Organize One Bit at a Time

As a professional organizer, I find myself interested in how people do things.  I have come to the realization that one key to being organized is breaking projects down into small pieces.  The idea is that if you complete small projects regularly, or break down a large project into smaller ones, the task is more manageable.  Here are a few examples.

a)  The Junk Drawer.  Spread some newspaper out on a table and dump (oops, I mean place) everything out onto the table.  Sort into three piles: 

  1. Items to keep in the drawer;
  2. Items to move to another place in the house; 
  3. Items to donate. 

Toss the junk while you sort.  Treat yourself to a drawer divider, if you need a new one.  Don’t forget to measure before you go shopping.  Be sure to follow through with the “move to another place” and “donate” part of the project as soon as you can, or it will become another junk pile.

b)  Gift Wrap.  For some reason, it seems difficult to toss gift wrap that is smashed or worn.  But, why is that, when I would not use it to wrap a gift?  (If you really can’t part with it, shred it and use it as filler for gift bags.)  If you don’t have a large gift wrap bin, buy one that will fit on a closet shelf or underneath your bed.  Then throw away anything that doesn’t fit into that container.  OK, you can have a separate one for Christmas, if you want, but put it in the garage until you need it.

c)  Prescription Medication.  This is one job that I have a hard time getting around to doing.  Check the expiration date on all medications.  To avoid placing them in a landfill, visit  Type in “medication” and your zip code.  It will give you a list of nearby places that accept medications for disposal.

Stay tuned for more tips next month!

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