Organizing Secrets from a Pro

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

This week I am sharing some of my tricks of the trade. I have been a Professional Organizer for several years, and certain things that come naturally may not be common knowledge. I hope that these tips will help you on your journey to get organized.

#1 – Do not pre-buy organizing products

This is a tip that I frequently share, and it needs to be shouted from the rooftops! I go to so many houses with piles of organizing products just waiting to be used. These products end up in organizing purgatory because they weren’t the right shape, size, or color. The product might not have been large enough or it just didn’t work for the space. MOST people also struggle with returns, and unused products do not get returned to the store. Instead, those products end up stored in garages/attics/guest rooms. Don’t buy products before you organize –  keep reading these tips to learn how to buy the right products.

#2: Make specific categories

Take stock of what you actually have! Clients will often tell me that grouping their items is one of their biggest struggles. Here’s my trick: it is okay to over-categorize. For example, let’s say you are organizing your bathroom. You should separate soaps from cleansers and toners. Technically, they are all used to clean skin, but it makes it so much more difficult if you put all face cleaners together at the start. You might end up with a huge category, and then it would be difficult to find the right container for those products. Very specific categories can always be regrouped together later as needed. Be specific about categories at the beginning, and then edit the categories to contain like items.

#3: Measure your space 

Measure the area that you will be organizing and keep these measurements in your phone. There are so many organizing products out there that it can be overwhelming to shop for your space. If you have the measurements handy, it will help you to narrow down the potential options.

#4: Don’t buy bins that hang over the edge of a shelf

This is a visual/stylistic “rule.” You should avoid purchasing bins that are too long for the shelf. A little overhang is fine, but be cautious because too much overhang is distracting to the eye. You may not even realize it, but subconsciously, you will ‘feel’ that something is off. It’s better to get a bin that is a little too small than getting one that is an inch or more too big.

#5: Check multiple stores for organizing product

You can find great deals if you are open to shopping around and many places run regular specials. Think about what might work in advance and spend a little time “shopping” for your space. One of my favorite things to do is to buy different options from Amazon. I test out what works in a space and then return the rest to Amazon via Kohls dropoff. Have you done this yet? It’s incredibly easy, and they give you a coupon for 25% off of your purchase! Win-win!

#6: Overbuy the right products

I say this with some hesitation. Know yourself, and know your returning habits. If you struggle with returns, please ignore this tip (lol)! You could also make a promise to yourself that you will do all of the returns immediately. Put those suckers in your car the second you know they don’t work! Overbuying product makes organizing much easier. It gives you some options for what does or doesn’t work. What if you get home and the bins you thought would be perfect aren’t ideal? It is much easier if you can test out a few separate options and see which one truly works the best for your space.

I hope these help you tackle your next project. Good luck and reach out if you need anything!

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