I like to think I’m organized. I mean, if you walked into my home the public areas are relatively neat. But I do have a few ‘clutter zones.’ My office is one of them. I confess to being a hopeless stacker.
I am about to embark on a new book project, so recently I called on professional organizer Lita Daniel, of Regain Your Space, to give me some tips on reorganizing my office.
“Decluttering is all part of home management,” Lita says. “And too much visual clutter can lead to stress. ”
She is quick to point out that “it’s easier to keep up than to catch up.” But, she also emphasizes: “Disorganization for one person may not be considered disorganization for another. It’s all up to the individual.”
“It’s easier to keep up, than to catch up.” …Lita Daniel
In other words… first you have to get organized, then you can ‘keep being organized.’
The main thing you have to get over when you invite a professional organizer into your home is ‘fear of judgment.’ Lita is a trained professional, she has seen everything (sometimes while wearing a Hazmat suit and mask). It’s like going to the organization doctor–you have to bare all, before you can get a diagnosis and cure.
Here’s what you can expect from a visit with a professional organizer:
- A 45-60 minute consultation about the project. (Whether it be a pantry, garage, closet, kitchen, bathroom, or office).
- Assessment of the main problem(s) (Lack of storage, too much furniture, too many clothes, etc.)
- A prime question: “How would you ultimately like to see this area function?”
- Creative suggestions on ways to organize. Ways you probably never thought of. (Remember, this is a professional organizer.)
- Lastly, a visit to the space in question. And, most likely, assurance that the space is not nearly as bad as you imagined.
Apparently, my ‘paper problem’ is not an uncommon one.
“A space can easily become covered with receipts, magazines, invitations, mail, newspapers, etc.” …Lita Daniel
Lita recommends spending a little time each week to declutter. She calls it a ‘keep it up day.” Just a few minutes organizing will ensure that a little paper doesn’t become an avalanche of paper.
The problem with stacking is, well, the stacks. I have to go through them every time I want to find something. So I waste time by ‘being disorganized.’ And not being able to find something you’re looking for is just plain frustrating!
- I wasn’t utilizing my storage cabinet well.
- I have stacks of books that are taking up prime office space.
- I have letters, bills, notes, magazines. I should go through and either: discard, take action, or categorize.
- After categorizing, I can make a file for each category.
“For paper items, decide whether to discard, take action, or categorize and file.” …Lita Daniel
Lita left me with the daunting task of organizing my stacks. But she also offers a full menu of organizational services, personalized for your needs. Once she organizes your space, it motivates you to keep it that way.
A professional organizer is like the workout coach who kickstarts your decluttering.
Hearing these suggestions from a professional inspired me to move forward. But, I must apologize to Lita, because I met with her over three months ago. So why hasn’t this blog been posted until now? Because it has taken me so long to go through my stacks. I kept procrastinating! I won’t lie, it takes time.
The moral of this blog: If you need organizational help…get it!
Lita did give me a glimmer of hope when she left me with this final thought:
“We will always have some degree of clutter in our lives. The important thing is that your space is functional, and you feel good about it.”
Thanks, Lita. I do feel better now.
P.S. I just want you to know, it’s going to look worse before it looks better…Yikes!