Entertain in Your Home Without Last-Minute”Cleaning Anxiety”

Most people can relate to making a mad dash around their home before people come over. But not only is this frantic routine avoidable in a properly organized home, it ultimately becomes completely unnecessary. Remaining ready for guest drop-ins is not always indicative of a need to clean more frequently, but it is often a matter that simply calls for more planning and deliberation when it comes to home organization.

Addressing the Issue at its Root Cause

It’s pretty easy to assume that the need to scramble to tidy before entertaining guests comes from simply not getting around to cleaning up. While this may be true in part, the underlying issue runs much deeper. A home in which every object has a designated resting place is less likely to require frantic cleaning. In the case of the person who says he or she struggles to put things back in place, I would even go one step further and say the problem lies in the fact that the current system of organization simply doesn’t suit the individual or household.

Working Smarter, Not Harder

I often encounter clients who say they tried purchasing various containers and organizing tools and read books on organizing, but still find themselves struggling with their spaces. Upon evaluating the client’s lifestyle and home, I typically observe glaring incompatibility in the way they are attempting to organize their home and their current needs and behavioral habits. The easiest way to combat this incompatibility is to spend a day observing your routine and arrange the home accordingly. For example, people who like to change immediately after work, but find that their clothes tend to accumulate on chairs and furniture should consider placing a clothes bin or hamper near the entrance of the bedroom, in the bathroom, or in close proximity to the furniture that seems to attract the discarded clothing.  Those who find that their bedroom requires more storage space for shoes, should consider keeping the shoes they wear most often on a rack in a common coat closet or on a shelf near the entry of the home. Sometimes departing from tradition can lead to a more functional approach that makes the task of keeping a home neat and guest-ready much easier.

The Bottom Line

Being more intentional in choosing storage containers and organizing tools–and even in planning room layout–can save time that would otherwise be spent gathering loose items and returning them to their rightful place. Therefore, it is okay to think about what “feels” right in terms of organizing as long as you achieve your ultimate end goals for your home and lifestyle.








Dual Workstation Bookshelf

Got kids? Need two separate work desks, but are running a little low on space? This DIY Dual Workstation Bookshelf might be your solution.

To create this piece, you will need to be somewhat handy. Simply cut a wooden table in half. Then secure each half to opposite sides of a wooden bookshelf. One side of the bookshelf can be used to office or art supplies while the other side can be used to display a cork board. If you have a little more space and would like to create storage on both sides, simply position two book shelves back-to-back. Then secure the table halves to each side.


(photo courtesy of Apartment Therapy)

Reasons to Purge

Purging is usually the most dreaded part of the journey to an organized home. For most people, I find that it’s not the act of letting go of household item that causes anxiety, but it is the thought of sitting through a process that is generally perceived as tedious. Many of my clients also find that their anxiety is compounded by underlying fear or aversion to decision-making at the micro level. Nevertheless, there are several compelling reasons to dedicate time to completing a comprehensive purge!

1. You’re simply tired of having so much stuff.

2. Cleaning your home or apartment takes entirely too long – Once your home is organized in a manner that is maintainable, you will immediately notice that cleaning, especially deep cleaning, will take considerably less time. If you hire a cleaner to come into your home regularly, less time required equals more money in your pocket!

3. You need a mood “refresher” – Living in a well-organized environment can drastically improve your mood. I regularly visit homes where boxes, furniture, and awkwardly-placed household item block natural light from entering the rooms. Virtually all of my clients report feeling less overwhelmed once the sight lines in their homes are less obstructed.

4. “Things” serve a constant reminders. – Have you ever had difficulty quieting your thoughts? For many people, simply being surrounded by clothes, unorganized books, paperwork, and other items in the home triggers a seemingly endless chain of thoughts. Unwinding and getting to bed on time is much easier to do in a room in which items are at rest in their designated drawers, bins, and on shelves versus a room in which items are left out in the open in a constant state of uncertainty.

5. Because it’s simply time. There are certain life events when a purge is necessary. Some events include combining households, divorce, death, relocation, having a child (you’ll need the extra space for baby items!). The most common event people in New York City experience most often is relocation. I cannot emphasize enough how much time, stress, worry, and money can be saved by purging before a move.

These are just a few reasons to purge. My job as an organizer is guide you through the purging process to make it less daunting and more beneficial for you. At the end of the day, you CAN do it. Moreover, if your purge is executed thoroughly and strategically, you will be glad you did!

Announcing Upcoming Workshops

In an effort to help empower more businesses and households to optimize their living and work environments, I have decided to begin teaching my tips and techniques in a workshop format! More information about upcoming workshops can be found on my Meetup page, The Organized Life (www.meetup.com/the-organized-life/). Join the group to participate in online discussions and to follow along with the workshop schedule as more dates are added!