It’s getting real out there, y’all. Anxiety is at an all-time high, toilet paper is sold out, and we’ve considered selling our wedding rings for a bottle of hand sanitizer.
Now that most of us are stuck at home (or should be), the question is what are we going to do at home?
Well, one thing is for sure: We have zero guilt about letting our kids spend the next few weeks eating snacks and playing with their iPad if it means they are happy and healthy.
As for us, we’ll be doing the thing that calms us the most: Organizing. Maybe we can’t control what’s going on in the outside world, but we can create some peace in order in our own homes. Even if you’re new to organizing, it can help you, too.
With that said, YOU MUST START SMALL. The last thing you need is to be feeling overwhelmed. Which is why we put together a 14-Day Mini Edit as a roadmap to calm vibes and long-term organizational success.
But before we get there, let’s go over the editing steps you must take when tackling any project, big or small:
1. Take everything out of the space you’re organizing (and we mean everything).
2. Create groupings by placing like items together so you can see what you’re dealing with.
3. Pare down your belongings, getting rid of anything you no longer use or just don’t like.
A proper edit is the only way to fully assess your space and the items it needs to accommodate. If you opt-out, you’re basically just moving clutter back and forth—which is a total waste of your time. We don’t want that for you, so just listen to us, okay?
Let’s get started...
Day 1: Update Your Fridge
Nothing is more satisfying than an organized fridge. Start by tossing those old leftovers, checking every expiration date (including condiments), and wiping down the shelves. Next, group your remaining items into categories (Dairy, Meat / Poultry, Veggies, Fruit, Snacks, etc.) Each category should have it’s own designated zone in the fridge, contained in clear bins or containers and labeled clearly.
Day 2: Check Your Pantry
There’s an exception to every rule. In this case, don’t clear off the shelves, just check expiration dates (including spices and oils!) Pantries can be overwhelming and tedious to reassemble, so we’re starting slow here. Once you remove all the items that don’t belong, you’ll have a better sense of the system you need when the time comes.
Day 3: Tackle a Drawer
Pick a drawer, any drawer—but preferably one that you use on a regular basis. Drawers are a manageable project that will give you a bite-sized win and streamline your routine. Use individual inserts in various sizes to contain your categories, testing multiple configurations to come up with the smartest solution for the space.
Day 4: Stop Ignoring Under-The-Sink
Most people neglect the space under the kitchen sink. But honestly? Its feelings are hurt. It never wanted to be a cave of cleaning products in the first place but yet here we are. Clear bins and turntables will offer functional solutions for containing your categories and keeping them accessible.
Day 5: Get First-Aid Ready
There’s no better time than now to edit your medicine cabinet. Check every expiration date and take inventory of what you have or need. Store these items in labeled bins and turntables, categorizing by symptom or if it’s for kids or adults. It’s a win-win: A de-cluttered space and the security of knowing you are covered in case of an emergency.
Day 6: Maximize Your Closet Space
Similar to the pantry, we aren’t suggesting that you tackle your entire closet right this second. Instead, choose one category that can use some paring down. Whether it’s your jean collection or a drawer full of old t-shirts, tossing or donating the items you no longer want or need will maximize space for what you do.
Day 7: Simplify Your Purse
Toss all the trash (receipts, wrappers, etc.) and group the rest into broad categories (wallet items, technology, cosmetics, etc.) Using clear or color-coded pouches to contain these items allows you to grab what you need without having to dig within a dark purse. If you change purses often or switch out your items regularly, store pre-made pouch kits for various occasions, such as travel or workday, and switch out when necessary.
Day 8: Color-Code Your Phone
Luckily, you can do this project while sitting on the couch! Start with a simple background so that the color coordination pops on the screen. Next, combine apps that have similar colors and tones to create color-coded folders. If an app has more than one color in its design, just pick the color that is most dominant and sort it accordingly. Title each new folder with your favorite emoji in that same color scheme as the apps. Within each folder, place the most commonly used apps at the very top for easy access. From this point on, you’ll never stare at your phone looking for Google Maps or Postmates again!
Day 9: Edit Your Inbox
Start by purging anything you no longer need and unsubscribing to any newsletter or promotional content that is clogging up your inbox. Then set up folders for your general categories (Work, Family, Travel, Etc.) and use filters so emails go straight to the inbox they belong in. From there, you can also prioritize these emails into categories that signal action such as Reply or Waiting For Reply so you don't miss anything.
Day 10: Streamline Your Beauty Routine
In each category, go ahead and toss any product that is damaged or expired. Next, look for any duplicates and set those aside to toss or give to a friend. As for the remaining items, it's judgment day. Although you may think you need five lipsticks in the same color, it's only taking up valuable real estate for products that you need regular access to.
Day 11: ROYGBIV Your Bookshelf
Is your space feeling a little...blah? Look no further than Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. Displaying items in rainbow order creates a visual flow that naturally clicks with the brain. Not only will it be faster to find what you’re looking for, but you’ll know where to put it away. This is especially the case for kids and can inspire them creatively.
Day 12: Create a Drop Station
Take stock of all the items that enter and exit your home on a daily basis. This may include shoes, backpacks, lunch boxes, jackets, and after-school activity items like ballet shoes or soccer cleats—but every family is different. These items can be hung or stored in an open bin, what matters is that your kids can access them when necessary. Not only will this system leave clutter at the door, but it will hold everyone accountable for their space.
Day 13: Tame Your Cords
Electronics such as printers, computers, or phones come with a lot of connected cords. Using a cord wrap to collect them together helps keep everything streamlined and less cluttered. We also suggest adding cord labels to your power strip, which will prevent you from turning off your wifi when you just meant to unplug a lamp.
Day 14: Give Yourself a Gold Star
You deserve it. Now you’ll be able to take the confidence and knowledge you’ve gained from these past 14 days and apply it to a much larger project.
*Don't forget we offer a Virtual DIY service and RIGHT NOW...it's $75 off!
This service is conducted 100% online through email correspondence at the beginning and end of the project, a complete set of instructions for placement, and a suggested shopping list for products (which can all be purchased online through The Container Store, Canadian Tire, and John Lewis & Partners). Get inquiries and book here today!
clea + joanna