Think of a project in your house that you have been avoiding… because you think it’s overwhelming. You can organize any space by starting at the end.

The project you are thinking about may have a lot of decisions that you don’t want to think about. Those decisions might be tough, especially if you’re the sentimental type. Even thinking about it brings up anxiety in your body. You have a ‘flight’ response like you want to run away from the project.

Do you have a specific project in your mind?

Now, I want you to think about the end – when you are finished with the project.

Don’t think about anything in the middle. Just think about the end when you’re finished… everything is exactly how you want it. Everything has a home and is IN its home. You have a big smile on your face because you are pleased with the result you created.

Really think about it.

  • What is the result?
  • What does the area look like?
  • How do you feel when you’re in it?
  • What things are there?
  • Imagine the floor swept clean or vacuumed.
  • Everything’s neat and orderly and you’re ALL finished.

The key 🗝  to starting an overwhelming project is to think of THE END.

Think of the end – when you’re finished and you’re standing in the middle of your organized space.

Then… there are three questions I have for you!

1) What is the purpose of the space?

What is this space used for? In Organized Life Academy we draw a picture of our space. Then we think about what the space is used for. Think of the ‘zones’ in the room and what you do in them.

For example, if we’re working on the living room space:

What do you do in your living room?
Do you do a lot of reading?
Or do you watch TV?
Maybe you entertain guests in small group?
Do your kids play video games?
Or do your toddlers play with their toys?
Perhaps you just sit and watch the fire in your fire place?

Write down the things that you do in that space. Imagine each of the things you do in ‘zones.’

For reading, you might have a reading chair next to the bookshelf as a ‘zone’ in your living room. You have a little basket and in the basket has the magazines or books that you’re reading. Then on a small table next to the chair, have your favorite things you need when you’re reading – what you write with, a special notebook, and anything else you would want like a coaster for a warm cup of tea.

Can you envision this space. Isn’t it lovely… and inviting?

What other ‘zones’ will you have in your living room? Maybe you want a video game zone. You want all of it together, right by the TV, and you map out what you’re going to do for that.

I would suggest drawing it out on a piece of paper and really seeing it. Imagine yourself standing there.

Step one: Decide the purpose of the space.

2) When will this project be completed?

There is a time when this project needs to be done, so set the date.

If you need your guest room cleaned for company, set a date for a week before the company will be arriving. If you are having work done in the bathroom, set a date – on the calendar – when it will be complete.

When I think of the space in my home that I LEAST want to go to, it’s our upstairs storage space. We call it the ‘secret room’. It’s where people stash stuff that they don’t want to make a decision on. If one of us thinks we might want to keep this item, it goes in the secret room.

When I think about me standing in the secret room at the end of this project, I think of neatly placed luggage, off-season boots, coats, and snow pants tucked away in their proper hanging bags. I imagine the holiday decorations and graduation stuff (we’re having our last child’s graduation soon) boxed and in their specific tubs. There are some toys that we’re keeping for grandkids, neatly placed in bins. We have a twin mattress that we pull out when we have company.

It’s all neatly placed, organized, and freshly vacuumed.

For this storage room project, I need it to be completed before summer. I want it done by May 20th.

I look at my calendar and then make appointments for times to work on it to have it complete by that date.

Step 2: Decide the date you’ll be standing there with your project all complete.

3) Where will I take all the stuff that I don’t need?

Having this planned out is really important. One of my clients brought this to my attention. It gave her peace and motivation that she had a place to take the stuff she would be giving away during this project.

Research this now, beforehand.

Maybe it is something expensive and you want to talk to an auctioneer. Or you have clothes you want to give to an organization that helps women interviewing for jobs. Or sell at a resale shop down the street. Call these places and get the guidelines ahead of time.

If you have this planned out in advance, it’s going to help you as you make decisions on whether to keep something or donate it because you can be thinking about those people that may need the item more than you.

One of the members in Organized Life Academy had a date set on the calendar when the organization was scheduled to come to her house and pick up the items. She told us that she has the company scheduled to pick up 4-11 bags of stuff. She already had two bags to donate when she made the appointment and now she’s gathering the rest of it.

Every time she’s making a decision, she’s thinking about those bags that will be picked up at a certain date, and it’s already set on the calendar. I LOVE THIS!

Step three: Decide where you will take the items you’re not keeping. 

Now that you have the end planned, you can move on to the next video that tells you the EXACT Steps to Organizing – what’s the first thing you do and how to follow the five super simple organizing steps.

Follow me over on Instagram or watch more videos over on my YouTube channel.

Until next time, happy organizing!


Tracy Hoth