Does anyone enjoy cleaning and organizing out their storage room? Probably not. It is an annoyingly long task and usually takes hours of our time to complete. Unfortunately, it is something we all have to do. If we allow our storage to sit, eventually it will collect so many items that it will take days to sort through. Regrettably, I learned this the hard way. But through my mistake, I acquired a skill that helped me accomplish this large task. I call it “Organizing by Category.”
Just after I got married, I became a homeowner and moved into my first house with my husband. However, all my clothes, decorations, and furniture I previously had moved with me. As I settled in and got unpacked, a majority of my belongings got stored in a spare bedroom in the upstairs corner of our home, mainly because I didn’t know what to do with it all. Everything from art supplies to miniature fridges was stockpiled here. Plenty of my husbands’ possessions accumulated in this room as well since we were in the process of remodeling our home. Because of this, the spare room became filled to the brim with storage, so much that it was nearly impossible to walk through.
A year ago, I was determined to clean out my storage room and finally make it into a guest bedroom and craft room for myself. However, I had no clue where to begin and absolutely no plan of how to tackle such a large project. I became discouraged with all the clutter soon after I started to work, and fifteen minutes later, surprise, I had a meltdown. Silly, right? I dramatically threw myself on the couch in the next room, ready to give up, when I thought to myself, “I will accomplish as much as I can in the next two hours, and then stop for tonight.” Although discouraged at the piles of clutter, I snapped myself out of it and commenced my work, intending to start with my art and crafting supplies. But there were so many, I knew I wouldn’t have time to organize them all in my two hour time slot. So I took my art supplies and put them in a pile in one area of the room. As I finished this, I came to the conclusion that I would make a designated pile for all my possessions.
I took all my musical instruments and sheet music and put them in pile in one area of the room. After that, all of the bedding went in a pile. Then the decorations went in another pile. Next, my tools went into a pile, and my old toys in another pile, and so on until everything was in a designated area. I couldn’t believe how much cleaner the room looked just by doing this.
Next, I began to tackle the piles, starting with my art supplies. I grabbed several trash bags; two for each mound. One bag was for donation, and the other was for trash. Everything that was broken, worn out, or I didn’t want or use anymore was put in it’s designated bag. After that, I began to work on my old toys and stuffed animals. Most of them got donated. The next task was to sort through my decorations. I accomplished this within a few minutes. I continued to work until about fifteen minutes after my time period was up. I looked around the room satisfied at everything I had accomplished. All that was left in the room was some large furniture, several of my husband’s collections, and my very small piles of things I decided to keep. The room looked so much better, I couldn’t even believe it. And I was able to finish this (almost) within a two hour time period.
I learned something from this:
Sort everything into a category first before starting an organizational project.
A month ago, I used this same technique on my pantry. I sorted everything by category (flour in one section, coffee and tea in another, etc.) and then threw out expired and old items. I cleaned my glass jars and poured my dry foods in them. I finished the project by washing the shelves, flipping the warped ones, and labeling the jars. I set everything in nicely and I was finished within an hour.
My point is, you can use this system of organization on any project, whether it is cleaning out your entire garage or a small drawer. It is so much easier to see everything you own in designated piles instead of trying to sort through your belongings one box at a time. Then you will be able to organize all items in the category at the same time.
Hopefully, this skill will help you with some of your spring cleaning and summer chores. Try this out on your next project. Just maybe, your time will be well managed and you will finish your task before you even expected!