Expert organizations tips

A professional organizer shares strategies for decluttering in the new year

While the closet may be the Mount Everest of home organizing projects, there are numerous other decluttering expeditions that boast big rewards when conquered. Korinne Belock, a one-time political campaign organizer turned professional interior organizer, puts her planning skills to practical use as the founder of Urban Simplicity. Here, the part-time Palm Beacher divulges her secrets for bringing maximum order to the home.


PBI: What is your personal philosophy for home organization?
Belock: My philosophy is rooted in simplicity. The best organizing solutions are usually the simplest ones. Any system that involves more than one or two steps from start to finish is not likely to happen. My goal as an organizer is to understand how you can best live in and use your space. The first step to understanding and creating those simple systems is editing so that you surround yourself with items you use and love.

What rule should people apply when deciding what to keep versus what to throw out?
The first rule is to ask the tough questions: Do I use it? Do I love it? Do I need it? It’s likely that in these three short questions, your decision whether to keep or toss an item can be [made]. As a second rule, be selective when bringing items into your home. Avoid buying things because you found them at a great price. If it hasn’t been on your radar, chances are you don’t need it and won’t use it.

What is one place people tend to overlook when decluttering?
The bathroom. Just like an organized closet, when cosmetics are organized, you can quickly grab what you need to get ready in the morning. There are two main points to keep in mind. The first is to organize products you use often in the most accessible place in your medicine cabinet and bathroom drawers. The second way to organize beauty products is by type. This works particularly well for items you use on a weekly or monthly basis, instead of products you use daily.

What is your recommended schedule for organization?
Think of organizing as a practice, not a project. If you consider organizing a practice, it’s something you’re always doing in small increments so [it isn’t] just another overwhelming project to put off until next month. Every item in your home should have a place. As a practice, you’re always returning items to their home, so things never get too out of control. That being said, season changes are a good time to take a look around and focus on areas that might need to be refreshed.

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