When I begin working with a client to organize their space, I first like to ask them what they use the space for now and what they wish they were using the space for. It is very important to know your lifestyle needs and determine how to set up a space according to your day-to-day requirements.
If your dining room is currently functioning as your office and you don’t like that, then we immediately begin working on removing all the office supplies and turning it back into a dining room.
Next, we go around the room and throw away any trash, collect items you wish to donate, and also remove any items that belong in other areas of your home. What we’re left with are only those items you want and need in that space.
Third, we group like objects. Gather up all the pencils and pens in a pencil holder or drawer. Put all the books together on the shelf. Put all papers in a stack (we’ll organize them later), etc. Do this until everything is in a group of similar objects.
Now that we’ve decluttered and grouped like items, we can begin the organizing process. Knowing how you need the space to function, you can make decisions as to where each item should go. What location makes the most sense? Where will it be easily accessible? Does this item add value to this space? Will having this item here make your life easier and save time?
Organizing is never DONE. What works for you at one stage of your life may not work later on. You need to remain flexible and reevaluate occasionally. This doesn’t mean you did a bad job of organizing, it simply means you need to change with the times.