Excellent Organizing Advice from Challenge Participants

Hi everyone, I am still in the process of selecting the 31 Day Organizing Challenge winners.  I’m so sorry but these things can’t be rushed as I really like to take my time to go over and over each entry.   In the mean time what I’ve uncovered through each of the posts is some most excellent organizing advice that I wanted to consolidate into one spot for you.  Whenever you are feeling stuck and in need of some organizing motivation and inspiration, then take a look at this list below.  This is organizing GOLD people!

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Take a look at your things with a critical eye.  I have a tendency to save craft supplies because they might be useful for projects someday.  If I haven’t used something, and I’ve had it for years, I probably won’t miss it.  I made sure to only keep items that I had a specific plan for, or that are part of my stitching supplies that I actually regularly use.  The same idea can apply to other things too.  We had a closet full of sweatshirts, and only actually wore a few of them.  The rest went into our donate pile.  Kate’s Great Crafts

Just take it one small step at a time.  Even though this month I tackled a big (for me) project, breaking it up into smaller steps that I could do one at a time made it way easier to handle.  I also like knowing that I only need to commit a small amount of time when doing a small part of the project, instead of taking an entire day to go start to finish on a massive job.  Ginger Baby Mama

Break down the project into lots of smaller tasks, preferably tasks that will only take you 15 to 20 minutes to complete, and do one of those tasks each day. This strategy helped me to eliminate some of those overwhelming feelings AND I actually felt way more productive, I was accomplishing something every single day!  The Dusty Road Blog

Small daily efforts lead to BIG lasting transformationsChoosing Abundance

I think that the best piece of advice would be to divide and conquer!  Our room is approximately 20′ x 40′ and to look at the big picture was overwhelming.  By dividing the space into zones and assigning a purpose for each zone it broke the job down into manageable parts.  Power Home Solutions

Start small! Tackling a small project like this makes me proud and gives me confidence to start on a bigger project. Also, plan things out, take your time, and have fun with it!  The Orderly Home

Help is out there! If I can do this, I guarantee you that ANYONE can! (My family calls me “Gearbomb” if that gives you any idea of how disorganized I usually am!) Use a methodical process, follow the steps, and stick to it!  No Holding Back

pretty flowers

I think the best advice is to take before and after pictures of your space.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed while you’re in the middle of a large organizing project but those before pictures really help you see how far you’ve come!  And the after pictures will help you remember all the work you put into the project, which will motivate you to keep it organized.   From Overwhelmed to Organized

Do things that you do not have to count on someone else to accomplish. This way you get more done, and start seeing results sooner. Once you have done that, then, if you need to work with someone, you will feel better about the whole venture. Set a timer to keep focused. Don’t kick yourself if you did not accomplish everything at once. Do a little at a time. It will get done.  Reservoir Slob

Take the time to figure out exactly what you need in the space you have and get rid of everything else. Be ruthless! You will feel so much better when all the extra clutter is gone.  By Grace

Take the time to evaluate the reality of doing projects.  Is it a project you are in love with and will be doing, and if it’s just a project you are in love with the idea of, ask your self if you’ll ever actually do it, or if you just like to think you will. Good luck with your own spaces, I’m proof that it can be done!  Living a Sunshine Life

The biggest piece of organizing advice that I have learned during this was that just because you have space for something, doesn’t mean that you need to make a space for something.  I could have kept everything that was in this space by just cramming it into a cabinet, closet, or corner, but making room for things wasn’t the answer.  Allowing myself room to move around and work in the space has made the maintenance so much easier.  I would really encourage people to follow Laura’s PROCESS and really think and visualize what you want your space to be.  Being able to have a plan and put that plan into action has helped me so much.  I actually just expected to have a nicely organized space at the end of this journey, but It has actually saved me so much time as I work much more efficiently now. Moore Magnets

You can’t keep everything AND organize it.  Some stuff has got to go.  Michele Wilkerson

JUST DO IT!  Story of My House

Have a plan, a deadline, and don’t quit even when it is hard.  Just Peachy

My organizing advice to someone would be that “done” is better than “waiting on perfect.”  Right now, we don’t have the budget for the beautiful pantry I dream of.  It may not be perfect, but it is so much better, and we are reaping the benefits of good organization.  Cross That Off

Everything needs a ‘home’ to be truly organized. If it doesn’t have a ‘home’ it has no where to go!  Shawnt’e

Plan First. Know what you want to do with the space, then make it happen. That was one of the major differences with this attempt at decluttering/organizing the space. Once I knew what I wanted to room to be used for, it was so much easier to make decisions.  Zianessa

winding path

A lot of organizing can be accomplished in 15 minutes. There is no need to set aside hours to tackle one big project. Tackle the project little by little.  A Cleaner Basement

Set up boundaries for yourself! Choose a tote, basket, etc for certain things that will be your limit of what you keep. Or choose it to be a holding area for a certain time frame of items that you aren’t sure of & if it’s not used by that deadline – get it out of your house asap!  Country Girl

Just get up and do it. Get right in there and see what needs to be done and starting sorting through it all.  Not a Coupon Queen

Get rid of the junk BEFORE it takes over!  Abundant Chaos

Best thing for tiny spaces is to build UP!  Your floor space may be limited, but there are so many storage solutions in which you can utilize your walls!  Dalliant Tendencies

Pick a room, area, even simply a shelf (start small!) and start! Once you get going you will get momentum and want to keep going. When you see your beautiful (yes, organization is beautiful!) area you will be so motivated to keep going, I promise!  Naturally in Love

When dealing with other people’s belongings (even if they are related to you and you love them and just want to help), you need to have them deal with it.  Janie’s Place

Establish boundaries ~ I used to think that if I had too much of something to fit in a drawer or a box or whatever, then I should just buy another box or whatever.  Now I realize that if I have too much stuff to fit in a particular space, I need to get rid of some of the stuff so that it fits inside those boundaries.  Life of the Bowers’

If you can’t find what it is you need or want to organize with (because it doesn’t fit the space in size, style or color), make it yourself or find someone who can.  There’s no reason to have things that don’t work perfectly for you, in your space, for your purposes.  Whole New Leaf

Which is your favorite?

See also:

Last years collection of organizing motivation

Filed under: Link Love, Motivation-Encouragement, Organizational Challenge
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Comments

10 Responses to Excellent Organizing Advice from Challenge Participants

  1. 2
    Linda Stoll says

    mmm … that 1st picture is totally captivating …

  2. 3
    Kimberley says

    Love all of this advice, great inspiration and ideas…..most definitely GOLDEN! It was great to be a part of it!

  3. 4
    Beth @ Whole New Leaf says

    This is all great advice! I don’t know if I could choose one favorite!
    Thank you for putting it all in one place. I read through everyone’s posts last week but going over them again all together really gives me new motivation to organize (my bathroom’s next but should hopefully be easier).
    Great work everyone! I’m so inspired by all of your spaces!

  4. 5
    jennifer says

    Thanks for all the little bits of advice. Our daughter had finally moved out and we have been trying to turn her room into a combo guest room/office for my husband so I can have the old office as my craft room. However, the work to do this and the time has been at odds. I am going to take some of those hints today, since I have already committed to working on organizing those rooms today!

  5. 6
    Vickie says

    Great pieces of advice. I especially liked this one: You can’t keep everything AND organize it. Some stuff has got to go.
    Wish I convince other people in this house!

  6. 7
    Elizabeth says

    Everyone has such great advice! I will definitely keep this post handy so I can remind myself that we all struggle with clutter! I, too, just LOVE the picture of the Adirondack chair near the lake! I am so there in my mind! It encompasses my feelings after finishing an organizing project or cleaning session…aaahhhh! Relaxation and serenity!

  7. 8
    Susan says

    Right now I’m looking for all the advice I can get on kitchen organization. We just had to tear out our kitchen because of a long undetected leak under our sink. It’s given me the chance to streamline the design and I want to make it as organized and efficient as I can. It’s a small kitchen but I intend to make the most of the space I have. Got rid of a lot of things we never used and replaced some outdated items with new. But still have a long way to go and need some inspiration.

  8. 9
    Kate says

    So loved your post on organizing. Every season I make a pledge to get rid of a room or a closet or a drawer of clutter. For me it is like mental flossing. Suddenly things just feel better and the energy opens up for better things to happen. Weird I know but it works for me.

    Window Blinds Canmore

  9. 10
    Margarita Ibbott ~ @DownshiftingPRO says

    I love your blog… it is truly the standard of how all great organizing blogs should be. I just wanted to drop by and thank you for adding your URL to the ORGANIZING Blogs to Follow Linky that I am hosting. I hope to update this on a weekly basis so others can fin the great information that Organizers love to blog about.

    I so love that you added your link so (many more) can discover your greatness.

    Margarita Ibbott
    @DownshiftingPRO
    http://www.downshiftingpro.com/2013/04/organizing-blogs-to-follow-linky.html

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