How to start a home organizing project on your own

How tending to one small area can create movement in your home.

So many clients tell me they can not imagine organizing without my help. While it’s true that another person’s presence can be motivating and supportive, I’ve noticed that many people feel overwhelmed at the thought of organizing because they focus on the enormity of the project.

You’ve got to start small. Just as you’re unlikely to complete a marathon if you’ve never gone on a run before, you’re not likely going to be able to tackle an entire room or even a whole closet without some practice. Pick a small area — a shelf, a drawer, a jewelry box — and focus your attention only on this space.

Set the timer for 15 minutes. Go through what you can and stop when the timer goes off. If you only look at three sweaters in 15 minutes and want to keep them all, no problem! There's no pressure to accomplish something specific during this time; what's most important is that you are choosing to bring awareness to your belongings and re-evaluate them for meaning and purpose.

Get rid of the easy stuff. Consider taking out only what you hate, dislike or are never going to wear/use again. Blast through the space, and then walk away. You’ll create a little extra room, and when you revisit the area a few days or even a few weeks later, you’ll likely see another layer of items that you are ready to let go of.

Build a rhythm of attention, action, and celebration. Bring your attention back to the same small area several times throughout the week. Truly celebrate each time you tend to your space for 15 minutes.