How to Organize Absolutely Anything

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Image of shopping carts lined up against a brick wall and phrase, How to Organize Absolutely Anything Do you need help when it comes to organizing things?

Looking for a few pointers that can be used in pretty much any organizing project?

In this post, I show you the five simple steps you need to follow if you want to organize anything—absolutely anything—in the world.

Whether you are organizing items at home, work, school or somewhere in between, you’ll find the direction you need.

Step 1. Decide what you are going to organize.

What do you want to organize?

Broad statements, such as, “I want to organize my house,” are a good start, but you’ll find it even more helpful to drill down and specify exactly what it is you want to organize.

From the example above, do you want to organize a bookcase? Organize your room? How about organizing your refrigerator or hallway?

This tip applies for any organizing project. The clearer you can be in defining what it is you want to organize, be it a chest full of toys, files or gardening equipment, the easier it will be to do your work.

Step 2. Collect items and/or materials.

Hopefully the items you want to organize are located in the same physical location. If they aren’t, you’ll need to make arrangements so they are. The reason for this? Well, the whole point of organization is putting things in some sort of order. That being said, you need to be able to compare and contrast items amongst one another. It’s the only way you can find patterns and themes running through whatever it is you’re going to organize.

You may find it helpful to set up an organizing workspace before you begin your project in earnest.

Step 3. Appropriately sort items and/or materials.

Wondering how you should go about sorting everything? Don’t worry, we’re going to make things really simple! The easiest way is to sort items broadly at first. For starters, let’s say you have a pile of stuff from your coffee table you want to organize. How should you process everything? Start first by going through the items one-by-one, and make a decision: either keep the item, toss it (throw away) or donate it (there may be someone out there who could use what you no longer want). That’s it.

After you’ve finished with your first round of sorting, you can refine your sorting and start grouping like items with like. For example, markers go with markers, papers with papers, and books with books.

Step 4. Select an organizing system.

Now that you’ve sorted everything, it’s time to figure out what organization system you are going to use. Remember, it doesn’t matter so much which organizing system you use, as long as you can find what you need when you need it.

Let’s say you are organizing the shirts in your closet. You’ve got a bunch of long-sleeved shirts, short-sleeved shirts, tank tops, t-shirts and blouses. How many different ways could you organize these shirts? You could organize them by fabric, pattern, color, weight, types…the list goes on and on! In the end, you might decide to organize everything by their type, that is tank tops with tank tops and so on.

Remember, all you really have to do is choose one organizing system that works for you, and stick with it.

Step 5. Store items.

Lastly, the final step in organization is to properly store everything you’ve sorted and organized for safekeeping. You can choose any method of storage for your needs, be it containers, boxes, baskets, drawers, bins, trunks, cabinets and so on.

Try making use of whatever storage materials you may already have; and then shop for organizing products as needed. At this point in time, you might decide to label your items, or make a cheat sheet as to where you’ve stored everything in your home or office for easy retrieval.

How about you? What items are you going to organize using these tips? Join in the conversation and leave a comment below!

Follow Rashelle:
Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 3 Smart Steps to Organizing Your Home, by clicking here.