My Mom Is a Professional Organizer — Here Are the 10 Biggest Lessons She Taught Me
Growing up, my mom would take me to The Container Store and roam the aisles for fun. While I found her obsession with organization annoying as a kid, I began to understand the value of it as I grew older. Having a self-employed mom is a lesson in itself about self-starting and determination, but growing up with a mom who is a professional organizer is invaluable for a number of different reasons. I've learned the importance of keeping systems, maintenance, and the satisfaction that comes with making sure your space and belongings are always in order. These simple lessons from my girl boss of a mom help make organization seem easy and doable, regardless of your lifestyle. Keep reading to see them all now, and get ready to transform your own space in no time!
Go Through Your Closet Every Season
Why take up precious space with clothes you won't wear for months? Store your off-season items like winter jackets or swimsuits in another place for the time being and swap them out when it's time to bring them back to life! When you go through your closet every three months or so, you can get rid of clothes that you no longer wear or no longer fit. You want your closet to be made up of the clothes you wear regularly to avoid clutter and to simplify getting dressed!
Keep a Current Keepsake Box Accessible to Avoid Clutter
Are you not yet ready to throw out sentimental birthday cards or cute artwork from your kids? Have a keepsake box! My mom always stressed the importance of keeping a box (or container) of tangible memories and storing them somewhere convenient. This allows you to keep some of the things that you otherwise would have purged, and keeping them close encourages you to add to the box over time. Try to go through your keepsake box a few times a year to ensure that everything in the box is something special to you. Not only will this keep you organized, but it's also fun to reminisce!
Your Belongings Should Be Easy In, Easy Out
My mom always emphasizes the importance of easy in, easy out. In other words, it should be easy to both put things away and to take things out. For example, don't store a heavily used kitchen item way at the back of a cluttered drawer or put sweaters on a low shelf. Instead, make things as easy and accessible for yourself as possible.
Label, Label, Label
Labeling is not only aesthetically pleasing, it also helps to maintain organization. When your containers, bins, and even shelves are labeled, you can easily find what you're looking for and put items back accordingly.
Save Space For New Items
Too much stuff on your shelves and in your drawers leads to clutter. While it may look nice to have your spaces filled, you need a place to store new items! Keeping extra space for new clothing and accessories guarantees that you stay organized at all times.
First, Take It All Out
One of the lessons I've grown to learn is that when it comes to organizing, the storm comes before the calm. In order to fully understand how to organize your closet, office, or home, you need to know what and how much you have. Taking everything out can be overwhelming at first, but will ultimately help you to sort through what you have and create more efficient systems.
Keep a Junk Drawer
While keeping a junk drawer doesn't necessarily sound organized, dedicating a single drawer for "junk" will keep you organized in the long run. When you keep daily items like pens, keys, and hand sanitizer in the same place, you'll always be able to find what you're looking for. Keeping a junk drawer also keeps your belongings enclosed, which is much neater than having things lying around.
Hanging Trumps Folding
Nine times out of 10, hanging your clothes trumps folding them. Keeping piles of clothing folded is difficult to maintain and does not allow for the "easy in, easy out" motto that my mom instilled in me. Consider hanging clothes like jeans, sweaters, and smaller tops to avoid disarray and to keep all items clearly visible.
Measure Your Spaces Before Buying Storage Items
Rather than having to make numerous returns, be sure to measure the height and width of your spaces before buying containers and storage items. When you know the dimensions that you are working with, you will make smarter purchases and are more likely to keep what you buy.
Be Creative With Storage
One of my favorite parts of watching my mom do her job is seeing how creative she gets. For example, try using a lazy Susan to store your cleaning products under the sink. This way, everything is easy to access and nothing gets lost in the back! There are numerous ways to use containers, dividers, and other organizational gadgets, so play around and get creative.