Congratulations!!! You did Step One which is the painstaking planning process. Step two is the easy part I promise! Its getting your hands dirty and facing your home the way it is. Now choose an easy room, or drawer, or cabinet. I suggest starting small and working your way up to whole rooms if this is your first time. I will use the example of a library/office because it usually has Big Picture categories which are easier to describe.

Simple Steps to Categorizing a Room or Drawer

Step One: If doing a whole room start simply by removing everything that does not belong in the room. For instance look at the room plan if this is to be a library and office. Then remove all objects that do not fit that zone. Example: toys or kitchen items. You planned what the room should be and where the objects were going to go in that room. Remove what does not belong.

Pro Tip: If your planning a library/office now is the time to gather all the library and office things from around the house. You must see everything you have in order to plan your space correctly. This will help you to actually see what you want to keep from all your things. Example: If books are what your trying to zone. Then you must get every book from around the house and make that the book zone.

***This is KEY to keeping your home organized after you did the work. Also this is usually why homes do not stay organized.***

Step Two: Put your furniture in place. This will help you visualize the space. (SEE BELOW)


Step Three: Categorize each item in the room now. Now that you have gathered what belongs categorize it. Start categorizing BIG categories!

 Example : Put all papers together, all office supplies, all books ect.. DO not drown yourself in decisions. Do not look at what the paper is yet , just put it in a pile for now. Same with office supplies do not categorize all pencils, paper clips ect… just put them all in a pile first. If you start trying to make these decisions while sorting everything you will stop the process and not finish the job.

Step Four: Start with one pile and begin making your decisions. Choose what is kept and what goes to trash or donate.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Does this have a purpose?
  • Do I have more than one?
  • How much room do I have for kept items in this category?
  • Do I like It?
  • Is it broken? If so how long has it been broken? Will I ever fix it?
  • Was it a gift? ( ask yourself this because often my clients bring this up and say I have to keep this. It was a gift.) Remember once the gift is given it is up to you what happens to it.

Once you made the decision on an item move forward. Do not dwell on the choice. Do step four for each category in the room.

Step Five: Take out all donates and trash out of the room. Put a time frame on dropping off your donates.

You can apply each of these steps to any drawer, cabinet or room in your house. The choice is yours!


Pro Tip: Papers are one of the biggest problems in homes. Its best to invest in bankers boxes for the process. In one bankers box there can be up to 2,000 decisions. Take this one day at a time. I will do a specific post on papers. Do not try and tackle this category until the rest of your home is done. As you collect papers make sure there are no immediate things to be done like bills all others should be placed in the box in the office and move on.

Check back on the next post for how to finish your room!! Like Laundry