Have you ever felt frustrated and exhausted with endless to-do lists, piles of laundry, and clutter in your space? Tasks and items seem to keep piling up. You can streamline your day, restore peace of mind, and feel happier by organizing. Organizing can help improve your mental well-being so that you can not only have more time for yourself but also enable you to live a healthier, more balanced, joyful life. It all starts from your inner being and making a conscious choice to begin right now. What better way to start than by educating yourself with organization tips from a popular Professional Organizer like Emily Anderson, owner of MLE and President of the NAPO -San Francisco Bay Area Chapter! Emily founded the company to help Make Life Easy for others after assisting her own family and friends through busy life transitions. Check out her story and effective organizing tips below!
1. What does a professional organizer do and what do they NOT do?
An organizer starts where interior design stops, but we stop before your housekeeper comes. An organizer is not going to design a kitchen, but they will help you figure out how to best use your kitchen and where everything should be placed. We don’t pick out your countertops, and we don’t do your dishes. Everything in between, we’ll help you figure out.
2. What do you want people to know regarding organization that most people don’t know about?
Organization is about supporting who you are and what you want to do. In an ideal world, your organization is your best friend, ready to support your activity and is aesthetically pleasing. While organization can be very beautiful, its primary function is to be supportive. A lot of people go on Instagram and see all these beautiful spaces, and I want people to know that you shouldn’t feel bad about your own organization as long it’s doing a great job of supporting your habits, interests and routines. If you want to beautify your organization, that’s OK too, but start with how it should support you.
3. What should people expect when working with you?
They should expect an organizer is going to come in and not judge them. I say this because when you reach out for help you might feel nervous initially, but that feeling should go away very quickly. I am here to find out what will make life easier for you and that requires quite a few questions. It’s my job as an organizer to learn more about who you are and what you’re actually doing, and need to be doing, in your space. There’s a lot of discovery involved. A lot of the time, I help my clients to better understand their own needs better. Since my objective is to help you live your life the best way possible, we will examine your things and processes to make sure they’re supportive and appealing to you. People should also expect hands on help for in-person organizing. We’ll physically help you move stuff around the home or office.
4. How should people start if they are overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin?
Figure out what is causing the most discomfort that you are avoiding. Set a timer for 10 minutes and see what you can do in 10 minutes to improve the thing you’re avoiding. If that means you get one side of a drawer emptied and all your business cards stacked together, that’s great! Repeat until you feel like you’re not overwhelmed to dig in.
5. Why should people get organized?
People should get organized so they can be more effective at whatever is important to them. For example, I have a client who loves clothes and has a lot of them. In working with them for a session, sure we found some clothes that they didn’t want, but mostly we made it easier for them to get ready and look great each day. This particular client wrote me and let me know that after working together to organize their clothes, they saved half an hour each morning getting ready. They still have a lot of clothes, but are more effective with them.
6. How does Organizing improve your inner being?
Organizing improves your inner being when it’s done thoughtfully and in a detailed way. I believe the reason for this is that you are bringing more intention and care into your personal space. This increases the number of helpful and peaceful signals you’re taking in from your surroundings. It’s like your space welcomes you and says “hi” and awaits quietly for your signal for what to do next. Everything is ready for you.
7. What are three things you can do right now?
Go through your clothes. Anything you haven’t worn in 3 years, take it out of your closet and put it somewhere else. You waste mental energy reviewing clothes you aren’t likely to wear. When you have things in your closet that haven’t been used and are taking up space, you are giving yourself conscious and unconscious signals when you get dressed like “Oh, I still need to lose weight or Oh, my shoulders are too broad”, etc…
Put a trash or recycling bin where there isn’t one, but would be helpful. If your kids don’t have trash cans in their bedrooms, put trash cans in their bedroom. Consider placing a recycling bin right near where you get your mail or the mail gets placed so you can easily get your pile down to what you will deal with instead of keeping advertisements, solicitations, etc…
Stop taking home samples and travel sized toiletries. Things like makeup, shampoos, moisturizers, and toothpaste. I see so many old samples and they’re taking up far more space in your bathroom than you think.
8. Are there any myths surrounding organizing?
People falsely think you need a lot of clutter in order to work with a professional organizer. People also falsely think I’m going to come with my own objectives about how their house should be. I work with people who aren’t very cluttered to make things work better or be more beautiful. I learn from you how you want your home to look and function.
9. What do interior design and professional organizing have in common?
Organizing and Interior Design both understand that functionality and form come first, then aesthetics. It’s like making a cake – in order to get the result of a tasty and beautiful cake, we use good ingredients, bake them correctly, then we decorate.
10. Anything else you want people to know?
I just want people to enjoy their home. If you are stressed out with the prospect of a big remodeling project, we can help you figure out how you can stay in your home or how to get ready to move out and get settled back in right away. We try to make it as easy as possible because it’s very overwhelming when your home is under renovation.
If you are ready to live a healthier, more balanced life by streamlining your day, please reach out to Emily Anderson. She will help you improve your life! Her website is www.mleorganizer.com. Stay updated with Emily’s best organizing tips and useful product ideas. Be sure to follow her on Instagram @mleorganizer and read her blog for more in depth tips!