Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Getting STARTed

Last night I had the privilege of attending an organizing workshop, led by Elizabeth Hagen. I wanted to share with you some of the notes I took from the evening session. This is such a great time of year to dive into this--I always love sorting after the holidays (or anytime, really!)

Here is Elizabeth's START method, using the junk drawer as an example:

First, take everything out of the drawer. Then,

Sort-Do I need this? Do I even know what it is?
Toss, donate, recycle, garage sale pile
Appoint a home for everything
Restrict items to a container to hold them together
Take back control

One of Elizabeth's ideas that I really liked was to walk through your entire home, room by room. Armed with a clipboard, you look around each room in a clockwise direction, writing down any area that irritates you. I tend to organize in a piece-meal fashion, so I like this intentional approach. Once you've gone through you entire house, you sit down and prioritize your projects. Love that!

At the end of the workshop, Elizabeth asked each of us to write down an action plan. My projects are 1) make a master list of favorite meals to aid my menu planning, 2) use the START method to better organize my son's clothes (too many piles in the closet right now!) and 3) do a walk-through assessment of our home. I'm excited to get STARTed!


thehomespunheart said...

Carrie - glad you enjoyed the workshop! Your plan sounds great!

mer said...

I really, really need to get back in organizing mode. I'm motivated, just having a hard time find T-I-M-E to tackle it!

MyHeartIsAlwaysHome said...

Love the clipboard idea! Cleaning out Megan's closet is on my to do list. The main problem is clothes sorting. I am determined that this year I am in charge, not my clutter!

Frances said...

Carrie, that sounds like a great method. How have you handled getting rid of your unwanted items? As a woman committed to good stewardship, I'm sure you don't throw away things that may be useful to others. Do you do consignment stores, thrift stores, yard sales, Freecycle, or something else?

Liisa said...

I love the idea of taking everything out and THEN sorting etc. That gives you a real idea of what is there and enables you to only put back what you want there.
Thanks for sharing!


A, B & C said...

I'm really excited to start unpacking, whenever our stuff comes. I love reorganizing and finding a place for everything. Anything that doesn't find a home, goes to a charity, or in the trash. As much as moving so often can be stressful, it's also a great organizational tool.

Amy said...

The clipboard idea is really great. What a fabulous opportunity! We had an organizer come and speak to my mom's group once and it definitely helped me a lot.

We need to work on getting rid of some of the clutter in our lives. It has taken up too much space and I end up not enjoying anything because I can't find what I need ;)

Thanks for sharing that method!

Anonymous said...

Glad to read about this workshop! I had not heard of the START plan before -- whatever works is what I'm for! :) I think I'm going to use your idea of a list of favorite meals to aid in menu planning -- I had done that at one time, but it definitely needs updating! :) Love you, Mom

Mom2fur said...

I love organizing acronyms! (At least, I think acronym is the right word.) I've never heard the START one before, and will keep it in mind--especially as I plan to work on getting my attic in shape this year! I like OHIO--Only Handle It Once and FAT (for sorting mail): File Act Toss!

jennwa said...

I too need to start organizing, because we maybe moving soon. Thanks for the great tips. It sounded like a great workshop.
You stopped by my blog and asked where I got the magnets. I bought it at Ace Hardware but I think any hardware store would have them. Thanks for stopping by. I will be talking to you soon.

Susan said...

I like the master list for your favorite meals. Sounds like you had a great time! I just dumbed a bunch of clothes to the clothing bins they located by the glass recycling bin in our neighborhood. You know, I don't what happens to those clothes. I should check that out.

schatzila said...

Those are great tips....thanks for posting these ideas.



gail said...

thanks for sharing the great ideas. i need to get my son's room organized too.

Anonymous said...


Sounds like a great workshop. I've not heard of the START method either. I am in the throes of sorting and pitching a lot of my stuff, so I'll try to implement some of the ideas you posted.
Wish you were here!!

Love you, Grandma

MamaGeek said...

Now that sounds like some awesome advice Carrie! I so need to clean up our junky closets. OY VE.