The most consistent recommendation I've made thus far this year is, "containerize," meaning to put in containers. Every space, whether a drawer or shelf, is better organized by sorting "like with like" and containerizing the groups. This strategy works for every room of the house and all types of items.  Here are a couple of examples:

  • Desk/kitchen junk drawer - every kitchen needs a junk drawer, but every junk drawer doesn't need to be disorganized. Dollar stores are a perfect place to purchase lots of different sized containers for kitchen, desk, and bathroom drawers. Use a long narrow container for pens & pencils, small square containers for rubber bands, paper clips, binder clips, and medium rectangular containers for pads of paper, etc. 
  • Garage/laundry room shelf - these shelves are often filled with various cleaners and supplies. For ease in finding what you're looking for, sort the items in groups such as floor cleaning, rags, dusting/polishing, lightbulbs, and laundry. Then, place each group in a labeled bin, or label the shelf, using a label maker, duct tape and a sharpie, or index cards and a sharpie.  

Changing Habits

We can do all the organizing in the world, but until we change our habits, nothing will change.

If you've gotten excited about getting organized in the new year, don't fall into two common traps: 1-Buying storage containers and other organizing bins falsely make us feel organized. Be sure to utilize them in a functional way after they've been purchased. 2- Setting up an organizing system, but not maintaining it. Force yourself to abide by the organization you've set up and make it become a new habit. For example: instead of dropping the pile of mail on the kitchen counter as usual, force yourself to throw away the junk mail, and file the rest in your new organizing system. You'll be happy you did!

Changing habits isn't easy, but it is possible. Think about how much time you'll save by being organized.  Make today the start of a new habit.

Taking Down Holiday Decorations

Many of us put away our holiday decorations this past weekend.  While doing so, I realized I should share the practice I put into place a few years after being in our current house.  We are blessed in this home with lots of built-ins, several that we use for decorating.  After figuring out how like I like the decorations set up, and which strands of garland, lights, ribbon fit each area, I wanted to make sure I could replicate it the following year.  I now take pictures once all decorations are up, and put all strands of garland, lights and ribbon in labeled bags, such as "stair banister", "hallway banister", "outside tree".  I even put a reminder on my phone for next December to take decoration photos in case I change things around.  Use this for every holiday or season you decorate for, and you'll have quick easy setup each year.

Happy "Get Organized" Month!

During this month focused on organization, I will be posting organizing tips and ideas on various social media outlets. How did January become "Get Organized Month"? In 2005, the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) hoped to increase awareness of the significance of organization and empower people to get control over their possessions and time.  Studies show that individuals waste up to an hour each day on average, searching for things that they’ve misplaced. This January, focus on time management and organization to start the year with solutions to improve your personal efficiency long-term.

Community Commitment

Charlottesville Organizing is committed to serving the community with hard work, honesty and compassion. When de-cluttering a space, we keep in mind the value to donating to those in need through local non-profit organizations. Items no longer able to be reused or donated get recycled whenever possible. Charlottesville Organizing takes a responsible approach with each and every client as well as with our community at large.  Thank you for your support of Charlottesville Organizing in 2017!

Dealing with papers in the kitchen

In many homes, especially those with school-aged children, the kitchen seems to be the place where papers end up gathering - school calendars, homework schedules, sports schedules, field trip forms, etc.  If the kitchen is the natural place to keep them, consider concealing them inside a cabinet door to decrease "visual clutter" but keep them handy for quick reference.  Tape papers inside a cabinet door or install cork board squares that mount with double-sided tape and tack the papers to the cork board.  Do not overlap the forms.  Post each separately for maximum ease of quick reference.  Be sure to remove and recycle when completed.  

Please Vote!

It's time for the annual Charlottesville Family Favorites voting. Since beginning in the fall of 2014, Charlottesville Organizing has been a winner of the Charlottesville Family Favorites each year.  Help us win again!  Please click on the following link to cast your write-in vote on page 7, item #14.  You must complete 50% of the survey for your vote to count.  Thank you for voting Charlottesville Organizing as favorite in Charlottesville!