Anybody who has tried to organize an entire room knows that it is demoralizing. You start off with gusto, and then all of a sudden you’re drowning in scrapbooks and random cables that you swear you’ve never seen before.
Organizing your things is like getting in shape—you’ve got to start with easy stuff or else you burn out. Structure your craving for order with these five tips:
1) Break down large areas into smaller ones.
For example, start with the bookshelf and then move onto the closet, under the bed, etc. Setting an area goal and achieving it quickly will keep you motivated.
2) Separate your things into 3 piles.
The first pile is your Definitely Keep pile. No questions about it.
The second pile is the Need to Re-evaluate pile. This is for the things you don’t use but you still hesitate to throw away. Come back to this pile later on in your organizing session. Just like any problem, some distance will help you make a better decision.
The third pile is the Definitely Throw Away pile. Which leads us nicely to…
3) Keep a trash bag close by.
If you decide that something should be thrown away, put it in a trash bag immediately. This will help combat any nostalgia associated with the item.
4) Ask a friend to help you.
Depending on your level of nostalgia, you may have to ask your friend to be strict with you. There’s nothing like a little peer pressure to help you finally throw away that old sweater. Having a friend help you will also speed up the process. You can make decisions, and she can execute them for you while you move onto the next sweater. Now when was the last time I wore this?
5) Take breaks.
Drink water. Eat protein. It sounds ridiculous, but organizing is a lot of work. You can fatigue—physically and emotionally—more quickly than you realize.
Good luck with your organizing!
“When I cannot bear outer pressures anymore, I begin to put order in my belongings…. As if unable to organize and control my life, I seek to exert this on the world of objects.” -Anais Nin