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The Domino Effect of Organizing: 4 Steps to Less Chaos

Have you ever noticed that when you are ready and willing to get to work on an organizing project the job takes many twists and turns before you get to the heart of what you wanted to organize in the first place?

This, for some of us, is maddening but for others, like me, it is like doing a puzzle, and making all the pieces fit is half the fun. What will I discover along the way? What will spark my creativity? Where will this journey lead and will I be able to start and finish all in one day?

How to take the Domino Journey

The very first step to take in order to set yourself up for a successful organizing journey is to make sure you have the space you will need to move around in.

This could mean emptying an entire room so that you can go through every piece you might want to put back into it. This could mean moving only the pieces that sit on top of furniture so that the furniture can be moved around more easily. This could mean creating piles around the edge of the room so that you can see what categories you have and need to work with.

Example: I wanted to move one full size bed into another bedroom and one daybed into the bedroom that originally housed the full-size bed. The first thing I needed to do was to make sure that one bed was out of the space I was going into. In many organizing situations, making space available by working backwards is the key to success. In general, there is always more than one item that needs to be moved around or pushed to the side in order to get to where you ultimately want to be. Draw a map, a floor plan or a list of tasks that will be involved so that you are not caught off guard when the day comes to organize. This might include taking measurements or prepping an area by painting it or installing flooring or whatever you feel needs to be done before any heavy lifting is to take place.

The second step is to eliminate smaller items that you know will not work in the newly designed space. You can achieve this by creating 3 bins: 1- a bin that says “DONATE”, 2- a bin that says “TRASH” and 3- a bin that says “KEEP”. Maybe you are not ready to get rid of anything or maybe you can find a new spot in the house for a cherished item. Ok, no problem. Keep making forward moves to get the space ready for the new design. The dominoes are falling just the way they should now.

The third step is to know when to call in the reinforcements and when to go it alone. If by reinforcements you just need help moving heavy objects, then get those people lined up and ready to go on the day you are ready to go. If by reinforcements, you feel the need to work with a professional organizer then work out a schedule/plan with that professional so that you are guaranteed to get the best advice and a fresh perspective just when you need it. This would be a good time to line up junk haulers or antique professionals to come and take away what you no longer want.

The fourth and final step is to always remember to approach this organizing project by maintaining a judgment free mindset, hold yourself accountable to the outcome by either asking for help from a family member or friend or by enlisting the help of a professional organizer. Distractions happen a lot but keep to the reason why you embarked on this project so that it has every chance to succeed. Getting prepped and ready for the big day is a great way to make sure the dominoes don’t fall unless you set them up to fall your way.

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