Home Organization: Where Should I Start?

Are you in that moment where the whole entire house is disorganized and so you just freeze and have no idea where to start?

I totally get that.

Several years ago I was in that moment and I decided to try the method that Marie Kondo prescribes where you organize every single thing in a category first, starting with clothes.

Now, I loved the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and I know it has worked wonders for many people.

It did not for me. At least not the decluttering part.

I collected all of my clothes and this happened.

That was just my clothes. Before I purged. I purged and got rid of a lot of it, but I still to this day (and that was 5 years ago) haven’t completely recovered from that mess. It’s like I’ve become allergic to putting things back in the closet.

That’s a separate problem, what I wanted to talk about today is why I don’t think this is where you want to start when organizing your home.

I don’t think you should start with an overwhelming pile of stuff as you see here. It’s too much. If you don’t follow through it leaves you in worse shape than you started.

I do think you should start with a room. A single room.

And it should be whichever room’s state of disorganization is most adversely affecting your life.

For a lot of people that’s the kitchen. The kitchen is one of the most functional rooms in the home and therefore organization is a requirement. You cook probably 2-3 times a day in that room. That requires stuff. Food, utensils, pans, oven mitts…

It’s a lot of stuff in there. It’s an excellent place to start your organizing mission.

If, for some reason, it’s not the place that is most affecting your life adversely then figure out which room that is and start there.

Ok, you’ve figured out your room.

Are you still overwhelmed?

This is an actual event that happened to me recently. Just to illustrate that I do understand the feeling that you are having with the disorganization.

I recently redecorated my bedroom. New rug, new linens, new furniture, lighting… Everything new.

Before I allow myself to bring in all of that awesome new stuff, I make myself do a deep cleaning of the room.

While cleaning the bedroom I realized we have a major clothes storage problem. By we, I mostly mean my husband (and a little bit me, too).

I looked at his closet and his dresser and the laundry bins filled with stuff and I started to feel defeated. Like, what’s the point of all of this awesome new stuff when there was still this mess to contend with.

I started thinking, I’m never going to finish cleaning this room and get my awesome new stuff set up.

And then a little light bulb went off. Putting these clothes away isn’t cleaning. It’s organizing.

It’s not what I need to be doing right now, it’s a distraction and an interruption and I should be cleaning.

So I shoved all of my husband’s clothes inside the closet and made a note to consider a way to organize that closet so that he would use it in a way that worked for him.

The other thing that I learned in that moment is that I don’t have to have “Organize the Bedroom” on my list, I can just have “Organize Justin’s Closet” on my list.

Now we’ve gone from

I have to organize this house. The WHOLE house. (forget it, messy is easier).

to

I can just start with the room that is most adversely affecting my life.

to

I can start with this one part of this one room that is most adversely affecting my life and it will make a great impact on the state of disorganization in this house.

Doesn’t that feel so much better?

Do you feel like organizing one closet is doable?

I know, I do, too!

The other benefit of starting in this way is that you get a fast outcome that makes an impact on your every day life.

Organizing that closet of my husband’s will mean he will stop saying, “I have no clothes” (He has TONS) and I will stop being annoyed about the fact that he doesn’t put anything away.

It feels so much more manageable and actually a tiny bit exciting to think of transforming just one small space at a time.

Right?

Seriously. It’s not just me, right?