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S.P.A.C.E Method


The five-step process to organizing your home is called the S.P.A.C.E system. It was developed by one the leading professionals in the field of personal productivity and professional organizing, Julie Morgenstern, author of Organizing From the Inside Out and several other books.

S.P.A.C.E. is an acronym for: SORT, PURGE, ASSIGN, CONTAIN and EQUALIZE. I adapted this system for my clients who want to get organized in preparation for moving, remodeling or simply enjoying their home more. The key to using this system is to do each step in order. I can't stress this enough. Resist the urge to toss things before you've sorted them. Don't try to decide where you can store something before you've determined whether or not you even want it. And most importantly, don't go out shopping for furniture or any permanent organizing products such as bins, space savers, containers or storage systems until after you've disposed of what you no longer want. Otherwise you're just wasting your space, time and money.


The S.P.A.C.E. method is a practice, rather than a one-time process. Don’t aim for perfection. Perfection is the enemy of progress when it comes to organizing. I have included additional TIPS for each section. TIPS give examples of how to make each step work better.


I will take you through each step of the S.P.A.C.E system in order.

1. SORT : Grouping like items together

This is just what it says...sort all items. Whether you’re dealing with a drawer, a closet, or even a garage, you need to take everything out in order to accomplish a full-scale sort. Create a staging area where you sort all like items together.

Sorting is the key to every step that follows and if done well, makes the rest of the process that much easier. Sorting items is like discovering long lost treasure. It informs you about what types of things you own and have kept, consciously or not. Sorting also allows you to see the size or quantity of items, which makes it easier to determine the size of storage needed. Sorting also makes it easy to discover redundancies in what you own, such as realizing you have 16 pairs of black pants or 22 yellow highlighters or 63 food storage containers.


If you walk through a store, any store, most items are sorted by category. Stores do this to make it easier for customers to find what they are looking for. The same is needed for organizing. It is much easier to make decisions about what you want to keep vs. toss if you sort before you do anything else.

TIP: Resist the urge to toss or give away any item until you have grouped it with like items in that area. Don't worry if you have other like items in other parts of your home. Just focus on the one area

TIP: Make sure you have surface space available to sort. Use a folding table or clear an area before you start sorting. Don’t use the floor.


TIP: If you are organizing a small space, such as a desk drawer it's best to sort items by "type." For example, separate pens, pencils, paper clips, staples, etc. If you are organizing a large space, such as a garage, it's best to group by "category, ” for example tools, automotive supplies, sporting goods, camping gear, etc.



You will run across plenty of items you no longer want, need, or love. Purge them out of your life and your space!

  • Items that no longer work (for you or anyone) can be dumped or recycled, if applicable.

  • Items still in good shape can be donated.

  • Items that belong to someone else can be put in your car to be delivered to their rightful home at your earliest convenience!

It’s very common to do a great job organizing, but then to have the donation items or "return-to-others" items cluttering up your space for weeks or months...make it a point to get them out of your space ASAP!


[caption id="attachment_8120" align="alignright" width="300"] Tiered shelf with a clean look...for a more hidden look for items other than books,, get baskets to fit the cubbies to store items.[/caption]


So often disorganization happens because things were never really assigned a proper "home" in your home. With everything pulled out, sorted, and purged, you’re now in a great position to select homes for each thing you’re keeping.

Employ the “hot-warm-cold” method when you are selecting homes for each thing:

HOT-->Things used everyday or almost everyday...this should go in the prime real estate of your home.

WARM-->Things used often (1x a week or month) that you want to have easily accessible, but not so much that they deserve the prime real estate of your home...these items go in easy to access spaces, though not the "prime" front-and-center spots.

COLD-->Things used rarely/seasonally...these things should be stored up high or down low, in the harder to reach spots (since they are accessed so infrequently).


[caption id="attachment_8119" align="alignright" width="300"] Open shelving for kids makes toys easy to see, grab, and perhaps most importantly, put away! :)[/caption]


Containers are a critical part of the process. For example, say you decide to put your makeup in a certain drawer in the bathroom. Without containers to section off items by type, the makeup flies all around the drawer after the first open and close. The drawer now looks and feels scattered. This gives you permission to chuck other (non-makeup) items in the drawer and your organizing system is no more!

Regardless of where you’re organizing, whether a drawer, a cabinet, or an entire garage, containers help you to stay organized and to maximize your space.

Hold off on selecting them until you’ve done the first three steps...that way you’ll know how much you have to store and can pick the right containers for each space.

You may already have unused containers in your home...if not, Simply Organized is your one stop shop for all things container!


[caption id="attachment_8118" align="alignright" width="300"] Rolling storage![/caption]


This is an often forgotten part of the process. Equalizing happens after you’ve “lived” with your new organization system for a few days or more. This is the point where you realize the little tweaks you need to make to improve your system.

You might want to adjust where things are "homed" after you realize you use something more often than you thought, and you want it in a more easier access spot.

For my demo of the entire SPACE method, check out this video from Simply Organized on the day of their Grand Opening back in 2012...this is indeed a timeless method!





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