organizing :: start in the hidden spaces
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 by {darlene}

Last Thursday I met with a client for an Organization Consultation, and it reminded me of something that I wanted to share with my readers {you, of course!}.

I am all about beautiful, peaceful and functional spaces. And homes cannot be beautiful, peaceful or functional when they are overflowing with useless stuff. clutter. junk. dead weight.
With Spring Cleaning at our doorsteps, it is time to get serious about cleaning out the clutter and making way for the useful and lovely. Are you with me?

well, good. because I am about to share with you my top consistent tip that I give to my clients when I offer an Organization Consultation… and it is a tip that I am putting into practice in my own home.
It is also a tip that is for the person who is ready to get SERIOUS about organizing their lives {interested in saving time and money without spending a penny? yes. that would be the benefit of organizing}.

My advice for you, if you are ready to get serious about organizing is:
Start from the bottom up.

or, in your home, it may be:
Start from your garage over.
or Start in the mudroom.

In other words: Go to the point in your home that has accessible storage space that you access regularly, but don’t plan on showing off to your company. It may be your basement, your garage, your barn, your attic, etc., but it needs to be accessible. This is some of the most precious, valuable space in your home! Treat it like prime real estate.
This is where you should begin your organization overhaul.

Once you have identified the space, make this space as functional, streamlined and useful as you can manage. Keep only the items that you need access to, but don’t need to keep in your main living area:

  1. Sort through your space, challenging yourself to throw out or giveaway as much as possible.
  2. If you only access an item once a year, move it to a further, more remote storage area, if you have that option {or move it within the same space, but to a less accessible area of that space}. For example, Christmas items would fall into this category.
  3. If you never access the item, but it has personal value to you {be careful here! edit with an iron fist, people!}, package it up safely and store it in the more remote storage area mentioned above.
There is much more you can do to streamline your space and discover untapped resources {like hire a really friendly interiors consultant, for example. wink.}, but your prime storage real-estate is where you should begin.
Need inspiration? My basement will never look this lovely, but we can still learn a lot from Martha’s OCD basement:


While most of us will never have accessible storage spaces that look like this, we can be inspired to pare down and think about keeping only that which is useful. Useful is the key word.

Once you organize this space, and free up the room that it offers, organizing the rest of your home will come easier.

What space is ‘accessible storage’ in your home? Could it use some paring down to be more functional, streamlined and useful?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Labeled: organizing


  • The Country Nest

    What great advise. I love to read organizing ideas and find inspiration. I have never heard start from the basement up, but can fully realize why that would be a good idea. I had read over at Clover Lane she is doing 40 bags in 40 days for lent so maybe I will start in the basement and see how many bags I can get.

  • I am a fairly organized person but I think Ic can do better! Thanks for the tips on where to begin.

  • working on organizing lately…must be spring fever. i could never post a picture of my basement. some type of authority group would come. yep…it's that bad:)

  • Chandra Chinnis

    I wish I had a basement but I am going to try this. I have started some and can see a dim light at the end of the tunnel.

Leave a Reply