5 Lifesaving Habits of a Real-Life Professional Organizer
gIt's no wonder the cofounder of Done & Done NYC, a professional organizing, de-cluttering, and staging business, is just as organized in her personal life as her professional life. Abby Löfberg has the scoop on how Kate Pawlowski's daily routine stays on track.
Our cofounder Kate Pawlowski is 28 years old and the most high-functioning person I know. (Read her bio here). What's great about her is that she gives advice that someone like me (who doesn't "run a home" and is not naturally organized) can actually follow and implement.
I grilled her about her entire day, and gleaned a couple of great habits that she does unconsciously and without thinking. She says that these are so easy, they don't feel overwhelming — they become ingrained into your habits, and you end up looking forward to the feeling of relief you get after such little effort, like brushing your teeth in the morning.
When she wakes up, Kate fills her kettle and turns it on. During the three minutes it takes to boil for her morning tea, she unloads the dishwasher, so she never has to keep dishes in the sink and just pops them straight in the dishwasher all day. Imagine never having to have a terrifying sink full of dirty dishes! (I actually do this too. It works!)
She keeps a magic eraser in her shower and wipes down the walls right after she shuts the water off to keep it clean and mildew-free. This prevents slime and grime from building up in the grout, and she never has to do a deep shower clean other than during her seasonable deep cleaning sprees.
She is all about stylish basics that work for multiple purposes — especially with her underwear. When Kate buys her undies, she makes sure they match a few of her existing bras, so she can quickly pull out a pair and be in a matching set. When she takes off her clothes at night, her bra and undies go right into the mesh delicates bag she has hanging on her closet door, so they're ready to pop in the wash once a week. (She actually has a bunch of these bags in different sizes and washes most of her clothes this way to take care of them). This way, she never runs out of underwear and has to do a last-minute wash while wearing granny panties.
She spends seven to 10 minutes every night tidying her desk, her coffee table, folding throw blankets, and starting the dishwasher so she can wake up fresh in the morning and get right to coffee and work.
Living in an organized way is not just about where you put your things — it starts with what you let into your house in the first place. Kate is vigilant about her shopping habits — she does research on clothes and reads reviews before she buys them. She knows what cuts work for her and which materials she is most comfortable wearing. She also takes care of her clothes really well by washing everything on a delicate cold-cold cycle. This way, her clothes stay in top condition and she doesn't have to buy as much. This is part of a philosophy we at Done & Done NYC call Owning Well — in other words, how to own less things that work perfectly for you is a more efficient and less expensive way to have an organized space.