Remove, sort and purge!!!

Today I want to touch base on the second step of the PROCESS. That would be REMOVE. What does this mean exactly? Trust me the easiest and fastest way to tackle any project is empty the space you are trying to organize and do your sort/purge from ideally a different room alltogether or, if you have to, the middle of the room you are organizing. The important thing is to get things off shelves, out of drawers, off tabetops, off the floor, out of closets, etc.. Why? Removing items from where they have previously been stored will give you a fresh perspective on the space you want organized. It will enable you to re-evaluate how you want the space to look. You can’t do this when it is cluttered up with stuff. It is also tough to rearrange furniture when the clutter still exists in the space. Get it out! Has your furniture always been in the exact same spot? Don’t be afraid to try something new and change things up a little or a lot. Start with a clean slate and have fun with it!

Doing your sort/purge outside of the space also lets you objectively look at each item and determine whether or not you want to keep it. Often if this step happens in the space being organized people will keep something just because they have the room for it. While there isn’t anything wrong with this, if it isn’t something you have any intention of using don’t keep it just because. Get rid of it! Please re-visit my purging post for more help in getting rid of your clutter.

Sort items into piles and there are many different ways to do this. Grad yourself some boxes and label them ~ donate, toss, sell, keep, re-locate. The purpose here is to organize “like with like”. All similar items together. This way it will become clear to you what you own in over abundance that maybe you didn’t even realize because it was scattered all over the place before. One lonely little box of envelopes doesn’t look like much but when you match it up with the other 50 boxes you have well all of a sudden it is clear there is a problem.

The remove/sort/purge process is an important one. Don’t take it lightly. The more you purge the less you have to find a home for. Only bring back into your space what you truly want to keep. Don’t bring it back in to think about later. Deal with it before it goes back into the space. Make a decision and move on. Don’t second guess yourself, it will only slow down the process. Stay true to the purpose of your space!!

Also don’t even think about the containerizing stage (oh ya, baby!) until you’ve completed your sort/purge. You might not end up needing as much as you thought you did!

Filed under: Organizational Challenge, Organizing


20 Responses to Remove, sort and purge!!!

  1. 1
    Carrie says

    The weather has been totally uncooperative with this part of my process lately… snow means I can’t take the stuff outside and sort! Brr! 🙂
    I’m sorting though, bit by bit, a slow process. It’s a good thing we’ve got 30 days for this and not just 3!

  2. 2
    Thea says

    I need to post an update here in the next day or two. I am right in the middle of this part and I think my kids are enjoying it, too. Empty cabinets make great hiding spots!

  3. 3
    Sandy says

    Great post!
    You are full of such great information! I love reading this …

  4. 4
    Deanne says

    Great post! When we cleared out the small bedroom for the boys’ furniture to go into, we got it down to just the carpet and walls (and window coverings! LOL). ALL of our stuff ended up in the living room, so that we would have room to work in the small bedroom. The only thing that went into the boys’ new room initially was furniture and books. I’m still planning a book sort (because they have BOOOOOOOKS) and I have a ton of books in the garage to bring in and go through for them as well. How many books are actually enough for two children, ages 6 and 3, who LOVE books? I’m thinking the 200+ that we have MAY possibly be too many. Thoughts? 😉

    I need to update my blog with challenge info and pictures of the progress so far, but that may be a couple of days away yet. I have a very busy day out of the house tomorrow.

  5. 5
    Seraph says

    “All similiar items together.”

    I did this the other day when I was working a little on the clutter on my dining room table. I didn’t even collect all the books off the table, but those I did collect got stacked on one section of it. The stack went nearly to the ceiling. LOL That’s not even an 1/8th of the books in this apartment!!

    I think this week I’ll collect all the books not currently on shelves (which are packed as full as can be with books) and build a fort out of them.

    And maybe I should get rid of some of them after I’ve read them. Maybe. LOL

  6. 6
    Barb, sfo says

    Thanks for the visit and the encouragement. Slowly and steadily I am getting things accomplished. I make my husband “ooh and ahh” after I finish a spot, poor guy….but I really like doing this kind of work where you can SEE A RESULT!

  7. 7
    Debi says

    Thanks for the extremely helpful post. This is right about where I stand now. All the “doesn’t belong in this room” stuff is gone. Now it’s time to empty the rest of the room out so I can sort and purge. And maybe with the room emptied, I’ll actually make time to paint it (there won’t be a better time to tackle that particular project, after all). Anyway, thanks for your continuing encouragement!

  8. 8
    G.P. says

    I’m in… I LOVE to pitch and ditch

    Clean up your closets and your life will work

    GP in Montana

  9. 9
    Hope Cantrall says

    I did some major purging yesterday! I cleaned out my linen closet & MB closet! Both look beautiful now! 5 bags of trash total from both closets and a few things to donate! Sock & panty drawers = a lot of purging! I will be submitting pics at the end of the month!!

  10. 10
    Jenny Mc says

    Love doing these kind of cleanouts. However, what does one do with a box of stuff to “re-locate” when those area’s aren’t cleaned out yet?
    Also, does anyone else have a problem with kids artwork? I have BOXES of the stuff that is yet to be organised. (My husband made me keep them)

    • 10.1
      Tamara says

      I recommend scanning them onto a computer or taking photos of them and creating a coffee table style book from a website like – this way you will actually want to look at/enjoy them and they will take up hardly any space!

  11. 11
    gael says

    I have tried to download the app but it keeps getting an error message- it says the file is corrupted- any suggestions?

  12. 12
    Kathy O says

    I just finished emptying out my master bedroom closet. I did not realize how much stuff we had in there. Going to go sort and purge. I hope to have 1/2 as much stuff to put back in.


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