“Just seeing all this clutter and things out of order makes me very anxious,” my new client Diane* nervously said to me.
I hear that all the time. A disorganized space makes most people anxious. We fear losing important things in the mess. The clutter makes us distracted, our eyes can’t land on anything, and we’re unable to focus on tasks.
To combat the craziness of clutter, think CALM:
Do you have tens of thousands of emails in your inbox and the important ones get buried and go unanswered?
Are there dozens of folders on your desktop but you can’t locate the files you need when you need them?
Is your photo stream so junked up with screenshots and info photos that you can’t find the great pic of your kids where they were all smiling at the same time?
You are not alone!
I’m a wiz at organizing physical spaces, but last year I realized my digital world had gotten a little out of hand. I needed to learn some new tricks and tools. Through Laurie Palau’s This Organized Life podcast, I found Kath Younger’s life-changing Digital Clutter course.
Since I’ve been using Kath’s systems, I spend less time handling email, I know right where to put my digital files, and I can easily find my favorite photos.
This month, I sat down with Kath to talk about her digital clutter organizing methods. Watch the video here:
Read on for the 3 Biggest Mistakes Kath sees people make when trying to organize digital content.
Create a Clean Slate
I love decorating for Christmas—it’s so fun to give my home a festive atmosphere. But this year I noticed that I got equally excited when I put away the decorations. With the cool winter light streaming in through the windows, my house looked lighter and more spacious. I felt like I was starting the year with a clean slate.
And then I immediately started to fill those clear spaces with a flurry of ideas for ways to reorganize, redecorate, and reinvigorate my life.
“Wait a minute,” I told myself. “You’ve just worked to put things away and clear some space. Live with it. Enjoy it. Don’t go filling it right away!”
I realized I was charging ahead in the same way a lot of my clients do with their organizing projects. They get excited to buy sleek new bins and containers before they’ve even figured out what they’ll put in the bins and how they want to use the space.
“If a gift has come to you wrapped in obligations and tied tightly with a ribbon of guilt, then it's not really a gift at all.” -Peter Walsh
Why is giving so tied up with guilt? Guilt about overspending, guilt about underspending, guilt about having to give equal gifts to various people, guilt about giving in proportion to what you’re getting, guilt about not liking a gift you received…the guilt list is as long as Santa’s list!
Of all of the gift guilts, the one that causes the most consternation is the problem of receiving a gift you don’t love.
For our first Christmas as a married couple, my husband really wanted to delight me. I gave him several not-so-subtle hints that I had my eye on a chocolate brown Persian lamb coat in a local vintage shop.
I couldn’t hide my excitement on Christmas morning when he handed me a box stamped with the shop’s logo. Lifting the lid, my face fell when I pulled out a mangy-looking, poison-yellow rabbit fur jacket. Seriously, what was he thinking?!
Is There Cash in Your Closet? A Vintage Expert Gives Advice on Selling Clothes
Hanging in my closet is an authentic antique 1960’s Jackie Kennedy-style yellow bridesmaid dress. I’m never going to wear it, so it’s just taking up space. I should sell it for big bucks, right?
Not so fast.
In my last blog, Amy Mayberry of Viva Vintage Clothing schooled us on the best way to store clothes. In this blog, her advice will demystify the process of selling clothing—vintage, designer, and just regular stuff.
Comparing my dress with a 1970’s purple suede outfit that a client of mine wanted to sell, Amy pointed out all the pros and cons of each piece.
Check out the recent Redfin article I was featured in: 25 Living Room Organization Ideas
for Every Home.
If your living room is cluttered and chaotic, it can be tough to relax and spend time with your
family or entertain guests. Your living room can become even more challenging to use if you
have a large family or an abundance of belongings. But by taking a few simple steps to
organize your space, you can turn your living room into a haven of peace and relaxation.
Read the article here: 25 Living Room Organization Ideas for Every Home | Redfin
“Old Apartment” read the words on the cardboard box. Looking mystified, my client said, “It could be anything!”
It turned out to contain a random assortment of mugs, books, and one groovy, custom-made 1970’s purple suede bell bottom and vest outfit worthy of Cher in her heyday!
While helping my client try to sell this unique treasure, I was lucky enough to come across Amy Mayberry of Viva Vintage Clothing. She asked some very specific questions about the condition of the outfit that made me realize she’s a true specialist.
With nearly 30 years in the vintage clothing industry, Amy generously let me pick her brain for tidbits of wisdom to pass along to you. My next blog will be all about how to sell clothing (vintage and current), but first up I’m going to share what Amy taught me about clothing storage.
Aim to prevent the problem
so you don't have to try to fix it later.
Stains, moth holes, fading and more are all hazards of improper clothing storage.
Whether it’s clothes that you’re storing away or ones that are currently hanging in your closet, you want them to last. Amy shared five major things to avoid so you can keep your clothes in top condition.
I was recently asked to contribute an essay about decluttering a yard for the Inspection Support Network's article, Home Organizing Before Selling: Tips from the Experts.
Whether you're getting ready to put your house on the market or just wanting to improve your home's curb appeal for your own pleasure, I hope you'll find some helpful hints here.
How Do I Declutter My Yard?
Are you getting ready to put your house on the market? Your yard is one of the first things potential buyers will see. Get it organized so they can easily imagine themselves relaxing and enjoying the natural beauty surrounding the home.
Gather everything together: Go around your yard, grabbing every object that’s lying around. Put it all into a big pile.
Sort into categories: Next, figure out what category each item belongs to and group each category.
Pare down the excess: Yard and garden items are large, so they weigh a lot and take up room on the moving truck, making your move more expensive. Streamline by letting go of anything you don’t need to maintain your yard and that you won’t need in your new home.
Create storage zones: Figure out where to stash everything. When organizing for selling your home, the plan will be to create an uncluttered look that helps buyers see how easy it is to live in your home.
If you have a shed or garage, store most outdoor equipment there. If not, use the back or side wall of the house (somewhere less visible) to establish a streamlined storage area.
Create storage zones based on categories that’ll help you find what you need when needed, but they also create a tidy look that will appeal to home buyers.
Now that you’ve organized your yard, you’ll have an easier move. And now that your yard is tidy, buyers will be able to focus on the beauty of your home.
Click the button below for more great ideas on how to organizing your home before selling.
Two Get-to-Know-Me Interviews
I recently had the honor to do two interviews and I want to share them here with you so that you can learn more about who I am as a Professional Organizer.
The video is my interview with Laurie Palau on her always-fascinating This Organized Life podcast. The written blog is a phone interview I did with Nat Miller of Sunbound relocation services. Both Laurie and Nat are seasoned interviewers and their questions elicited answers that give a clear overview of my organizing style.
You'll learn how I connect with my clients and find creative solutions that help them develop competence and confidence in the way they organize so they can find contentment in their homes.
This Organized Life Episode 298: Partner Spotlight with Kate Bosch
Sunbound Asks: Professional Organizer Kate Bosch
How long have you been a professional organizer?
Over 6 years, almost 6.5 years in business.
How’d you get into professional organizing?
It’s something that was on my radar and something that I wanted to do for a long time. I probably started thinking about it when I would watch Clean Sweep with Peter Walsh on HGTV almost 20 years ago. There was also another professional organizer in my area, Lisa Griffith, who spoke at the Mothers of Preschoolers group that I belonged to and then mentored me as I got my own professional organizing business started.
What’s your favorite type of project to work on?
My favorite type of project is working with people to help them sort through a backlog of stuff, and really get a handle on their home. I love to help them streamline the systems of their home and make it the type of place that reflects their values. It’s really exciting when I can help a client get unstuck from a place where they thought they couldn’t dig out of.
In this interview, you'll learn all the tips, tricks, and hacks for using Leslie Josel's patented Order Out of Chaos Academic Planner. Learn why:
For more school-related tips and encouragement, check out these blog posts:
NOTE: L:inks provided to Order Out of Chaos are affiliate links, so I receive a small commission when you make a purchase.