Tweak your Space for Better Organizing

Step four of SORT and Succeed is often you make your organizing efforts stick. You aren’t done organizing when you sort things or toss bags of clutter. Those are just steps to get to a place where you can make an organized space really work for you, your family, or whoever you share your space with. When you tweak your space, you’ll make your organizing work for you.

Tweak- SORT and Succeed

Tweak Your Space for Better Organizing

Are you following along with daily organizing advice so far this year? We’re on Step 4 of SORT and Succeed when applied to organizing projects. Most tweaks are small and affordable. You might be pining for bigger changes, like  transforming your home with sliding, modular walls like this OriStudio. Does this remind you of the Harry Potter Room of Requirement? Very cool. But you don’t have to fold your home into origami shapes to make it better and more organized.

Step 4 – Tweak your space.

Why Tweak Your Space?

Think about it this way…if you buy a beautiful new set of kitchen pans and they ship to you, complete with an organizer stand, will that make you organized?

Not if you shove them in already full cabinets without clearing out the old pans.

Not if the organizer stand doesn’t fit in your drawers or cabinets.

Not if your family members can’t find the pans when they want to cook.

The organizer stand may work, but perhaps not in the way it was designed or not in the way shown on the website.

Or there may be an even better way to store your beautiful new pans in your kitchen, in your space. 

Ways to Tweak Your Space

Wait…don’t go shopping just yet! There’s more to tweaking than buying more organizing gadgets.

In fact, buying more things is rarely the answer to getting organized.

Before you buy anything, try:

  • Reducing your stuff even further. It’s more likely to “fit” if there’s less of it.
  • repurposing a bin or storage container from elsewhere in your home
  • upcycling storage by painting, re-sizing, or otherwise adjusting
  • thrifting someone else’s storage to fit your needs (I’m forever buying binders, bins, and baskets at a huge discount)
  • turning a vintage heirloom into an everyday item
  • moving your things to another storage spot in your home
  • choosing a color scheme that works for you, such as assigning a color for each child
  • labeling everything
  • sleeping on it

Counter too cluttered? Why have two things on your counter…

organizing tweaks- before


When one of them can be the cuter container for the other?
organizing tweaks- after

Before buying anything new, give yourself a day or two to think of the organizing options already in your home. If you decide to bring in a new organizing solution, consider:

  • buying something that is multi-purpose over single-purpose. These will have a longer useful lifespan.
  • buying something only if it fits your color scheme. Better to hold out for something in white if you can’t stand another color. The internet is a big place, and the thing you want is probably available in your color, or will be next season. Check out how long I researched my breadbox. 
  • buying the right size. Measure twice, buy once, to borrow an old carpentry maxim.

We tried to organize this drawer for years…

organizing tweaks-before


But when we brought in bamboo organizers, it all fell into place and is now maintainable for this family.

organizing tweaks- after

Tweak for Organizing Success

Don’t keep things that work for someone else…but not for you.

Don’t just live with annoyances. Make things better. 

Don’t give up before trying a few different organizing solutions in your space.

Tweaking is often a simple solution revealed through creativity. Ask yourself, what if I tried this?? Here are some examples:

  • in the home office: if you don’t have desk drawers, add a few pretty baskets to shelves to keep small items handy
  • in the kitchen: swap in a turntable for hard to reach spaces in your pantry or cabinet and see if that makes it easier to get to things usually in the way-back
  • in the bedroom: swap your regular nightstand for another small table from elsewhere in the house. Do you prefer the drawers? A larger top? A different height? Mount a lamp on the wall to free up space on the bedside table.
  • in the playroom: Kids grow fast and interests change; schedule a seasonal organizing date on your calendar. Bonus points for doing it immediately before big gifting holidays, like Christmas and birthdays.

When Am I Done Tweaking?

You might need just a smidgeon of tweaking, but you can always make a change or two. Remember, like making dinner or brushing your teeth, organizing is never really done. We’ll talk about this more with SORT and Succeed as a maintenance system.

Step 4 of SORT and Succeed

Step 4 of SORT and Succeed is where you make things better, more comfortable, more personalized for you. But even though you get to go shopping here, take the long view. If you suspect that something won’t last very long, or you wouldn’t be happy with it very long, consider other options.

Putting things in bins does NOT make you organized. I’m repeating this here because it is still as true today as it was yesterday. 🙂

Putting things in bins

Image from the Upbeat, Organized Home Office. 

No matter when you found us, catch up with all of this month’s organizing articles here.