My primary organizing strategy until this point has been to close the door. 🙈
Here's what I learned, how I beat the overwhelm by hiring a professional organizer and facing my messy tendencies head-on.
Oh, and there's a gorgeous before and after to inspire you.
"Organization is not my gifting"
It's just not. I'm way better at creative problem solving and making things than at looking at a pile of stuff and being able to envision what needs to go where.
But here's the other truth....that's not an excuse.
I hid behind by lack of organization talent for a LONG time, using it as a justification for why my house perpetually looked like a bomb went off.
(Not only that, being busy and being a mom were other pretty darn good reasons to not have my sh*t together 😂)
But the reality is that while organization is not my natural talent — and I shouldn't beat myself up and compare myself to others that possess a knack for keeping things tidy — being organized is a skill that can be learned.
Being not naturally gifted in this area means that I have to 1) work harder on it since it's not a natural strength and 2) GET HELP from someone who is boss at it —more on this soon because her name is Whit and she is amazing.
Time to get real, ready?
Let's take a look past the highlight reel that is all my beautiful projects and take a look at how shameless I get with my messiness when there's a door to hide it behind:
uh-huh. That was my best effort.
Seriously... the girl you're about to take advice from was there once — just a short while ago. So as I share all my amazing tips for organization and keeping things neat, don't take it too seriously and DONT BEAT YOURSELF UP comparing your now to my after.
The truth is, you can be happy in a crazy messy house, but an organized space helps relieve stress and cut down on the overwhelm.
And I believe both of those things ☝️make it easier to be happy.
real life tips for getting your sh*t together
I am NOT an organization professional or a life coach, so I don't have cute tidbits to share like, "only keep it if it sparks joy" or "downsize by taking photos of items that have sentimental value and create a scrapbook instead of keeping the item itself."
Those things are great. Seriously.
But I'm telling you real life things that helped me and changed my outlook on staying neat & tidy.
Break up with dread & procrastination
The mental dread you have about organizing is 10000x worse than just diving in and doing it.
It might be because you have a "before and after" stuck in your head from somewhere like pinterest and you know its going to take a lot of work to get there.
But that's the thing: just because it isn't going to be perfect after 5 min of solid effort doesn't mean its ok to procrastinate.
Break it down into little steps
You might not have a whole day to dedicate to perfecting your closet (but like, who actually does) — but you know what you can do? The first 3 little things that need done. Do those NOW, then tomorrow you can do the next 3, then the next, then you'll get there.
Little steps help you get over the dread and procrastination of a looming project by turning it into attainable steps you can be proud of yourself for.
the RIGHT system eliminates stress
When you look at the reveal you'll see my new closet is basically all baskets — most of which you can't see into.
Because I know that as much as I aspire to be perfectly organized I am not going to take the time to iron my sheets and fold them perfectly to stack on a shelf. I'm going to half-ass fold them and stick them in a bucket with the rest of the set.
Organization isn't perfection, it's just having a plan in place and sticking to it.
Man, that was like a super great quote — write that down.
For real, the magic of an organizational system that actually eliminates stress is finding one that works for YOU *ahem*...like baskets so you don’t have to fold things perfectly for them to look neat
Boss up and ask for help
This is my best tip, period.
If you're struggling, GET SOMEONE TO HELP YOU. Maybe this is your spouse or roomie, or maybe it needs to be a professional organizer — like it was for me.
Having someone to guide you through the process gets rid of the puzzle of where to start and how to do it.
If you're not an "organized person" than outsource your weak point and find someone who is good at that!
It will make you get started, it will help you find your system, and someone comes to your house to literally help you fold your towels. 😂 #goals
Getting my sh*t [professionally] pulled together
Ok, lets' talk about my experience hiring a professional organizer!
I'll give you details about the process so you can get a better idea about whether it's right for you.
First, let's just take a moment to appreciate this gorgeous before & after:
*All organizers might work a little bit differently, but here's a look at my experience with Whit
We had a little consult session where Whit looked at the space, took photos and measurements, and we dug through it a little bit to establish what I was keeping and what needed to go.
Whit was amazing at helping me think through how things get used and helping me determine whether it should stay or go.
We chatted about storage solutions and what I was looking for both design-wise and in terms of function.
After we knew what we were keeping, she made some notes about our convo and what we needed for the space and went shopping for some storage solutions.
We established that I needed lots of baskets to eliminate keeping things out in the open where they'd have to be put away more carefully to look nice and neat.
Whit texted me photos while she was shopping for input on different options and prices of the storage elements.
After the plan was complete, Whit came over to whip my closet into shape.
We pulled everything out and she guided the process as we organized and got it looking great.
One of my favorite ideas was how she used the felt buckets to organize sheets — there was one for each sheet set and then one for extra pillowcases.
Giving them their own bin means no digging around in a big basket to find a matching set and also makes them easy to put away since I don't have to fold them perfectly for them to look nice.
I was SO impressed with how quickly and easily Whit transformed this closet.
She eliminated all the dread & guilt I had about the mess and made the process easy and painless.
I was surprised because I expected a long and painstaking process and it honestly showed me how easy and relieving getting organized can be. Afterwards, I told Whit that I think I finally understand the appeal of the instant gratification that comes from organizing,
Because we established a system that works for ME, its been so easy to keep it organized and looking gorgeous.
If you're in Denver and want Whit to help you get your stuff organized, just shoot her a DM on instagram to explore what she has to offer + book a session!
Don't forget to pin this post for later!