How to Organize Any Room - dummies

How to Organize Any Room

By Eileen Roth, Elizabeth Miles

Are you ready to get serious about organizing your home? Getting organized is a great way to reduce stress. The following steps guide you through the organization process from beginning to end. In the long run, it saves time to approach each room with a plan.

  1. Determine the goal of the room.

    You may already have a firm vision for your space. Perhaps it’s from a friend’s home, a TV show, or a magazine spread. Or maybe you’re so frustrated by the current state of your room that you can’t see the forest for the trees. In either case, spend a little time sitting in your space, assessing what you like and don’t like, and envisioning the way you want it to feel — and function!

    The goal for your space should be specific, concrete, and directly related to the function of your space. For example, the goal for your home office may be a place to manage paperwork, a desktop on which to write letters, or a space to manage your thriving home business. If you still aren’t clear on your vision, make a list of exactly what you need to accomplish in your space, and develop this into your goal. For inspiration, search spaces online or in magazines until one jumps out at you.

  2. Identify the limitations of the room.

    Is your goal realistic? To determine the answer to this all-important question, factor in limitations such as size, layout, and requirements of the room. For example, the goal of your living room may be a welcoming space for entertaining guests.

    The limitations of the space may be its small size, lack of entryway, and the reality that it’s the only room in the house for the home office. The fusion of the goal and its limitations is a living room with an entryway table for guests, a single sofa with an ottoman/coffee table to provide additional seating, and a discreet office nook.

  3. Sort the room.

    After you set a realistic goal for your room with the room’s limitations in mind, you can empty out your room. This process is vital for organizing a space because it allows you to assess the storage needs for the items that will stay in the room.

    Sort items into four large bins as follows:

    • Stay: The items in this bin are in good condition, are used often, are relevant to the room’s goal, and will stay in the room.

    • Move: The items in this bin are in good condition and used often, but they don’t belong in the room you’re organizing (as related to the room’s goal).

    • Share: The items in this bin are in good condition but haven’t been used in the last year, are duplicates of other items, or no longer serve the room’s goal.

    • Go: The items in this bin are trash — simple as that!

    After the contents of your room are sorted, transfer all your Move items to their proper places in your home, place your Share items in your garage to donate at a later time, and throw away your Go items. Review your Stay items to make sure they really do support the goal of your room.

  4. Build and install your projects.

    Pat yourself on the back: After emptying and sorting the contents of your room, you now have an empty space! If you plan to paint your space, this is the opportune time because the area is cleared out and wall-mounted projects haven’t been installed.

  5. Reassemble the room.

    Now the fun can begin! Your newly organized space will have more storage options and far fewer items. Reinforce your commitment to an organized space by putting like items in a single container and labeling it. Add decorative accessories and a touch of whimsy to every room.