Organize Your Space and Start Right Now
How To Get in the Right Mindset for Organizing (and How To Start by Cleaning Out Your Handbag)
All About You :)
Before we start out, yes, I have read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
Most of what that book did was reinforce everything I already knew about cleaning and organizing, and I even disagreed with some of it. I got a few new ideas, but I tweaked them slightly to make organizing even more personal to you, since you are different from everyone else and the way you need to organize will vary from your peers!
Much like the author of Tidying Up, I used to think organizing meant shuffling things around into neat piles every few days, or when those piles inevitably gave in to entropy.
I think most organizing techniques teach you how to put things into nice piles. Even if they don't, they might not help YOU, like really help you, improve your life and internal state of being. That is what I want to do for you. It's not solely about your room or your house, it's about YOU.
Organizing your space is a perfect way to start living a fuller, simpler, more gratifying life. It's never too late to really organize your space and feel the benefits of less.
About the Word "Organize"
What you will learn is in part organization, but it's mostly renewal. Renewal is so important in achieving the space you want.
"Organizing" does imply, as stated earlier, shuffling things into neat piles. I want you to learn more than that. You'll learn to renew your inner self, your mindset, your emotional being, and your space. That will involve organizing, but not in the way you probably see all over the internet.
This is not about forced organization, saving time, or finding "clever storage methods." Nope. They're about you.
We'll call it "organizing" for the sake of simplicity, but what you'll learn here goes far beyond just that.
Organizing Your Space: A Lifelong Habit
I've been organizing since I was in 4th grade. I learn something new about it every day! Even I haven't totally perfected the art of organizing (I still can't decide if I want to keep certain clothes or not), but every day I am thankful that I discovered the benefits of less, and I feel them around me all the time.
I cleaned my dad's house before putting it on the market and it sold in a week. I cleaned my boyfriend and I's new condo in a month, while working a full-time job! It is possible.
I don't mean that you'll spend the rest of your life cleaning. No one wants that! I mean that you can carry these helpful organization tips with you wherever you go.
You'll always find new and exciting ways to improve your space.
You'll probably spend at least a month or two, or more depending on the starting situation, doing deep-cleaning and intensive organizing, sorting, and culling. After that, the benefits of less (having less stuff) will flow in and you might only have to sweep the floors every couple weeks!
Taking that first step toward less might be the hardest, but I guarantee you'll never look back. It all starts with getting rid of stuff you don't need.
Read on for a practice session on cleaning out your handbag so you can get a feel for what this organization mindset entails!
Want a Clean Handbag?Then reduce it down to seven things. That's right. Seven things.
You probably have way more than seven things in your handbag, am I right? That's okay! I can tell you the only seven things you really need in there... the rest is probably, well, junk.
The extra stuff weighs you down, doesn't it? These seven things are essentials, and the rest of whatever is in there (Candy? Makeup? Wrappers? Receipts? I can't think of anything else... I'm used to the essentials!) just makes it harder to find what you really want.
So, here's the list, the only seven things you need in your handbag:
You should have a jackknife key-chain. A very important tool... you never know!
Or music player, or not if you use your phone! I'm old school so I still use an iPod.
5. PenOkay, you're allowed 2 pens.
6. SunglassesYou're gonna want them at some point, trust me!
7. ChapstickOr something.
That's it! It seems kinda obvious, huh? I bet you root around and can't find your headphones (which should be attached to the iPod or coiled neatly in a pocket) or you never have a pen when you surprise-need-a-pen.
Clear out the clutter, and everything you really need is automatically right there.
Now to Start Cleaning!
Here are the basic steps to clean literally anything... any room or any space, just applied to an easy starting point of a purse.
1. Dump. It. Out.
Find a clear surface: the floor, your bed, a desk. Then just go for it! Dump everything out of your handbag. Make sure you scoop out ALL those pockets! Even the little hidden ones inside. You’ll be surprised what’s still in there…
First things first, find all the actual trash. There’s probably more than you think! Receipts, wrappers, old pencils, who knows… if it’s actually trash, get rid of it. Sometimes it’s hard to get rid of things, even receipts. But really, it’s okay.
Maybe you never thought about dumping everything out before and you can’t wait to throw stuff out! Here’s your chance. But if you’re worried…
Think of the extra space you’ll have without a pile of old receipts. Don’t even shove them in a pocket. Unless you literally need them to return something that day, throw them out.
Now find the seven essentials. Put them aside for now :)
The final pile you might have is non-essentials. Things that you wouldn’t throw away but that you don’t need to carry around every day. This might include extra pens, other headphones, change, a hairbrush… I don’t know, everyone compiles different stuff!
Next, consolidate those non-essentials. Here’s where you can cheat ;) Maybe you have a bunch of movie tickets. Put them in a pocket in your wallet! Link up all your keychains (and get rid of any old, annoying, or silly ones.) Any random trinkets or good luck charms? Maybe those can hide in an inner pocket.
Anything else can go in your bedroom, a bathroom cabinet, a drawer… put it somewhere it really belongs rather than your handbag. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you want to organize those other areas as well anyway!
Replace + Renew
The final and most rewarding step is refilling your handbag with just the essentials. Be in the moment as you do this, and look at the progress you just made. Congrats! Check out the pile of junk you don’t need anymore that was just taking up air space.
Now you can carry your handbag around and it will give you a feeling of peace. Sounds silly, but it’s true, especially if before it was super cluttered and overstuffed. Feel the new lightness and take a deep breath.
Hooray! You did it.
And guess what. Those three steps (Dump it Out, Sort, Renew + Replace) are the three basic steps to cleaning and organizing everything. In. Your. Space. That’s all it takes! Now you’re ready to tackle anything.
About the author
I believe in organization, emotional health/intelligence, and personal renewal. Organizing your space is a perfect way to start living a fuller, simpler life. Find emotional freedom and the benefits of less with these stories!