The most frequently asked question by my organizing clients is,
“Where should we start?”
It’s a great question for figuring out the next step. The first step was deciding that getting organized was a priority. Now that you’re ready to begin the organizing process, you’re unsure about where to begin. I’ll share some ideas that my clients have found useful.
If you take away nothing else, remember . . . there is no wrong place to start.
To figure out where-to-start, ask more questions.
Are you organizing single, confined areas like closets and drawers?
- If so, have you cleared time in your schedule to complete an entire single project?
- Or, will you need multiple time blocks to complete one single area?
- Base your where-to-start decision on the time component and scheduling the time you need to complete a single area.
Are you organizing multiple areas, as in many rooms or every room in your home?
Time and scheduling are also part of these multi-phased projects. In addition, choosing where-to-start requires asking additional questions because there are so many options. Again, remember that there is no wrong place to start.
Here are some questions consider:
- Which room would be most helpful to organize first?
- Is it the area you spend the most time in?
- Is it the room that’s easiest to organize because it’s almost done?
- Is it the room that’s causing you the most angst?
- Is it the room you know exactly what to do, but just need the time to do it?
- Is it the area that will have the biggest, positive effect on your daily living?
- Is it the one that you feel like organizing today?
- Is it the area that you the have mental and physical energy to work on today?
Some spaces are more emotionally draining than others. Papers for instance take a lot longer to process and decision-fatigue can set in quickly. Clothing closets and drawers are usually faster and results are realized more easily. Of course this varies by person. Some of you many love organizing papers and detest closet organizing.
Once you’re in a room, more where-to-start questions arise. They include:
- Do you want to edit the floor first so you can more easily move around?
- Do you want to edit the surfaces (counters, chairs, shelves) first to more quickly notice the visual change?
- Do you want to edit the closets and drawers first to make space for things that don't have any place to be stored?
- Do you want to work in a zigzag pattern or move methodically from one end of the room to the other?
- Do you want to edit the biggest, bulkiest items first to make more space?
- Do you want to remove the items to discard first?
Guess what? You know what I’m going to say, right? There is no wrong place to start.
The questions are useful so that you can define your parameters and figure out where to begin. The great part is that there are no wrong answers.
I’ve given you a few questions to get your started. What other questions do you find useful for figuring out where to start organizing? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join our conversation!