Having an organized space can make or break your productivity, stress level and overall well-being. But knowing where to start can be a challenge.
Bonnie Hudson, founder of Beyond Organized MO, LLC, says organizing a space not only creates balance, but it allows people to regain control of their lives. “You will be more focused on what you want to achieve, you can manage time more effectively. You might even have more energy and enthusiasm once you have achieved freedom from chaos,” she says.
But how do you find that freedom? Hudson uses a simple acronym to assist people in their organizing journey.The five-step SPACE method is meant to help someone tackle any organizational project.
Step 1: Sort
Start with removing everything from your target area. Once the room or space is completely empty, start sorting items into piles, which could be as simple as putting shoes in one pile and belts in another. “Your goal is simply to empty your target area and sort every single item into general categories,” Hudson says.
Step 2: Purge
This is typically the hardest step for most people. It’s during this step that you will decide what items will stay in the original target area, which items you will keep somewhere else, what will go in the trash, what you will donate and what items you might be able to sell. For someone with an emotional attachment to items, it could be difficult to say goodbye to something you have held onto for a long time, and Hudson says that’s OK. “We don’t ever want to make some-one get rid of something,” she says. “We just want to find a way to organize things that they want to keep.
Step 3: Assess
Now that you’ve emptied and sorted the items in your target area, this step should be pretty simple. This is the time to identify what items should be stored together, as well as where and how to store them. “Pay close attention to all the remaining items and put them back in a way that not only fits and makes the most of the space you have, but also leaves each item functional and accessible,” Hudson says.You might ask yourself, what was previously working or not working? What items fit best? What items do you commonly use? All these questions will help you be able to picture where each item should go in a way that makes the most sense for you.
Step 4: Contain
This is when you’ll put that assessment plan into action and begin to see real results. “You will really start to see your efforts pay off,” Hudson says. As you start to finally put items away, make sure the picture you had in your head is functional in real life and that you like the way it looks. If not, make any needed adjustments before moving on to the final step.
Step 5: Embellish
This step is completely optional and is just meant to add the finishing touches to your al-ready beautifully organized space. This is when you’ll add liners, labels or any other decorative touches to bring your organization to the next level and get that look you’ve been dreaming of.
Don’t forget that the work is not over after one day. You want to make sure you make proper habits to stay organized for the long haul. That means showing the new method of organizing to each member of the household, Hudson says. The goal is to keep it simple and develop routines. That way, you have a place for everything, and everyone knows where it is.
Make sure to keep a detailed to-do list and don’t get bogged down by perfectionism. And remember to toss and purge things routinely.
When you’re ready to start your next organizational project, Hudson has one other piece of advice: Make it fun. Put on your comfy clothes, turn on your favorite music, maybe even pour yourself a cocktail and make a day of it. Hudson lives by this, even when working with her own clients. “The conversation is typically fun, and we are just laughing with our clients. It’s important to make it fun,” Hudson says.
And there’s always the option of hiring a professional to help with those really daunting projects. “We operate on zero judgement,” Hudson says. “We know life gets in the way for everybody and we also know that people have different strengths.
Five Step SPACE Method for Organizing Your Home
S space – Empty out your target area and sort items into piles.
P purge – Determine which items to keep, trash, donate or sell.
A assess – Identify what should be stored together, where and how.
C contain – Gather some organizing supplies to contain your items and put things away.
E embellish – The final step is completely optional.Embellish your newly organized space with liners, labels and other decorative touches.