When I first started my Professional Organizing business I was obsessed with always having every conceivable organizing tool on me when I went to my clients homes. I called my 20 pound work bag my "Mary Poppins" bag and it contained all kinds of labels and clips, markers and tape. I also had boxes of folders and files in my trunk.
I had every conceivable organizing accoutrement. I was prepared, people.
As the months and years passed and I got a ton of organizing jobs under my belt, my bag got lighter and smaller. Mostly for two three reasons:
1. I never used 95% of the stuff in my bag. 2. My clients, by and large, already had everything they needed to get organized. 3. I dislike carrying a bunch of unnecessary stuff.
(side note: I was the kind of mom that obsessed over my kiddo's diaper bag...because I wanted to be prepared BUT carrying around a monster bag made me as cranky as a two year old needing a nap. The struggle is real, people.)
Do you know what I would (mildly) panic over if I went to a job and forgot my work bag? Spoiler alert: it ain't much.
-Post-It notes (the generic ones are rubbish)
-My (preciousss) label maker
-My kick ass multi-tool
That's really it. I do carry more than that, but I don't use most of it.
I use Post It notes and my Sharpies to put temporary labels on things. When beginning any project we first do a rough sort and then get more granular as we go.
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For instance if there was paperwork all over the living room and the home office, we'd gather it all up together (rough sort) and then start sorting it into personal vs. school vs. work papers (more specific but still not finished). Each of those categories would get a temporary label while we culled. The labeling provides a temporary home for items while we build the framework of the project. No need to create or purchase a bunch of files, bins or pretty baskets at this stage. That's usually the last part of the project.
You know what we use to sort big stuff? Laundry baskets and empty cardboard boxes. Use what you have!
Simple. Simple. Simple. This works beautifully in every area of the home.
Simple trumps complicated nearly every time!
I do tell my clients to ditch their ratty old manila files and army green hanging folders in favor of something fresh and eye pleasing. AND I am also a big fan of matching velvet hangers and shoe box size clear storage bins. They definitely make daily life more manageable and pleasant!
but please remember:
Don't start organizing before you declutter. You probably have plenty of storage options already!
If you....first declutter, then organize, then beautify you will have a gorgeous, organized space in no time!
P.S. Do you have a stash of mysterious 1/2 full bins, basket and containers in your house? What area of your house can you just not seem to ever get a handle on? Leave a comment and let me know!
When you have too much stuff and no time to deal with it, life can feel overwhelming and unfun. By removing the things that don’t make you happy and creating organized systems that suit your lifestyle, I free you up. To relax. To love your home. To do those things that you've really been wanting to do. I'm Lisa Sharp, your friendly go-to Professional Organizer and Space Healer. I work internationally via Skype and in person in the Metro Atlanta area and have helped hundreds of women just like you to ditch their chaos and create their dream spaces.
Let’s get your place -- your life -- uncluttered. It's your time.