Spring Cleaning: 10 Tips for Keeping Things Organized

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It must be the warm air or something, but over the weekend I decided to go through our entire apartment and get rid of the extra stuff.  It is amazing how much stuff you can accumulate in 10 months.  We were very blessed at my wedding showers and our wedding, but in a one bedroom apartment it can get pretty cramped especially when you don’t have much in the way of storage space.I have always been a person that did not like clutter, so it was nice to clear some space.

I really enjoy organizing things and not having too much stuff is a key factor in not having a messy space.  Things can’t get messy if there isn’t stuff to make it messy.  I thought I would share with you some tips on how I do “out with the old” and keep things organized.

10 Tips for Keeping Things Organized

  1. Go room by room
    1. Start on one side of the room and don’t go onto the next room until the room you are in is finished.
  2. Sort items into piles
    1. Some of the piles I use are “Keep”, “Donate”, “Storage”, and “Trash”.
    2. Use several different bags/boxes for each category.
  3. Ask yourself questions
    1. Do I really need this?
    2. Why am I saving this?
    3. Is it necessary?
    4. Do I have the space for this?
    5. Have I used it in the past 6 months to year?
    6. If I save it, is it just going to sit in a box for the next 10 years?
    7. Does it fit now, not possibly in the future?
    8. Do I have more than one?
  4. When you buy one new item, donate two other items
    1. I don’t always follow this rule, but it is something that may help you to not accumulate things over time and have to do a major purge latter.
  5. Don’t Over Buy
    1. If you don’t over buy items, you won’t have as much to organize later.
    2. The only time I buy more than one is if it saves me a little money in the long run. But I still try to be careful that it is only things that I use on a daily basis.
  6. You don’t have to keep items because they belonged to someone
    1. Just because a particular item belong to aunt so-and-so doesn’t mean that it has any value to you or you even like it.  Memories of the person are better than their stuff.
    2. You could also take a picture, if seeing the item really helps you remember them. Photos take up much less space.
  7. Don’t save it for your children
    1. Chances are your children are going to have different taste than you and styles will change.
    2. Only save it if it means something to you.
  8. If you haven’t worn it in the last year chances are you never will
    1. Don’t save clothes in the hopes that they might fit you latter. Because they may never fit and will be taking up space in your closet.
    2. You can however keep one clothing item if it is a motivator for you to get in shape, but try not to keep it longer than a year.
  9. When it comes to papers, you don’t need to keep everything
    1. Normally you only need documents from one year past.
    2. There are some important documents such as titles and certificates that should always be kept, but for most other papers try to sort through and trash once to twice a year.
    3. You can also go paperless on most all statements which will save you even more space, and you can save them virtually for years to come.
  10. It’s just stuff
    1. I know we can form attachments to things, but in the end it is just stuff.
    2. The Bible says “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~ Matthew 6:19-21
    3. If you have a really hard time getting rid of stuff try praying about it.
    4. Consider donating your items to people who you know will really use it, like a shelter or mission organization. This may help you to see that they need it more than you do.

I hope these tips help you.  I am not an expert and neither am I always organized, but it’s the effort that counts.  Leave me a comment with some of your organization tips.

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