I’m good at many things, organization is not one of them. Since I can remember, I’ve struggled with keeping things neat and tidy. I had the messiest desk at school and my childhood room was always in shambles. My poor mother. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve definitely tried harder to stay on top of things now that Casey (also not a neat freak) and I have a home of our own but there are only so many hours in a day. After a long day of work and my evening gym session, the last thing I want to do is come home and work on organizing things. Honestly, it’s a miracle if I’m able to get the grocery shopping done! Thank god for grocery delivery!
I’ve wanted to work with an organizer for years. I felt like having guidance on purging and setting up a system to help our lives run more smoothly would only bring Casey and me more joy when we do have time together at home.
Enter, Rachel & Company Organizers. She’s the top-rated organizing specialist in the area and when she reached out to collaborate, I was 100% in! It’s like she knew I needed help..
Deciding Where To Start:
We moved into our new home a little over a year ago but there was one room we never really unpacked or did anything with for that matter. The office was basically a dumping ground for mail, blog packages, paperwork and whatever random thing that I would find around the house that was out of place. It’s that room where we throw crap when guests are coming over. We all know we have one of those…I can’t be the only one!
So this was our main focus when Rachel and her team came to visit. They started with a walkthrough, gave me a quote on cost and materials they would need to purchase and then they came and got to work! I’d say they were at the house for around 5 hours working in the office. They didn’t purge for me but made stacks for me to go through and I found a ton of stuff that was ready to be pitched. I did prep before they got there and did my own hour of purging so I could cut down on them having to do it. After 5 hours of Rachel and team’s hard work, I walked into my office and was blown away. It was actually a functioning adult office! What?? Everything had a home, was labeled and made sense. It was pretty much the best feeling in the world (other than when I married Casey I’d course). Rachel then explained where everything was and why she put it there, she also left me space to grow into which was smart. Overall I’m just so pleased with their work! I can happily say I actually find myself using the office now for work, which I never did before. I do all my jewelry making in there and actually enjoy being in the clean/neat space.
Tips For Organizing At Home From Rachel:
I asked Rachel to share some of her tips and tricks to staying organized, so I could share them with you! I found them super helpful and hope you do too!
Stay realistic. Be realistic with how you and your family functions and create organizing systems based on the way that you live. Adding a shoe rack near your back door will not necessarily clean up your entryway, but adding a bin for shoes to be dropped in will be easy enough to maintain. Use labels in spaces where multiple people need access (i.e. the kitchen and pantry) so that everyone is on the same page for what goes where and keep everything at a height that is accessible for the intended user(s).
Invest in double-duty pieces. Regardless of your budget, don’t lie swayed to choose single-purpose pieces as the staples of your home. When possible, opt for items that can add value (i.e. extra storage) to your home. For example, choose an entry table with drawers or shelving, and go vertical with your choices to maximize floor space.
Create a paper drop zone. Add a paperwork drop zone near your entrance using a vertical file box to keep your mail, bills, items to shred, and to-dos (like RSVPs and kid-related forms to complete), magazines to read, separated and easy for you to address when you have more time to focus. It takes under a minute to do each day and will save you from losing papers and save your countertops from getting covered in stacks of papers. You will also save time by categorizing your mail to-dos so that when all you want to do is pay bills, they are already together. Or if you all you want to do is relax, your magazines are together vs. sorting AGAIN through all the papers. You know what needs immediate attention vs. not and you will not have any missed credit card bill payments or late fees!
Set up a closet for ready-to-wear. I edit my closet contents regularly to make sure that what I’m stocking in my closet are items that not only fit but are also things that I like to wear. Trying on multiple outfits each morning is not only frustrating, but time-consuming. Having pieces that I know will look great and make me feel confident wearing is key to getting my day started on the right foot. For kids, select outfit (and accessory) choices the night before to save on time and prevent wardrobe indecision.
Reset the kitchen each night. I always put away leftovers, clean up the countertops, and run or empty the dishwasher each night so that the kitchen is clear for the following day. I’ve found that waking up and walking into a kitchen for the first cup of coffee of the day is just that much more enjoyable when there isn’t a dirty spaghetti dish staring back at you.
Use a calendar system to stay on track. Between social events, internships, and the inevitable workload, it can be a lot to balance. Block off times in your schedule for everything from working out, grocery shopping, and even laundry. Try to be strict with your schedule and get tasks done when you say you will to avoid feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.
Maximize your vertical and hidden space. The back of rooms, under the bed, and wall space are valuable real estate. Storage bins and boxes come in every design under the sun and price point, so find options that meet your aesthetic and add to the design of your room. If you have extra floor/under-the-bed space, consider adding storage ottomans, vertical shelving, or plastic drawers to keep anything from extra clothing to snacks controlled and contained.
Create a grab-and-go command center. Use a small pouch or clear zippered file holder to store your most frequently used (and needed) items. Include a couple of “just in case” items, like a $20 bill, floss, and your cell phone charger so that when the inevitable happens you don’t have to trek across campus when you are in need. Not only will it help you organize your go-to items and ensure that you remember the necessities, but it will save you time when those inconveniences pop up!
I’m dying to get Rachel back to the house to do my closet and my bathroom, they need it so bad! Especially the bathroom! It’s loaded with samples and products from skincare company’s to test (a perk of the job). But they have literally started to take over my life. Casey might have 1 drawer out of the entire space, and it’s a big bathroom.
But as you can probably tell by the photos, organizing takes multiple people and many hours so it isn’t cheap. And for good reason! But It’s an investment in yourself and your own well-being and honestly, the investment makes you feel obligated to keep up with it and to make sure you put everything back in its “home”. So I’m counting down the days until I can get the team back in to tackle the rest of my problem areas!
If you’re interested in trying out Rachel & Company, you can contact them here and tell them 52 Thursdays sent you!