Installment 3 in my guest author series, reprinted from The Vail Voice 

“Whenever I try to get organized, I end up frustrated, exhausted and have nothing to show for it.” Does this sound like you? There’s no need to waste precious time and energy or spend money on systems that don’t work. Instead, follow these Four Simple Steps for Successful Organizing.

Step 1: Set up your process. You’ll need four bags or boxes marked Trash/Recycle, Donate, Return/Repair and Move to a Different Room.

Step 2: Purge completely. Ask yourself, “Do I love it or use it? Are there multiples? Does it have a place? Are there negative memories attached to it?” Keep or donate accordingly. “Is it damaged or outdated?” Fix it now or toss it. Instead of getting distracted running misplaced items room-to-room, make one stack and take it in one fell swoop. If tackling big projects makes you faint, do one drawer, shelf or stack at a time. Important: we’re only removing things now – don’t arrange or “organize” anything yet.

Step 3: Consolidate like with like. Corral the scattered bits of craft supplies, tools, candles, linens – or whatever – into purposeful piles. See how much you really have of each category and, if necessary, relocate them to a more useful place. Still, don’t “organize.”

Step 4: Organize last. Okay, now you can arrange, stack, roll, fold, hang or box up to your heart’s content! Measure thoroughly before buying bins or organizing systems to ensure that they fit your stuff and your space.

Voilả, you’re organized! Make letting go rewarding by donating to a charity you love, only keep things that add to your life in a positive way and always make room for new memories and experiences.

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