The MMHO 5-Step Process to Getting Organized (+ Why You Should Care about Organizing!)

If you’re just stumbling across the blog, I want to introduce myself. I’m Marci! I am the founder and solopreneur behind Marci McAvoy Home Organizing. MMHO is based in Park Slope, Brooklyn, but my team loves to travel near and far! 

My mission is simple. I help busy women simplify their lives by decluttering and creating bespoke systems to lend form and function to their everyday lives so all can thrive.


Why I Care About Organizing + Why You Should Too!

Way back when I began my organizing journey, I quickly realized how big of an impact having an organized space can have on daily life. In fact, it was so transformational to me that I decided to start this business in order to help women just like you feel the same effects!

Ladies, organizing is a form of self-care. Actually, more like family-care. 

Did you know that studies have shown decluttering reduces stress and depression? It’s true! According to a study by UCLA’s Center for Everyday Lives and Families, there is a direct link between the stress hormone cortisol and clutter. Not only that, heightened levels of cortisol may also lead to depression.

Organizing has such a huge impact on our daily lives.  Organizing can reduce stress + depression (self-care), save you time + money (efficiency) and help your family develop positive routines (thrive)!

It’s true! A cluttered space can often lead to a cluttered mind. So, repeat after me: 

Clear space = clear mind = self/family care. 

I know to most of you, this sounds good in theory. But how exactly do you take the first step + get started organizing?

I’ve got you. 

The MMHO 5-Step Process to Getting Organized

I have a simple five step process rooted in the belief that getting organized is more than just creating stylish pristine spaces. It’s about simple systems that make maintenance feel easy + routine, and creates a home that evokes calm and comfort.

The steps are pretty simple: 

  1. Define
  2. Empty
  3. Edit
  4. Categorize
  5. Organize!

I am going to take you through an example of what this entire process would look like in real life. Let’s start with a space that could use some love in all of our homes: A junk drawer. 


First, you need to define a space for this junk drawer. Ask yourself… is it in an entry table, a kitchen drawer, a dresser? Define the space and what it is meant for. 


Step 2, you’re going to empty the drawer. Take every last bit and bob out. This is where I like to educate my clients on the simple fact that it gets a lot worse before it gets better. That’s it, trust the process. Now wipe out that drawer. Awesome, clean slate!


Step 3, we’re going to edit. Look at each item and decide: keep, toss or donate.


To help with this is step 4... categorize. Take the remaining items and separate them into categories. For example, think pencils, pens, markers, dry erase (writing). Or, paperclips, rubberbands, binder clips!


And the final step number 5, ORGANIZE. Yay! This is the fun part where products can be shopped from your home or purchased to create systems to CONTAIN your edited categories. I love labels and find them so helpful if you share your space with family and others because spaces are defined, literally. Making it easy to find what you need and return it to it’s home when done. Having systems like this makes resetting spaces easy, saving precious time.

I think it bears repeating... a clutter-free space reduces stress levels!

So, let’s review this magical process: 

  1. Define it: Determine what exactly this space is meant to be used for. 
  2. Empty it: Pull everything out! (This may feel overwhelming… but trust me, it has to get worse before it gets better!)
  3. Edit it: Look at each item + decide: Keep, toss or donate.
  4. Categorize it: With all of the items you are keeping, separate them into like categories!
  5. Organize + Contain it! The most fun part containing. ;-)

Time to Take Action, Friend!

Now that you know the steps to getting organized, let’s jump right in! Choose a small space in your home to start with. If you need some inspiration, I have a post talking about 3 Small Spaces to Kickstart Your Decluttering.  It walks you through implementing my 5-step framework in two more spaces that will get you a quick win feel. I’ve also put together a handy ‘Small Space Wins’ printable that you can find in that blog post!

I’d love to see your space, so please take a before + after and post them to IG and FB and please tag me, @marcimcavoy so I can reshare + cheer you on!

Finally, remember small, simple changes over time all add up to create positive habits +  lifestyle shifts.