Tips from a Former Professional Organizer
Clear Your Clutter Day is only a few days away—this Saturday, January 30th! To help you get a jumpstart on clearing your clutter, we thought some tips from a former professional organizer might help. Luckily, we didn’t have to go far to find one. Donna Lombard is wife to Wayne Lombard, mom to Wade Lombard and mother-in-law to Derek Mills, the three owners of Square Cow Moovers. The Square Cow Moover Matriarch was kind enough to share some of her organizational wisdom with us!
What is the easiest way for someone to get started with organizing or clearing clutter?
DL: The very easiest way would be to hire a professional organizer-lol! The absolute first thing you must do, but not the easiest is to be realistic about what you need and what you don’t! If you are not willing to “purge”, you have lost the battle before you’ve begun!
How do you encourage people to let go of items?
DL: I try to help them by asking questions: How long has it been since you have worn this, or used this? If there are shoes with an inch of dust on them, with a chuckle, I point it out.
What makes something a piece of clutter vs. an item to keep?
DL: Be honest and eliminate fear! People don’t get rid of things for two reason’s; one, they aren’t honest about what they need and/or secondly, they are afraid. They think one day I might need that. Both of these will keep you in “clutter bondage”!
How can you keep your home from getting cluttered?
DL: Have a place for everything and always return it to that place! Do not let items such as shoes, clothes, mail, etc. go days without being attended to.
Generally, what is the most unorganized room or area in a home and what are some organizational tips for that space?
DL: Honestly with most of my clients every area that was behind a door or drawer was unorganized. If you struggle with being unorganized, it’s not subjective. First thing I would do, no matter the area, would be to take everything out and clean. Sweep or vacuum, wipe down every surface and start with a clean slate. Put like things together and everything you can in a container. Label, label, label!
What spaces or places do people not realize are cluttered or unorganized?
DL: Probably their garage and attic. These two places take all the overflow, plus they are “out of sight, out of mind”. The truth is, these are the most important areas one needs for good organization.
Do you have a favorite or unexpected place to shop for organizational items?
DL: Even though my heart beats fast when I go into The Container Store, I tried hard to be savvy when purchasing for my clients. I shopped at Walmart, primarily for containers. I also liked to shop at Lowe’s for shelving, hooks, etc.
What one organizational item or tip is life-changing?
DL: A label maker! Always purchase clear containers and label them on one end and on one side. This will eliminate a lot of time looking to see what’s inside the containers and, whether you place it on the shelf end to end or side to side, you will have a label to let you know what’s inside.
If you want to participate in Clear Your Clutter Day, find more information here!