7 Steps of Getting Organzied 

On Monday, we introduced you to Professional Organizer Lisa O'Connell of Positive Place Design. Today, Lisa is back with her 7 Steps of Getting Organized, along with a list of resources to help prepare and equip you to regain control of your cluttered home and life. Lisa's approach to organizing is very holistic. "I don’t come in with a lot of rules, guidelines and strict strategies to make you throw out all your stuff." she says. "First I sit with the client and find out the true story of their life, their stuff and especially time management."

The 7 Steps of Getting Organized

1. Evaluate Yourself and Your Space
The beginning of balancing your home is not organizing. What you need to do first is sit down and evaluate what you are not happy with in your space and within yourself. By evaluating your feelings and emotions as well as the state of your space you can find out where you are now. What are you not happy with in your personal life?  What negative emotions or feelings is the disorganization of your space causing? What positive feelings are you missing in your personal life because of your clutter? What is the problem area in your home? What isn’t working or flowing right in your environment? Do have too much stuff, not enough space or storage?

2. Determine Your Goals
What are your goals? Just thinking about them or visualizing is not enough. This is where you write down first what you want to accomplish, what you want to get rid of, change or improve. What are your personal aspirations, your goals, the final result you are looking for in your space?  Again, take into consideration the inside and the out. How do you want to feel in your space? What negative energy drains do you want to get rid of and what positive energy creators to you want to add?  What do you want your organized and balanced space to look like? What is the final result you want in your space? 

3. Identify Your Roadblocks and Motivators
This step is very important because it is about realizing and identifying what your roadblocks and motivators are. What has stopped you from starting to get organized before? What sabotaged you when you did get started but couldn’t maintain it? Are you a perfectionist? Can’t say no? Are you a chronically disorganized and a hoarder? Find out what didn’t work before and replace the roadblocks with motivators. What inspires you to keep going? What positive affirmations will help to keep you on track? Having strong motivators in place will help you to focus on your end goals.

Organized laundy room

4. Create an Action Plan.
Next, it is time to define what action steps need to be taken and in what order. What is the best way to reach your goals? Create a time schedule, and pace yourself. Divide the area you want to focus on into smaller, more manageable parts. Do not 'zigzag' organize.

5. Identify What Belongs Where.
Categorize each item you own into the 4 following groups: 1. Keep 2. Storage 3. Don’t know  4. Eliminate (Donate, give to friends or family, or toss it). This is a very crucial step in this program. You must go through each possession or room and decide what everything means to you and what you want to do with it. Decide, does it bring good memories or bad? Is it negative or positive? Is it broken, not being used or just clutter?

6. Organize!
Once you have eliminated what you don't need or what does not support the life you wish to create, you must organize your space so that every possession has a home. A lot of people get overwhelmed and frustrated by the sheer volume of stuff they have to organize. The most important thing is to break it down into smaller, more manageable parts. Pick one area of your kitchen - not the whole kitchen; pick one area of your desk - not the whole office. Concentrate and focus on that area and do not worry about the rest. Take one small step at a time.

7. Maintain.
Some consider this the hardest part of all. How do you maintain all these elements when there is so much going on in your life and time is a luxury as it is? Once you make this a priority, you realize and believe that maintaining a positive environment is vitally important to the quality of your future, you will change your perspective and actually look forward to organizing and enhancing your home. 

Books on organization

In addition to Lisa's clear 7 steps of getting organized, there are an abundance of home organization resources available online and in print. These web and book reccomendations are personally selected by Lisa to help you get organized and create the home of your dreams:


1. Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern
2. Stop Clutter from Stealing Your Life by Mike Nelson
3. Making Peace with the Things in your Life by Cindy Glovinsky
4. How to be Organized in Spite of Yourself by Sunny Schlenger
5. Affluenza: The all Consuming Epidemic by John De Graff
6. Healing Home by Suzy Chiazzari
7. Holistic Home by Joanna Trevelyan
8. Home Harmony by Suzy Chiazzari

Looking for more organizaion inspiration? Take a look at the Lamps Plus Storage Solutions board on Pinterest!

Image credits: House and Home Living.