Organizing Challenge: Managing Larger Projects

Organizing Challenge: Managing Larger Projects
23 Oct 2013

This fall, we’ve been helping clients with several large organizing projects, ranging from moves to renovations to whole house clean ups and more, which we love to do. But we realize just how daunting large organizing projects can be and we’ve got some tips if you’re faced with your own organizing mountain to climb.

  • With larger projects, it’s good to start with an overall plan – including goals, specific tasks involved, people involved and any known deadlines. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just spell out what you’re trying to get done.
  • If you can, break the project down into smaller projects. This helps if you have to space the project out over time, but can also be useful even if you are trying to tackle the project all at once – over a weekend, for example.
  • If you need or want help from others, whether family or friends, a professional organizer, or other professional services, such as cleaning, junk removal, or donation pick up, contact them early in the process so you will know what their schedules and ability to participate will be. Scheduling dates will also help you determine your overall timeline.
  • Based on what you know, create as specific a schedule as possible for getting things done. If the project is occurring over time, this will undoubtedly change, but it will provide crucial structure and guidance throughout the process and is absolutely necessary with others involved.
  • When lots of stuff is involved, it can help to have a strategy for removing the “Toss” items (donations, sale, trash/recycling) throughout the process. For example, if you have a convenient donation location, build in time at the end of each session for a donation drop off. And be sure to get trash and recycling out of your space as quickly as possible. If you are waiting for a junk removal or donation pick up, try to designate an area to collect these items. Or consider scheduling multiple pick-ups, depending on the scale and schedule of your project.
  • Don’t forget to label and communicate your systems – such as labeling areas or containers for items to keep, donate or sell or using a colored dot system to do the same. If you have a team of helpers, communication and labeling is especially important.
  • Last but not least, keep a running list of tasks to complete. Check things off and add or change things as you go. This helps keep up your motivation and keeps you from having to remember everything that needs to happen!

It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed when facing a large organizing project, but don’t let that keep you from getting started. Just start taking little steps using the tips above and before you know, you’ll be on your way.


Sarah Buckwalter