Use It or Lose It: How to Get Organized

Being organized can feel like floating on a cloud!  You can find what you need, your home runs efficiently and you have time to relax.

Unfortunately, many of us are sinking under piles of stuff that we feel we should keep.  As the pile grows, so does anxiety and the length of time we spend trying to find things.  Ironic, isn’t it?

Look around.  Are you floating or sinking?  (I’d like to take this opportunity to mention that I lay no claim to that messy, messy garage in the photo. 😉 )

I usually organize my home once a year and here are some tips that work for me!

How to Organize Your Home


Start with the easiest room first. No procrastination, pick a day to work and finish that day.  The success you feel will give you energy to tackle another room!

  • Sort into piles.   1. Keep  2.  Not Sure  3. Get Rid Of
  • Items in the Keep pile should be put away in their proper places.
  • Items in the Get Rid Of pile should be bagged or boxed up. (more on that in a minute)
  • Items in the Not Sure pile should be gone through last.  Take your time and think about these items.


Sometimes it is hard to decide what to get rid of.  Here are some things to keep in mind as you’re sorting:

  • Have you used it in the last year?  If not, do you really need it?
  • Do you have something similar that can do the same job?  e.g. Do you need a large kitchen mixer if you always use your hand mixer?
  • Is it worn out?  Sometimes things just wear out and outlive their usefulness.
  • Does someone in your family need it?  Maybe a younger family member would really love that extra chair.  Nobody complains about freebies!
  • Do you have more than one?  Do you need more than one?
  • Are there good memories attached to it?  I am all in favor of keeping items that you have sentimental feelings toward.  Although it is true that it is just a “thing”, these “things” help us feel connected family and friends.  These connections are very important to our well being.
  • Is it an heirloom?  Then you probably have good feelings toward it.  People have differing ideas on how to deal with their heirlooms.  I wrote an article about attitudes toward heirlooms that you may find interesting.

Get Rid Of

I’ve sorted, so now what?  You have lots of options, depending on how much work you want to do.

  • Have a rummage sale.  This option is a bit of work, but you can also make some extra money!  I’ve gone to tons and have had tons rummages sales over the years and compiled some good tips here:  How To Have a Garage Sale
  • Donate.  Donating is a quick and easy way of getting rid your extra stuff and it really helps out other people in need.  Remember to only donate things that are in good shape.  If you wouldn’t use it or wear it or use it, why would anyone else?
  • Repurpose.  This is a fun and creative option!  Would those worn out boots make cute flower planters?   How about using old neckties to make a pillow?

Once you have organized your home, you can set back, relax and be proud of yourself for the work you have done!


  • Saving time by knowing where things are
  • Efficiency in the home, shop, studio, etc.
  • More time to enjoy life

Being organized…Priceless!



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