Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Organization Station (The Big Clean-Part 2)

When I begin my spring cleaning, I find that it helps if I have a system.  Otherwise, my mind tries to go in a gazillion different directions at once.  This year, I've been utilising an "organization station" to try to help me focus and de-clutter as I go.  Here's how it works: you will need four laundry baskets (or bags, or boxes....some sort of receptacle for accumulating things):

1) Donate
2) Sell
3) Sort
4)Throw away

Place items into the various categories as you carry out the organization portion of the Big Clean.  Once you have finished a room, take the items to the master "organization station", where you can combine items from every room. You could also put things directly where they belong if you have already organized the place where they live. Here is what my "Organization Station" looks like (and probably will for the next month...)

It's not pretty, but you get the idea!
 Clothing items that you are getting rid of should be sorted into donate and sell piles.  Donate the items that have been well loved, and sell the stuff that your mom/friend/sister talked you into buying and you have worn twice or never worn.  Once you have finished organizing (or, when you feel like you need a break), and you have a good sized pile of things to "sell", and about an hour.  Take a few photos, list them on eBay, and move on.  After your eBay auctions end, anything that hasn't sold on will also be donated. (There will be a mini-post next week with some tips on selling stuff on eBay as you organize if you haven't ever done it before!) You're not losing anything by not selling them, but it won't hurt to have a little extra money in your pocket.

The final basket is for things to "sort".  The trick here is to keep on top of this throughout the day.  As misplaced items from one room end up in the basket, take them with you when you make a trip to the room where they do belong. This way, you should be able to keep on top of these items throughout the day.  To be honest, I haven't been very good about keeping on top of this so far.  I figure that once I have a room in tip top shape, I can take take a quick look through the "sort" basket, then take items to their newly organized home!

You can either let "throw away" items build up throughout the day month long process (resulting in a few triumphant and rewarding trips to the bin at the end of the Big Clean), or you can throw away as you go.  I think I'll just wait and do it all at once so that I can really fathom how much crap we have accumulated since we moved here. Also it probably won't all fit in our outside bin, so I will have to take it to a larger one somewhere else.  (I haven't properly sorted through all of our stuff since we moved here two and a half years ago....oops!).  I am being ruthless this year.  I try to keep things relatively clutter free....but at times it's difficult to silence my inner pack rat.  "You might need this one soon as you throw it away, you will be looking for it".  Enough, I say!  Enough!  If I haven't needed it in over 2 (or more) years, chances are I won't need it tomorrow. Or the next day.

This is all the trash....from upstairs.
So...there it is: The Organization Station, and a few helpful tips for getting organized as you go!  

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