The SPACE Model of Organizing


Many people who are trying to organize their home do not follow the proper steps to organizing and end up feeling more overwhelmed, and often more stressed, than before they started. Why? Because organizing shouldn’t be thought of as just one single task; it is a process. Like other processes we follow, we need to complete a set of steps in a certain sequence in order to obtain the correct result. When we think of organizing as a process of steps and not as a single task we must do, then it will be easier to obtain success.


Julie Morgenstern developed a handy acronym for the sequence to organizing that she introduced in her book, Organizing from the Inside Out. It is called SPACE.


1. Sort: Sort like items together.


2. Purge: After you have placed like items together, it is easier to determine what you have and what you no longer need. Purge the portion of like items that you have too many of, that are worn out and broken, or that you won’t use or don’t need.


3. Assign: Now that you have like items together and have kept only those items that you need, you can start to think about where you want to store your things. Assign a home for the things you are keeping based on the room and location that you will be using them. When we store things close to where we will use them, it is easier to retrieve them when needed and easier to put them away when we are finished using them.


4. Containerize: Now that you know what you are storing and where you are storing it, you can start to consider storage containers. Too often, people will shop in stores for pretty containers that end up not functioning in a space because they are too big or too small to hold intended items, or, the containers just don’t fit in the space they need to go. Only purchase containers after you have sorted, purged, and assigned a home to your belongings.


5. Equalize/Evaluate: Does the system you set up in steps 1-4 above work for you? Organizing isn’t an exact science. After living in your newly organized space you may find you wish to tweak things and move them around. That is okay. Your organizing system should be tailored to meet your needs. Evaluate your system and make any changes necessary.


When organizing, one size does not fit all. That is why many of the organizing products on the market do not work for everyone. We often have to consider creative organizing solutions that will work for different people. If you have made repeated attempts at organizing, and you feel too overwhelmed to work through the SPACE sequence above on your own, give us a call. We can help.


Jenny Power, Absolutely Organized

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