SEEK: 4 Steps to Organize Absolutely Anything
Staring into the abyss of a cluttered space is super freaking overwhelming. Where do you start? Why here, of course! My 4 step process works on every space and type of clutter. Just remember to SEEK and ye shall find (that thing you thought you’d lost).
Sort Pick up one thing and name its (slightly) broader category. Think about how you use the item. Hand weights might be “exercise,” a stapler is an “office supply,” and a picture frame is “decorative.” It’s important to remember that you don’t have to make any decisions about what stays and goes during the Sort phase. You’re just seeing what you have and what your categories are as you get all similar items together. It’s also the best way to see where you have duplicates. If you pick up something that you immediately know is trash or should be donated, go ahead and toss it or put it in a donation bag.
Eliminate This is the tough part. Ask yourself “Do I love this?” and “Do I use this?” If the answer’s no to both questions, it’s time to say goodbye. Be ruthless, and be honest with yourself: are you keeping something that you used to use, or that you hope you’ll use someday in the undefined future? If so, that thing isn’t serving your present life and needs, which qualifies it as clutter. Toss, recycle, or donate that bad boy. If you don’t love or use it, it’s just taking up space.
Establish a home Now that you’ve got it down to only things you love and use (yay, you!), it’s time to decide where they should live. Most piles of random clutter exist for one of two reasons: either that thing doesn’t have a designated home, or the home is too inconvenient and so you’re not putting it away. Try to store things where you use them, and make sure they’re in some sort of container. Leave the lids off of containers for frequently used items.
Keep it up! Having less stuff and designated homes for everything makes keeping your space organized so much easier, but you still need to schedule time to maintain your systems. Try a 5-10 minute tidy every evening to make sure everything gets back to its home. Have a permanent bag/box/spot for items to donate that you can add to as you find things you no longer love or use.