5 Organizing Tips

5 Organizing Tips

pile of papers

Organizing Tips

Here are my 5 Non-Negotiable Tips for Ideal Sorting and Organizing with you. Once you’ve decluttered and streamlined your inventory and to-do’s you are ready to sort and organize.

Tip #1: Never organize before you declutter.

You don’t want to waste time sorting and organizing things that you are going to let go of, right? If you need a refresher, read my post: “5 Critical Reasons to Declutter Your Stuff and To-Do List”.

Tip #2: Always sort and organize into broad categories first.

We call this a “macro sort”. Once you have your broad categories you can “micro sort”. Be careful not to create too many categories. Sometimes clients want to over-label and we find folders with only one item in them. This is a sign that the category was probably to small. This tip applies to everything from kitchen utensils to clothing, linens, and your paperwork and files.

Tip #3: Don’t go out and buy a bunch of organizing products before you declutter, sort and organize.

People mistakenly go out and buy pretty containers and bins, fancy file folders, label makers, etc. and think that will help them get organized. It’s actually the opposite because the products don’t get you organized, they are intended to create homes for organized items. Get organized first and then you will see what and how much you need and whether or not you need to spend any money at all.

Tip #4: Organize the way that makes sense to you.

One size doesn’t fit all and that includes organizing systems. There are some great systems out there for filing, shelving, etc. but they don’t work for everyone. If you are not color-oriented, don’t both color coding. If you don’t think to look for things alphabetically, consider creating file systems that order items by what you use and need most frequently. Place papers needed less frequently towards the back. The same for clothing. Maybe organizing by color doesn’t enable you to wear more of your clothes more creatively. Organizing your clothing by outfit rather than color can solve that problem.

Tip #5: Remember the most important step in organizing is maintenance.

Declutter, sort and organize your things on a regular basis. It is natural for things to slip back when you are busy, when an emergency occurs, or when you travel. Schedule a little time (about 15 minutes) at the end of each day to re-organize. Schedule more time (30-60 minutes) each month to re-organize on a deeper level.