5 Basic Rules of Organizing

5 basic rules of home organizing



Wouldn’t it be nice to know the rules when you start a new project? When you put together that new bookshelf, it would be great if there were big bold letters that tell you to double check the front and back of the segments?  Or when you are making a new dish, would you love to know that no matter what it will be delicious?  When I think about organizing, I think there are some basic concepts that will lead to your success.  Here are my favorite 5 basic rules of organizing.


Eliminate what you don’t love or use.

It seems simple enough this rule. Eliminating and editing are the first steps to organizing.   What interferes are the “what if’s” in life. What if I need it in a year? What if I lose 5, 10 or 15 pounds?  We can “what if” ourselves into keeping everything.  If you truly love an item, but have not used it, keep it in a less accessible spot.  It’s possible to eliminate what you don’t use or love using the 4 box method.  Get clarity with this rule and your organizing will yield great results.


Store items at their point of use

The concept of keeping items where they are used frequently is nothing new. A little creative storage can be a good thing.  Keeping items at their point of use means you can easily find what you need and easily put it away.  You can create zones in a room to help you stay organized too.  The kitchen is a great area to keep zones in mind. The breakfast zone is where the bowls and cereal are stored together.  The coffee zone is where the Kcups, mugs and sweetener are.  You get the idea that storing what you use together makes life easier.

Create limits and boundaries

When there are no limits, stuff becomes chaotic and stuff is everwhere.  Having natural limits and boundaries for your stuff makes it easier to be organized.  Your clothes limits include your dresser and closet.  Keeping  within these limits helps you with maintenance too.  There’s less laundry to put away.  Create natural boundaries with storage for items in your home or office.  Have one drawer for extra office supplies, one location to keep school supplies and one shelf for extra pantry items.

paper get rid of it. you know you want to


Get rid of paper. You know you want to.

Paper has us all overwhelmed! It’s the number one organizing project in almost everyone’s home.  Our goal is not to store paper, but to get rid of as much as possible.  Seek out other options for the information on paper.  Can you find that information somewhere else?  Can you make a note in Evernote instead?  How long do you need to keep that paper?  Use this chart to help you eliminate more paper.


Keep it simple sweetie

By far my favorite mantra to share!  Keep it all simple, whether it is stuff you are doing, stuff you are organizing, relationships you are in, and ways to live your best life.  How do we keep it simple? By shedding the excess stuff, by eliminating toxic relationships, and finding ways to live life simply.


Check out how these organizing rules come together on my Pinterest board Home Sweet Organized Home.


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2 replies
  1. Autumn Leopold
    Autumn Leopold says:

    I think limits and boundaries are the most important thing! You can get your entire house in order but if you don’t set those limits and boundaries you will be right back where you started! I have a client like that and it breaks my heart. I don’t think she will ever get where she truly wants to be. Great post Ellen!

  2. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    Thanks Autumn! You are so on target. That is especially how maintenance comes into play with our organizing. Thanks for stopping by!

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