I used to be involved with a training and leadership organization. How to develop leadership skills, business and personal organizational skills, things like that. Concepts that I am not sure going to a 3 or 7 day class will ever be able to teach correctly. I was certified for client facilitation, so I had to go through all sorts of training. I enjoyed the training, and I enjoyed trying to help people get a hold on their lives and business- but I am not sure I ever really bought into the entire concept.
Habits and theory are great- and after 7 days you really feel the urge to go out and try some in your everyday life- but I expect that after 30 days a very high majority of clients went right back to where they were before in their lives and jobs. If you are organized, you will be organized. I think you are wired for that. If you're not wired, well, it's going to take a lot more than a thousand dollars and 7 days of your life to make it so.
With that in mind, I started on my new spring cleaning/fixing list. Right now I have over 30 items on my list to do this year. It's not even a quarter done, but I know that I have to start reining my list in. You can't make a to do list that is impossible to do- you will burn yourself out and may quit without getting anything done. When the list is done, then I will post it so that I can have some accountability on getting it accomplished. Until that day- I am working on principles and concepts first. Yes, concepts. I really did learn something I think in those classes after all.
First, in order to be organized, you have to be clean. Floors clean, some clean surfaces, dust and dirt under control. No matter how organized your place, if it's dirty, it will never feel finished and workable.
Second, Edit. Both what you have, and what you plan to bring into the space. I live by these rules
"do I need this?"
If the answer is yes than I put it where it needs to go or I buy it if it's not mine already.
If the answer if NO than I either move it out or put it in a longer term storage in my basement(for items that may have some particular use or need but not for everyday use -i.e. I need a fan, but only in the summer, in winter it goes into storage) If you don't have extra storage INSIDE your home than you will have to be even more ruthless and purge those single use items or items that don't fit into the next category of-
"do I LOVE this?"
again, yes- and you find it a home- no -and it needs to leave. Just because someone gave it to you is not a reason to keep something. Just because it was expensive doesn't mean you have to keep it. If it's a family piece maybe someone else in your family wants it. If it's not then it can sold, given away or donated.
Either way, your home should only have what you need and what you love.
That said- if you have room INSIDE your home or garage and want to keep some extra go ahead. Just make sure that you pack it carefully and label it so it doesn't become some great big pile of crap in your basement. Just don't fall into the trap of outside storage units. They are great for temporary storage for moves or for temporary storage of - say, a dead relatives furniture until it can be parcelled out. But they are temporary. If your stuff is in storage than it isn't being used by you, and I know that I would never put something I loved in storage, so it doesn't fit into my 2 categories. Sorry if this seems unfair to those in small houses or apartments, but it is. I know, I have lived in both. I still live in a small house. I can't have all the furniture I would love to own, that's just the way it is.
Third, Storage. Don't buy storage options first and then make it fit for your stuff. Know what you want to keep first and then work on storage options for YOUR stuff. If you have a ton of books- you need a ton of bookshelves. If you have a ton of paper products- you need files and boxes. Clothes and you need rods and hangers and boxes. You get the drift, buy what YOU need to work with YOUR stuff.
Fourth, Not all your stuff needs to be out at the same time. If you love glass AND pottery vases (for example) maybe your glass should be out in the spring and summer and the pottery in the fall and winter. Not all your kids artwork needs to be out all the time. Maybe just a few of the nicest, most recent pieces can be highlighted. To much out and you can't see anything.
Fifth( and last for today). Have a list of basics you need on hand. Make sure those are filled- but not overfilled. Make sure they are in a place you can find them every time you need them and make a note when they need to be refilled. We have all bought an extra "fill in the blank" thinking we needed it, when in actuality we had one, we just couldn't locate it when it was needed.
Not having multiples of the same thing will save money and space. Two things that we all need more of.
Back to work on my to do list.......