Get Organized! Step1: PLAN

by Kelsey Norwood

in Home,Making Over


In honor of January being National Get Organized Month, this post is the first in a five part series about getting organized!


I went to an organization class last year at our public library and learned some very useful things. I love containers and organizing and re-arranging things so this class inspired me to do some pre-spring organizing & purging. I feel like a new woman with much less clutter and junk! It’s a wonderful feeling, I highly recommend you simplify your life by decluttering your house.

SOooo, over the next few days I’m going to share some of the tips I learned with you.

The class was taught by Laura Lawrence and Vicki Winterton, two professional organizers. I’ll share some of their ideas with you.

We use 20% of our stuff 80% of the time. If you use something a lot, find a home for it. Everything you own needs to have a home; a place where you always put it when you’re finished and can find it when you need it.

Organizing takes a lot of thought and preparation before you actually begin decluttering, so your first assignment is to think about what you would want if you had to evacuate your house with only two hours to gather your things. This exercise will really help you identify what is important to you and what is just taking up space.

Ask yourself the following questions to determine what you should keep and what you should toss/give away, etc:

  • Do I like it?
  • Do I need it?
  • Will I use it?
  • Do I have room for it?

In my own decluttering adventure, I found that asking myself if I liked something was really helpful. I found that I was holding on to a lot of stuff that I didn’t even really like thinking that maybe someday I would like it or someday it would come back in style. If you don’t even like it, get rid of it!!!

January is National Get Organized Month, so get thinking about what you use, what you need, and what you can live without.

[photo from]


1 Jenny January 5, 2010 at 7:58 am

Peter Walsh, the TLC guy, has amazing dejunking books.

2 Dana January 5, 2010 at 9:11 am

I am so glad you are posting info on this subject. This really is my “must do” for 2010. I appreciate and look forward to all advice and tips on the subject.

3 Michelle January 5, 2010 at 10:22 am

Wow, 20% of our stuff 80% of the time? That’s kinda sad. Last year the Southern California fires were about two miles away from our house, so we had to plan our evacuation and actually did put some bags in the car. It really makes you realize that most of “it” is just not that important. Thanks for the reminder to declutter! I’m in serious need of that…

4 Britt B January 5, 2010 at 11:22 am

Thank you for doing this series! We are about to move, and this will help a TON with the decluttering process.

5 Michelle A. January 5, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I need help decluttering & organizing! I am planning a move so I need to get everything out & organize it all nicely in my new place! Cant wait for the rest of the series!

6 Kim @ Everything Etsy January 5, 2010 at 3:02 pm

It is time for organization…baby steps, baby steps. Sometimes I overwhelm myself and just stop. :)

Happy New Year!


7 Night owl mama January 5, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I began my decluttering over 2 months ago i moved 4 boxes out of the kids rooms and put them in the hall and kitchen. There they sat til this past weekend! I know, Awful!
Made a promise to be to Declutter my life thanks for the tips!

8 Marla January 6, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Wow you only have 2 hours to pack. Is it bad that the first thing that came to mind was my yarn stash and how easily I could fit it all into my large duffel bag? I see where my priorities lie. Obviously that would be after pets, photo albums and my computer and it’s external hard drive. But it’s quite an interesting scenario to think about.

9 Erin January 12, 2010 at 8:18 am

I would be the happiest person on Earth if my linen closet looked like the one in that photo…


10 Amy January 12, 2010 at 10:04 am

getting organized is such a looming task. life definitely feels better when everything has its place. and it isn’t just stuff that needs to be organized- but activities and goals. January is a great month for organization.

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