Do you have a frighteningly disorganized space in your house, business or garage? A kid’s bedroom, the laundry room, the fridge? Have you ever opened the door of a room, cringed, then quietly closed the door and snuck away? Many people have a “junk” room in their house, which becomes a dumping ground for anything they don’t know what to do with. And let’s face it—there’s a lot of stuff that fits that description. Scary.
A frightening room
A recent organizing client of mine has just such a scary room. She wants to have her brother come visit her, but the spare room is a junk room, with piles about 3 feet high and a tiny “goat path” which allows one to walk about halfway into the room. She is embarrassed by the mess and called me in to make it orderly again. That’s what I do—I take spaces from scary and chaotic to calm and orderly.
I’ve seen a lot of scary spaces over the years and the first thing I tell my clients is: I’ve seen worse. Then I encourage them, tell them I know how to make the piles disappear. It’s not magic, but the method I use works. We work together on the piles, purging and sorting until the room is organized!
See this cool slideshow I put together of scary spaces that I transformed!
So, there is Hope, and that’s why I created this acronym for you this month.
How to prevent scary spaces: (This works to fix scary spaces too.)
H is for Home:
Everything needs a home. Assign a “home” to everything you use. Whether it be seasonal dishes, food, craft supplies, decorations, wrapping supplies, cards, mementos, etc. they all need a home. This means a place where that item “lives.” For a clean look, choose a spot that’s out of sight unless you use it every day.
O is for Orderly:
Take time to put things away in an orderly fashion. This can be done daily or even weekly, depending on the area. An organized house doesn’t just happen. After the initial burst of energetic organizing, maintenance is the key to an orderly space. Constant Vigilance!
P is for Procrastination:
Stop procrastinating any purging and organizing you need to do. If you have piles, tackle them ruthlessly! Remember to be ruthless, not reckless when you purge. Then quickly get those things out of the house and to a thrift store or the trash. I’ve noticed sometimes things that have been discarded end up back in the house. This is why I take all donation items with me when I leave each client’s home or office.
E is for Evaluate:
Be cautious and evaluate where something will fit in your home before you even buy it. Clothing, kitchen appliances, or other toys apply. Thinking about buying a large piece of equipment? Will it fit in your garage or could you rent it instead, or borrow your friend’s? Offer to help them with a project or bring them some homemade bread or get them a gift card as a thank you.
Last tip: Labeling is a good idea if you share the space with your family or roommates. Once you’ve created a home for everything, take a labeler or some sticky tape and a marker, then go label happy! It doesn’t have to be a beautiful, perfect labeling system like you see on Pinterest, as long as you can read it, that’s all you need.
If you’re daunted by a scary space in your home, remember to apply HOPE to your life. The chaos will become order. It’s not magic, but sometimes it seems miraculous when you enjoy the final result: an organized home with everything in its place. Now you can rest in peace.