1. Home

Start Your Organizing Journey

4 Easy steps to reclaim your home from the clutter and disorganization.


Complete Spring Cleaning Checklist

Amid the endless piles of laundry, dishes, forgotten bills, and overdue library books, you have a house. A house you would desperately love to show off with pride. It makes you depressed even to think about how to get this mess organized. You feel your only hope now lies in the chance that one of your horrified relatives will recommend you for a cable show home makeover. While you’re waiting for that lightning bolt to strike, let's try instead some simple steps and ideas to help you make your home into a place that allows cleaning and organization to be easily achievable. Who knows, you might even find the cordless phone you lost months ago!

Step 1: Analysis of Areas

Grab a spiral notebook and a pencil. Take a few minutes and mentally survey each room. In your notebook, jot down the problem areas in the room, putting one problem on a page. You’ll need the rest of the space on that same page for the following steps. The items on the paper should be parts of the room that really bug you, or that your family finds impossible to keep neat.

For example:

Shoes in piles next to your front door; the table in the entryway piled with mail; the magazine rack overflowing with books, magazines, and pamphlets; the coats, hats, and mittens etc piled in a heap next to the entryway closet. Carefully (but quickly) analyze each room in the house in this way, making a list of the areas that need improvement.

Here are rooms or parts of your home not to forget about:

  • Junk drawers
  • Medicine cabinets
  • Garages
  • Closets
  • Storage, including attic, basements, crawlspace
  • Outdoors

    Tip: We don’t always see the disorder in these areas until we open them and try to find things.

    2: Analysis of Reasons

    For each of the problem areas in a room, figure out why the disorganization and mess is happening. I find this most easily done if you are actually in the room you are surveying. All answers are acceptable here, including the fact that you live with slobs. Usually there is more than one reason why an area of your home is continually unorganized.

    For example:

    Why are there shoes piled up next to your doorway? You like people to take off their shoes when they come in. No one in your family wants to take their shoes all the way to their rooms, and there is not enough room in the closet for all the shoes to fit, etc.

    Why are the magazines overflowing? You may realize that you have issues of Good Housekeeping from the 70’s in there, or a magazine you bought only for the fudge praline cake recipe on the cover.

    Continue this process for each of the problems in the room. Write down the reasons for each problem in your notebook, then move to the next room. When you’re done analyzing all your problem areas go on to Step 3.

  • Related Video
    4 Steps for Organization

    ©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.