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As seen in the Dayton Daily News on January 27, 2018.

At the start of this year, some of you made the decision to get your home organized. If nothing has changed yet, you had a wonderful goal, but probably no plan to execute it. Here’s a plan that will work.

For starters, change up the wording for your goal. Instead of, “I want to be more organized” say, “This year, I want to have peace of mind.” Now you have a goal worth striving for.

Next, get a pen and a notebook. Walk to the doorway of every room in your home and list the purpose of each room. For example, in our home the family room is where we watch TV, play games, visit with guests, read and relax. Keeping the purpose of our room in mind, this means we need a TV, furniture, a few favorite games and a basket for reading material. Aside from the decorations and a few warm throws, this is all we need to enjoy this room.

When I walk into the room and see coats thrown on the back of the couch, shoes strewn about, cups and empty snack packaging on the end table, I instantly know these things don’t belong in the room. During my planning stage, I never said the purpose of the room was to store any of these things.

Once you have the purpose listed for each room, the next step is to list the rooms in order of importance to your organizing process. Not knowing which room to start in is one of the biggest reasons people fail to get organized, so don’t skip this important step.

Here are some suggestions to help you come up with a list of your rooms from most important (where you should start) to the least important. You can start in a room where you have the least sentimental connection to your things. This way you get a lot of stuff out of your way, which gives you more room work.  If you live with someone else, starting in a room that benefits the most people may be the better place to start. If you’re late paying your bills, forget appointments and can’t find our important papers, then your home office might be your first room to tackle. Think of your priorities then list the rooms accordingly.

Now that you know the purpose of each room and the order you will be organizing them in, walk into the first room armed with some trash bags and boxes for sorting. Remove the trash, items that belong in other rooms and stuff to donate. Once the items that don’t meet the purpose of the room are removed, it’s time to organize what is remaining. Put like items together in a manner that makes it easy to find what you’re keeping.

Knowing the purpose of every room and sharing this plan with the people you live with, will lead to a more organized home. When you decide ahead of time of what belongs in the room and what needs to go, everyone can help organize. Walking into a room where you only have the necessities can give you the peace of mind you’ve been craving.