- Clean and toss. There's nothing like being in cleaning mode to make it easy to toss things that are worn, outdated, broken, or unnecessary. Not only does it make organizing easier (fewer items, fewer things to store) but it eliminates things that need to be cleaned (or moved so you can clean around them) as well.
- Clean and contain. As you clean, you're sure to come across items you want to keep that are either homeless or simply in the wrong place. Pile-ups are a clue that an organizational system is not working or is missing entirely. Once you put things where they belong, what items remain? How can you contain them so you can do away with the piles permanently?
- Clean and brainstorm. There's nothing like having to move stuff before we can clean to make us rethink how we're storing our stuff in the first place. Besides getting rid of things, what else would make cleaning easier? Is the bin that's storing your stuff full of nooks and crannies you have to dust? If you put those piles of papers into something -- a file cabinet, a stacking file, a drawer -- could you clear up space and save yourself the step of moving things before you can dust anything?
Copyright 2019 Lisa Hess
About the Author
Lisa Lawmaster Hess is a transplanted Jersey girl who writes both fiction and non-fiction. Lisa’s latest book is the award-winning Know Thyself: The Imperfectionist’s Guide to Sorting Your Stuff. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is an adjunct professor of psychology at York College. She blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles, Organizing by STYLE, and here at Catholicmom.com. Read all articles by Lisa Hess.