Today I’m welcoming a new regular contributor to the blog. Her name is Shannon and she blogs at aka Design, which is a terrific DIY blog that she writes with her hubby. Shannon also loves organizing and is going to share that passion with us when she blogs here. Plus she is a Canadian girl too and I didn’t even know until after I asked her to be a contributor here that she in fact lives very close to my parents and sister in Ontario. How cool is that! I’m especially excited about it because it means we’ll eventually get to meet in real life when I go back for a visit. Welcome to the blog Shannon!
Having an organized home is one of my very favourite things. When a space is organized, it is peaceful, quiet, inspiring. It’s restful and Zen. Okay, so I’m not so into the Zen thing. But an organized home is certainly a refuge for its inhabitants.
Imagine a morning without searching high and low for the car keys or that missing red mitten – where on earth could it have gotten to anyway?
Imagine emptying the dishwasher and having a place for every last corn cob holder, gravy boat and cereal bowl.
Organizing each room down to its tiniest corner is really much easier – and more fun – than it sounds.
Much like Laura’s PROCESS, I’ve followed the same 5 Step system for years to organize everything from a sock drawer to the bathroom cabinet to the garage. Okay, hubby organizes the garage, but I’m sure you get the point.
These 5 Steps work for anything and everything. Check it out…
Step 1. Sort
Place like with like. This isn’t the time to be super neat. The mess actually has to get worse before it can get better. Just create piles of similar things. If you’re cleaning a playroom for example, make little heaps of toy cars, legos, dolls, etc. If it’s the kitchen pantry, put all the crackers, condiments, soup, etc. in their own ‘piles’.
Step 2. Edit and eliminate
After your things are sorted, decide what you want to keep and what you don’t. Get rid of anything that’s broken. Go ahead, toss it. You don’t need it. Donate any items that are in good shape but that you haven’t used in a while. Be realistic here. The exception is that if it’s got true sentimental value, store it. Otherwise, adios.
Step 3. Assign a home
Assign a home for the items you are keeping. Once you have sorted and eliminated, you should have a pretty good idea of how much space you need for each ‘pile’s’ items. Assign homes in cupboards, on shelves, etc. for these things. Put the things you use often within easy reach. Things that are used infrequently can go up higher or in a slightly less accessible place. (Do you have a small appliance like an extra crock pot that gets used only during the holidays, like Laura? There’s no use having it take up kitchen space, maybe it can live in the laundry room.)
Step 4. Shop
This step is my personal favourite, just because I love shopping! After your ‘keep items’ have a place, you can shop for pretty containers, baskets, labels or whatever you need to get and stay organized. But be sure to do it after the first three steps have been completed. You don’t truly know what you need until you have sorted, eliminated and assigned homes for your things. Don’t forget to check places like Ikea, Dollarama and Michaels for some great storage solutions. Also shop your own house for containers, you may be surprised by what you already have.
Step 5. Maintain
Put things in their place. It shouldn’t take more than five minutes in each room to get everything back in its place every day. You just have to do it. When you’re finished with the TV remote, put it away. Done with the cereal? Back in the cupboard it goes. It’s so simple when everything has a place.
So, now do you see what I mean? Once the first four steps have been done, the last one is a cinch and you can sit back and enjoy a neat, tidy, organized home!
Shannon Acheson is a passionate interior decorator, frugal DIYer, sometime graphic designer, wannabe writer, homeschooling momma and adoring wife. She is the co-owner (with hubster) of AKA Design and the main writer/designer for the blog of the same name. Shannon recently moved from a war-era bungalow to a cozy backsplit in Oshawa, Ontario with her husband and their three children, and during spare moments can be found scouring local shops for decor bargains, rearranging the furniture again, or scrubbing paint off her hands.