Don’t use ROYGBIV as an organizing tool

TRY INSTEAD: Rainbowtizing is really more of a styling tool and most of the time it’s more functional to organize by category or function. Who really wants to waste time searching for the”blue” box of pasta in a color-coordinated pantry or the “yellow” board game in the hall closet because you’re locked into a color coded system. Exceptions: small bookcases and categorized closets.

Don’t buy any organizing products before measuring your space

TRY INSTEAD: Be intentional about your purchases, even if you find bins on sale at your home goods store and you want to try and stock up. Assess the space, figure out how you want to use it, and then measure carefully (length, width AND height).

Don’t microorganize

TRY INSTEAD: Organize by function in a way that makes it easier to find things and put them away without having to think about it too much.

Don’t rush the process

DO: Take your time. If you go through your space slowly and thoughtfully, it will enable a lasting transformation that you will not have to keep going back to redo.

Don’t organize your junk

DO: Go through a good round (or five) of decluttering first or else you will be rearranging a lot of stuff you don’t need.

Don’t use labels like “other” and “misc”

TRY INSTEAD: If you’re going to take the trouble to organize your stuff, put it in bins and label it, use designations that will actually help you find things when you need them. A miscellaneous bin is just going to turn into a big black hole that will need to be organized all over again. Try using labels that are specific enough to be useful but not so general that it defeats the whole purpose of dividing things up.