I’m going to let you in on a little secret…well, 6 little professional organizing tips that will have you organizing your home like a boss in no time! I’ll prove that you don’t have to be a (naturally) organized person to have an organized home!
Top 6 Professional Organizing Tips
Think professional organizers are born organized? Think again! Many professional organizers (and even semi-professional organizers like me) are actually ‘naturally’ disorganized. According to Cassandra Aarssen, a professional organizer and author of Real Life Organizing: Clean And Clutter-Free In 15-Minutes A Day:
I am a crazy, unorganized, giant disaster on the inside. I am NOT a naturally organized person. In fact, the majority of my life has been spent living as a complete and utter super slob. -Cassandra Aarssen
More often than not, professional organizers’ desire to be more organized grew out of necessity due to a lack of organization in their own lives. Once they’ve gotten their own homes under control, they naturally want to share their love of organizing with others.
Unfortunately, tons of people who desperately need the expertise of a professional organizer lack the funds to afford one. So, they resign themselves to becoming self-designated “hot messes”.
But, it doesn’t have to be this way! You can become your own ‘professional’ organizer and take control of the chaos in your home.
These six tips will transform even the most disorganized home into a well-organized oasis.
But first…a few of my favorite organizing products!
- Label Maker (or you can use a Cricut or Silhouette)
- The Complete Book of Home Organization by Toni Hammersley
- Acrylic Bins
- Airtight Food Storage Containers
- Drawer Dividers
- Drawer Organizers
- Extra-Large Cotton Rope Baskets
- Compression Packing Cubes
- (One of) My Favorite Planners
1. KNOW YOUR LIMITS
Before you even touch a single bin or basket, it’s important to assess your space and set your own physical boundaries. This will help you determine not only which types of organizing systems will work in your space, but also exactly how much stuff will need to be purged.
For example: Imagine you have well over a thousand books (some of you won’t have to imagine) but the space available in your home only allows for a single bookshelf. You have two choices:
- Clear out more space in your home
- Only keep the books that will comfortably fit on a single bookshelf
Personally, I enjoy having limits and boundaries when it comes to organizing my stuff. I know that I have one basket which fits perfectly next to my camera bag on a shelf. If I buy new camera equipment, I have to make sure it will fit in the space allowed for it. If not, I will need to let go of something else in the basket to make room for it.
Tip: The one-in-one-out rule works wonders with kid clutter!
2. DECLUTTER BEFORE ORGANIZING
As a semi-professional organizer, I can spot a ‘fake’ organized home a mile away. They are the homes which, to the naked eye, appear to be tidy and well-organized. Until you realize the homeowner is secretly a container hoarder! A deeper look into a ‘fake’ organized home reveals towers of over-stuffed storage totes in nearly every room and closet ready to tip over at a moments notice.
Confession Time: I am a recovering container hoarder. My home used to be ‘fake’ organized. I had never met an empty storage container I couldn’t fill…
My solution for container hoarding? Declutter your containers!
3. SHOP YOUR HOME BEFORE THE CONTAINER STORE
Girl, I get it. Shopping for organizing solutions is (almost) more fun than a trip to Disney World!
Seriously though, there’s a good chance you freed up a few storage containers in the decluttering phase (see #2). See if you can repurpose them throughout your home before you spend a dime on Amazon or at The Container Store.
Did you know? You can repurpose items destined for the trash as crafty storage! For example, you can use:
- tin cans to hold pens/office supplies
- baby wipe containers to store yarn
- tic-tac containers to store bobby pins, safety pins, needles, paper clips, etc.
- shoe boxes as drawer organizers
- tupperware to organize office drawers
4. STORE THINGS NEAR WHERE YOU USE THEM
I’ve never understood the concept of storing linens in a random hallway closet or worse…the bathroom. Which I suppose is why I don’t use a linen closet to store extra sheets and blankets. Instead, I store extra sheets directly under the mattress for the bed they fit on; extra blankets are stored in the closet of the room they are most likely to be used in.
Think about how you use the spaces in your own home and organize your belongings accordingly. Have a craft room but prefer to sew at the kitchen table? Set up a storage cabinet for sewing supplies in the kitchen.
5. ORGANIZE LARGE TO SMALL
When it comes to organizing any space, whether it’s a hallway closet or an entire room, always find a home for the big stuff first, then work in smaller items. Use clear storage totes whenever possible, and label the heck out of everything.
And, for Pete’s sake, look up! Meaning, use vertical space whenever possible. Even if it means you need a ladder to reach your holiday decorations. Install some extra shelving and take advantage of the often overlooked spaces in your home.
Tip: Store items you seldom use in harder to access locations and keep anything you need frequent access to within easy reach.
6. GET A PLANNER…AND USE IT
You know that one friend who always seems to ‘have it all together’? I’ll bet she uses a planner!
Nobody (even Superwoman) can remember all of the things all of the time. Do yourself a favor and write stuff down. I promise you’ll appear more organized on the outside (even if you’re a hot mess on the inside).
In case you’re curious, I recommend this planner. Especially if you’re a beginner.
Start by utilizing only the calendar section of the planner and fill in any upcoming appointments, important dates, vacation time, and appointments.
Once you get the hang of filling out (and using) a planner, you can eventually use it to schedule decluttering and organizing sessions with yourself, meal plan, achieve your short (and long) term goals, and so much more!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of 6 professional organizing tips and that it has inspired you to take charge of your own home!