National Association of Professional Organizers
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Let's Get Organized in 2017!

30 Jan 2017 2:39 PM | Cathy Van Volkenburg CPO®

2017 – Let’s Get Organized!

By

Certified Professional Organizer

Cathy Van Volkenburg CPO®

With 2017 in full swing, many people put “Getting Organized” at the top of their list.  It is exciting to find inspiration on Pinterest , houzz and other fun websites. As a Certified Professional Organizer and Design Consultant for The Container Store, let me give you one big piece of advice as you begin your project. Don’t go to the stores and buy containers and bins first! Many people are tempted to buy pretty storage containers and all kinds of cool looking products before they begin the process of organizing. Save purchasing until the very end of the process for the best results.

Steps to Maximize Efficiency in Any Space:

  • What is the end goal? Less stuff? Quicker Identification?
  • Gather Like Items together
  • Sort and Purge:  Duplicates? Unloved items? Broken items, ill-fitting clothing? Donate, trash or sell!
  • Create Zones for Remaining Items: Every day items get front and center stage, less used go high or low
  • Containerize – bins for out of season, bins for loose items like socks, shoe boxes for less frequently worn items. Buckets for toys…
  • Evaluate and maintain

Only after you have gathered like items together can you possibly make decisions on what you have. When your 35 silk blouses are together in a category, and you notice that 12 of them are black, you may want to donate 6 of them that you never wear! Suddenly you only need space for 23 blouses instead of 35.  Now you are on the right track for maximizing efficiency based on what items are serving your lifestyle right now.  Good job!  Now treat yourself to some pretty products that will make your space attractive and easier to maintain.

This process applies to pantries, kid’s toy areas, garages and more!  AFTER you have gone through the above process, you will be able to purchase containers that make sense for the quantities that will be stored. 

Final tip for maintaining the system you have worked hard to organize:  Use clear containers so you can see what is inside OR use LABELS so you can find what you need in a snap!

My favorite labels: Smead Poly Pockets

http://www.staples.com/Smead-Self-Stick-Poly-Pockets/product_SS1020860

 Use blank business cards for labels that can be changed easily and seen from a distance! Comes in many sizes! Stick ‘em on and go! Find what you need quickly- save time!

Cathy Van Volkenburg CPO®

Accent on Organizing


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