Emily’s Organizing Rules: Part 1

Emily’s Organizing Rules

So, I was just talking to my good friend Tracy the other day.  She’s moving for the 2nd time in as many years.  Getting excited to move again is just about impossible for most folks, but Tracy has managed to almost get there.

It helps that she made up a bunch of organizing rules that she sort of learned the hard way during her first move.  Moving can be like a slow death and Tracy just realized that keeping all sorts of things for “someday” projects just wasn’t working out.  Out of this one thought came rules for everyday life that would keep her from going back to saving most everything.  Being that I am an organizer I was excited and we ended up sharing our favorite rules. She gave me permission to share her rules as part of this blog.

Here is my first post of the combined wisdom of both me and Tracy, in no particular order.

Rule #1:  You get the room you have.   Seems sorta confusing, but I like my rules short and snappy.  Here’s what it means.  Say you have 2 bookcases in your home and there is no room for another.  According to my rule you get to have as many books as can fit into those 2 bookcases. This rule is about you defining what is important in your life.  So, if you just have to have 3 bookcases full of books, by all means, have at it.  All I am saying is that before you have a bookcase worth of books lying around your home you need look around, decide what is less important than the books and get rid of it before you start buying books.  This might be my favorite rule by the way.

Rule #2: Use according to purpose.  For this rule, let’s move into the dining room/eating area of your home.  We all have a table that was bought with the intention that you, your family and loved ones would eat on it.  If you’re not careful it ends up being the mail, coat, keys, purse and junk holder.  I have included a picture of my dining room table and it always looks just like this.  This isn’t bragging because the rest of my home doesn’t always look this nice and calm.  This is me saying that one area of my home will always be ready for me to use immediately.  It relaxes me to look at my clear table when I walk by (no matter what the rest of my home looks like and maybe especially when the rest of my place is a sty) and it relaxes me when I set my plate down for dinner.  It helps that I have a dedicated place for my purse and keys by my front door.  My desk gets the mail and the front closet gets my coat.  No matter how organized you want to be, if you don’t have a place for these items all bets are off.  Which brings me to the last rule of the day…

Emily's Dining Room Table

Rule #3: Everything needs a home.  This is pretty self explanatory (right?).
This rule is about time, energy and what you want to do with yours.  Do you want to look for your keys everyday?  Do you want to eat on top of a pile of newspapers at dinner time?
Find a home for your things.  Put them in that home every single time.  For instance, I have room for 3 pairs of shoes near my front door.  If I decide to wear a pair that don’t live there, when I am done wearing them, I put them by the stairs and the next time I go to my bedroom closet I bring them with me. It does take a little thought but it’s your home, your castle!  You will be rewarded.   Over a year you will save weeks of time.  That’s right.  weeks

What rules help you keep your home the way you want?

I have a few more rules coming next week,  and they are just as fun! 

stay tuned.


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