Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sendin' Out an SOS

If you haven't read my initial post on this new series I'm doing here, catch up on the details in the first post here. While you're there you'll want to be sure to register for the upcoming drawing by linking on the Mr. Linky on that post. (This is the only way you'll be registered in the drawing!)

One thing I found when helping people get organized was that most of the time, they had no idea where to start. That's when I came up with an easy to remember acronym. It's what I call my SOS Method and it stands for Sort, Omit and Store. And this simple, easy to remember approach can be used when beginning any organizing project. Over the next few weeks I'm going to show you how I use the SOS Method in my own home, step by step. I'll post project updates from small (drawers and shelves), medium (like closets) to large areas (whole rooms) so you can see how this method works with any type of organizing project. You're welcome to comment and/or link up to your own blog with your own SOS projects as we go along.

Here's a breakdown of the steps I use:

1. Sort. Whether you're facing the unknown contents of your junk drawer or the entire mountain of clutter in the spare room, you're going to start with sorting. Sort your items into categories; like with like, similar use with similar and so on. You should be able to find easy to recognize categories for all of your items. While you're doing this keep your eyes peeled for anything that you're sure will be going in the trash or passed along to donation or another area of your home and set those aside.

2. Omit. Go back through all of your items and further remove anything that doesn't fit into the plan of your newly organized space. You may choose to omit items by donating, selling, throwing out, recycling, relocating or passing on to someone else who you know would want the item. Please check with them first before deciding that you are just going to show up at their door with your cast-offs! Sometimes we have the best intentions, but our idea of a treasure is not always someone else's.

3. Store. The items that you've decided are keepers need stored. Sometimes you have all of the storage products you might need. Other times you have to improvise or head to the store to purchase something more fitting and functional. Before you make a trip to the store, make sure you take any measurements you might need. For example, take measurements of your drawer for a new drawer divider, or the shelf height for storage bins.

Keep your specific types of storage needs in mind, like; CD storage, magazines, office supplies, clothing, etc, so that you're not just shopping blindly. Have a purpose in mind and a plan. The internet is a great way to get a good idea of all of the organizational products available without spending a lot of time at the store.

Once you've used the SOS Method, you'll never be at a loss as to where to start or what to do next when you're organizing. Sort, omit, store...remember it, use it and get organized!

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Copyright 2007, Christine Rice

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Christine Rice, Professional Organizer and owner of Organize It Today helps people discover "organizational enlightenment" with the help of her newest book, A Life Less Cluttered: Expert Secrets to Your Own Organizing Epiphany. Visit her website at to find out more about her services and products.