Stuff is everywhere. Not a single room has been spared from my Spring cleaning spree. Contents of closets are spilled out onto the floor. Boxes filled with things to give or throw away clutter the kitchen. The keep piles are spread across counters, beds, chairs and every other bare space in my path. In fact, we were stepping over a trail of small appliances left behind on the floor like bread crumbs as we maneuvered our way around the kitchen to make dinner last night.
It’s easy to discouraged at this point in the Spring cleaning process. But, there’s hope!
As I sort through the piles, I’ve noticed a method to my madness that I believe will be helpful to you, too.
4 Steps to Organizing What You Keep
- Sort your “keep” pile by like items – The donate, recycle and trash piles have been taken care of. Once your left with the keep pile, it’s very helpful to sort it by like items. For example, my kitchen keep pile is separated into organizers, cookbooks, and condiments (These are the things that I haven’t figured out how to use or store yet.)
- Then, I ‘go with what I know’ as I start putting away the keep pile. Meaning, the items that have a for sure spot get put away first.
- Which leads me to compromise. My original plan was to make space in the pantry for extra paper towel rolls, napkins and distilled water. But I also wanted room for a few of my small appliances. Confronted with a lack of space for my original plan, I had to prioritize. Small appliances won.
- Once I’m left with the items I haven’t quite figured out where to store, I stop; stepping away from the project to either do something completely unrelated or to look through Pinterest for inspiration. This always works! In fact, I had an aha moment and finally figured out where to store my entertaining and serving pieces.
What I’ve discovered in this process is not every item is suited to go back into the same space. Sometimes it gets moved to another room where I think it will better serve my household. Other times I repurpose the item altogether.
For example, with this kitchen organization project I’ve decided I can make better use of the unused tiered step organizers in another space. The spin table works better in the refrigerator. Vintage plates will become dining room decor. And instead of cramming every empty glass jar I’ve saved for someday back in the kitchen cabinet, I found ways to upcycle them.
After I’ve exhausted every possible idea and resource within my home, I make a shopping list. Right now the list is fairly short:
- over the door pantry organizer
- baskets for: lunch kits, tea bags and hot chocolate mix, water bottles, cat food
- drawer organizers
But, I won’t go shopping until everything is put away exactly how I want it, because until then, things are subject to change.
The key to success..to making sure everything actually is how I want it, is keeping the function of the space at the forefront of the design. I’m continually asking myself, “How do I use (or want to use) this space?”
With that in mind, I’ve got some tweaking to do.
See you in class,