GUEST BLOG BY LORI KROLIK OF MORE TIME FOR YOU. THIS IS PART OF A SERIES OF GUEST BLOGS FROM SOME OF OUR PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER PARTNERS.
Valet offers great solutions for storing and keeping your stuff organized, but you don’t want to just fill your redesigned cabinets and closets with disorganization and clutter. To kick off the New Year, we asked professional organizer, Lori Krolik of More Time For You, to share her thoughts on how to get your home organized and create the custom Valet cabinet, closet, or space of your dreams.
You’ve been saying it for months, yet the piles still remain. You want less clutter, but something always gets in the way of cleaning and organization. Where do you start? What supplies do you need? How much time do you need to allow? You’re probably thinking, “Do I really want to do this, it’s exhausting?” You CAN get organized in the New Year, but like any large project, you need to break it down.
Pick Your Project – If your entire home needs an organization overhaul, you’ll need to choose a starting point. Pick the area that is most heavily used and tends to get cluttered the easiest. It’s usually the entryway/mudroom, home office, closet, or kids play space. Starting in one of these spaces will give you the biggest reward and likely motivate you to move onto the next space that needs organization.
Gather Your Supplies – As you sort your piles you’ll need containers to hold your categories of stuff. For most projects, inexpensive clear bins in various sizes (I typically use the 6, 16, and 64 Qt size) will be all you need. Garbage bags to hold trash, donation, and recycling will also be helpful.
Purge, Purge, Purge – Starting in one area of the space, get rid of the junk. You’ll quickly realize that most of the clutter is stuff you have not seen forever and can be trashed or donated. Work your way around the room until you’ve hit every horizontal surface. Then move onto the drawers and cabinets.
Sort as You Go – As you pick up an item or object and determine it’s not trash, don’t just say, “I need to keep this,” and put it down. Make a decision about where it needs to live. If you already have a place in your home for it to go, put it in a container or bin of “items to go elsewhere” and every so often take a break to distribute items where they belong. If you don’t know where it’s going to live, give a little more thought about what it is and why it has not had a home in the past. Then use one of your clear bins to collect like items of that category (for clothing it may be easier to just make a pile of like items), e.g. mementos, bills to pay, art supplies, Legos, electronics, etc.
Create a Home – As you are purging and sorting, things may get a little worse before they get better. You’re surrounded by bins, and piles, and bags of trash, “Oh My!” Take a breath and start putting things away in their existing bins (that should now be labeled), on a shelf, or stored in a drawer. The things you use and need to access the most should be in the most easily accessible drawer, shelf or closet. If you’re not really sure where a particular item or category of stuff should live, create a staging area for items in process. As you start to organize other parts of your home and find similar items continue to put them together. Then, as you begin to clear more spaces, more storage areas will become available and eventually everything will have a home. If space remains an issue, Valet has great solutions for maximizing storage in your closets, cabinets, and other areas of your home.
Resolve to Keep It Up – Even the best organization systems can fall apart if no one puts anything where it belongs. Create a habit of putting things where they go when not in use. If you backslide a bit, spend an hour or two in the evening or on the weekend to toss the junk and return items to their homes.
Don’t let your “Get Organized” resolution fall to the wayside. Following an organized plan leads to an organized home.
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Lori Krolik, Certified Productive Environment Specialist and Professional Organizer, is the owner of More Time For You. She primarily works with residential, home office and small business clients to create systems out of their most serious clutter challenges (whether its piles that prevent a home from functioning the way it should or paper piles that impede office productivity). Lori’s 20+ years in the organizing field has resulted in thousands of clients who are more organized and productive as a result of working with her. Her primary philosophy is that you need to be able to find what you need when you need it whether at home, at work, or on your computer.