Organization Tips: Getting Rid of Old Junk

Written by: Nicholas Brit
Being organized can save you plenty of time and money. Organization systems will ensure that you keep stress and frustration to a minimum. An organized space increases efficiency, balance and management because everything is in its designated spot. No need to spend hours looking for that file or missing shoe. It is important to remember that even though organization doesn’t occur in one day, a system can be set up in one day. But it must be maintained in order to be efficient.

Organization and De-cluttering

As you begin your journey to becoming organized it is important to work on one room at a time, lest you become completely overwhelmed. Select one area to start with and work from there. It is imperative to focus on all the items in the room, identify those that receive daily use and matter to you and pinpoint the items that haven’t been used in over one year. Create three sorting piles:
  1. Things to keep
  2. 30 Day maybes
  3. Things to get rid of
Sort all items in the room into these three categories. All the items placed in the 30 day pile should be put in storage bins out of the room (basement, garage, short-term storage facility). Place all the items you are going to get rid of in bins as well and place them out of the room. Now that you have the room's essentials put these items in designated spaces. It is important to pay attention to item placement and make a conscious effort to return items back to its space to continually keep organized. Wait 30 days and if you didn't use anything from your 30 day pile, then get rid of it. If there was something that was used then decide whether or not it is worth keeping.

Office Organization Tips

Organizing an office can seem daunting. But utilizing space efficiently and maintaining digital and paper files can make a huge difference. Examine the office; are there empty wall spaces around you? If yes, consider installing easy mounting hanging shelves and sorters. This will open up the space and provide more storage areas for books, notebooks and files. Clean off your desk and only keep the essential supplies there. Never allow desk buildup, designate a space for incoming documents. Once you read through one of those documents decide immediately where it belongs, do not place it back on your desk and get back to it later. Commit to keeping paper flow down. Always place reference files in filing cabinets and keep action files within easy reach.

Home Organization Tips

The first step in getting organized is to identify the problem area: closets, entry way, living room or kitchen. Once you designate problem areas make a plan for organizing the space. Use the de-cluttering tips from above. Then focus on including everyone in the family in the organization. For example if your entry way is always in constant chaos then consider clearing the space of junk. Then designate space for every family member by hanging one hook and placing a chic storage box with their name on it beneath the hook. This way once the kids get home from school, their jackets are hung up (not thrown on the floor!) and backpacks and activity equipment gets placed in the bin box. This ensures no more lost papers or delays in the morning.

Getting Rid of the Old

Now comes the tricky part; what to do with the old stuff you no longer want. You can invite some friends and family over and see if anyone is interested in any of your stuff. This is ideal for clothing or furniture. If you don't want to do that, consider donating gently used items to charities in your community or the Salvation Army. There’s a chance you could even profit from your ‘junk’ by hosting a yard sale or posting items on Craigslist (best for large items you don't want to ship) or EBay (best for clothing, toys, collectibles and jewelry). There still might be leftover items and you can throw them away, but pay attention to sensitive items that must be disposed of properly: computers, printers, laptops, and other electronics. You can check the United States Environmental Protection Agency website in order to ensure proper disposal information.