Originally featured on the Brookdale Living Blog.

We’ve all been there – face-to-face with the insurmountable task of tidying something. Be it as small as your wallet or as large as your basement or garage, we have all looked at the project and thought, “it’s too much!” This can be especially challenging when you are considering downsizing to move in to a senior community.

But as the saying goes, “the longest journey begins with the first step.”

Getting Started

If you’re looking at the forest as a whole, you will get overwhelmed with all of the trees. But by selecting one tree (or task) at a time, you will be surprised how quickly you make progress!

Begin with deciding what you will need in your new space. Whether you are moving to a smaller place or trying to update your existing home, now is the time to truly weigh how necessary “things” are.

Before and after image of an organized closet.
For example, if you want to organize your clothing or a closet space, start by laying all of your pants, shorts and skirts out onto your bed. Try everything on. Donate items that don’t fit, are out of style or that you simply know you won’t wear. Then organize the remaining items into categories, and place them back into their appropriate drawers or on hangers. DONE!

Now do the same with your shirts, ties, socks, jewelry, etc. Just take one category at a time, and you’ll find that, when you’re done, getting dressed each day is much less overwhelming.

Pro tip: when you have two clothes-hanging bars in your closet, one over top of the other, hang your pants ABOVE your shirts. It seems backwards, but makes your closet look much bigger and actually makes it easier to see your shirts when they are at the lower level.

Be Creative

The best storage and organization solutions are frequently discovered when you realize that you don’t always have to follow the rules. Many products are available for storing things, like packed lunches or pairs of shoes. But what if you tried these storage containers for something new?

That compartmentalized lunch box also makes a great drawer organizer for your makeup or toiletries in your bathroom. That over-the-door shoe organizer? Try putting one on the inside of your coat closet for storing scarves, gloves and umbrellas. Or even better, those shoe organizers make great see-through storage on the inside of your linen closet door. It’s a great way to store medicines and extra supplies, such as shampoo, soap and toothpaste.

When decluttering and organizing, especially when preparing for a move into a senior living community, always keep your end-goal in mind. You want your space to feel tidy, clean and cozy. Make organization a priority, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you settle in to your newly defined home!

Organization Inspirations