{This article was written by Betsi Simmons – Professional Organizer – for more organizing ideas be sure to follow her on Facebook}


You can’t carry the message if you don’t know the story. As a professional organizer I know the story of clutter and chaos.


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[if gte vml 1]> There are more than a few reasons why I organize but it boils down to ‘Simplicity keeps me sane’.  


Behind this door is my latest secret, which 6 months ago was spotless. However my lazy ways got the best of me and quickly serenity and simplicity turned into a hot, scary mess.

If I keep the door closed, I can’t see in and I can pretend it doesn’t exist. But it looms and lingers and taunts me as I walk by.
How did this happen? 
I broke the system. 

I want my home to be clutter free so I keep any and all extras in my storage closet; office supplies, pictures, seasonal items, presents etc..  I also keep a charity bag in my storage closet. Periodically I add items I don’t need, don’t use, don’t want, don’t fit and pass them on to others. 
It was my ‘good will’ that started my downhill spiral. 
The charity bag became full, over full, too heavy to lift, it ripped and I delayed correcting the situation.
Three charity bags in, chaos took control of this closet and made it completely catastrophic. Everything else was thrown on top, items never made it to their designated destinations, my secret became my shame.

Delayed decisions = disasters.


Time to tackle the tornado. My lackadaisical days are done. 


Prepare and Plan

  • ·  Block out uninterrupted time. This helps you complete tasks quickly and achieve results immediately.
  • ·  Collect appropriate supplies. Garbage bags, recycling bin, clear bags/boxes for donation, cleaning supplies.
  • ·  Hang post-its to keep you organized. Some headings I used:  Return, Donate, Garbage, Elsewhere, Presents.


·  “Elsewhere” is an extremely important title to have. Running around returning items to their destination is a distraction and you will be doomed for failure. Wait until the end of the project and return all items at once. It will save you time, energy and keep you focused on the task at hand.

Empty

I wanted to stop once the chaos was removed believing that everything else was staying. How wrong I was. Emptying the closet allowed me to collect an inventory of what I actuallyhave, not think that I have and return items to their proper destinations such as family keepsakes.

Ask and Assess

When pulling out every item individually ask…
Do I need this?
When was the last time I used it?
How much will it cost to replace?
How many do I need? 

Sort 

Keep like things together – this is where your post-its can come in handy and keeps sorting simple. 
Allocate items to the designated pile.
Grouped together you will be able to see how much of an item you have.
Emptied, sorted and cleaned. Finally the fun part, putting it all back together.

Keep items contained.

Clear boxes are best, you can easily see what you have.
Boxes, closed or sealed bins are wonderful for items you don’t need often such as seasonal, taxes or private files.
Baskets are perfect for items that require easy access.
This is my closet, I don’t care if they match. Matching items are preferred but I’m frugal and I am aiming for functionality and simplicity, not style.


Where to put what? 

I live by ‘zones’. Identify items by group and priority of use.
Keep go-to items at eye level ‘the priority zone’ – usually from your knees to your shoulders.
This keeps you from having to bend or stretch to reach items you need. It also makes retrieval and return fast and efficient. 


Store seasonal heavy items lower and less used, light items up high.

Always make use of vertical space. Add an extra shelf or hooks on walls.

From disastrous delayed decisions to clutter free again.



Some days I am my own client.


For more organizing ideas follow Betsi on FacebookPinterest or check out her website for more information on her services.





Have a great one!