Streamlining: Everyday solutions to simplify

Do you lack space?  If so, create little space everyday.

Before the holiday season is in full swing, make a commitment to yourself to create space for 2012. I know it is easier to say than do, but the benefits will be worth it!

Let's focus on three areas: 1) pantry/food cabinets 2) closets 3) studio/home office (the order is intentional - I'm setting you up for instant gratification)

All you will need for this space commitment project are bags. Paper bags (re-useable bags are fine) and garbage bags, that's it!  Removing items from these 3 locations will be beneficial in creating space but also contributing to your community as a whole.

1) Start in the pantry/food cabinets by grabbing a bag and fill it up with non-parshable items. Often we have items we don't like or our family does not like and they get pushed to the back and contribute to lack of space. Now is the time to dig them out and donate. Check the expiration dates before you place it in the bag. Donate full bag(s) to your local food shelf. As the seasons change more and more people have a greater need for food shelf assistance.

2) Take a garbage bag with you the next time you go to the closet with coats. Temperatures are changing and many people are in need of an extra layer or a gently used jacket or coat. In addition to coats you or your family do not wear anymore, hats, scarves, mittens and gloves are also appreciated. Next take a bag to your closet or a family members closet and look through the clothing (accessories) and consider what can be donated. Don't forget to consult with family members before going through their closet. Donate items to a local charity.

3) Last but not least. Take 3 paper bags to your studio/home office. Label the bags with "trash/recycle", "later", and "now". The bags are for loose paper, files, catalogs, magazines, etc. Clean the top of your work surfaces, the floor, and your files by placing items in the appropriate bag.

Throw away or recycle the first bag of items

Make decision about the appropriate location for the bag marked "now"

Slowly go through the bag marked "later" by removing items every few days until it is empty (this eliminates the feeling of being overwhelmed)

The purpose of the bag system is to immediately create space, de-clutter and ease of transport.

Benefits of making a commitment to creating space:
More free space
Helping others in need (tax donation receipt)
A manageable goal to meet

What other benefits can you think of?

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  1. Great ideas! Like you read my mind. . . we do need to create space. Thanks!

  2. The way you organize your space mirrors your inner space, so with that in mind, it is essential to make physical space! Great points.

  3. this is too funny, the tray I use marked "later" is how I lost my camera last summer for over a month, the tray was heaping as later never came...
    word of advice, if your memory isn't so good don't over use the later bag ;)

  4. I desperately need more space. I had a huge private studio in my home in VA, now I'm downgraded to a much smaller shared studio space. When we buy a home here in Missouri, I'm going to turn the whole upstairs into a giant studio! Okay, not really...but a girl can dream :D

  5. I'm working through organizing my church's supply room . . . yeah, need more space because it is masked by disorganization. One day the sun will shine through!

  6. Great ideas! My pantry is the one that I always need to stay on top of!! :-)

  7. Fantastic tips, loved them all. I am always creating space...every few months. Amazing how much you find to donate:)


Your thoughts and ideas are an important part of the conversation, thanks for sharing!