January 17, 2014

Get Organized, One Small Space at a Time

Heidi Milton

Raise your hand if getting organized is on your list of goals for 2014!  I think I’ve put that on my list of goals/resolutions every year since my third child was born 15 years ago.  I always start off strong, highly motivated.  And then life takes over.  I get busy and tired and overwhelmed.  And any notions I had of getting and staying organized are squelched.

Sound familiar?

Well, this year, I’m trying something new.  I’ve decided to tackle whole home organization by working on one small space at a time.  You know those small spaces — that corner of the kitchen  counter, the junk drawer, the cabinet under the bathroom sink.  Those spaces that you look at and are immediately overwhelmed by.  The ones that make you cringe and maybe even wonder what’s in them.

So I started by making a list of every small space I could think of in my home that needed to cleared out and reorganized — every surface, every closet, every cabinet that is not functioning as I need them to.

small space list

My goal with this project (you can read more on my blog) is to work on this over the course of the entire year.   To help keep myself accountable, I’ve committed to one post a month with before and after photos of whatever small space(s) I’ve tackled.  Some months there will be several.  Maybe some months only one.  But the goal is to keep chipping away at it until my home is functioning in an organized fashion.

This week, I started with a simple small space, the bottom shelf of my coffee table.

coffee table before

This space winds up being a dumping ground for newspapers and magazines I don’t want on the top of the coffee table.  That’s all fine, until you add a couple of board games, a book someone just finished reading, and all those catalogs that arrive right before the holidays.  You see what I’m left with!

So I pulled everything off the shelf, polished it up, and began sorting into piles.  Magazines and newspapers and catalogs went straight into the recycling bin.  The board games went into the cabinet where they belong and the books were returned to their rightful spot on a bookshelf or in a bag to donate.

So what went back under?  The football program guides we love to refer to went into a large round basket, some of our favorite coffee table type books were stacked neatly, and I finished the space with a large ceramic decorative pear.  Simple, functional, easy to dust.

coffee table after

Ahhh.  So much better.  I can breathe easier just looking at this.

coffee table angle

This small space was organized from start to finish in 20 minutes.  20 minutes!  Granted, some small spaces are larger and more complicated than others and may take a couple of hours to complete.  But even so, by breaking my organizing goal into bite-sized pieces, I’m motivated to do one every few days now.  Or maybe even several over a weekend.

And, of course, crossing even the smallest task off the list feels great, doesn’t it?

If you would like to join in on my small space project this year, head over to Decor & More to read more.  I’m happy to be your accountability partner, if you’ll be mine!  And for more organization inspiration, check out my Organization Pinterest board and an Organization Board to which I contribute.  Loads of ideas and visual eye candy to get you motivated.

Ok, so share your organization strategies with the rest of us!  What works for you?

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