Laying the Foundation and a Free Printable

There is nothing I like better than a good organizing project, and currently our home is FULL of projects just waiting for me to tackle.   Now that we’ve been in our new home for a month, I’m starting to see that there are plenty of areas that need some good systems put into place, and I’m itching to get them done.  The problem is that there seem to be sooo many of them, and I’m not sure where to begin.  I feel like they all need my attention NOW, and that none can wait.  Instead of working through them systematically, I haven’t done anything.  (unless you count organizing the linen closet ha!)  I can’t stay stalled forever though, so I sat down to figure out what was really important and what could wait.  I’ve spent alot of time thinking about this, too much time really, and came to the conclusion that thinking about it isn’t going to find me a magic formula, what I need to do is just pick a place and start there!  My Mom and Travis are probably shaking their heads at me, because this is what they both ALWAYS tell me, but I don’t think I did it quite the way they meant.

So what room or area did I pick to start in?  None of them!  Yeah, my starting point isn’t in the house, it’s in my head.   Usually, I look at the space or stuff that needs to be organized and plan from there, and change it up as our needs change.  In our old home, we were very limited on space which made organizing almost a weekly task.  Our new home offers us, not just more space, but more spaces and I’m hoping that with some careful planning now, I can avoid massive reorganizing projects later.  This means taking time to really think about the spaces and rooms, what they are used for, who uses them, what really needs to be in them and what doesn’t.  I know that some of these things will change as time goes on, but a good foundation will serve us better over the long haul, than a quick, make it work for now, approach will.

I’m a planner by nature, and my first inclination is to brainstorm on paper, then make massive amounts of lists, and generally over think it all before going back over it and finding it all a jumble.  Precious time is lost trying to decipher my own notes, and weed through the information before getting a solid plan in place.  I’m tired of being scattered, even when I’m trying to not be, so I thought I would hop onto the web, surf around blog land, and see if I could find a printable to help.  I found some great printables out there, (just type “room organizer printable”  and you’ll find a ton!  There are some crazy talented people out there) however, none of them were quite right.  I was looking to simplify, no more pages upon pages of info.  So, I did what I always do, and made up my own.

free home management printable for organizing the home
Room Organizer

Enter the “Room Organizer.”  It’s just a simple little printable to help me keep track of my ideas, and, hopefully, keep me on track.  Here’s how it works.

So, I decided to start with the obvious, the top shaded area is for writing down the room or area to be organized and the people who will use it.  Why include who uses the space?  Well, I believe that who uses the space helps to lay the frame work for how the space will be organized.  An area that the whole family uses will be different from spaces that are just for the kids, or a parent’s office.  The next step is to figure out what the space is used FOR.  That’s what the box on the top left is for.  Here I’ll write down all the uses of a room or area.  Some will only have a few, other will have more.  Knowing what happens in the space is essential to forming a great organization system that will work with the space, rather than against it.  Once you know what it’s used for, you can roughly plan out zones.  I call them zones, but really it’s just a way for me to breakdown the space into more reasonable chunks.  For example I’ll use Liam’s room.  His room is used to sleep, play, dress, and read.  The zones would be closet, for clothes storage and bulky toys; small book shelves, for toy and book storage; and bed, for sleeping, a comfy place to read, and, because his bed is a captain’s bed, for storing off season clothes and extra books or toys.

Under the “Uses” box, moving down the left side of the printable, are three more boxes.  These I’ve labeled “Musts”, “Needs”, and “Wants”.  This is to help me keep track of the items in the room.  Using Liam’s room again, “Musts” would be: bed, teddy bears, toys, books, clothes, shelves (or other storage solution), etc… Under “Needs”  I can list anything I might need to find for his room, things like, storage bins with measurements for the space they need to fit, wall shelves for display items and keepsakes, a dresser, and so on. The “Wants” area is for things that we don’t necessarily need, but that I/we want for the space.  A new bed, new bedding, some fancy wall mountable option for book storage, and the list goes on.  This box is there to help me keep track of my ideas, and also to help prioritize what projects or purchases need to be done for the space.

The last bit is a place for trouble shooting and dreaming..  There is an area to identify any problems the space has.  These could be things like, not enough storage, poor use of closet space, any problem you see with the area, and also a spot for jotting down any ideas you may have for a solution.  That’s followed by the “Ideas for Later” section.  This is kind of like the sister to the “Wants”.  It’s the space I use to dream and plan the changes I want to make.  This is the fun part of the planning, where I’ll jot down ideas like, wire storage boxes for books, small wooden crates for toys, or gallery wall of fun art, new curtains, anything I can think of that I want for in the space.

I plan to print one out for every room and space in our home.  I’ll use them to keep track of my thoughts and ideas for each space, but more importantly, I’ll be able to use them to keep myself on track.  It’s not about thinking outside the box right now, it’s about laying the foundation for future project successes.  After I’ve printed them and filled them out, I’m thinking I will store them in my HMB’s Home Care section.  When/if I notice something isn’t working about the space, I can refer to the original plan, and figure out if it needs a tweak or total overhaul.  It will also allow me to track what I’ve already done, which is really important if I want to avoid the same mistake in the future.

And there you have it!  My “Room Organizer”!  One page, with one purpose, to help keep me organized as I organize our home, and to also help me appreciate all the different areas our new home offers us.

Are any of you tackling any major organizing project?  Do any of you ever find yourselves stalled on a starting point for a big project?  If so, how to get yourself unstalled?

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