Are you in need of organization therapy? Boca Raton–based professional organizer Caitlin Schoenfeld, founder of Impeccable Order, believes systemizing one’s belongings is key to decluttering the mind, too. Here, she offers a few tricks to tame your space and bring order to your life.
PBI: Other than your clothes closet, which three areas in your home should be organized and why?
Schoenfeld: The three most important areas that should be organized are the ones you spend the most time in. For me, that is the kitchen, the office, and the bedroom. A kitchen is a place of sustenance and nourishment. Having it organized makes it easier to nourish yourself and your loved ones. An office is a hub of administrative and creative activity. Most people have many things to accomplish in a day and there is limited time. If that time is taken up trying to deal with disorganization, there is less time to accomplish the important things. If the bedroom is messy, rest and intimacy are hindered. Disorder in these three spaces directly affects one’s quality of life.
How should people approach organizing in order to be effective while also staying motivated?
They should listen to themselves. Most of us think there’s only one way to be organized, but organizing is about the individual. It is so important to understand that if it works for you, that’s all that matters. Your closet does not have to look like a production photo to be functional. You do not need to be a Pinterest picture to be an organized person. Find your personal style and ask yourself, “How does it work for me?”
What are some unexpected organizing tricks you use?
I use turntables in the fridge. I also use an email reminder program called followup.cc that sends me custom email reminders for everything from client follow ups to buying paper towels every third Wednesday to sending a birthday gift six months down the line.
How should people make the save versus purge decision?
I always ask my clients, “Is this object serving you?” I would suggest they pay attention to their physical and emotional reaction to it. If they slump or frown or become tense, the object likely should be let go.
What are a few of your favorite finds in terms of organizing products and methods?
There is a product called The Upfiler that I think is extremely innovative. I believe everyone should have a filing system in some form or another, but many people suffer from “out of sight, out of mind” issues with regards to files. The Upfiler provides a unique solution by storing your files vertically.
Also, the methods of Judith Kolberg, author of Conquering Chronic Disorganization (Squall Press, $10), are absolutely inspiring. She has one of the most creative minds and has invented so many innovative solutions to help people with different learning styles as well as ADHD and chronic disorganization.
For organizing things that are out in the open, how can you achieve both style and functionality?
Only have out items that are absolutely necessary and contain those objects using bins, trays, turntables, and beautiful bottles. Arrange them by size or color. Most importantly, pay attention to how the presentation makes you feel. This will guide you to create a look that best speaks to you.