Here is an easy system to organize almost anything.

Let’s face it. Life is messy and it is easy to accumulate more and more items. Then with the overwhelm of things, you are stuck with figuring out where it should all go. 

Years ago, I learned from,

“You can’t organize clutter.” 

That sounds easy enough. But what if you already have the clutter, what then? How do you deal with the piles of stuff, cramped closets, and bulging drawers?

A manageable system that works to clear the mess incorporates the following 4Ps. 

  1. Prepare
  2. Pull things out
  3. Pile into groups
  4. Put it back 


Which results in a 5th P...PEACE.

How do you PREPARE? 

  • Clear your mind and your calendar. You have to mentally be ready to follow through and finish the project you start, and allocate the time.
  • Prepare organizing supplies you may need. (shelving, totes, organizers, etc.)
  • Prepare a space for 4  piles. Boxes, bags, totes or just an area will work.
    • Keep 
    • Trash
    • Donate
    • Goes elsewhere
    • Consider designating a box as a “memory box.”

What do you mean PULL THINGS OUT?

UnSplash Edgar Chaparro
UnSplash Edgar Chaparro

Now that you are ready to get to the work of organizing your space, you need to pull everything out.  If it is a larger space, like a garage, work in sections. If it is a closet or a drawer, you need to clear out the whole area.

It is also a good idea, when the area is cleared out to wipe down and clean the space. Then, when it all goes back in it is nice and clean space you can be proud to show off.

As you pull the items out, categorize them into your different piles, which brings us to the next P of organizing, Pile into groups.

UpSplash Crystal DePassile Chabot
UpSplash Crystal DePassile Chabot

Which kind of PILES?

  • Keep. These are items you want to keep in the space you are organizing.
  • Trash. This is stuff you know is broken, garbage, or otherwise unusable.
  • Donate. These are things that you don’t need,  but can be utilized by someone else. The money you spent on the item is already gone, you might as well let it bless the life of someone else.  
  • Goes Elsewhere. This is a good pile to have because it keeps you from being distracted and running to other areas of the house. Just put these things away when you are done with the project.
  • Memory Box. These are sentimental items such as cards, baby photos, graduation announcements, etc. It's a sensible idea to keep your sentimental items all together.

Now for the Fun and Final P!  PUT IT BACK!!!

When organizing, keep like-things together.  For this example of putting it back, we can use the pantry. 

  • You could keep your spices grouped together, on a tiered shelf for easy access. 
  • Sauces could be stored on a Lazy Susan on the shelf, maybe in a corner.
  • Lazy Susans are great options to utilize space lost to corners.
  • Noodles can be stored in a basket or upright clear containers with lids, if opened.
  • Baskets are great for keeping bags of chips together or packets of seasonings.
  • Kid's snacks can have a section with baskets.
  • Tiered shelf organizers are fantastic for canned goods, also grouped separately.
    • Veggies
    • Fruits
    • Tomatoes
    • Canned milk
    • Spaghetti Sauce
    • Salsa, etc.

Also, it is helpful to put things you use often in more accessible places.  If you love to bake, keep a baking section handy in the pantry. If your family loves cereal, keep those boxes easy to get in and put away. 

You need to create a system of organizing that makes sense for you and your family.  It needs to work for your family.

Organizing can be fun and it is doable, just break it up into these 4 Ps and you can find Peace through organizing.  

Washington City Clean-up

Washington City Clean-up

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