Closed September 2017

Clutter Video Tip: How to Organize Anything! Part 2: Review Your Items

Is your cluttered space taking center stage in your own B-Movie? The reviews are in… You don’t need special effects to make your space red carpet ready. But you will need to take stock of what you have. In today’s video, I am taking you behind the scenes to show you how to create your own organizing blockbusters and move your projects to the A-List.

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Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program, and today we have Part 2 in our five-part series on our general approach for any organizing project. This is the acronym “order.” First we had “O” for Outline your plan. And now we have “R” for Review your items. We’ve been using the pantry in my new house as an example project. And as you can see behind me, it’s empty because we took everything out to sort it out and review what we have. Now, we often refer to this as the scary phase of your organizing project because it gets worse before it gets better.

Now, the goal of any organizing project is to gain visibility to your stuff so you know what you have, and you can find i,t and you can use it. To gain that visibility, during the project often that means you have to pull everything out and spread it out so you can see what you have, sort it out, and really look at the quantities and the categories, and that does look pretty awful, like you can see in this picture. But it’s very useful, very helpful, so just trust the process, and let it be a little bit messier temporarily so that you can get it done the very best way.

So, as you’re pulling everything out, you’re sorting it into categories of like things. So, like things together in what category though? So, you can think about this question: “What is going to make it easier for me to find and manage these items later?” So in the case of a pantry, you’re probably going to be sorting them by type. And that would be cereals, pastas, flours and sugars, canned goods, beans, whatever that is that makes sense for you. But you may, in different projects, sort different ways. You may sort things alphabetically, you may sort by subject, you may sort chronologically by date, you may sort something by the dosage amount, or the color, or you may sort by size. It just depends on, again, the answer to the question: “What’s going to help me later when I’m trying to find things and manage things the very best way?”

So, think about that as you’re sorting into piles. You also want to think about the idea of staying macro. We have a different video that I made about macro versus micro organizing. And what that means is that you want to stay high level. Try to just do kind of a raw sort and get the big categories figured out instead of going down to the micro level and sorting stacks of photographs, for example. That’s going to slow you down. You want to get it all done overall first before you go down and tweak everything to the little minutia level.

So, the last kind of pile that I want you to think about making is the “elsewhere” pile, or you may have multiple elsewhere piles. These are things that you find during the project that belong somewhere else. So you may find things that belong in your bedroom, or the bathroom, or the kitchen, and instead of getting up from your project and walking over and taking the items to those places and getting sidetracked, you want to make those “elsewhere” piles. You may even have piles for people, like “this belongs to my sister” or “this belongs to one of our children” and it goes in their room. So you can sort all those “elsewhere” things and stay focused on your project and stay present and get it done and then put those things away later.

Next we will have the “d’ in the “order” acronym, and until then, we will see you next time. May you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.

Other videos in this series:
“O”- Outline Your Plan
“D”- Decide Where Things Belong
“E”- Establish Homes and Routines
“R”- Revisit Your System

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