I recently read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and it’s really changed the way I think about the items I own, what I chose to keep and how I store them. Not only was I in undergrad for 8 years (because I did it part time while working), but I then went on to be self employed for quite a few years. Couple that with being a bit of an office supply junkie, as you can imagine, my supply stash was pretty legit. 😉
Fast forward to today — I work full time, have two little ones, run this blog, and rarely find myself reaching for some of the supplies that used to be daily essentials for me. Instead I find myself reaching for paint brushes or wash tape (here is how I organize washi). I didn’t want to be without a paper clip or binder clip in the event of a paper emergency, so I knew I had to keep some of these things, but likely didn’t need them all.
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Just like the method in the book, I grouped together like items and decided what I would likely reach for again. This part was hard because I tend to be someone who makes excuses or justifies, so I had to be really honest with myself about what I would likely use in the next 30-60 days.
I also had to assure myself having to spend another $1.99 in the event I got rid of too much, wouldn’t break the bank. It’s always funny to me how much we are afraid to give up in the event we need again, when the cost of keeping (clutter = stress) is generally greater than the cost of needing to repurchase.
If you need help letting go of things, check out this how to purge post I did, centered on a trick I’ve used for years to and has really helped people overcome letting go of things.
Once I landed on my final piles, I started brainstorming storage solutions. As someone who tends to buy way more than I need in the world of organizing projects, I can’t stress this enough. Sort first, then figure out the storage solution. Otherwise you are limited how you organize to the functionality of the organizer. This should be the other way around! You’ll save yourself wasted time and unnecessary products.
After purging and sorting, I decided to hang on to a few different size binder clips, push pins and tacks, binder rings, paper clips, and rubber bands. I also knew I only needed a little supply of each. I decided to hang on to the colored options I had of everything just to brighten things up.
After exploring a few different ideas, I found a small tackle box (similar) would be the perfect storage solution.
Here are some ideas if you need one:
Prefer to organize with something you already have? Try putting each pile into a small zip snack bag, and put all the bags together in one drawer, container, or even shoe box.
Recap of the process:
- Pull out everything you have
- Decide what to keep and purge the rest
- Sort what you are keeping by category
- Determine storage solution based on your piles
- Add items to storage solution
- Label and find a home
Looking for something else to organize? Check out this post about organizing your greeting cards.
… and if you are interested in more decluttering, check out this post I did about KonMari Method and the bullet journal which has a free Konmari checklist.