Sort It Out

Wicker baskets

With the huge variety of organizing products out there, it’s easy to become overwhelmed — and cash-strapped — when shopping for containers. As a professional organizer, I can help you demystify the myriad of bins, boxes, and baskets so you purchase products within your budget that will be beneficial for you and your spaces. You can also try some of these creative storage solutions.

The first thing — before you ever step foot in a store with the intention of buying organizing paraphernalia — is to sort, pare down, and evaluate your stuff. Whether it’s a closet crammed with clothes or a tiny junk drawer full of oddball items, you can’t contain it until you follow these steps:

1) Sort: Pick a space to tackle, and gather similar things together into piles. For example, if you’re organizing your bathroom, separate out hair-care products, first-aid supplies, towels/linens, make-up, paper products, etc. Once you can clearly see everything you have…

2) Pare down: You probably own much more than you originally thought, so start tossing! Get rid of anything broken, stained, or past its prime. Then, for remaining items, ask yourself if each item is truly beautiful, useful, or loved. If not, it’s time to go! Recycle, donate, or share those things with someone who really needs them, and then…

3) Evaluate what’s left: You probably don’t have nearly as much stuff as when you started! That’s a good thing. Now that you’re down to the essentials, you can…

4) Find the right spot: Decide where you’ll store each category of items, take note of the size of the spaces you have, and figure out what type of storage containers will work best. (Use a tape measure!) Now you can begin either shopping for new containers or creatively reusing those that you already own, saving environmental resources and money.

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