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Jenna Nelson

Spring Organizing: Part 2 – Keep Going!

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If you’ve tackled any sort of organizing project then you know this truth: it always gets worse before it gets better. And it’s at this point that most people give up and shove everything back in the space they just emptied, causing an even bigger mess that is even more unorganized than it was before.

In my first blog post I gave you 3 tips to help get you started on your organizing journey. Today, I want to give you 3 tips to help you through the organizing process because those previous tips aren’t going to be helpful if you don’t complete the job. My first tip is: have an accountability partner . Everyone is the same. If you tell people you’re going to do something, you’re more likely to do it. The same is true for organizing. Tell your spouse or a friend or your adult children that you’re going to tackle one specific organizing project within the week. Tell them to check up on you and to not stop bugging you about it until you actually do it. If possible, and if you’re willing, you could even ask someone to help you with the job. Everyone knows someone who LOVES organizing and would be thrilled to help. Find a non-judgmental partner and get to work.

This brings me to my second tip: ask for help (if you need it). I’ve had several clients tell me they could never do the whole job on their own and that’s true for a lot of people. We need each other. We need each other’s thoughts and ideas and encouragement and support and advice. Plus, on a practical note, the job goes a lot faster when there’s more than just 1 person working on it.

My third tip is: keep going . Like I said at the beginning of the post, it gets worse before it gets better. Realize this, accept it, don’t let it scare you when it happens and keep going. Yes there’s a mound of clothes on your bed, but if you know part of that pile is going to be donated
then get a large trash bag and begin putting clothes in it. Suddenly you’ll look at your bed and realize less is going back in your closet than what came out of it and that’s an exciting thought! It makes the whole process seem more do-able. Honestly, sorting is the hardest and most time consuming part of an organizing job. But don’t give up when you’re already in the midst of the process (this is when it’s a good idea to send out an SOS text to your accountability partner or your organize-savvy friend). Little secret: when I start a job I don’t usually have an exact plan in my head. I know I can make the space more organized and I know roughly what it’s going to look like, but I just start the decluttering process and from there I begin to see the layout. So trust the process. If you stick with it, an organized space will happen. It can be messy and overwhelming but I promise you, the end result will make it all worthwhile.

Post by Jenna Nelson, Top Shelf Organizing

Spring Organizing: Part 1

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It’s easy in this busy, multi-tasking world to get overwhelmed with projects. In fact, we start so many different projects and jobs that oftentimes we don’t finish anything! Starting an organizing project is no exception. So I’m going to fill you in on a few tips that help me when I start a new organizing job.

The first tip is: focus on one space/category at a time. If you look at the entire project as a whole you’ll feel overwhelmed and will have no idea where to even begin. But if you narrow your focus to one space or category, it won’t seem quite as overwhelming. This applies when
doing the “Konmari” method (focus on specific categories) or doing what most people do – focusing on spaces/rooms.

Once you choose which space/category you want to focus on, the very next thing to do is: pull everything out . And I mean E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G (this applies to both approaches). Whether it’s an entire kitchen or just a cupboard, a bedroom closet or an entire storage unit, all of your clothing or books, this is always the first thing I do when I start any organizing project. By doing this you’ll be able to see every single item and will be able to think, “Do I want to keep this item? Does it belong in this area?” Sometimes my clients find things they lost. Sometimes they find things that belong somewhere else. Most of the time they find things they can get get rid of. Once every item is out and only what is needed for that space remains, then putting everything back in is easy.

My third and final tip when starting an organizing job is this: consolidate. In a play room, put stuffed toys together, dress up clothes together, art supplies together, etc. Like with like. In the pantry, put canned goods together, baking supplies together, snack foods together,
etc. Like with like. In your linen closet: put matching sheet sets together, blankets together, towel sets together, etc. Like with like. That way, instead of searching all over the place, you’ll know exactly where everything is and when it’s time to clean up, you’ll know where everything
goes.

So! Now you know how this professional organizer starts every job: Focus, empty and consolidate. If you follow those 3 steps organizing won’t seem quite so intimidating.

Post by Jenna Nelson, Top Shelf Organizing