FAQ: A professional organizer’s place is always tidy, Right?

So…this is a common misconception. I have to admit that my house is sometimes not as clean as I’d like it to be. So what good does it do to organize? I’m glad you asked 🙂

laundry-1196308-1920x1280.jpg

Although my house is not always 100% perfect, 100% of the time, I don’t mind saying that my place is usually quite tidy. Organization makes it easier to keep it this way more often than most. It means that there’s a little home for pretty much everything in my space, and this has two results:

1. It takes only a few minutes to pick up everything and get it out of sight, and therefore it gets done more often. This is a big one.

2. I don’t have closets and cabinets bulging with items–I’m not afraid to open them, and if I need to tuck something away in quick order, I have space for that.

Please don’t fool yourself into thinking it has to be all or nothing. Your home doesn’t always need to replicate the pages of a magazine. However, a little organizing means that it will be easier to find and use the things you have, and also it will only take a few minutes to clean up if you have company coming over. So, your home will truly have that “lived in” feel. Because you’ll really be living in it.

 

An Organizer’s Secret Weapon

Wanna know a secret? My favorite tool for organizing isn’t necessarily made for organizing at all. Handier than a pocket on a shirt, the one thing I can’t do without is a dry erase marker…..or 20. I actually have them pretty much everywhere, and in every color.

One marker sits on the counter ledge in my bathroom, because–did you know?– you can actually write on mirrors in dry-erase. I regularly scribble my new favorite quote, people and things I need to remember, and most importantly a few priority goals I want to accomplish the next day. This is a great way to organize your time and make sure your priorities are at the forefront of your mind in the morning.

Another marker is attached with Velcro alongside the door frame in my laundry room next to the washer. Sometimes I put something into the wash that could turn inmarkerto a size 3T in the dryer, but I’m very bad about remembering to pull it out between the two. I’ll use my marker to note the item on the washer lid to make sure I don’t forget it. (While I’ve never had a problem, you might test it somewhere hidden first.)

An additional Expo is velcroed out of sight on the side of my microwave by the fridge. I can easily write on (and wipe off) my storage containers so I know what leftovers are hanging out in the cold. (It’s a good idea to keep a sharpie there too, so you can write names and dates on bags that go into the freezer–just don’t get them mixed up!)

I also use these handy implements to keep track of which shoes are in which storage boxes in my closet. In fact, these can be used to write on almost any kind of smooth surface. (Again, you might want to test them first. I have found that there are a few plastics that just don’t want to let go)

And now that you’ve been enlightened about the necessity of dry-erase markers, go forth and organize your life like a pro! If you find more uses for these handy little things–leave me a note in the comments!

Where do I start?

WhereToStart

The most common statement that I hear when talking about organizing is this:

“I don’t know where to start.”

When your space fills up with clutter, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by it, and the project has failed before it ever started. This is what keeps many from beginning at all. There are actually a couple of good answers to this woe, and I’ll start with my favorite. Ready?

In the corner. Yep, it’s as easy as that. This is a good solution when you’re planning to tackle a larger space such as a basement, garage, or playroom. You can pick any old corner, but my favorite is the far left and then I’ll work around to the right. Start pulling items out, and if you have a helper such as a family member, give them bins full of items or collections of things to go off and sort thru (especially if it’s your kids and the items are theirs such as old toys) and ask them to bring the keepers back to you. Once you’ve sorted thru everything sorting like with like, and everything is out and in tidy piles, you can begin to gather or purchase storage and organizational supplies and find a home for everything.

Another method is to start with the area that bothers you the most. If your whole house is in need of help, pick one small area that bothers you the most–let’s say pantry, junk drawer, or maybe that random place where you dump all of your laundry. Organize this area first. Not only will you have conquered your #1 enemy, but you’ll be able to quickly feel the satisfaction of having finished a space and it will be motivation for the next project. After all, we ALL know that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time 🙂