Lynne Ring

Finding a space for all of your household items

So have you chosen your zones for the various rooms of your home? For a quick review, each room is broken down into zones of activity. You place all of the stuff pertaining to that activity within its zone.

Once we have figured out the activities, then we begin the actual physical task of getting everything where it belongs. Last time, I used the example of the kitchen and the various activities that occupy that room of your home. You may have not even thought about separating the room into zones. You put the stuff in the cupboard, move it around sometimes and that’s it, right?

You save time and energy by using zones because you know where everything is and have it within easy reach.

Here is a foolproof method of starting to eat that elephant (clutter). SPACE – it’s a simple word but as an acronym it’s a powerful system of organizing just about anything – a drawer, a desk, a room, an entire house.

S – Sort: This is where we sort the items into broad categories.

P – Purge: This is the elimination phase (oh it can be tough).

A – Assign a home: Where is the best place to store the item?

C – Containerize: Here we find the smallest container to house the items.

E – Edit or equalize: This is the regular tune up the space requires to keep it organized.

Sort – This is where we sort the items into broad categories. The kitchen is tough to get done all at once because it is usually the hub of your household and has a lot of stuff in it. So I’m going to show you how to sort through the kitchen cupboards.

Remember this is ‘sort’ only. No purging or assigning a new home yet.

Think of the zones that would work for your kitchen. Start in one corner and work your way around. For example, all of the dishes, chopping boards, utensils and spices that you use for preparing your meals will be housed in the food preparation zone. Go through the cupboards and make your first pile.

Then your cooking zone will house all of the pots and pans and utensils you use for cooking, so go through the cupboards and put all of those items together. The dishwashing and storage zone will be the home of your everyday dishes and utensils. The food storage zone will hold all of the canned goods, cereals, staples, etc. and the household information zone will be the home to all of the paper that is floating around. The utility zone is where you will house all of your cleaning supplies, so put all of that together in a group.

In order words, once you have created your zones, you simply put all of the items that pertain to that zone together. And voila! You’re ready to move on to purge.

Now you will likely have some stuff that doesn’t belong in any of the zones, so that means it probably doesn’t belong in the kitchen. Take it to the part of the house that you think will house it and deal with it when you get to that room.

Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day and you’re not going to get your whole house organized in one day either. Be patient with yourself. You will get it all done and it will feel great!

So now I was sitting here thinking, oh my gosh you’re going to have everything out of the cupboards and on the counters and you’re going to have to wait a bit for the next step, so maybe it’s best to start planning what your zones will be and then wait until we have gone through ‘space’ to actually begin reorganizing your kitchen!

Next time we purge!

Til then, I’ll leave you with this: Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.

Lynne Ring is the founder of The Organizing Guru. She can be reached at 403-343-2201 or by email at organizingguru@shaw.ca. Also check out www.organizing.ca.

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