Tips for Quick Organizing

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When we need to tidy up the house in a hurry, we tend to use the laundry basket trick.  You know what I’m talking about- stuffing everything that’s out of place into a basket or box and hide it away.  While it’s a great temporary solution, it can easily become a recipe for disaster if the baskets/boxes and room they’ve been stashed in aren’t attended to regularly.  Here are a few tips for quickly organizing and cleaning up those baskets and catch all rooms.

  1. Take one basket/box into your living room and turn on a TV show that you enjoy :-)
  2. Sort the items in the box according to what they are or what room they belong in.  I usually end up with items for each of our bedrooms, the kitchen, the family room, as well as the never ending paperwork for filing.
  3. Don’t take the time to read every paper, look at every photo or fix broken things etc.  That would derail you from quickly attending to the mess.  Simply put things into appropriate piles and move on.  If there are things you’re not sure about, make a pile for undecided.  
  4. On the commercial breaks take all the items and put them away.  It’s not necessary to file all the papers, but do put them all together on top of the filing cabinet.  Although if you have a large pile already there it’s time to take them all into the living room and sort them for filing :-)
  5. Put the undecided items back into the box and move on to the next box – if your TV show hasn’t finished yet.  

I typically don’t organize for more than 1 show at a time.  After I complete a few boxes I can really see the progress and am more motivated to keep organizing.  The key to organizing is to make quick decisions and not be afraid to have an undecided pile.  If you can take a room that looks like this and end up with just one box of undecided items I call that a success.  It’s much better to organize the room and leave that one box for who knows how long than to leave the entire room in disarray.

By the way, I didn’t shove everything behind the white tablecloth. Those are our Christmas decorations but we don’t have an attic to store them in!

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