Do you ever wonder what the heck an organizer does? Or why that organizing system you saw on Pinterest isn’t working for you? Sharyl Mock the Owner and Professional Organizer with S & S Organizing, LLC shares organizing tips and more in this Get Organized with S & S Organizing video series.
The person behind S & S Organizing, Sharyl Mock. Here’s a little bit about me:
I always worked in the helping profession first as a Counselor and then as an Educator. My career came to a cross roads in 2014 and I was desperate for a job that was fulfilling. In 2015, I began working as a Professional Organizer and instantly fell in love with the job! Seeing how my clients reacted to their organized space was so rewarding and it was just the satisfaction I was looking for in a career. Getting to go on this journey with my clients from distressed about their home to loving it was more than I ever could of wished for!
Let’s get started on this organizing process. While there are 4 steps to the organizing process:
This 4 step process will get you started on any of your organizing projects, whether it’s a section of a space or the entire space. Each step is important, so don’t skip any of them! However, the first 2, Sort and Streamline, will make or break whether or not your systems will work.
Before you start sorting, do these 3 things first:
- Assess the situation, ask yourself:
- What’s working?
- What’s not working?
- Why do I want to get organized?
- What do I want the space to function as?
- What are my goals for this space?
- Create a plan
- Keep in mind how you want the space to function.
- Take Action
- Start all your organizing projects by sorting out everything in the space.
When working in a room start on one side of the door and move in one direction. Sort everything into broad categories. It’s important to touch everything. Place a box by the door labeled “Action” and “Other Room”.
The “Action” box will be for anything you come across during the sorting process that needs to be done – a bill to pay, a call to follow-up on etc. That way you don’t lose track of it or forget to complete the task.
In the “Other Room” box you will put things that do not belong in that room and need to be taken to another room. To make the most of your time and to stay on track don’t leave the room to put these items away. Do it after you have sorted the room.
You will then sort the rest of the items into categories – if you already know you want to donate or trash an item you can do so at this time. If not, when in doubt sort.
Pro Organizing Tip! When sorting, sort like items together which means you may have to bring things from another room. For example, if you have clothes in multiple areas of the house and are organizing the closet. Bring the clothes from the other rooms to sort all at once.
A magical things starts to happen during the sorting process. You will start to become more aware of your behaviors, trends you see in your space – like how you have a lot of clothes with tags on them. These aha moments are great! But they also come with some negative emotions like – guilt. Don’t get weighed down by the guilt us this new found knowledge to influence your future purchases.
Streamlining your belongings is the most IMPORTANT part of the organizing process, so don’t cheat. Keep this process simple. Go through the categories you’ve created and sort one more time into one of these 3 categories:
TRASH | DONATE | KEEP
You may do this process MULTIPLE ROUNDS, deciding will get easier and you will keep less each time.
- How to help you decide what to keep:
- Be honest with yourself – Dig deep. Will you actually use the item if you haven’t yet?
- Consider YOUR GOALS from step 1, Does keeping this item fit with your goal?
- Ask – Does the item add value to my life?
- Keep things with intention.
- Think about how the space makes you feel. Would you want to pass on this feeling on to your family?
- Don’t get held back by the JUST IN CASE thinking. Fear of missing something. There’s only one thing I ever gotten rid of that I really miss from a functional standpoint – our salad spinner, but I make do without it. When you think of the worse case scenario – you need this thing – you can always buy a new one. This will happen a lot less than you think.
- How to help you decide what to keep:
- What to donate
- Keep in mind not everything is good for donating – used lotions, used perfumes, open food aren’t accepted at donation centers.
- Give the item to someone you know uses the item. I say you know uses the item because you don’t want to pass your clutter on to someone else if they item may not be useful for them.
- While it is wasteful to toss items, use this opportunity as a learning experience.
- Here are some places to drop donations locally and what they take: click here.
- Selling items
- Evaluate if it’s going to be worth the time and effort. Look up pricing.
- Garage sales may or may not be a good option – a lot of work for little return.
- FB Marketplace has worked great for us!
Systemize with a kitchen tour
Where the real fun begins in the organizing process is in creating systems. There are a few things to take into consideration first, here are some organizing tips for creating systems:
- Make sure you declutter 1st, create a plan for the space and then buy containers.
- Don’t skip decluttering, this is the most important step of the organizing process.
- Measure your space to make sure you buy the right size containers for the amount of products and space.
- Create systems that go with your natural habits. If you drop your mail on the kitchen counter every day then create your system on the kitchen counter. Following your natural habits will increase the success of being able to stay organized.