July 27, 2011 is the 9th anniversary of my first client. Thank you Mrs. Z for trusting me with your papers and your closet. Hopefully, you had no idea I was a ‘newbie’ when I walked through your door…
Since that time, I’ve worked with more than 50+ clients–all of them like snowflakes–no two were alike. But, the one trait they all shared was their desire to get organized. Over the years, my clients have asked for some key tips on how to become and stay organized. In honor of Organized Artistry’s 9th anniversary, I am going to share 9 organizing tips to help you reach your goals and lead a less stressful life.
Use one, use some, or use them all…
1. Just Do It. Stop complaining/thinking/worrying about your clutter and instead draw out a written plan to tackle it.
2. Start small. Rooms full of clutter overwhelm most people. Start by sorting items one shelf, one drawer, or one corner of a room at a time. Feeling ambitious? Try one more and get back to sorting the next day.
3. Know Thyself. When do you work best? Mornings? Evenings? Organize when you are at your most energetic.
4. Give ’em a Good Home. Invest in a high-quality file cabinet for your papers. My father’s file cabinet is almost as old as I am and still functions well. My favorite brand of file cabinet (and my dad’s, too) is HON.
5. Save Money Where You Can. Don’t spend a ton of money on organizing products until you know exactly what you need. Until then, use shoeboxes, Ziploc bags and other free or inexpensive organizers.
6. Wear Sturdy Footwear. You never know what might fall off a high (or low) shelf. You never know what you might step on. Protect your feet while organizing–no flip flops or bare feet!
7. One-In-One-Out. If you bring something into your home, something must go. Bought some new towels? Purge some old ones. Got a new pair of black shoes? Send another pair walking. One-in-one-out keeps the amount of ‘stuff’ in your home at an even level. To really de-clutter, live by the One-in-three-out rule.
8. Take Before and After Pictures. You don’t have to show them to anybody. Just take the pictures and keep them for yourself. My prediction is that you’ll make sure your home never reaches ‘Before’ status again!
9. Reward your Accomplishments. Whether you organized a large clothes closet or a small drawer of office supplies, note the accomplishment and reward yourself accordingly. Manicure? Double-chocolate cookie? An evening on the couch with a good book/funny movie/loving spouse? You’ve worked hard at reaching your organizing goals–you deserve it!
Nine years in business is quite a milestone. Thanks so much to my clients, colleagues, family, and friends for helping me to get to this day.