II. Use the three piles method. Make three little (or big) signs that say “Keep,” “Toss” and “Give Away.” Another pile/sign can be made for recycling, such as papers, or clean, plastic or glass bottles.
III. Then, begin sorting through the pile of stuff that you just dragged out from your shed. Each item should fit into one of the three (maybe four) piles. If you find something that you aren’t quite sure if you still need or not, then throw it in the keep pile. These things can be looked through later.
IV. Now, everything that is not in your keep pile needs to leave! Put everything from your toss pile into a trash bag (or two) and take it to the dump, or put it in your dumpster if you have one. The recycling can be taken to your local recycling center if one is available. Some refuse disposal companies even offer recycling services as well. The stuff from your give away pile can be either taken to a Goodwill or other donation center, or given to a friend or family member, who actually needs or wants the item. You don’t want to be making more clutter for someone else!
V. Time to sort through the keep pile! Here’s where you need to again assess how much stuff you can actually fit in the shed in contrast to the size of your keep pile. If your keep pile is smaller or considerably smaller than the amount of space you have, then great! You can skip the next step and move on to number seven. But if it looks like there is still a bit of clutter busting left to do, then read on.
VI. At this time, you are going to see how much of this stuff you actually use. Before returning anything back to it’s place in your shed, ask yourself: “Will I use this in the next six months?” If its a seasonal item, than: “Will I use this in the next year?” If the answer is no, than get rid of it. If the answer is yes, than it is decided. This item can probably stay in the shed. If there is something that is broken, but you can’t bear to part with, ask yourself: “Will I fix this in the next month or so?” If you are planning on fixing it, then make a mark on your calendar for one month from insert the date here, and if whatever it is is still lying, broken in your shed in one month, than get rid of it. If you don’t want to listen to any of the above and are still planning on keeping a few things on the no list, unless they fit nicely into the shed, try this one, last thing. This method is one that professional organizers use all the time. Simply take a large bin and throw everything that doesn’t fit, but you just can’t get rid of, into it. Then, every time you use something from the bin, put it away. At the end of six months, whatever is left in the bin needs to go.
VII. Now it’s time to return everything back to the shed. Create a space for everything that has survived the rigorous testing of step six. One idea is to create sections i.e. garden tools, wood, etc…. This is where you get to be creative!
VIII. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a cup of tea. Take a break. After all this hard work, you deserve it!