Sunday, July 23, 2017

Home Organization Tips From a Professional Organizer

 I have been a  Professional Organizer for the past 14+ years.  I was a banker and made a career change after starting a family.  I was able to turn my knack for organization, my financial training and my ability to effectively teach others what to do into a career as an Organizer. My specialty is Court Ordered and Shrink Ordered Hoarding and working with the Aging Demographic. I have found every client is unique, wonderfully challenged and desires a breakthrough when it comes to reclaiming their home and their life.My goal is to find out what the real challenge is, address it, provide the tools to move forward and enable clients to do it on their own.  My ability to address chaos, excess and severe turmoil in homes- calms, reassures and enable clients to focus on what is important: enjoying the space they call home and spending real time together as a family.

I often address the same things with each client that I work with:

1) There is so much stuff and I don’t know where to start!! - Yes you have a lot of stuff but why? Is there a shopping issue, a tendency to hoard certain items, the desire to save everything? We often dive deeper. Why are you shopping? Who are these items for?  Is this a true hoarding situation or the inability to make a decision? Why is everything being saved?   A death in the family, a divorce, loss, hurt, fear,childhood pain, avoidance. So many emotions and feelings factor into identifying the root of the problem, and it is important to talk about it with others, or seek professional help if need be.

2)  I don’t have time to fix the situation in my home.- There is only 24 hours in the day. Your home didn’t get this chaotic overnight, it isn’t going to be fixed overnight. Make your home a priority.  Be realistic. Block out time. Make sure you have eaten first, have water available and you are ready to get started. Take a half hour and address the mail, bills and the piles on the kitchen counter.   Spend that time with laundry and changing out seasonal clothing.  Try tackling everything on the desk first, then what is in the desk and lastly, what is around the desk in the office.(This is called the On, In, Around Discipline)

3) Show me how to get rid of this crap. I just can’t do it. -First, you can do this and you will. I often suggest three bags, or three boxes labeled garbage, donate, and sell.  And a specific area of the room for the items to keep and relocate. Once you have picked your room , use the Inch by Inch approach. The idea of an entire room can be overwhelming. Take care of what is in that small space in front of you and move on. When completed, then take out the garbage, bring the donate and sell items to your car or garage, and relocate your keep items. Stick with it and a room will be done in no time.

4) I don’t have the money to buy everything to get organized.--  Tons of money isn’t needed to get organized . You need Less. Less of everything. Stop trying to organize the clutter, the excess, the unneeded items. Purge first. Purge multiple times if necessary. Having less enables you to enjoy your living space. Evaluate the items you are holding onto and continue purging. I often suggest active purging on a quarterly basis, monthly if need be.  

“New” storage systems aren’t needed when functional is desired. Consider Cragislist, Goodwill or garage sales.  Label every bin with the contents. Try repurposing items in your home. Use the kids toy storage from when they small to hold toiletries in your closet or cabinet. Use a downgraded dresser to store presents, seasonal decor and wrapping paper and supplies in your storage room.  Use those hard to reach cabinets over the fridge to store large service items. Use a functional bench by your door or a footstool. Everything you own doesn’t need to be on display.

5) I can’t do this alone.--You are right!  That is why it is important to ask for help. Arrange childcare and enlist an extra set of hands for an Organizational Swap.  Ask a friend who also needs help to spend one Saturday morning at your house, and you spend the next Saturday morning at their home. Block out the time on the calendar and stick to it.   Plan ahead on which projects to tackle rather than a whole room.  Work quickly by avoiding difficult items such as memorabilia, clothing, or items that belong to others.

Organizing your home is a process. It takes patience, planning and persistence.  You can do this. Just start today. No more excuses.

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