I developed The One Organized System over years in the Professional Organization business working one on one with clients. It’s the process I apply to any organization project. From kitchens, playrooms, home offices, garages and more it simplifies the necessary steps to get you organized. The One Organized System combines Techniques and Tools commonly used in the professional organization industry into 4 Basic Steps.

My techniques include:

  • Sorting
  • Group like items
  • Plan to sell
  • Tape Technique
  • 7 Questions
  • Timer Technique
  • 20-Minute Tidy
  • Daily Routine (3-Daily Tasks)
  • Monthly Purge

Commonly used organization tools include:

  • Baskets/Bins
  • Containers
  • Binders
  • File Folders
  • Drawer Inserts
  • Labels
  • Shelving
  • Hangers and Hooks

My 4 Basic Steps are:

  1. Declutter and Sort
  2. Create a Zone
  3. Label and Contain
  4. Teach and Maintain 

Let’s use your kitchen as an example.

Step 1 Declutter and Sort

Choose a starting point such as one cabinet or drawer at a time. Set out your sorting signs (Keep, Trash, Donate, Shred, Recycle, and Sell). Then simply begin taking items out and place them next to one of your signs.

Once the drawer or cabinet is empty, wipe it out.

Now, take out the trash, recycling, etc. Once that’s done it is time to face those keep items. The sorting continues by grouping “like-items” together in broad categories. Utensils together, drinking glasses together, bowls together. Don’t overthink this. You can sub-categorize in the next step. I simply want you to see how many items you have in each category and possibly consider paring down some more.

Step 2 Create a Zone

This is the space planning portion. There are some important things to consider when zoning:

  • Size
  • Frequency of use
  • Where is it actually used?
  • Physical limitations of household members
  • Safety

This is where you can sub-categorize. Utensils can be divided into Prep/Cooking, Serving, and Eating. Drinking glasses can be sub-categorized into Mugs, Everyday, and Entertaining/Special Occasion. Bowls into Prep, Serving, and Everyday.

Now place the sub-categorized items in the actual space you feel makes sense. Everyday items should be accessible and easy to reach. Entertaining and Special Occasion should be up high or in the back. Coffee mugs near the coffee pot.

Consider putting all prep items together (utensils, bowls, and other tools).

Step 3 Label and Contain

Who doesn’t love this part? In fact, people love it so much that they will run out and buy every neat basket and container in creation….only to be left with well….. A LOT of neat baskets with clutter.

Trust the process friends. Don’t run out and buy containers until you’ve reached this step. Be wise about your investment in getting organized. Take measurements, be practical and stay away from trends. I recommend white and clear containers. Wicker baskets and trendy colors are fun, but when you need to add a new container down the road, you probably won’t find the exact match. Stick to clear and white, and you won’t have that problem.

Now, let’s talk labels. Don’t get label crazy. Labels are meant to communicate. Is that sugar or salt? You can tell oatmeal from Fruit Loops….so don’t waste time labeling unnecessary items.

Step 4 Teach and Maintain

Congratulations! You now have an organized kitchen!! It will stay pristinely tidy from this point forward…….yeah RIGHT!

This is where my techniques come in. They are designed to keep YOU organized. YOU…..that’s right. Whether you’ve hired the best pro organizer in the business, it is YOUR responsibility to keep YOU organized.

Who has the time and let’s face it, it’s not always fun. Well good news, it’s easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy as my 7-year old says.

Here goes:

Daily 3– Simply choose THREE household tasks that need to get done daily. On your busiest days, this may be all that gets done around the house.

Mine are:

  1. Make my bed.
  2. One load of laundry.
  3. Clean kitchen before bedtime.

20-Minute Tidy

Set your timer to 20 minutes, turn on some music, grab a trash bag and quickly put stuff away where it belongs. This is a great daily routine for the family.

Monthly Purge

Clutter builds up so schedule a quick monthly purge and donate to your favorite charity.

Timer Technique

The average adult attention span is less than 20 minutes. Set your timer and tackle a not-so-fun project 20 minutes at a time.

7 Questions (for paring down)

-Does it fit?

-Do you use it?

-Do you have space for it?

-Is it sentimental?

-Do you love it?

-Does it have value?

-Does it work?

Tape Technique

“Once we clear off the clothes I WILL use the treadmill again!” Great! Then put a “use by” sticker on it with a colorful piece of tape. If you use the item take off the tape. If you don’t, then it’s time for some real talk with yourself.

Plan To Sell

Unless you have online accounts set up, are willing to deal with haggling over a few dollars, or have the inclination to really do a yard sale….then my advice is just to donate. Let your unwanted or unneeded items be a treasure to another.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog!

I am happy to answer questions on my Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts.

Happy Organizing!

Janel