One of the main reasons we never get around to this task is that itâ€™s overwhelming.Â As a result, it looms over our heads for months, even years.Â The trick is to realize that tackling one of these spaces is not really a â€œbig projectâ€ but rather the sum of several small projects. Viewing it this way makes it manageable.Â Even so, donâ€™t expect to organize these rooms in a day, or even a week. After all, it took some time for them to get the way they are! Here are the basics to get you started:
1.Â Armed with pen and paper, go to each area.Â Analyze the room and make a list of the â€œsmall projectsâ€ that will comprise the organizing job, such as gardening tools, your old high school clothes, piles of outdated magazines, and â€œmystery boxes.â€
2.Â Gather the supplies youâ€™ll need.Â Here are some suggestions:
- Cardboard boxes
Label them: CLOTHING CONSIGNMENT, LIBRARY DONATIONS, GARAGE SALE, GIVE-AWAY, BELONGS ELSEWHERE IN THE HOUSE, TRASH, etc.
- Recycling bins for plastic and newspapers.
- Extra light â€“ a clip-on light with an extension cord will allow you to see into the dark corners.
- Music to keep everybody motivated.
3.Â Schedule a time to clean out.Â Weekends and holidays are great because you can enlist family members to helpâ€¦especially if some of the accumulation is theirs!
4.Â On Clean-Out Day, assign each person an area, such as a shelf in the garage or a pile of boxes in the basement.Â Provide parameters on what to keep and what to toss.Â Be ruthlessâ€”if you donâ€™t know when you are going to use it again, it needs to go.Â (And think twice before dumping something there again a few months from now.Â Does it really belong there, or are you just postponing a decision about finally throwing it away?)
5. Once you have pared down the bare essentials, youâ€™re ready to reorganize!Â Gradually youâ€™ll uncover storage possibilities you never dreamed of!