Where To Begin Organizing

To begin organizing, you must clarify your priorities and edit out the excess clutter in your home or office. To do this effectively, it is helpful to first establish some very general categories and quickly sort items into them.

Steps Up, Not Stones Across

It’s not uncommon for clients to ask us to work our organizing magic in several rooms in their home—in one day. Our magic doesn’t come from jumping from one stepping-stone to the next, across the house. It comes from building steps and climbing up to the next level.

Categories For A Power Sorting

My wonderful clients know I have one simple rule at the Decision Table: “Nothing stays on the table.” When sorting a large quantity of stuff, it is important to recognize that EVERYTHING has a category and, therefore, a plan forward. Some categories, like “toss” and “donate” are obvious, but to keep the momentum going, you need more options. Here are a few.


“Leave It” is Not an Option

When I go to work with my clients I bring what I call a “Decision Table.”  There’s nothing actually special about this table except for one thing. When we’re done working on it, I fold it up and take it away with me, so NOTHING can stay on top of it. This not only applies at the end of the session, but during …

“Important” is Not a Category

Effective organizing begins with assigning basic categories, but “important” is NOT a category. It may be tempting to think, “I’ll just keep all my ‘important stuff’ together in one safe place and take my chances with the rest of it.” This is not a safe practice. Here are 5 reasons why.

1. “Important” changes with time. If this is the one system that makes you feel safe then the odds are very good that you don’t have a system for disposing of once-important items

Homes for Orphan Items

If keeping a tidy home or office seems hopeless, part of the reason may be that not EVERYTHING has a home.  Some categories are obvious – clothes go to the closet, books go to the bookshelf, and used coffee cups go to the kitchen sink – but what about  that spare switch plate? After years of organizing homes and offices, …

The Annual Purge

Originally from Matt Baier’s Organizing Works Newsletter, April 2008 THE ANNUAL PURGE I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  CIRCULATION PREVENTS ACCUMULATION.  What better time of year than spring for a fresh start? Open the windows and let the musty winter out and the clean spring air in.  Open the storage room and let the old junk out and the new …