Jan. 2013 – The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) touts that being organized will increase your productivity, reduce levels of stress in your life, and can heighten profitability for your business or family. I recently met with one of NAPOs local members, Lauren Alvarez, also known as The Organization Lady.
Alvarez, who has been organizing homes as a profession since 2008, says that she works side by side with the home owner on every organization project. She has found that the biggest problem for home owners is that they have difficulty keeping focus and should only work on one area at a time. When working in a space, you might leave the area to put something away in another room and be tempted to start working on that room instead of finishing the first. Alvarez also warns not to buy anything until the organization process has already started. So how do you get started, you ask?
Alvarez recommends dividing the room into quadrants and systematically sort through everything there. Place items into one of four piles (keep, relocate, donate, trash). Once you finish sorting the quadrant, put the trash in trash bags, and take out to the trash can. Put all the donate items into boxes or bags and move to your car. Get it out of the house! Continue sorting the next quadrant, and remove the Trash and Donate piles as you finish each section. Once you’ve gone through the entire room, you should have two piles — Keep and Relocate. Sort through these items again to make sure there are not even more items to trash or donate. When you take the Relocate items and place them in the room that they belong, do not be tempted to do any work in those other rooms. Lastly you will need to determine how you want to store or display the remaining Keep items. Remember that your goal is to have enough of what you need and not to be overwhelmed with too much stuff. If you don’t use it, you won’t use it and you should get rid of it!