Get Organized! Step 2: SORT

by Kelsey Norwood

in Home,Making Over

Organizing Tip #1: Plan


To begin the decluttering process, start with 5 boxes, labeled as follows:

  • Garbage
  • Donate
  • Another Room
  • Think About
  • Return

Begin with one small area and make a huge pile of everything on the floor. Take things out of previous containers so you can see it all. This will help you sort and categorize.

Make sure your 5 containers are clearly marked so you don’t throw away something you wanted to donate, etc.

The “Another Room” box is for items that don’t belong in that space. Instead of putting those items away immediately, put them all in a box and put them away after you’re completely finished. If you put things away as you find them, you’ll get distracted in other rooms and never finish the original space.

The “Think About” box is for items that you need to give some more thought. There might be some items, etc, that you aren’t ready to give or throw away just yet. Put them on probation and wait three months. If you don’t use or think about those items in three months, get rid of them.

The “Return” box is for items that you’ve borrowed or for purchased items with tags still on. Return the borrowed items to the lender and take the unused tagged items back to the store.

I did this in my basement on Saturday and it worked wonderfully! I came out with a bag of trash, several boxes to donate, and a box of things to put elsewhere. I didn’t have any items to put on probation because most of the stuff in our basement has been there for about a year and I haven’t seen much of it in that time – I haven’t missed it so far and I don’t think I ever will.

Set a date to get started!


1 Deborah January 6, 2010 at 10:03 am

Great tips! I usually just make piles, but i like the idea of easy to carry bins or baskets to do my sorting.

2 Ty January 6, 2010 at 1:29 pm

This is great info. I like to organize like items and store them together. I am going to work hard to STAY organized this year.

3 Donnetta D. January 12, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Having “another room” box is an excellent idea. It’s so easy to get distracted by returning the item and seeing something else in the room you were not cleaning!

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