A CLEAR PATH TO GETTING ORGANIZED

Many people know that in a prior life, I ran a home storage company, providing highly customized closet and garage organization systems.  My company’s success was built on designing a custom system to meet each client’s unique organization needs.  I still get calls from friends and clients asking for help with a particularly congested closet, garage, or basement.  Here is a pic of my garage that got it all started:

My two primary recommendations for getting organized are get help and purge.  Get a friend or a professional to help.  Or even swap organization time with a friend.  You clean her junk and she will do yours.  It is much easier to organize someone else’s stuff than your own.  For professional help, I recommend contacting your local chapter of National Association of Professional Organizers, or NAPO.

As for purging, I have an operationally simple yet emotionally agonizing rule: if you have not used it in 12 months, get rid of it.  Purging is no longer wasteful.  Your local Department of Public Works should have online a list of charities and organizations where you can donate or recycle almost everything.

After purging, the organization process is simple:

  1. Purge – if not worn or used in 12 months, get rid of it (except for golf clubs)
  2. Group by seasons and identify less-accessible location for off-season stuff
  3. Inventory what remains (for all seasons).  Includes what, how much space, and what kind of storage required.
  4. Choose a storage system that meets your budget and efficiently holds your stuff
  5. Store and label your stuff so you will know where to put it in the future
  6. Maintain your system, cycling items seasonally and purging on a regular basis.

When I left the home storage business to return to Plexi-Craft, many of my colleagues thought it was to start selling organizing products.  That was not the primary reason, although acrylic is an excellent material for organizing systems.  Acrylic is clear – so you can see your stuff; strong – so it can support your stuff; and malleable – so it can be built to contain your stuff.  Many of the big box retailers feature lines of acrylic containers, shelves and other organizing items.  Plexi-Craft offers a variety of products for organizing your office, kitchen, and bath.  More importantly, Plexi-Craft can custom manufacture shelving, bins, and containers to exactly fit your storage space and the items your are storing.

I hope these tips get you on the clear path to organization.

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