Organizing: Getting Started

Want to get your home more organized but don’t know where to start? Let me ask you: Where do you spend most of your time?  And what is bugging you the most in that space?

The best place to start organizing is front and center; some place where you can enjoy and admire the results of your work, not some hidden, out-of-the-way cubbyhole you rarely see.  A place where you can compliment yourself on your achievement every time you see it. Being complimentary to yourself about each organizing achievement can motivate you to keep up the good work.

The kitchen is often a great place to begin. Perhaps select one cupboard of foods stuff. Why only one? It is sometimes helpful to break a job down into smaller pieces; a job small enough to complete in one short session. The transformation can create motivation to take on future, bigger jobs.

Get out a box or grocery bag in case you have anything to donate to the food bank. Take everything off a shelf and put it on the counter. Wipe down the shelf. If the surface of the shelf doesn’t appeal to you, consider applying a lovely contact paper to make it more attractive, smoother and easier to clean.

Now look at what you pulled off the shelf. Are any of the foods spoiled or past their expiration date? Toss them. (Yes, you have permission to throw them away). Are any of the items foods which you don’t prefer eating?  If they are already opened, throw them away. If not, put them in the box for the food bank.

Now, clean and dust the outside of all the bottles and boxes of food that you have left.  Group like items together:  tuna fish with other canned meats, jams and jellies together, etc. Place the items which appeal to you back on the shelf, tall items in the back, shorter in front. If something is still fresh, but anything about it doesn’t appeal to you; then you probably won’t eat it. So just put it in the food bank box now, instead of waiting for it to spoil and then tossing it out.

Would it be easier to see some  items, if they were in clear containers? Make a list of sizes and containers which might be helpful (squares and rectangles are best to conserve space) and purchase just a couple on your next trip to the store, as a test to see if you like the new layout and ease of use. You can buy more later if you find them useful.  Bins and baskets are great for holding items which are easily piled:  potatoes, onions, seasoning packets, anything which is easily grabbed.

Before you stop for the day, take that food bank box out to the car so you can drop it off the next time you’re out running errands. It’s important to get things that don’t serve you out of the house right away. If not, they sometimes make themselves back to your shelves.

Now go back and look at your fresh, tidy cupboard. Congratulate yourself sincerely and think about how great it will be to do just one more cupboard tomorrow.

If you are having difficulty getting your home organized, maybe we can help. Call Moving Forward for friendly, confidential, and non-judgmental organizing assistance.


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