How to Organize any Room

First a bit of HMG Organizing News: Early last month, I filmed an episode of Growing up Gotti, the popular reality show on A&E; TV. I talked with Victoria Gotti and two of her sons ...

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First a bit of HMG Organizing News:

Early last month, I filmed an episode of Growing up Gotti, the popular reality show on A&E; TV. I talked with Victoria Gotti and two of her sons on the importance of time management. I will be sending out the air dates as soon as I find out when it will be shown.

Upcoming Class Dates:
Ross School, Easthampton, NY - April 7 & June 2
Molloy College, Rockville Centre, NY - May 13
Suffolk Community College, Brentwood, NY - May 18
South Country Library, Bellport, NY - October 7
How to Organize any Room

Whether you are organizing one room, or many rooms, the most important thing is to start with a plan. When dealing with more than one room, I always suggest to clients that they start with the room that is causing them the most stress.

Begin by spending time in the room and visualizing how you would like it to look and function. What activities go on in the room? Once you map this out, the next step is only keeping things in the room that pertain to the functions of the room. Everything else needs a new home and needs to leave the room. Then you start in one corner and work your way around the room. You will make three piles (in bags or cardboard boxes)--items to give away, items to throw away and items that need to move to another location in your home.

One important thing you need to do to keep focused on the project is not to leave the room. Don't move the items that are leaving the room to their new locations until you are finished organizing--whether it's a 15 minute spurt or if you organize in one shot until the room is done.

Once you eliminate all of the items that do not belong in the room, evaluate what you have left and where you would like to keep it in the room. If the room serves more than one function, make different zones for the different functions and keep related items in these zones.

The final step is deciding on storage. Too many times I see people buying storage before they begin organizing, essentially putting the cart before the horse. Don't just buy things at random because they just entice us to buy and put more stuff in or on them! Evaluate what you really need, at the end of the project, and buy storage specific to your needs.

Still wondering how you are going to tackle that huge organizing project? Read on to learn how one of my clients solved that problem. . . .

Julie, one of my clients in Westchester, NY shares this tip:

I wanted to contribute my way of dealing with huge jobs now that I have three kids and don't have a big block of time to devote to ANY project of my own. Instead of feeling like the organizing task is just too big, I break it down into tiny manageable parts. And I mean tiny! Sometimes I'll look and just say that every day I'll just to a little bit -- emptying a bag here or there. Something that will only take me a minute or two (literally!) This could mean tossing a few items, putting one or two things away, etc.

Believe it or not I cleaned out our entire garage that way, putting away one item each time I drove in. The project went on for so many weeks and progressed so slowly that my husband never even noticed until the snowy night he was able to pull his car into the garage about a year after some renovation projects we'd been working on.

I'm sure you've already written about this in some way, but it helps to break these things down into manageable parts, especially if you are busy with kids, jobs, etc.

Hooray for Julie! I am always so proud and happy when my clients move forward and tackle organizing projects on their own. The best part about working with my clients is teaching and sharing and empowering! I love to hear these stories about the progress clients have made on their own. If you have a story or tip to share, please e-mail it to Thank you!