Living in an organized space isn’t just about aesthetics; it significantly impacts our daily lives. From reducing stress to saving money, the benefits are vast. However, the process of decluttering and maintaining order can feel daunting. That’s where the Core 4 organizing method comes in, simplifying the task into four manageable steps: Clear Out, Categorize, Cut Out, and Contain.

Photo from mDesign clear containers & baskets

Photo from mDesign clear containers & baskets

Although I try to keep things organized, there is always more to do. What I think is actually happening, the more I organize the more I want to create still more order. That often includes downsizing to have less to maintain.

As many of you know we had water damage in December from a cracked water faucet in our laundry room. It turns out it had been leaking for months and there was mold. Without telling the whole story, let me say EVERYTHING had to be taken out of the laundry room and Great room because the subfloor had mold.

The Great room had 4 different cabinets/armoires filled with entertainment, cooking, and serving pieces. It had to be moved IMMEDIATELY for the remediation company to get rid of the mold. All these things were put into the few boxes I had. The rest got put on any and all flat surfaces in, out, and around the house.

The last phase of the repairs was carpet, which was finished on Friday. Now I’m starting the process of returning items to their rightful places. BUT… I’m using this process as a time to downsize more.

The first of the Core 4 steps was already done – take everything out.

Here’s how the Core 4 steps are listed:

Step 1: Clear Out – The first step is to empty the space entirely. Whether it’s a closet, garage, or pantry, removing every item sets the stage for a fresh start.  I’ve tried to embrace the temporary chaos knowing it’s the precursor to tranquility.

Step 2: Categorize – With everything laid out, start grouping similar items together. Utilize containers and labels to streamline the process. Using Post-it notes for labeling can keep the process organized and focused.

Step 3: Cut Out – As you sift through your belongings, be ruthless in discarding what you no longer need. Keep trash bags for rubbish, designate a box for donations, and consider selling items you no longer use. Ask three crucial questions: Keep, Sell, Donate. This mindset not only simplifies decision-making but also fosters a sense of generosity.

Step 4: Contain – Finally, store your remaining items in designated containers. I use baskets and clear bins for organization. Clear bins offer visibility, making it easy to locate items when needed. And don’t forget to label everything—it’s the key to maintaining order in the long run.

The Core 4 organizing method isn’t just about tidying up; it’s about transforming your living space into a functional and serene environment. By following these four steps, you can conquer clutter and enjoy the benefits of an organized home.