- Sort, Inventory, Clear Items from the place that needs to be organized, putting them in an open space so items can be inventoried. If there is not enough room to remove everything at once, work with smaller groups of things.
- Determine what to do with each item. The choices are simple:
- Keep it. Use it the way you do now or re-purpose it.
- Give it away. Give it as a gift or donate it.
- Get rid of it. Recycle it or trash it.
- Identify the criteria for grouping the remaining items.
- Sort the remaining items according to your criteria. For example, if you decided to sort the items by color, then you will group them by color. Putting items that are alike together makes them easier to find.
- Assess the space available for storage and identify what types of storage there are. For example, are there drawers? Cabinets? This step is the key to maintaining order in an area because by pursuing “ultimate simplicity in storage”, you can know right away what you have and how much you have.
- Return the items you have grouped to the place from which they came because when things are put away randomly, it “creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved.”
The results are visible.
You can see what you have. You can find anything quickly.
You can remove what you need without effort.
The rewards are personal.
What you now have satisfies your wants and needs. What you now have appeals to your sense of beauty. And what you now have is consistent with what you do and who you are.
Remember: THE END of the organizing process is not “the end” until the issue of maintenance of the your newly-organized place is addressed.