Sorting Explained in 3 Easy Steps!

The mountain of paper, toys, and clothing spilling from my closet was enough to engulf me. After staring for what felt like my lifetime, I decided to begin the excavation.

Digging and sorting.
Donating and storing.

I remember my room purge was a 1.5-month project that consumed my everyday life. But it gave back the space I needed for a new chapter in my life.
Now, maybe you, too, have been in this place.
Staring wide-eyed at your personal junkyard, hidden away in a closet with all those skeletons.
Perhaps it’s even gotten in the way of your writing.

But I know what you’re thinking.

Maybe you can just put it off a little longer, get to it when you’re less busy or tired.
Or maybe you’re ready to use all that junk as bonfire fuel to rid you of your problems.
Wherever you’re at in the process (procrastinator or pyromaniac), I’m here to help give that tiny nudge towards a tidier space.
I’ll explain sorting with these 3 easy steps, helping you tackle that mess taking up space on your to-do list.

1. Defining and Understanding Sorting.

Let’s get real basic: what’s the definition of “sort”?
Merriam-Webster defines sort as “to arrange according to characteristics.”

That’s all you’re doing.

When you get into your huge sorting project, you’re only trying to put similar things together.
Or things you’d usually use together near each other.
For example, in your kitchen, you keep your silverware together.
You don’t have your spoons in one drawer and forks in another, right?
No, you have a specific space for silverware with one of those sorters to keep everything neat.

It’s the same with your unorganized stuff!

You pull all that crap out in one big pile, and start making smaller piles by item types.
Paper in one pile, clothes in another, toys in some other pile, etc.

It’s that simple.

But what comes next? What do you do with these piles?

2. Dividing Items and Designated Areas.

You know that format for writing an outline?
With the numbers and letters going 1 a, b, c; 2 a, b, c, and so on?
Well, we’ve done step one and all its sub-steps, and now it’s time to move on to step two and its sub-steps.
Which is taking those piles of paper or clothes or toys, and dividing them up to keep or donate or throw away.

Decide what you do and don’t need.
What you can and can’t use.
What someone else could or couldn’t enjoy.

After that, it’s just a matter of bringing what you do keep to areas that you use them in.
Bring all the papers to your office, bedroom, or workspace. Shred or store what does or doesn’t need to stay.
Bring the clothes to your closet or drawers and hang or fold them. Donate what you don’t wear.
Bring the toys to your bedroom. Display what’s precious to you and donate the rest.

There are layers of sorting.

Here’s a simple formula to give you an idea:

  1. Sort the big pile into smaller ones.
    a. Paper
    b. Clothes
    c. Toys

2. Move to designated Areas.
a. Paper to desk.
b. Clothes to closet.
c. Toys to bedroom.

3. What to do with items.
a. Keep
b. Donate
c. Throw away

Repeat the sorting over and over until you’re clutter-free.
But maybe you’re thinking that this doesn’t really help you sort.
Maybe knowing the definition of “sort,” and repeating the cycle of sorting doesn’t help you.
Maybe you need something more concrete, more visual or detailed.
But what could help with that?

3. Research Methods and Inspiration.

Yes, I give you permission in the midst of your messy existential crisis to go frolicking on the internet.
Although, I suppose you’re already doing that if you’re reading this.
If you need inspiration, go search around on Google or Pinterest (or check out my post on 3 MUST-HAVE Items for organizing.)


Look at inspiring and creative images to get you feeling excited about sorting.
Look up different methods of tidying like the KonMari Method™.
Look for how others are organizing their excessive material things.
Learn ways you can do things, and find others that have what you wish to achieve.
There’s a whole world of organization out there, and I believe in you to get that junk avalanche out of your life.

But, hey, what do I know.

I’m just a little blogger gremlin trying to keep their life in order.

Thanks for reading, and happy writing sorting!

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