stuff

Phase 2.5: Sorting Items

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Sorting items can be more complex than one might think – it is more than just sorting similar items. For example, people often think they should sort all their cables together, but the often serve different purposes and so they should be stored differently.

When you’re sorting items, look at how they are used instead of just what “kind” of item they are. Continuing with the example of sorting cables, there are generally three different types of cables: electrical, electronic, and personal technology cables.

Electrical cables include everything from extension cords, add-ons, extenders, and timers. These cables all plug into the wall or an outlet, or they are used to add extra cords to extend the length or number of wall outlets.

Electronic cables are mainly used for audio and visual equipment, like HDMI cables, computer cables, TV cables, and stereo systems. These cables are used for specific set-ups and are usually not plugged and unplugged regularly.

Finally, personal technology cables are more everyday use cables, like phone chargers, iPod chargers, tablet chargers, and other USB chargers. These cables are usually in constant use and are often moving between rooms and people around a home.

Cables can be then sorted into how they are used, not just based on the fact that they are cables.  All electrical cables should be stored together but separate from electronic cables and personal technology cables. In this way, the cables will be easier to find and use when they are needed. Instead of sorting through a large bin to find an iPhone charger, people can easily look in a smaller storage container that contains only their personal technology chargers, which they will need to access more often than their extension cords.

When it comes to sorting, try thinking more about how items are used instead of focusing on just what they are. This way, organization will last because the items will be stored in a way that works with people’s lifestyles and routines.

Maintaining your organized home

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Getting your home organized in only half of the battle – maintaining your organized space is another challenge altogether. Following organizing methods like the KonMari method require a change of your daily habits in order for them to work long-term. However, life can get busy, plans change, new opportunities arise, and you and your family can return to your previous routine. To maintain your organized space, it’s important to take the process seriously and find key methods that work best with your lifestyle.

Following an organization method closely will not work for everyone long term. Many of the suggestions work great to help people eliminate a large amount of clutter, but some steps, like treasuring every item, might not be realistic for each member of your family. Instead, identify the important lessons and find a way to make them work with your life. For example, the method for folding clothes might work best to keep your clothing organized in your wardrobe and suitcases, but your children have difficulty keeping their clothes folded that way. While the folding method may not work for them, the idea of only keeping items that are important to them and being able to let old clothing and toys go might work better.

In order to maintain organization, you and your family need to be able to make organizing a part of your routine. Depending on your schedule, it may make more sense to do quick decluttering sessions on a regular basis by sorting through items by type instead of by room. However, you may instead prefer to do larger organizing projects on a less frequent basis. By encouraging your whole family to get involved with the process and adopt these life changes, you will have an easier time maintaining organization throughout your home.  

To make organization a regular part of your routine, you need to follow methods that you and your family can easily pick up. For example, getting in the habit of putting things away once you’re finished with them, instead of leaving them to put away later, is a simple action that can have a significant impact on the organization of your home.

Staying organized and changing your usual habits takes time and commitment, but it can be accomplished. Make sure you implement organizational methods that are practical and work with your family’s lifestyle. If you’ve gotten your house organized following a specific organizing method, it may be unrealistic to maintain all of the strategies you used going forward. However, you shouldn’t feel the need to follow the guidelines closely. Instead, find out what works best for you and your family, and use those key strategies to maintain your organized state in the future.

Say no to stuff!

Less is always more - especially when it comes to stuff! Toys, books, clothes, knick knacks, are just some of the objects that count as “stuff” in your home. A lot of the time, this “stuff” collects in cupboards, drawers, and any open surface until it threatens to take over not just your home, but your life.

The less tangible stuff you have cluttering up your home, the less intangible stuff you have cluttering up your mind. Having a clean and clear space to sit, relax, and visit in is important – no one wants to walk by piles of stuff and be reminded of all the cleaning and organizing that they’ve been meaning to do but haven’t got around to.

Clutter creates unnecessary stress in your life. Just think of how much time, energy, and money could be saved if all the clutter in your home isn’t weighing you down!

Making a commitment to getting organized and staying organized is not always easy. However, every person can find a system that works for them. Whether it’s taking 10-15 minutes each day to do a quick clean, or dedicating a certain amount of time each week or each month to do a bigger de-cluttering, everyone has the ability to clear the clutter from their life. 

Once you start getting rid of the items that you don’t need and are just collecting dust in your home, you may feel more motivated to maintain your organized state.

It’s a lot easier to stay organized once you’ve finally got yourself organized, with a system in place that works for you and your family. However, it’s more than just getting organized – it’s making a lifestyle change.

Next time you go shopping or see something you think you need online, ask yourself if there is a real need for the item in your home and if there is space for it in your life. Being mindful of the stuff you bring into your home can save you money, time, and space in the long run!