A professional organizer’s guide to kick-starting decluttering and organizing for 2024.
In 2023, Sort & Simple completed more than 30 projects and supported over 100 individuals in their organizing journey, and everyone had the same question -
"How do I get started?"
It’s the time of year when new beginnings abound and we want to give you the secret ingredient to organizing success. Whether you prescribe to new years resolutions, or are just ready to make a change, we’re ready to share our #1 tip for getting organized!
HINT: It’s Not to Declutter
You might be thinking the first step is to declutter. And while that typically is a major part of the process, there’s something we need to do first! Before attempting to make decisions about what to let go of or keep, it is essential to identify your goals and motivators.
That’s right. Before you break a sweat moving boxes, shuffling papers and emptying out drawers, we need to sort out what we are working towards and why. Not only will this help you work towards a specific goal, it’s going to empower you to make intentional decisions.
STEP 1: VISUALIZE YOUR SPACE
Close your eyes and picture your space transformed. What does it look like?
Likely, you’re already picturing a functional, tidy space where you can easily access and put away items. If it’s an office, there are neat filing systems and a clear workspace. In a bedroom you see calming colours and a floor clear of clothes and clutter.
Let’s keep going. How does the space feel once it’s organized? Maybe your craft room feels inspiring, creative and peaceful. Or a kitchen feels cozy, welcoming and energetic.
From there, what activities are you doing in the space? Identify the functions that it serves. In a storage room you might picture yourself stowing away holiday decor with ease, whereas, in a living room you can picture friends and family gathering together with space to play games.
Now, imagine how you feel in this space. Confident, peaceful, happy, excited, relieved - these are many of the common emotions clients are working towards.
STEP 2: WRITE IT DOWN
Having created a clear and specific visualization of your transformed space, it’s important that you write it down. This further solidifies the image you’ve created and turns the vision into articulated thoughts.
If you share the space with others, this is a great time to get them involved in the process. Work together to define a collective vision that aligns with everyone's needs and preferences. By writing everything down we increase the likelihood of being on the same page and can address any discrepancies right away. Setting clear expectations and goals early on helps everyone feel heard and increases buy-in throughout the process.
TIP: Post your vision on a wall to keep you on track.
And use our worksheet to organize your thoughts!
STEP 3: FIND YOUR MOTIVATIONS
With your clear and specific vision identified, take a look over and see if you can spot your key motivators. These are the “why’s” that will keep you working towards your goal.
Here are some examples of visions and their accompanying motivators:
My space will look beautiful.
Motivated by aesthetics.
My space will feel inspiring and creative.
Motivated to have space for hobbies and learning.
I will be able to cook for my family.
Motivated to spend time with loved ones.
I will feel confident in my abilities.
Motivated to grow and improve self-esteem.
TIP: List at least three motivators that you can refer to throughout the process. These are going to be paramount to overcoming obstacles like loss of momentum or indecision.
STEP 4: TIME TO DECLUTTER!
Armed with an inspiring vision and clear motivations, now you’re ready to tackle the decluttering and organizing process. When you come across items you’re not sure about letting go of, reflect on whether it aligns with your vision. You’d be surprised how many things we have in our homes that don’t match our goals. With your specific goals in mind you’ll be able to make intentional decisions confidently.
It’s time to apply what you’ve learned and to make 2024 the year you declutter, organize and reach your goals!
Want to make it even easier to get started?
To guide you through finding your organizing vision, download our complimentary worksheet here.
Looking for additional support? We’d love to work with you through identifying your goals and motivations, to set you up for success.
Simple Notes: How to Begin to Organize My Space for 2024
Visualize your transformed space.
Write down your vision (invite others to share their thoughts).
Identify your motivations.
Begin to declutter with intentional decisions
About the Author
Kaytlyn Beakhouse is the Lead Organizer at Sort & Simple Professional Organizing. With a passion for simplicity, efficiency and sustainability, her team brings flow and function to any space. Need help getting started?