By whitney | April 8, 2013

Photo via Pinterest (

Photo via Pinterest (

Following in the footsteps of organizers before us, we decided to come up with an acronym to help you simplify what can sometimes seem like a daunting process. It can be overwhelming to know when, where, and how to begin on an organizing project. Having steps to rely on gives you guidelines and helps to break your project down to achievable goals. Use CLEAR to tackle a nagging task, big or small.

C-Create goals

L-Like with like


A-Appoint a home

R-Return items

Let’s break it down.

Create your goals.  As with any project, the first step is to identify exactly what you want to accomplish. Are you seeking a closet that makes getting ready for your day easier or a less cluttered kitchen counter? State very clearly what you are wanting, whether it be a transformation of your physical things or the emotions surrounding them. An example of a goal might be, “When I open my pantry, I want to be able to access my food easily.”

Like with like to gauge what you have.  Pull everything out in the area you are organizing and group similar things together. Examples of categories for a pantry could be baking supplies, breakfast, snacks, spices, pasta/dinner staples etc. Once you have the items grouped, you are able to have a clear view of everything you have.  It’s likely that you have multiple of the same thing, and being able to visually see this helps you to make decisions on what you really need and love.  This brings us to our next step!

Edit your belongings to things you use and love. Go through each grouping and take a hard look at what you have, remembering that the things we keep and never use carry more weight than we realize. If something is broken, let it go. If you’ve never liked it, let it go. If your ex-boyfriend gave it to you and it brings up bad memories, let it go. If you have 7 umbrellas, pick your 3 favorites; stick one of those in your car, and let the rest go.  By surrounding yourself with only the things you use and love, you’ll free up physical space, which, in turn, leads to a “freer” state of mind.

Appoint a home for items closest to where they are used. Once you have culled your items down to the best of the best, it’s time to find them a logical place to live. To do this, first think of where you normally use the item. If it’s a blender you use daily for smoothies, scope out a location close to the sink and/or nearby plug. After you’ve thought of where you use it, think about how often you use it. Since the blender is a daily thing, you want it in the front of the cabinet; whereas the waffle maker could probably go up on a high shelf or the awkward deep corner shelf. In essence, appoint an item to a home that makes sense in proximity to where you use it and how often.

Return items to homes 15 minutes daily. Similar to exercising and eating well, being organized is a lifestyle choice that we must keep up with. The good news is, if you have followed the above steps, the upkeep should be a cinch! Pick a time of day that works for you -mornings, evenings, during your lunch break -and spend 15 minutes going through the house and returning items to their “homes.”  It’s nice to get into the habit of putting things away as soon as you’re through using them, but sometimes time doesn’t allow. Using these designated 15 minutes to get everything back in order allows you to easily access your things when the time comes to use them.

Follow these steps and success will be yours. It’s as simple as that!

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