Where To Start Organizing

Where To Start Organizing

“Where do I start?” is the most commonly asked question when it comes to organizing.  Here is the guidance you need to get started.

Which Room Do I Start In?

There’s no wrong answer, so don’t worry about starting in the wrong place. Choose one of the following strategies. You can’t go wrong!

Strategy 1 – Start Where It’s Broken


You might think, “It’s broken everywhere!” but that’s probably not the case–even if every room needs attention.

chain link with a break in the middle

Most homes have one or two places that are the primary problem spots. For instance, if getting laundry washed and put away is a problem in your household, there’s a good chance you have a bedroom organization challenge. Would it be a bad idea to start with washing and putting away the laundry spread throughout the house? No, but you’ll find KEEPING the laundry process working is more successful if you deal with the root problem. Spoiler alert: laundry problems are often the result of a lack of sufficient dresser space, having dressers and closets that are too full, or a combination of the two.

Your kitchen may jump out as the place organization breaks down, so start by assessing why this is the case. Over-stuffed cupboards and drawers make it challenging to put things away, so countertops tend to become cluttered. Lots of mail and paperwork throughout the kitchen typically mean an effective home office system isn’t in place. Because the kitchen often sets a tone for the whole house, clutter in the kitchen increases the likelihood that the rest of the home is cluttered.

man and woman pushing a large snowball together

Strategy 2 – If You’re Completely Overwhelmed, Use the Snowball Method


Start small and grow.

man and woman pushing a large snowball together

If you’re overwhelmed by starting in a room with lots of clutter, choose the organizing snowball method–similar to Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball.  (Dave is a personal finance personality, radio show host, author, and businessman who has helped many find financial peace.)  Declutter and organize the least cluttered room in your home.  You’ll finish it more quickly and experience a sense of accomplishment that encourages you to keep going.  When you complete a room, move on to the next least cluttered room.  By the time you get to the most overwhelming rooms, you’ll feel like a pro.

Where Do I Start In The Room?

woman's hand opening a kitchen cabinet

If you start in the kitchen, pick a top cabinet and purge the top shelf. Purge the items you don’t use, never really liked, are broken (you’re never going to be less busy than you are now, so when will you find time to fix that broken mug?), have too many of, or don’t belong in that cabinet. Work on one or two shelves on Day 1. On Day 2, work on a few more. When you finish that cabinet, move right to the next cabinet and declutter a few more shelves each day. Rinse and repeat. After decluttering the top cabinets, do the same with the lower cabinets.

If you start in the living room, start anywhere and work a few feet to your right each day until you work your way around the room and back to your starting point. You could even work to your left. Either way, pick a place and start.

woman's hand opening a kitchen cabinet

How Long Should I Spend Organizing?

If you spend 30 minutes a day decluttering five days a week, you’ll declutter 2 ½ hours each week. Most people can declutter their entire kitchen in 2-4 weeks. Would it be nice to have it all done in one day? Of course! But by doing a little bit consistently every day, within a month, you will declutter the kitchen that has been bugging you for years.

There’s no decluttering magic. Pick the starting place that works for you and

do a little bit five days each week. Consistency wins out over quantity!

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