Organization Consultations
Family, Organization

Home Organization Crash Course

Simple Home Organization Crash Course

Hello and welcome back to A special welcome if this is your first time here – be sure to follow us on Facebook and Pinterest! And if you’re a returning friend, thank you for following along with us. Today we are continuing in our organization journey.

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A quick recap of our previous articles in the organizing series: We’ve talked about how being organized can transform your life. This includes organizing your time/day, and organizing your home/work spaces. Then I became a Certified Organizational Specialist! Just a few weeks ago we talked about four different organizing styles, and how to work with the different styles in your home. I also put out a free quiz that you can take here, to help you determine your personal organizing style.

This week I’m launching a new service… online organizing consultations! To celebrate this occasion, we are going to go through an organization crash course. If you haven’t already, I recommend reading my article on how to organize your home based on your personal organizing style. You can find it here, but I’ll link to it near the bottom of this article as well. Knowing your organizing style is what makes the work done in this crash course stick!

Home Organization Check Up

The first step to organizing your home is doing a home check up. Room by room, make a list of what is and isn’t working in your home. What spaces are staying organized and where are there perpetual messes? Then make a list of all the ways the room is used.

Example: Living room

What is and isn’t working:

     – DVD storage is working well

     – TV in a good spot

     – bookshelves are over flowing

     – coffee table looks like it’s in a used bookstore

     – toys are everywhere!

     – kids want to study here but they don’t clean up and they mix up their work

     – knitting needles keep getting lost

Room Used For:

     – TV and movie watching

     – reading

     – knitting

     – toddler playroom

     – studying

After you’ve made a list it’s time to use the SPACE organization method

Sort, Purge, and Assign Homes

Start gathering your items together in large groups. Do this one room at a time. In your kitchen you’ll want your mugs, cups, and glasses together in one group. Then decide how many drinking vessels you need. If you have 20 mugs but only ever have 4 people over drinking coffee, you can get rid of 10-12 mugs. After you’ve gathered all the items of a large group together, you can decide where those items should go. To that, you should ask yourself the following questions based on what each room is used for.

  1. Are the things you need for each activity either in the room or stored nearby?

Think about the tasks and activities you do in this room. If you do your reading in the living room but store your books upstairs in the bedroom, it is probably too far away. You may need a basket, or a small bookshelf to keep the living room organized. This is a storage solution that works for items that need to travel to get put away. Another example is mail piled on the dining room table when it supposed to go in the office. Have a basket nearby for the mail to go in until you have the chance to take it upstairs.

  1. Does everything you want in the room have a home? 

Does your kitchen have a place for oven mitts, or do they end up on the counter or table or wherever you last used them? Things that don’t have a home immediately become clutter in a room.

Just because something has a home now, doesn’t mean that is the best space for it. Look back at the list of purposes you wrote for the room your in. See if you can store things used for each activity in related spots. So in the above example, store books by the comfy reading chair, DVDs by the TV, toys by the largest clear floor space, and study materials by the small desk. Sectioning off areas of the room for particular activities can help make the organization system clear to others using the space. Labels also help (see my article on organizing styles).

  1. What is in the room that doesn’t fit with what the room is used forOrganization Made Simple

Do you have a bunch of board games in your bedroom when you play them in the living room? Do you store batteries in the kitchen when you usually need them in the office? Work on one room at a time, and if you run into something that belongs in a different room, set it aside in a box or basket to deal with after you’ve finished the room you’re in.

When Purging, you are going to have four piles:

Items that belong in this room

Things that belong in another room

Items that can be donated

Stuff that can be thrown out

Purging Problems

The purging process is often a difficult one when getting organized. Many people get tripped up on this one, so don’t feel bad if you are struggling. There are a couple major roadblocks to get over on your way to tidy home. Let’s get those out of the way now.

Purging Myth 1: I’m going to regret getting rid of this

If you haven’t used something in the last 6 months to a year, it is just taking up space in your life. Space that could be used for things that are more important to you or that you use most often. If you still think you’ll be using that bread maker one day, put it in a box and write an expiration date on it. (If not opened by Jan 2020, Donate). Then store this box in a storage room or the garage. You’ll know where it is if you actually decide to use it. And if *cough… when* you don’t, and you see the box next February you know you can take it straight to Value Village.

Purging Myth 2: It is too expensive to get rid of

The three hundred dollars you spent on that telescope you never use because it’s too frustrating is already gone. Now instead of having three hundred dollars in your house, you have something bulky and taking up space. If you can resell the telescope, treadmill, and exercise bike, you will be making money and freeing up space. Even if you get much less than what you originally paid, that money is already gone. By selling or even donating bulky “expensive” items, you are clearing the way for an organized home. A place you’ll be happy to be.

Purging Myth 3: I’ll be dishonouring my grandmother by getting rid of this

While you may have been left with a collection of 150 porcelain cows, keeping them in a box in the basement isn’t honouring anyone. Maybe keep one favourite cow that you can display in your living room. Or, better yet, take a picture of all the cows and make a photo album/book to remember her by. Then donate the cows, where someone else who loves cows can love them just as your grandmother did.

Purging Myth 4: Purging is for Minimalists Only

Reality is, we all have too much stuff. We keep old clothes that are too small, broken toys, and gifts that we’ll never use. Purging isn’t about minimalism, but about making your life manageable. If you are bringing new things into your home, but not taking things out, you end up with clutter.

Assign Homes, Contain Your Stuff, and Evaluate

At this stage, it is important to know your organizing style. Read my article on how to Become Organized By Knowing Yourself Better. In it is a guide to assigning homes and getting containers that will work for you.

As you continue to bring new items into your home, and move into different stages of life, you will need to evaluate your organizing systems. Toddler clothes can be given away as big kids clothes fill children’s closets. After a shopping trip, consider purging some more items you don’t use anymore.

Online Organization ConsultationOnline Organizing Consultations

Still not sure where to start? Or are you having difficulty with a certain room in your house? Then you can hire me for organizing services! Right now we have two packages available.

$50 – Basic Online Consultation

This package includes the following services:

  • Preliminary testing of organizing style
  • Viewing pictures of space to be organized
  • 1 half hour Organization Consultation via Zoom
  • *Recording of Zoom conversation through Zoom program
  • Consultation discussion overview and homework sheet

$150 – Standard Organization Consultation

This package includes the following services:

  • Preliminary testing of organizing style
  • Viewing pictures of space to be organized
  • 3 half hour Organization Consultations via Zoom
  • *Recording of Zoom conversations through Zoom program
  • Consultation discussion overviews, and homework sheets
  • Help designing organization system after 1st homework completedOrganization Homework
  • Follow up after system implementation and tweaking help
  • Bonus: free custom labels sent via email, and responses to questions emailed between the 1st and third sessions (homework help)

During the first consultation we talk about what your biggest organizing challenges are with the space. Then I give some practical solutions, and provide some visuals/design inspiration for how you can make the space workable. I give you some homework, which may involve sorting, purging, or buying organizational tools/systems that will work for you.

If you get the standard package, we will follow up on the homework together. The homework will be divided into tasks you can do in 15 minutes at a time. If there are purchases to me made, a price compare chart will be provided, with Amazon options already provided for ease of use. The second session we will go over your design, and if you are struggling, I can help you make the design with what you’ve got/purchased. The homework for this week will be putting the designed organizing system in place. Our third consultation will be to check up on how this system is working, and to make tweaks as necessary.

The Byzantine Life

If you enjoyed this week’s article, you might also be interested in reading about How I Organize My Day with a Block Schedule or my other article on Home Organization.

On our Pinterest we have boards full of different organization ideas! New posts are always shared to Facebook, and my husband runs our Twitter (@TheByzLife) and Instagram accounts (username: thebyzantinelife)! And if you want to support our work at, consider joining us on Patreon. For as little as $5 a month you can get exclusive access to special posts, photos, and updates from our family!

Have a good week! Here’s to an organized home and life!

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