3 Things You Need to do Before Organizing Any Space

Since 1907 the Scouts motto has always been to “be prepared.”  It means you are ready, willing, and able to do what is necessary for any situation that comes along.

image of a BoyScouts of America
“be prepared”

Just like the Scouts, there are actionable steps you can take before organizing any space. 

Be Prepared

Getting prepared means you are being proactive and beginning with the end in mind.  For instance, before you begin baking cookies you want to make sure you have all your ingredients. 

Because in the midst of baking you don’t want to realize you have no eggs!

This would mean either running to the grocery store or going over to borrow an egg from a neighbor.  If you’re like me that usually means running into someone you haven’t seen in a while which leads to a half-hour conversation at least!

Much like baking, when targeting a large project to organize you need to gather the supplies you’ll need ahead of time.

What supplies might that include?

First, I recommend gathering the following items to help with organizing your space:

  • four large boxes/bins
  • large garbage bags
  • print off box/bin labels
  • zip-lock bags
  • sticky notes
  • pen 

You can get your free bin labels below.  You can use large cardboard boxes or laundry baskets are a great option too.  I love these laundry baskets I found at Target.  They fit yard-size garbage bags perfectly and are very durable.

7-step Credit Card Debt Slasher
Bin labels including: move, sell, donate, trash

For each box/bin label with one of the following labels: move, sell, donate, trash.  In my next post, I will explain what these labels mean. 

After labeling the bins go ahead and line the sell, donate, and trash bins with large trash bags.  No need to put a trash bag in the “move” bin.

Next, gather the cleaning supplies you will need for the project.  After you’ve cleared out an area this is a prime opportunity to make it spiffy clean.  I like to have the following items on hand:

  • Vacuum
  • hand vacuum
  • baby wipes
  • rags
  • cleaning products

Be Proactive

Finally, it’s time to get proactive about your task.  What do I mean by that?  Organizing a space takes diligence and perseverance.  If you’re not a person who loves to organize then you’re likely to find distractions to pull you away from the task.

Remember the squirrel analogy with a dog?  Keep your “squirrels” at bay by “setting the mood.” Don’t get distracted from your goal.

Picture of a squirrel peeking his head out from a tree.
Squirrel!

There are various ways you can create an atmosphere to help you focus on your task. 

Playing music is a great way to “set the mood”.  Some people prefer soft relaxing music like Mozart while others prefer upbeat music that gets the blood pumping.  Whatever your preference, music can create an atmosphere to help you focus and stay engaged.

Picture of a woman rocking out to music.
Rock on!

Other ideas that can help are playing your favorite audible book, Podcast, burning a candle, putting your phone away, or at least on “silent” mode. 

If you have small children, either tackle your project during naptime or set them up with their favorite movie.  Whatever it takes to eliminate the distractions and help motivate you to stay on task!

Begin With the End in Mind

Lastly, you need to begin with the end in mind!  If you know what your goal is you’re more likely to stay focused.  I want you to envision what your space is going to look like. 

How does your space make you feel right now and how do you want to feel afterward?  Are you overwhelmed by the chaos and avoid being in there?  How do you want to feel when you’re finished?

How do you want it to look?  Do you have a Pinterest or magazine picture of how you’re envisioning the space?  Once you find one, pin it to your board, print or cut it out and keep it close by.

When you’re feeling discouraged and overwhelmed, look at that picture and think about how you’re going to feel when you’ve reached your goal. 

While you’re at it snap a before picture of your space so you can compare it at the end. 

Here’s a picture of my nephew’s room before we started. 

A "before picture" of my nephew's room.
My nephew’s before picture… yikes!

My sister wanted a space for her son that was functional and ultimately a place he would feel comfortable and enjoy playing with his toys.

Keeping your vision in mind will help you stay on track.

Following through will these ideas will help you accomplish your goal and stay on task.  Ultimately, you need to be prepared, be proactive, and begin with the end in mind

This step is crucial to help you reach your goal of getting your space organized.  So grab your supplies, figure out how to “set the mood” and envision your new space!

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