How to get organized? Follow these PROCESS steps…. - %%sitetitle%%

How to get organized? Follow these PROCESS steps….


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PROCESS: a series of actions used to produce something or reach a goal.

When organizing a space it is helpful to follow a series of tasks or actions. This will enable you to keep on track and produce a clutter free space with a system designed specifically for your needs and the space involved in order to reduce chaos and confusion in your home and in your life.


Less chaos and confusion = more time and money for the things that really matter such as….spirituality, emotional well-being, physical health and loving relationships.

“Organizing is the gateway to your higher goal, such as to be able to get out the door faster in the morning or to be able to invite friends over with ease. Once you look beyond the piles and know why you want to get organized, you are suddenly motivated.”

Professional Organizer, Julie Morgenstern

I have created a simple acronym to allow you to break down your organizing project into simple, straightforward steps that will help you stick to your plan and achieve optimal organizing results.

By following the PROCESS steps below anyone can conquer any space of any size. The steps allow you to do one or all at a time depending on the time you have available for the task.

The point to remember, in order prevent discouragement, is that organizing is a ongoing PROCESS and not a destination.  Let’s face it, life happens.  Kids outgrow their toys and clothes, your responsibilities and needs change, you have another child, get married, start a new job and on and on.  With the right techniques and action steps, however, you can stay on top of these things.  You can control your space rather than have your space control you.  Being organized allows you to quickly restore a situation when the ride gets a little bumpy.

As your needs change, you may find that you need to simply go through the PROCESS steps again but this time you may get away with only having to do a couple of the steps.

Do not get discouraged if your system doesn’t work for you the first time. Expect it. The only way to know if something is going to work out for you is to actually use the system for awhile and practice these new routines. Be disciplined in giving yourself at least three weeks to develop new habits. Time will tell. If the chaos and confusion don’t subside then try again. It will get easier once you become more familiar with what works for you and what doesn’t. For instance, I generally need to go through the PROCESS whenever I purchase something new that doesn’t fit into my designated areas.

Habit: an action or behavior pattern that is regular, repetitive, and often unconscious

Here are the PROCESS steps:

Plan of attack – plan your project – which area(s) do you want to address – make a list – evaluate present system, what is working, what isn’t working, devise new system – determine budget – develop timeline

Remove items – empty the space completely so you can start from a clean slate – this is much more effective than just shuffling everything around.   Remove then sort & purge

Organize into piles – donate/toss/sell/keep/relocate – sort like with like – purge excess – the more you purge the less you have to find a home.  Your goal is to bring back into your space only what you love and use and can fit into the space you have available.  Purge until it fits!

Containerize – find storage solutions – containers establish limits and boundaries – designate a space for items being kept – consolidate where possible

Evaluate plan – how is your system working for you – are you able to work your system? What needs to be modified? A good system should be easy to maintain

Solve/Simplify any remaining issues.  Address anything that isn’t working for you – revise accordingly

Smile, relax and enjoy your hard work!

Download a FREE handy PROCESS Bookmark to help you remember each of the steps (you’ll need to reduce the size to 100%)


93 Responses to “How to get organized? Follow these PROCESS steps….”
  1. 1
    ChupieandJ'smama says:

    Oh My Yes, I have just the space to use the “PROCESS” on. After the Little Man’s Birthday and our vacation, I’ll be putting all of those into action. Thanks for the refresher :)

  2. 2
    mommy zabs says:

    that is great. I love to organize and I never had an acronym for it but that is how it goes!

  3. 3
    Cyndi says:

    Okay, I think I’ve seen you post this before but I REALLY needed it this week. I’m printing it. I’m using it! I have an area in my mastaer bedroom that needs the PROCESS ASAP. :) Thanks so much!

  4. 4
    eph2810 says:

    Some excellent tips, Laura. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Now I just have to apply it to our middle bedroom/office space…

    Blessings to you and yours…

  5. 5
    Dayngr says:

    YES! I love your blog. I’m adding you to the blog roll right now!

  6. 6
    Scratchin' the Surface says:

    Absolutely the best, that you are!

  7. 7
    Jake & Jenn says:

    Thanks! Just what I needed to motivate myself into organizing my office!

  8. 8
    Heidi says:

    Thanks for the vindication! I am almost hopelessly unorganized, but I’m trying to be organized anyway. And I can’t convince my husband or my mother that it’s a bad idea to declutter a space one piece of stuff at a time. It takes hours, and is usually so daunting that I don’t even start. Lately I decided to clear off, say, my desk, into a box, and then go through the stuff. Clear desk = instant gratification! Thanks!

  9. 9
    Q&Q says:

    I love Julie’s organizing DVD. So true. Great post. As usual!!!!

  10. 10
    Santhi says:

    Have yet to start on the entire PROCESS, but i did manage to sort the ‘paper mountain’ on the table by clearing clutter away from the mess. It really helped esp in avoiding being overwhelmed by the task. Thanks, Cant wait to start on other areas and make the PROCESS a habit ;D

  11. 11
    Shelley says:

    Okay I have a really gross and disgusting messy basement, most of the mess was left from previous owners. I refuse to take before pics because I am that ashamed of it. I am going to attempt the PROCESS on the basement, I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks for the tip!

  12. 12
    nicole says:

    Nice site – I have ADHD and sometimes need to read things like this.

  13. 13
    Amy says:

    I just moved my two older girls into the room with their baby sister, so we now have a bedroom and a playroom. The bedroom has undergone the PROCESS. Now it is the playroom’s turn. Thanks for all the tips!

  14. 14
    TracyQ says:

    NOW I know why I’ve had so much trouble organizing. I get completely STUCK on *O*, and once that’s done, never go into *C*. Thanks!

  15. 15
    Sharon says:

    ok, it sounds great, but I am seriously ADD & don’t think I can follow the PROCESS….. Wouldn’t you rather just come to sunny Florida & do it for me???

  16. 16
    sam says:

    You have a plethora of great Organization Tips that I can take home with me because my life is full of clutter!

  17. 17
    Carrie S says:

    Thank you!! I just happened to come across this site from ready about doing things yourself instead of paying someone else to do it. :) I have just started toay 09-09-2009 to review your site, but so far it is awesome!! I love to organize, but I do better following someone elses lead. Thank you!!

  18. 18
    Joyce says:

    This is great! I like the last step, which is exactly what I do when I finish cleaning/organizing. =) hehe

  19. 19
    Teryn says:

    Thank you! I’ve been perusing your blog for about a week now and I’ve been inspired. I purged eight 18gallon rubbermaids of excess and have started to reorganize. Today I used your PROCESS to fix my disaster of a bathroom cupboard. It looks a million times better and it’s more functional! No more standing on chairs to put towels away. (or giving up and leaving them on the floor as usual) Thank you SO MUCH!

  20. 20
    Amber says:

    Your blog is AWESOME!!! I can’t wait to utilize some of your tips!

  21. 21
    Stacy says:

    THANK YOU!!! I taught my husband and kids this “process” this weekend. We as a family embraced it. Then on saturday hubby and i tackeled the office/craft room which now that it is all clean and organized will also be a spare bedroom(with an air matress). it was sooo cool to do it together instead of just me doing it and everyone else hating it.

    then on sunday afternoon it was all rainy and i tackled my linen closet. now everyone can find what they need!!!

    check out my blog for pictures…

  22. 22

    Thank you so much for your commitment to orderly living and encouraging others. Your suggestion to tackle what bothers ME most and experience the high of being free from it really helped me get the drive and momentum to revolutionize my whole home. I am about 1/3 through a whole home purge, and I feel great. My husband thanks you too, he’s been upset with the state of our house for months, but neither of us could seem to get it together! Now it’s like a dream coming true – for both of us. Thank God that I can create a system that works for US!

  23. 23

    Just bought your book on Amazon and am really looking forward to receiving it! I get really stuck on the “O” step too… I find myself just moving things to other rooms that haven’t been organized yet, which I know is just procrastinated decision making. I need to learn how to make those decisions and get better at purging!

    Love your blog. Your positive attitude is wonderful!

  24. 24
    Missy says:

    Your designated spaces link is broken. I believe this:
    is the right one.

    • 24.1
      Nancy says:

      Thank you! That was one I was planning on reading next and didn’t notice that it hadn’t loaded in my browser. Now I’ve got it.

  25. 25
    Sinea says:

    My process needs re-evaluated because our life-schedule has changed. Grandma passed away. Grandpa needs more help and TLC, I work 2 jobs. Complicated but not impossible! Back to the drawing board! LOL!

  26. 26
    Tsveta says:

    You inspired me so much and I’ll try to make to myself 30-day cleaning challenge from today and I’ll clean and organize every single day, because my room is a big mess, I wrote about that on my blog. So thank you for all of the good tips and for the inspiration! :)

  27. 27
    Addora Live says:

    Love buying organizing stuff. Just hasn’t found the time to do the actual organizing. It is really good to donate stuffs instead of storing them.

  28. 28
    Mary G. says:

    LOVE the concept behind “P.R.O.C.E.S.S.”, but I always seem to get hung up right after the “R”. I remove everything from the space by placing it in boxes, but then those boxes somehow find their way into an unused corner where they remain, gathering dust, until I trip over them while getting ready for some event, at which time I “remove” them to either my bedroom (after the party they go back to their dust-collecting corner), or out to the garage (to be forgotten pretty much eternally) or the the basement (where they stay until we have a flood and the contents gets shunted to the land fill.)

    Trouble is, there are probably important things in there, like… I dunno… passports, birth certificates, tax returns, patterns for knitting projects I promised folks (I still have the yarn, just not the instructions!), family pictures, my scissors, the missing (and needed) parts for my garden fountain…. you know,…. “stuff”!


  29. 29
    Tia says:

    What about those of us who have lived in a mess all of our lives and cannot even dream up what a “system” would look like? I have never really seen organization in action. This seems an impossible task for me.

  30. 30
    Amanda says:

    As a fellow organizer, it’s nice to know that I follow your ‘process’ having never read it =)

  31. 31

    Hello, yeah this piece of writing is genuinely good and I
    have learned lot of things from it regarding
    blogging. thanks.

  32. 32
    Polly says:

    I got my 1st email from U yesterday!! I was so inspired by your ‘process’ & began my process yesterday! Today…OVERWHELMED. I’m not good on my iPhone. I REALLY want to do this but not sure where to begin!! Thax for ALL your help! You r now a DAILY icon beside fitness pal!!


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