This is the post to read if you want to get any space/room/area in your home organised once and for all. It answers the question of how to successfully organise anything in your home with an easy to follow 4 step process, which I hope really helps you to get anything you want organised!
So let’s get started shall we!
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will be more than aware of my A.D.O.R.E process of getting organised, if not, please take a few minutes to read this post to get a full overview of where we are heading, and where the Organising step fits into the picture…..
So – if you are following the process, you will be aware the ADORE stands for ASSESS – DECLUTTER – ORGANISE – REAL LIFE and EVALUATE.
Getting to the ORGANISE section, you will have already ASSESSed the space so you know roughly what functions and zones are required, and you will have DECLUTTERed the area so that you now only have things within it that you want to keep and that you want to keep in that specific space.
Now it’s time to get the space ORGANISEd, so that it works for you, your home, and your family’s need – let’s get on with it!
The 4 steps you need to go through when organising any space can be neatly remembered with another acronym – L.A.S.T – and I like to think about the whole process together so I say “A.D.O.R.E organising at L.A.S.T” – which is kind of my motto if you like, but just makes it dead easy to remember.
Now – I bet you’re wondering what the L.A.S.T stands for – let me take you through each one in turn:-
Step #1 – L stands for “Like with Like”
The first step is basically to categorise what you have – putting like with like.
If you followed the decluttering steps then you will already have put like items with like items, as it’s helpful to see how many of something you actually have (and make a decision whether you actually need that many!) – but if not, the first thing you need to do to organise a space is to put like with like.
For example – if you are organising a wardrobe, then put all your jeans together, all your dresses together etc….
It’s also worth going a little further and putting similar groups of items together as well.
For example – putting trousers together with jeans, putting long sleeve tops with short sleeve tops etc…
Grouping everything in this way will help you do the following more easily:-
- You can see what you have
- You can see how much of each item you have
- You can store similar items together so you know when you run out of things
- You will be able to go to one place to find what you need when you need specific things
- You will be able to go to one place to put things back when you have finished with them
The important thing to do here is to work with how you like to categorise things, so group items in categories that make sense to how you live and would use them.
At the end of this step, you will find that you are more clearly able to see what you have, see the size of each category of item, and know what space you have available for these items to be stored in groups together – which brings me nicely on to step #2…..
Step #2 – A stands for “Assign a home”
When you ASSESSed the space (A in the ADORE process) – you will have given your space some zones, places where you would ideally like to have items, based on your needs and those of your family.
Now you know more details (what exactly there is to store, and what space is available) – it’s time to get more detailed about giving everywhere a proper home that will suit your needs.
It often helps to draw a plan out of the space you are organising, and label what you want to keep where.
Think about the following:-
- Keep items you use most easily to hand
- Keep items used least a little more out of the way
- Do you prefer open (display) or closed (hidden) storage
- Who will use the space and can they access it easily
- Keep items where you use them most
Finding the best home for your stuff is paramount in getting it organised, as it will be to hand when you need it.
Step #3 – S stands for “Store”
So you know what you want to store in an area, and where you want it to be, now is the time to make this a reality.
It’s only now that I would suggest looking at products that could help the space be as organised as possible for you.
Here are my top tips to maximise storage:-
- Measure the space you have available so that you know when purchasing or finding products that they will fit
- Go through your house and try and re-purpose what you can to save money
- Only buy products you truly need to buy to make the space work for you
- Allow space – leave some breathing space so that items are easier to grab and put back, and also to allow room for growth
- Use storage products that you love to look at/use – as you are more likely to keep using them!
- If items are on display, then use storage that works with your decor.
- Use products that maximise the space you have
- Make everything easy to see and access
You want to maximise storage space of items while minimising the effort required to find/use and upkeep those items.
Congratulations on getting this far – you should now have created an organised space that has everything grouped as you like it, and that’s easy to grab what you need when you need it. You could stop here, but there’s one more key part that means that you will (hopefully) be able to maintain the organised space for as long as you want it.
Step #4 – T stands for “Tag”
The very last step of organising a space once you have allocated space and decided on storage for it, is to tag – or label – everything.
After all – if you take something off a shelf and use it, then someone else puts it back – how will they know where to put it?
You can make labels as pretty or as functional as you like, but the key is to mark out where things go – however works best for you.
Here are my top tips to get you started:-
- Label items so that they are visual to whoever uses them
- Use picture labels rather than words for small children
- Ensure the labels are secure enough so they don’t fall off or rub out
Tag the space as a whole as well by creating a map of the space
One thing I will leave you with today that really works while you get used to your newly organised space, and that’s having a map of the space. It’s a great idea to use the drawn out plan that you created when you did Step #2 – “Assign a home”, and laminate and stick it to the inside of the cupboard/door etc.. of the space that you have organised. That way, at least until you get used to the newly organised space, you will have an easy way to remember what goes where.
The 4 steps of organising anything successfully are as follows:-
Step 1 – LIKE WITH LIKE – Put like with like in groupings that work for you
Step 2 – ASSIGN A HOME – Assign each group of items a home that makes sense for how you live and the space you have available
Step 3 – STORE – Decide how you are going to store what you have – and pick suitable storage that works for you
Step 4 – TAG – Label everything so everyone is aware of what goes where
So – why not “A.D.O.R.E organising at L.A.S.T”!
Following these steps means that you will have what you want, where you want it, stored in a way that works for you and your family.You are now ready to start living with your newly organised space, which means continuing on the ADORE process to the R- Real Life – but that’s for another day….
NOTE – Every space you organise will have different objectives and issues to tackle – and if you take a look at all the different categories on this site I have aimed to help sort out each part of the home in turn, and give more details for all the specific organising queries you may have – but this post gives you the overall process to look at when you start organising anything, and I hope it helps!