Sorted Obsessions

Perfection

Perfection: noun

the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.

We all strive for it, we devote our time and energy to cooking perfectly, decorating perfectly or working perfectly. It’s exhausting.

In my line of work perfection is what people desire. Pinterest makes it seem so easy to achieve that tidy living room or that drool-worthy walk-in closet. There’s this false sense of reality, a Pinterest perfect filter, that majority of the time, won’t stick. Not because we are failures, but because for most people, it’s not sustainable — it’s not reality.

I recently posted a photo of a closet I worked on with a client. I was inspecting the photo later thinking to myself, “Hmm I should have moved that box there or I should move those items to that shelf as it would be more seamless, more ‘perfect’.” I quickly realized I wasn’t doing myself any favors with those thoughts. I was pushing my version  of perfection onto my client. They were pleased and loved their new sorted closet and that is most important. They were able to live with it and maintain it, not me. 

I could make things look “Pinterest Perfect” but clients don’t call me to achieve perfection because, quite simply, they are not. They are prone to clutter, bulk items and “junk-drawers.” They won’t be able to maintain perfection. Making sure each client’s lifestyle and personalty is taken into consideration is “perfect” because its realistic.

Understanding where you have clutter issues and trying to improve is one thing, trying to force yourself into this perfect tidy little hole will only leave you feeling even more deflated.

Do yourself a favor, don’t strive for “Pinterest Perfect”, strive for what a perfect reality is for you. It’s still something I’m striving for myself!

Organizing Fall Favorites

I love when a new season begins! It is always an opportunity for new clothes, decor and getting organized! However, once fall kicks in, many households turn into a busy, cluttered mess.

There are a few products and tips I love using for the fall that can easily transition into the rest of the year and be a game changer in how you get organized.

The Cabidor:

So many people who live in urban areas don’t have pantries or extra closets that you can put party supplies, wrapping paper, etc. The Cabidor is a small storage unit that hooks onto the front of your door by the hinges. You can store extra pantry items or dub it your crafty Cabidor and store all of your wrapping paper and crafting supplies all in one place, while taking up no extra space. It’s easy, hidden and helps keep you organized when you have little space to work with.

*Added perk: You can customize the shelving to fit whatever you have perfectly and you have a choice in facade with mirrored or magnetic dry erase. Making it oh-so-easy to hang your kids art-work or check yourself out before heading out the door!

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Trones:

Colder weather means more shoes and clothes laying around. I think a great item to keep entry ways clutter free and feeling tidy are the Ikea Trones. They are discreet and great for holding hats, gloves, mail and of course, shoes. Designating a particular space or solution for your entryway helps keep you in check with how much you can file or store before having to deal with it properly (I’m talking to you junk mail!).

*Added Perk: Make the Trones look extra fancy by securing a piece of wood on the top of it that matches your flooring. Ikea hack for the win!

trones shoe storage entry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boots:

There’s nothing more annoying than taking out your boots for the new season lining them up and like an old leaf they crumple over, hiding the rest of your shoes! Keep your boots upright by rolling an old magazine into the boot. If you have the extra hanging space, you can use boot hangers to hang them in your closet. Ensuring they stay up right means they maintain their shape and quality longer and you have more room for other shoes. Win, win!

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Lists:

Fall doesn’t just mean lattes and pumpkins. For a lot of people fall can be really busy. Whether it’s the kids going back to school, planning an apple picking trip or getting ready for Thanksgiving, changing seasons often means a whole list of new to-do’s. Don’t let your commitments stress you out, stay organized with tools to help remind you. An app I currently use and love is Wunderlist (though there many more). Wunderlist is extremely intuitive, and syncs up to your email so it sends reminders for tasks within the app and via email making it easier to stay on top of things.

*Added Perk: You can assign tasks to other users (aka family members, coworkers, or friends) so everyone can finish those chores or plan that party together all on time.

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MakeSpace Partnership

I recently had the pleasure of writing an article for Makspace on some of my favorite tips when it comes to your bedroom closet, and how to get it organized ASAP. Hop over to their site to read. Enjoy! Screenshot 2015-08-31 14.24.26

Jewelry Organization

Jewelry can be a pain to keep organized. You have tiny pieces that are always at risk of becoming a knotted, tangled mess! Everyone has a certain “order” to how they set up their jewelry and for some, no matter the order, their jewelry always ends up in one giant clump.

Not everyone has the time nor the patience or wallet to keep valuables organized like they are Pinterest-perfect. So lets talk about inexpensive solutions you can buy and even repurposing things you already own to organize your jewelry.

 

Apothecary or Cookie Jars

IMG_0110Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to jewelry organization. Apothecary and cookie jars make for great jewelry storage, as they are clear and large enough to hold a decent amount of items. You can store your bangles, bracelets, or brooches and rest assured you have proper storage that looks cute as well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teacups and Plates

IMG_0106Teacups get a multi purpose use when you utilize them for your jewelry. You can store smaller, daintier bracelets and rings inside personalized teacups without taking up a lot of space. Not a fan of tea? Use ring plates to stack your rings and other jewelry you wear daily. Storing those everyday pieces in the same place builds a routine so you always know where they are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wall Display

IMG_8058Who says jewelry can’t be art too? Find unexpected ways to hang your jewelry and have it be a centerpiece in your room. Choosing antique door-knobs, hooks, or even an octopus can be a fun way to hang items. Using a wall display helps keep necklaces from getting knotted or tangled and ensures you can see everything you have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egg Rack

imageSort your earrings using an egg rack. You can divide and conquer using each holder for studs, cocktail, and dangling earrings. This helps keeps things separated and organized so you don’t risk loosing things or having them jumble together. If you feel like going the DIY route you can take a real egg carton spray paint it your favorite color and bam, your earrings have a new home. You can keep this out as a cute accent piece or in a dresser drawer.

Holding Onto Our “Stuff”

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We all have “stuff.” It’s our clothes, shoes, papers, thank you cards and old cd’s. Over time, we grow attachments to the items we collect, for one reason or another.

Facing the challenge of deciding whether or not to part with items that hold such strong emotional attachments can seem overwhelming. I have a few tips below I practice myself and use with my clients to help when facing those hurdles.

Justification

A lot of my clients will quickly try to justify to me why they should keep something. Majority of the time it is a sentimental justification. I always have the same response, “If you have to justify keeping it, it probably means you shouldn’t.”  There is a distinct difference between knowing in your gut it’s something you have to keep vs. quickly giving into the sentimental justification that is blocking you from rationally knowing what to do.

One in, One Out

Unless you are filthy rich and live in a mansion, you most likely have a certain amount livable space. Which can quickly fill up. A rule to put in place to help you is: one in one out. Which means, if you buy something new you then have to throw something out. So if you have to have that new pillow or pair shoes, prepare to part with something to make room for it.

Talk it Out

I am a big promoter of talking to yourself while you organize. Whether it’s an internal dialogue or out loud, do not be afraid to talk to each item you are sorting through.  For example, you pull out a random gift you received but forgot about for well over a year. The first thought might be that you are pumped you just found it! But continue to ask yourself some questions, how long was it hidden away? Had you ever thought about where it was? Was your life significantly worse because you didn’t have it? As you ask yourself these questions you begin to see and understand whether or not you’re trying to justify keeping it or it being something you absolutely can’t live without.

Digital

Thank you cards, save the dates, baby announcements and get wells. They can quickly add up and usually do for many of us. Paper is a big issue for a lot of people and there are great resources out there to help combat with the overflowing amount of cards and paper keeps sakes we have. If there are a few cards that you can’t part with, take a photo of them and upload them to your cloud service or dropbox. There are also tons of apps to help you store, choose archiving dates, upload kids artwork, and more.

 

What is a Professional Organizer?

I find it so fascinating how many people have no idea what a professional organizer does, or even means. I am often met with inquisitive questions or just blank stares when I tell someone what I do for a living.

Merriam Webster Dictionary on the word Organize:

: to arrange and plan (an event or activity)

: to arrange or order things so that they can be found or used easily and quickly

: to put things into a particular arrangement or order

It is a very literal meaning that,for me, makes so much sense. I help people establish order and function to their households, businesses and everyday life. For example, you’re at your wits end with your hall closet that used to house your winter coats and now houses every season plus the mail you don’t want to deal with. I help you make sense of that chaos by optimizing the space you have and creating space saving solutions that will work for you and your lifestyle long after I’m gone.

No, I’m not a cleaning lady, but yes I do help you clear out the things you do not use or need so that your space is tidy and uncluttered and you’re left with only the things that make you truly happy. To me order and function go a long way and I’m thrilled that I get to help people achieve that!

 

Moving, it’s a bitch…

Moving, we all have to do it at some point. One of the main reasons moving is so stressful is all the stuff we “need” to keep, pack and then unpack with every new place we call home. It’s an overwhelming feeling, looking at all your belongings then looking at all of the boxes, thinking to yourself,  “How is that all going to fit?!”.  After 7 different apartments in NYC I’ve developed a few tips/practices to help keep moving as stress free as possible.

 

PURGE

This may seem like a no brainer but you should always purge while packing. It is a great opportunity to get rid of clothes, linens, dishes, and old USB’s  sprawled out randomly in your desk drawers! As you’re packing, inspect each item, take the extra few seconds to decide if it really is worth the move. If within those few seconds you have to try and justify keeping it, it’s probably not worth keeping.  And if you don’t feel like trekking to Goodwill, most moving companies will take your extra bags of discarded items for a small fee.

 

MAKE A LIST

We all have that one random box with items just thrown in and not labeled. To prevent the headache of the mystery boxes implement a labeling system. For example, say you have 4 kitchen boxes.  You label each box K (for kitchen) 1-4. Then on a sheet of paper you write out K 1-4 and what is in each of those boxes. This will go a long way when you’re moving and helps ensure you know each item is accounted for.

 

EACH BOX HAS A HOME

“You can just drop all the boxes in the living room!” is a sentence we often find ourselves saying when the movers enter our new home. This will only create more work for you in the long run!  Whether it’s your friends, family or professional movers, don’t hesitate to ask them to put boxes in the rooms they belong. And since you labeled them for each room, it shouldn’t be too hard for them to understand.

 

DRINK

When all else fails, drink! Whether it’s alcohol or your fave green juice. Take a moment to breathe. Moving is draining and stressful so don’t be afraid to have a moment to decompress… Then get back to work!

 

Spring Cleaning Tips & Tricks

SpringCleaning_SortedThere are a lot of things to love about springtime. It’s a sign of “rebirth,” not having to wear a puffy coat, and vitamin D is in high demand. Those are all fine and well, but what I love most about springtime is, spring cleaning! Yep, that’s right. I love being able to pack away my winter garments, wash the nooks and crannies and pull out each little dress and sandal as though it’s a new seasonal present. I realize that I am in the minority, but I’m here to give you a few of my favorite tricks and tips so you can spring clean and still have time to enjoy those extra hours of sunshine.

 

  1. Work by categories, not by room:

While working by room is good in theory, there is too much room left for error. By breaking down what you will sort through and clean up by category, you ensure that nothing is forgotten. For example: You decide to clean by room, you purge, sort and fold/hang all of your clothes again. You move onto another room only to discover more coats, shoes, etc. By this point you’re more likely to say “screw it” and leave it for next year vs. taking the time to pull out each piece to see if it’s needed. Don’t create more work for yourself in the long run. Work by categories, not by rooms.

 

 

  1. Clean Digitally:

Most of us are guilty of waking up in the morning and immediately looking at our inbox and social platforms. But how does it feel when you first wake up and see that looming inbox number resulting from a lack of upkeep. Spring-cleaning shouldn’t just stop at your physical possessions. Make sure to go through your email(s), social platforms and anything else that is a digital stressor in your life and get to work. Unsubscribe from those pesky newsletters (unless it’s mine!) once and for all. Create folders within your inbox and set up rules so that each email that comes in goes into a specific folder (personal, business, finance, social, etc.) Keep seeing people on your social platforms that you don’t even know? Or better yet, don’t even like, get rid of them! Once your digital life is up to date and sorted, you’ll begin to see the big impact it has on your life.

 

 

  1. Drawers Get Dirty Too:

How many people take all of the items out of a drawer, sort through them and then put them back in an organized beautiful way? Well, that’s great, but you’re forgetting one thing… That drawer is dirty! When you’re going through your home by category and sorting through each drawer, make sure that once you take all of the items out you clean the bottom of the drawer. You’d be surprised how much dust, dirt, food crumbs and hair gets to the bottom (I’ve seen it first hand!). A few things you can do to ensure the drawers are clean: Take a damp paper towel and wipe the drawer down. If you have a vacuum use that to get into the corners. If you don’t have a vacuum, wrap tape around your fingers and use the sticky side to pick up the dirt in the tight corners. And lastly, pick up some drawer liner paper, this will make cleanup a lot easier as you can just take the liner out and shake it off, Taylor Swift style.

 

  1. Junk Mail:

Ever get something in the mail and wonder to yourself, “How did they get my address?” I’m sure we’ve all been there. Once again, spring Cleaning isn’t just washing your windows and polishing your silverware. Take a step back to think about all the little things that clutter your life.  Sort through all the mail you get on a regular basis and really see what you need vs.  what’s junk. Set up bills to be paperless and contact the company that sends you coupons for “jumbo size popcorn” and tell them to take you off whatever list that is! By cutting down the size of mail you get daily, you’ll have less to sort through, which in the long run means less mess. Plus, going paperless is good for the environment!