Core Values Organizing
As a Certified Professional Organizer, I connect with my clients, unleashing creative solutions to help develop competence and confidence in the way they organize so they can find contentment in their homes.
Each of the five C-words in this sentence—Connection, Creativity, Competence, Confidence, and Contentment—impacts my organizing work and together they represent my core values.
We hold many shared values—for example truth and integrity—but your core values are the unique combination of motivating beliefs that drive you to do what you do. Core values are the WHY behind your WHAT.
Let’s explore how my 5 C core values impact my organizing work with clients. Read on...
Be sure to watch my episode of the This Organized Life podcast or listen to it wherever you get your podcasts. Host Laurie Palau and I explore the impact of knowing your core values.
“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:
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.
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.
How NOT to Be a Pack Rat
“Another flashlight!” I announced to my client as I struck a Statue of Liberty pose holding the torch high. She laughed—at my pose and at herself. You see, during the course of our organizing adventure, we were well into double digits on flashlights. They were stashed in every closet, drawer, and shelf, often in multiples.
Sure, flashlights are a good thing to have in case of emergency. I can get on board with having one for every floor or area of the house. Maybe one for every family member. Thing is, this client lived alone in a two-bedroom apartment. She had enough flashlights for the whole building!
I know how it happens. You come across a flashlight and think, “This is useful. I’m always hunting for a flashlight when I need one. I’ll put it somewhere handy.” Then you forget where you’ve put it. At the store, you think, “I wonder if I have enough flashlights,” so you buy another. Before you know it, you are a flashlight pack rat. Just like a squirrel stashing nuts, you have caches of flashlights in every crevice of your home.
Maybe flashlights aren’t your thing. My clients find all kinds of stuff to stash: emery boards, scissors, paperclips, batteries, plastic bags…I could go on.
A place for everything and everything in its place...
It happens predictably every year in the early fall. Is it triggered by the kids going back to school? Or when I notice the sun setting earlier and the air getting cooler?
Whatever the cause, I feel compelled to pare down the excess and spruce up the house, creating a more streamlined, restful space to live in.
“We don’t need this many mugs,” I announce to my husband as I peer critically into the kitchen cupboard, pulling out one with a chip and throwing it into the trash.
That evening, after I toss an extra deck of cards into the donation bag that I keep by the door and tell him that I’d like to repaint the living room, I see a look in his eyes like he’s just figured something out. “Oh,” he observes, “you’re nesting again.”
“Yup!” I laugh, “I do it every fall.” Organizing isn’t just something you do once and it stays that way forever. Things pile up, new things come into the house, and life changes. It’s rituals and routines like this fall clearing that keep me organized.
Clear the space so you can enjoy your place.
“Did you just pull a broom out of your bag?” my wide-eyed client asked last week as I did a quick sweep under a rug she was discarding.
OK, it’s not a full-size broom, but I do have a mini-dust broom in my bag. No, it’s not a magic bag, even though more than one client has called it my Mary Poppins bag. But it is full of tricks and tools. I like to come to an organizing session prepared to handle any situation you throw at me.
“How do I get my kids to clean up their toys?”
“How do I get my family to stop leaving things all over the counters?”
“My kids have too much stuff!”
“How can I declutter when my spouse won’t get rid of anything?”
I hear these laments all the time. Have you ever said them yourself? I’m sure I have! Are you ready to hear my magic words for solving this problem?
STAY IN YOUR LANE!
Or, if you prefer, “Eat off your own plate!” or “Take the plank out of your own eye!” In other words, before you point the finger at others in your household, deal with your own clutter.
4 Strategies to Help You Pare Down
One question I always ask a new client is, “Do you think your space has the problem of too much stuff or is it just that things are not properly organized?”
I admit that this is a bit of a trick question because nearly always the answer is “both.” Having too much stuff will always stand between you and organization as you struggle to maneuver around the excess.
Sure, you can file-fold your entire t-shirt collection and just barely manage to cram it all into your dresser drawer, but those shirts will be so jammed together that you’ll struggle to pull one out without others coming with it. Not to mention that your t-shirts will have permanent wrinkles from being so tightly packed. And I’d like to see you maintain your composure while trying to put it back into the drawer!
With all the time you’re spending in your home these days, you’ve likely noticed that there’s plenty of items lying around that you hardly use, or food that’s gone bad but is still sitting in the back of your fridge. However, with this extra downtime and lack of visitors, now is the perfect opportunity to finally get your house in order. So, it’s time to toss out any junk that’s managed to sit on your nightstand for far too long, and throw out those old, expired salad dressings to go, along with the broken can opener that still hasn’t made its way to the garbage.
While the thought of decluttering and reorganizing your home can be overwhelming, it’s much more doable than you think. Better yet, it can all be done without needing to purchase anything new. To help you get started, we pulled together tips from decluttering and organizing experts living in Nashville all the way to professionals living in Vancouver, BC (and many more in between). Here’s how to get your house in order without buying anything new.