We approach all organizing with the same method. We employ this method every season change, and any time the kids get a lot of new things (i.e. Christmas or birthdays). What method is this? Keep/Sell/Give/Toss.
This method is simple. When sorting through anything – a room or a drawer – set up three separate piles. Keep is for everything you want to keep. You will sort through placement for those items later. Sell is for items that have value that you no longer need. These are items you will list on eBay, CraigsList, or sell in other ways. Give is for items you aren’t selling but still have useful life. These items will be given to a friend or charity who can benefit from having them. Toss is for the items that are out of useful life. These are broken or ripped or in some other way damaged or are just things that cannot be sold or passed on to others.
Set up space for each category. If you are organizing a room or a whole house, be sure the space is separate and labeled so that things don’t get in the wrong category. Go through everything in the space you are organizing and place it in one of the 4 categories.
Once everything is in a category, start by throwing away the toss pile. Next, bag up the give pile, labeling the bags based on to whom or where the items will be given, and put the bags in your car. Thirdly, photograph everything in the sell pile and get the items listed for sale. Then box those items up for shipping or delivery. Don’t seal the boxes until you have a shipping label for them. You don’t want to forget what is in them.
At this point you should only have your keep items left. This pile will get sorted a second time. Go through it and take anything that does not belong in the space you are organizing to the correct room or area. For example, we found a cup in our child’s room when we got a new bed and organized it for her. That was to be kept, but clearly not in her room. It was taken to the dishwasher.
Now you should only have items that belong in the space left. Clean your space and put your keep items away. Now you have an organized space with less stuff, and hopefully a little extra money in your pocket too.