The Art of Organizing: Part 1

From the Netflix show, Tidying Up, to shelter magazines and Pinterest, it’s apparent that managing your stuff is a hot topic. In my own home and in my shop, Hollyhocks, I have put into practice Marie Kondo’s “the life-changing magic of tidying up” so you could say that I am an aficionado of organization.

Here are a few of my tried and true techniques based on: 1) necessity because I have always lived in small spaces, and 2) family history because I inherited the neatnik gene from my dad. Just remember, it’s the hidden things that add up.

To begin, go room by room or category by category and dig through the nooks, drawers, cupboards and closets. Then, sort into piles: 1) what you use or need; 2) what you can let go of; and 3) what you “want to keep” — the trickiest pile of all. This whole process should not be rushed, it can take weeks or even months.

The things you use or need go into the spot or place where it is most convenient and you can easily find them. Get rid of items that you no longer want, need or use. Give away to friends and family members, donate to charity or toss in the trash. You will feel so much lighter when you move them along their journey.

The treasures you want to keep tend to be sentimental and there are strategies for those items. Anything that you want to pass down at a later date, put in a box or bin with the name clearly marked on it. Items that have a special meaning store in a trunk somewhere accessible so you can add to it as time goes along.

If you aren’t sure about something, set it aside for a few days and think about it. This should be a natural, organic process so give yourself lots of time and space.

Part 2 is about putting it all back together in a new and fresh way. Stay tuned.


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