Ask Erin: Getting Organized the Panache Way
article by Erin Sharplin Love
Getting organized and staying organized is a learning process that never ends. Even a professional organizer can learn something new with every job. Each space can spark creativity and inspiration that can lead to new ways of arranging an ordinary item, but, with that said, there are some rules that should remain constant . As with most projects, it is best to understand the steps that will help you reach your goal. If you want to get organized the “Panache” way, follow my guidelines below:
1. Follow the Two-Year Rule
I know you’ve heard the rule that you should get rid of anything that you haven’t used in a year, but my Panache rule is a two-year rule. I believe that there are situations in which you might not have used an item during the past year, but would use it during the next. For instance, the weather in the past year might not have been cool enough for a sweater, but the upcoming weather will be. Or, maybe you didn’t entertain very much during the past year, but plan to change that this year, so all of your pretty serving platters will come in handy.
2. Get Rid of Duplicates
Typically, you need only one of each item in your home. There are exceptions to that rule, so if it’s feasible for you to get rid of the duplicate, please do.
3. Don’t Let Guilt Control You
There are two ways that you might experience guilt during the organizing process – One for throwing something away instead of donating it and one that makes you keep something because of the person who gave it to you. Don’t let either of these guilty feelings get in the way of creating the perfectly- organized space that you dream of. Of course, if you are able, donating items instead of tossing them is preferable. However, if the process would just end up causing more trouble and costing time, you don’t need to feel guilty for tossing the items in the trash. On the other hand, don’t let an unloved item take up much-needed space just because your Aunt Nancy gave it to you. Instead, acknowledge the kind gesture by sharing it with someone else.
4. If an Item Isn’t Loved, Let it Go
Keep only things that you love and that spark joy when you look at them. Otherwise, you won’t feel as happy and as stress-free as you would like.
5. Always Take Vertical Space into Account
“TONS” of vertical space could be wasted in your home right now! Stop reading and check all of your closets and cabinets. How much unused space is there at the top of your closet? What about under your sink? If you see air, you are wasting usable space!! To extend storage, add shelf extenders, stackable baskets and bins, or more shelves to these areas.
6. Add Personal Touches to Your Organized Spaces
Make every space in your home a place that makes you smile every time you open the door. You can do that by adding special pieces to each area, like rugs, pictures, greenery, and anything else that would make the space more inviting. This includes closets and pantries.
7. Make Sure Every Item Has a Home
I am saving the most important steps for last. Everything in your home should have its own personal, customized spot. A pile in the floor does not constitute a personal, customized spot, by the way. Instead, every item should be easy to find and easy to replace, so try using bins, baskets, and other containers to corral like items, for instance.
8. Put Everything Back Where it Goes
This final step is the step that is going to keep you organized. Once you use an item, place it back in its personal spot each and every time. It may take some getting used to, but it will pay off in the end. Remember, take a minute to save hours later!!
In the end, remember that your home should be a living space and not a storage space. Getting organized will create more time and energy for you to be able to enjoy your home to the fullest.