Movin on Up!

You'll have to excuse the photos on this one...there really was no way to photograph all the work that was there's not a startling difference this time, but there was a very BIG difference made.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to help a friend with organizing. She is a new homeowner, has been in her home for a few months, and has been asking for my help. When I arrived, I asked where we should start and she didn't know. She was so overwhelmed (here I should mention she has 5 children under the age of 7 and her husband is deployed) that she didn't know where to start.

As I had her catalog what problems she was having, I could see a difference in her expression when she said that she hadn't even finished moving all of their belongings into their I thought that HERE is where we should start.


This is a section of the garage before....we focused our efforts on the line of boxes that starts just behind the green cooler in the foreground.


Here is an after shot of the garage....there is still a lot more to go, but if you can tell there is a lot fewer boxes in this shot than the one before. I figured later that we had unpacked 10 large boxes and 7 totes.

So this blog post will be about the best way to move-in or unpack boxes.

I always like to have what I call a "staging area"...this is a place that is already cleared out where you can spread your items to the four corners. In this case, we took all of the boxes from the garage to the living room.

Once all of the boxes were inside, we designated zones. Most of the boxes contained the kids' clothing, toys, and some these were our zones. The boxes that contained all of the SAME item got moved to the appropriate zone, and those miscellaneous boxes (that we all seem to pack once we're sick of packing boxes) got unpacked into one of the zones.

I also like to set aside a pile for organizing items that you may already have like: the totes you empty out, baskets, boxes, and cute decorative items that can double as storage. This makes it easier to find when you're ready to put things away.


Here is a pic of the living room sectioned into zones...the left wall was clothes, the back wall was toys, and in the foreground was memorabilia. (the small pile in the center before the half wall and door is the organizing items pile)


And here is the living room after 8 hours of our most dedicated sorting/putting away efforts.

So how did we do it?

We tackled the zones one at a time. Memorabilia didn't really need to be sorted, just found a place inside of the house. I knew that the funnest zone would be toys, so we forced ourselves to sort clothes first.

The best and easiest way that I've found when sorting giant boxes, totes, or even drawers is just to DUMP IT. Clear a spot, dump the box, and then dive in. The homeowner made decisions on which clothes to keep and give away....and we put them away accordingly. Then we did the same with the toys.

The most important thing is to keep at it. Focus on the progress that you have made, and maybe even reward yourself when you're through. (and when all else fails call a friend like me..*smiles*)

One Response to “Movin on Up!”
  1. Suzi says:

    Great will always tell me to get rid of stuff and believe me, I have. I clean out my kids closets when they grow out of clothing and shoes. I sort through books when they change reading levels. Yes, you heard me Jasmine...I actually get rid of stuff.
    I recently "shopped my closet" and got rid of a lot of stuff I would not ever wear.
    You are inspiring me...


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I'm a stay-at-home mom of 3 who likes to organize, craft, & read (among other things)