty allows you to find a home for only the items you intend to keep. Once you have these items present in the space, you’ll be able to then create a game plan on how you want these items organized. Tackling these types of projects the other way around will only cause more confusion and headache before you even start!
Tip #4: Remember the six-month rule.
I love using this for clothes, food, bathroom products, anything! If you haven’t worn it or used it in six months (a year if it’s a seasonal item) then it needs to go. Hear me out: this doesn’t mean you have to trash the item completely. Donating is also a really great way to feel good about letting go of items that no longer you serve you and allowing it to function for someone else. Remember, it’s not wrong to hold onto things, but whatever you do choose to keep will inevitably take up precious real estate in your home. This also usually means spending more money on products and systems to organize, which can easily put you right back where you start. Basically, the more you can purge, the less you have to organize, which means more potential for your space.
Tip #5: Show yourself grace.
Letting go of items is not easy, and neither is taking on organizing any space, for that matter. It involves purging, cleaning, designing, planning, shopping and that’s all before you even get to the actual organizing. If tackling an entire space in one sitting feels too overwhelming, let yourself do just one shelf or just one rack of clothes. Organizing is most likely not the only thing going on in your life. You probably have a job, family commitments and other priorities, so being aware that sometimes there are other things going on in your life that are just more important is OK! You are human and can’t do it all, but finding the time to prioritize your space when you can is something you will never regret. As we say at The Renewed Space, “A Decluttered Space = A Decluttered Mind.” At the end of the the day, this process should bring a sense of peace to your life – not the opposite!