Tips on Categorizing

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

One of my clients is currently investing in organizing her life. She is working on the ownership piece and has been curious about the Simplify process as she tackles jobs on her own. Recently she shared with me that one of her significant struggles is categorizing items. I briefly mentioned my categorizing method in a previous blog, and wanted to expand on this topic because categorizing truly deserves its own post. I have also create a free gift for you to accompany your organizing projects: printable panty labels!

Whether you’re new to organizing or a seasoned pro, categorizing can be difficult! If you struggle with categories, my first suggestion is to identify why it is a challenge. Here are some common pitfalls when attempting to categorize.

  • Focus: Don’t bite off more than you can chew. When choosing to tackle the pantry, don’t also attempt to do the kitchen at the same time. Even as a professional, I separate these into two project estimates. Zeroing in on exactly which area you are organizing will help you finish the task successfully.
  • Distractions: Do not attempt to organize if you are also trying to entertain your children’s needs, clean the house, cook dinner, or complete other household tasks. Make sure that you block out uninterrupted time to start and finish the job. Be realistic and give yourself ample time to complete the task.
  • Big Picture/Little Picture: Keep tabs on what you are doing. Did you try to tackle the craft room, and now you are sorting your kid’s artwork or homework? Does that fit into your goals for the original project? Set timers and do self-checks on your productivity. Timers will also serve as reminders if you find yourself frequently getting side-tracked.
  •  Perfectionism: I, too, am guilty of this in my own home. I struggle with only wanting to begin a project if, and only if, it can be done perfectly. HOWEVER, this can prevent progress. Moving towards a goal is progress that should be celebrated! Progress over perfection. If you struggle with this, give yourself a pep talk. Remind yourself that starting can be the hardest part. You’re awesome, and you’ve got this!

There is one area that typically has similar categories across clients: the pantry. No matter the family, I see many of the same items in pantries. So to help you begin your pantry organization, I have a gift for you – FREE printable pantry labels!

Below is the link to download your Simplify pantry label PDF. These labels are flexible to make and can be printed at home or at your local print shop. Print them on paper, sticker paper, or to attach without cutting use Avery 22822 sticker labels (affiliate link)! These labels will fit almost all bin label tags or can be attached directly to bins and canisters! Be sure to adjust print settings to ‘Actual size’ and use the best print quality your printer will allow. Pantry Labels are restricted to personal use only. 

I hope that this helps you organize your pantry and I cannot wait to see these labels in action. Be sure to tag me in your pantry projects on Facebook and Instagram! Please also reach out if you need help. We would love to be there for you.


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