Monday, June 11, 2012

35 An Organized Project Plan

Now that the playroom is waiting on the finishing touches, I am gearing up to re-focus on the studio space.  It has been a bit of a drawn out project since there are so many variables and pieces to the puzzle.

How will I use it?  How can I make it flow?  What do I need to store?  Where will I work?  Where will I craft?

It is absolutely an organizing project that I don't wish to just jump into without following some sort of plan.  So I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to finally share the steps I take when working on a project, big or small, and also share a printable worksheet which you can also use when tackling your own organizing projects.

Here we go!

1.  Create a project file: 

Throughout the organizing process there may be all sorts of ideas and notes and reminders and it is a great idea to keep everything in one simple location.

2.  Print Worksheet Printables:

I have created some project planning worksheets which you can download for FREE!

{click HERE to download your FREE organizing project planning printable}

The point of the worksheets is to offer some guidance and a place to dump your thoughts along the way.

3.  Assess the Project:

Using the worksheet as a guide, whether working on a small closet or an entire room, it is important to assess the situation and project.  Give the project a name, think of all of the ways the space will ultimately function {how will it be used?  what is it's purpose?} and take measurements and dimensions.  Feel free to get crafty and draw a layout even take a photo of the space and toss it into your project file.

4.  Find Inspiration: 


Pinterest is now your BFF.  Scour the web for ideas.  Print off some of your favorites and place them into your file for future reference.

5.  Clear Everything Out: 


Whenever I begin a project, I find it works best to remove the contents of the area.  Sometimes that means emptying an entire closet, set of drawers or whole room. Give yourself a blank canvas to play with.  It will allow you to think about new layout options, realize available space and be selective about what returns.

6.  Sort and Track:

Time to begin the entire weeding and sorting process.  This step is extremely important.  Each item should be touched at least once.  Ask the following questions:
  • Does this item belong in the space?
  • Have I used it within the last year?
  • Does it have deep sentimental meaning?
  • Is it broken, damaged or functioning?
  • Is it a need?
It is also important to begin thinking about what to do with each of those items.  As you make a decision on each item, log your plans.


When donating items, it is a good idea to keep a record of the items being donated and their estimated value {this value chart is especially helpful}:

Once the items are donated, toss this tracker into your annual tax folder.


Why not try to gain some funds back to re-invest into the project?  Or for a celebratory vacation?  I am totally a cheerleader for making an effort to sell extra items on Craigslist or eBay, prior to giving them up for free.  However, it really also has to be worth the time and effort it takes to take photos, write up a proper description and list the items.

I like to keep track of the number of items I am selling and where they are listed, so I can be sure to manage those items appropriately throughout the selling process {and give myself a goal to achieve from the sales}.  Once they are sold, I can cross it off and continue to focus on the remaining items.


This one is extremely important; especially when it comes to full room projects.  By taking inventory and writing down each item type that is returning to the space, you can then decide if you have ample storage or if some must be purchased.  

It is important to assess storage needs first, purchase last.  By taking a moment to complete this worksheet, you may end up saving pennies by realizing you have ample storage already on hand.  You can also give yourself a budget and track item dimensions, which will come in handy when it comes time to shop.

7.  Shop 'til You Drop:


Don't forget to shop your own home first!

If I don't have what I need on hand, I could totally go on storage crazed shopping spree.  Therefore, it is important to curb those impulse purchases and to prevent snatching up something I am completely in love with, only to find out that it doesn't even ultimately fit my storage needs.

Using a list is a great way to track spending and to also keep item dimensions on hand for when out at the store {or even browsing online}.

8.  Put Everything Back:

Now that you have all of your storage items, you can begin to place items back into the space.  This is my favorite part!

Hopefully, everything goes back nice and smoothly and according to plan.  But if not, it is OK!

9.  Use and Analyze:

Organizing is an ongoing process and should always be re-evaluated and tweaked.  Spend time using the space and evaluate how it's working.

It is a good idea to take notes during the evaluation period so you have something to build from as you continue to enhance the space.  I also like to keep a few blank note pages in the file so I can do major brain dumps throughout the entire process.

10.  Celebrate!


You worked hard, you deserve it!  I highly recommend checking out the final outcome multiple times a day by doing some random walk-bys, ogling, gazing, opening the drawers and cupboards, awing,  and just feeling proud of yourself for checking a project off the list.

I hear from individuals often, that it is easy to feel overwhelmed when looking at an organizing project.  Taking time to think things through and take notes is a great way to begin and feel more confident and excited about conquering the project in mind.

So what do you think?  Feeling any less overwhelmed?  What organizing projects are you currently gearing up to tackle? 


  1. Thanks SO much!! What a great set of printables with great inspiration!

  2. This is very timely! I spent this weekend working frantically and slightly freaking out over how disoraganized and un-decorate my house is. A plan is a great way to start- thanks!!!

  3. Thank you so much for this post! I recently moved back home after graduating from college and I really need to organize my room, especially the desk area! These steps will definitely help me get things organized!!

  4. Genial.....adorável....muito obrigada!adoro o seu blog....

  5. Thank you for the post and the worksheets! I have several rooms to tackle and this is very helpful!

  6. Really great post Jen! I'm so bad at just jumping in and not having a plan, which i end up regretting, getting frustrated, and giving up half way through. :( This will help me out a lot! :)

  7. Jen you always seem to amaze me with your posts. Thank you, thank you. This is such perfect timing. We are purging our whole home right now for a garage sale hopefully in two weeks. It's not easy to purge your home all at once and this could really help me out. Because I'm sure there are things that will not sell and they aren't coming back in the house. They are going to Good Will or Salvation Army for sure. I feel so good already with the purging I have done, so I don't want it back in my home. I can't wait to use some of these printables. I have projects coming up after this garage sale, so this is all perfect timing. Thank you for sharing your organizational wisdom!!! :)

  8. GREAT post! thanks fo sharing your tips. I usually feel so lost, but this has been very helpful!

  9. One room at a time it starts today! great printables!

  10. Perfect timing for a house addition this summer! Love the printables and the organization you share. Ah-mazing! Thank you!

  11. My sister-in-law just asked me to help her organize/baby proof her house. It will be so much easier with your amazing plan. Thanks so much!

  12. I do something similar when I organize - but your
    Printouts are much prettier! Thanks for all the great ideas! (and last week's clothing clean out was fantastic - now just to get the hubby to pack away/give away some stuff!) any tips on shared closets?

  13. Wow, thank you, this is detailed organization! Great job! Did you use this type of plan for your playroom?

  14. Your blog is always so motivating to me! Organization just feels good. Thanks for all your tips and advice!

    I just started a blog and would love if you could pay me a visit!

  15. Thank you for reminding us of the importance of organization. Those printables are really cute!
    Oh by the way, I know that the process of reorganizing...say...a room, will take days, sometimes even months! So when you clear out and empty the room, do you just leave everything in a pile somewhere? We don't have much space in our apartment to do that :(
    What would you suggest?

  16. Jen, this is fabulous. I am getting ready to make some project plans for a few rooms and these printables and ideas are fantastic. It's exactly what I need and it couldn't come at a better time. You're awesome! Thank you!

  17. Hi Jen, This is my first time to comment...I've so enjoyed your blog and have found great inspiration and motivation. Thank you so much for generously providing these great printables. I like the way you think and approach things and I will be using these pages right away!!! Thanks again!

  18. Thanks for this post! It is exactly what I needed right now!

  19. Thanks for the printables. I have so many to tackle. I have a newborn (will be my last baby), so now I know it's a boy, I am sorting through my older daughter's clothes to be donated or passed to friends. Baby has also meant rooms have changed so I am paring down the office - the paperwork, the cords for old phones, laptops, cameras, the stationery. And I'm trying to get a good change and clothing "station" happening for my son. I'm kinda busy with it all, huh? But sooo fun! It's winter here in Australia so it's perfect weather for being inside and working on the home.

  20. Excellent tools- thanks, Jen!

    I was at the beach with my kids yesterday (ahh! the benefits of homeschooling- we get the beach to ourselves) and I was planning my bedroom wardrobe system on my clipboard as I watched the kiddos play in the sand.
    We have no closet and the makeshift rack/shelving that we are using has to go. I used a free organizing project planner printable I found that that I like b/c it has a nice sized spot for a layout- however some of the other info I don't use but sub in with items that you mention (like what to keep & reuse or shop from other rooms or actually need to buy).
    I do love yours since I never thought to also include what has to go (the hardest part for me) right on the plan.
    thanks so much for the detailed template!

  21. Thank you! I'm in the early planning stages for how to rework my laundry room. This post made the process seem far less overwhelming. Getting started is the hardest part of organizing for me. I have a difficult time narrowing down all the possibilities.

  22. Thank you for the planning suggestions! I just finished clearing out our spare bedroom and starting with a clean slate and plan on turning it into an office/craft room. Can't wait to use your templates

  23. Wow. This is amazing. So much time and effort went into these beautiful printables. You really nailed it with how to approach a project. My favorite part it the celebration!

  24. Thank you for the wonderful printable! It's so timely too since we are less than thirty days from moving into a new home! This will help make the new place easy to design/organize! Straight into the new home binder these go!

  25. Great post! I recently drew a layout for my sewing studio and kitchen along with a plan of attack and both projects went together so seamlessly, it was worth the effort!

  26. Thanks for this! As one who tends to dive right in and then become overwhelmed, these sheets and tips will be enormously helpful.

  27. Thank you for the printables - these are great!

  28. Hi Jen. I just wanted to say a huge thank you for the fabulous project organising sheets. I have printed out several copies of each as I have lots of organising to do in our home.

    My 5 year old daughter and I live in a three bedroom house but we haven't been able to use all of the space properly because of the hugh amount of stuff!

    I never thought of organising as a project before. It makes so much sense and now that I have your beautiful printables I can break each room/area into seperate projects instead of looking at all the stuff and thinking "Where do I start". Once I have filled in the sheets I know exactly what has to be done, things that I need to purchase and how much it will cost.

  29. Thanks for the great post and printables. I'm currently working on organizing my pantry and this will definitely be a big help!

  30. We just moved to a new apartment and this could not have come at a better time! These are gonna make things so much easier! Thanks for the post!

    xo Megan

  31. Thanks for the awesome printables! My craft room is a disaster. Hopefully this will motivate me to finally get it more organized :)

  32. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I REALLY needed this since I am in the process of creating my own studio! I have had SUCH a hard time getting everything together and figuring out just exactly what should go where! This will help so very much and I can't say thank you enough! When I finish (if I EVER finish) I'll send some pics!

  33. Referenced this post on my blog for my project planning!!! Can't wait to put it to use!

  34. I already use number 5 every time I begin a project. I will testify that it actually works!! And I love your free printables. :)


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