Shopping: Springtime Organizing

Photo courtesy of Get it Together, LLC. Click here for more.

Winter is coming to a close, and with the new season looms the prospect of spring cleaning, a time when many decide to clear out the clutter in their homes and get themselves organized. For some, however, the task might seem so daunting that they, like the groundhog earlier this month, might decide they’d rather head back to their burrows and put the task off six more weeks.
Getting organized doesn’t have to mean sacrificing an entire weekend, or even a series of them, said Renee Ursem, professional organizer and owner of Get It Together.

“Start with something small, like a drawer or a shelf, your linen closet,” she recommended. “With a linen closet, there’s not a lot of emotional investment, but you can see big results.”

Christine Ruggiero, owner of The Lakes Professional Organizers, agreed that the best place to start is “the spot that impacts your daily life the most, whether that’s the kitchen, the bathroom or somewhere else there is extra clutter.”

“Don’t start in the office,” Ursem warned. “Paper takes up such a small amount of space, but it takes a large amount of brain power to go through. I think it’s better to start in a place where you’re going to see big results.”

“Probably more important than where to start is how to start,” Ruggiero said. “You want to chunk it down into manageable stages, like just one cabinet in the bathroom instead of the whole space.”

Ursem gave this formula for deciding what to keep and what to donate or toss: “(Clients) kind of need to ask themselves, ‘Who am I?’ As our lives change, we need to have what we need for who we are and what our life is now.”

Ruggiero acknowledged that it might be tempting for people to start an organizing project by purchasing bins, boxes or containers, but called that approach absolutely wrong.
“Most people think, if they buy organizing materials they will automatically become organized,” she said. “In reality, things have to be purged and sorted first. Getting the supplies should come at the end.”

“It’s not the containers, it’s the process that gets you organized,” Ursem said. “I find my clients have tons of containers already, so I tell them not to buy any more right away. A lot of times, if they just look through those containers and empty out what isn’t important, they’ll have the all the containers they need.”

When the time comes to purchase organizing supplies, Ruggiero also recommends hitting thrift shops like Savers and Goodwill.

Sometimes people just aren’t able to clear out the excess things on their own because of emotional attachments or just sheer volume. In these cases, they shouldn’t be afraid to contact a professional.
“Clutter is not really about the stuff, it’s what the stuff represents,” Ursem said. “Sometimes (clients) just need help walking through that.”

Ruggiero, a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, urged anyone seeking professional help to look for someone affiliated with that organization in order to ensure ethical standards are being met.

“(If) you’re bringing someone into your home to work with you, you need to be careful,” Ruggiero said.

In the end, people shouldn’t worry if things seem to be taking longer than expected to come together.
“Sometimes people get caught up in the plan, and organizing isn’t a linear process,” Ursem, who is also a member of NAPO, said. “There are no right or wrong ways.It’s more of an art than a science.”

Published on BestofLasVegas.com

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