Organizing Your Home: Tips From a Pro

Organizing Your Home: Tips From a Pro

Santa Barbara home organization (credit: KellarW, Flickr)

Santa Barbara home organization (credit: KellarW, Flickr)

The last Q&A I did was with Allscape Design.  If you haven't read their tips on landscaping in a drought, catch up (here).  

Today we chat with my good friend Amy Fritz, professional organizing coach and founder of Thoughtful Organizing.  She helps local individuals and businesses organize their personal and professional spaces.

A well-organized space has aesthetic and functional benefits.  I reached out to Amy to get her input on how to achieve and maintain a level of organization that optimizes your space.  Let's see what she has to say!

What prompted you to start Thoughtful Organizing?

I had taught high school for 15 years and was getting restless to start my own business.  I had helped friends and family get organized my whole life and decided to make a business out of it.

How is Thoughtful Organizing unique?

Because of my background in teaching (I have a Master's in Education), I'm able to teach my clients how to get organized and stay organized.  I love helping people transform their lives because when you are organized you have time for the things that are most important to you.

What are some organizing tips homeowners should remember when selling their house?

Less is always more!!!  When you even have the inkling that you might sell, start to slowly go through your house and get rid of things you haven't used in years.  This is your chance to really downsize and start fresh. 

Homebuyers would much rather see a sparsely decorated house because yes, it makes your rooms look bigger and they will also be able to imagine their furniture in your house.

What are some organizing tips buyers should remember when moving into their new home?

Absolutely, a move in is your chance to start fresh.  Don't bring things from your last house that you haven't used in years, are broken, or simply don't fit your lifestyle anymore.  This is your chance to start fresh!

How do you organize for families with children (and all their toys!)?

Luckily we live in a place where most of us spend so much time outside.  Starting kids early to give away toys and books that they've outgrown to others that may not have as much is a wonderful gift.  And of course, teaching kids early to be a part of the organization process, so that they are able to find their things easier, is a great help to parents.

How do you respond to objections over the value of hiring an organizer?

Hiring an organizer is worth every penny.  Having someone who is objective and not attached to any of your things is really helpful in determining what to keep and give away.  A lot of times, it could even take a few hours with an organizer to help "get the ball rolling" for you.

How do you organize for clients who are emotionally attached to their belongings?

This is soooo common!  We are all attached to our things because: someone gave it to us, you spent a lot of money on it, etc. etc.  BUT, if being more organized is your goal, you may have to rank some things into what can stay and what can go.  An organizer can really help ask the hard questions about how long has it been since you've used it, does it really fit, etc. This way belongings can be sold on ebay, given away to thrift stores or favorite non-profits.

How can people motivate themselves to stay organized AFTER they work with you?

This is the tricky part but after some practice, a habit is formed.  For example, maybe once a season, you go through closets and purge things you aren't wearing.  Maybe you call in an organizer once a year to help you stay on track.  What really keeps people motivated is the amazing feeling you get from being organized, being able to find things easily and how great your home looks and feels.

If someone reading this wants to hire you, how do they get in touch and what is the process like?

My website is: thoughtfulorganizing.com

You can call or send me an email, and I'm happy to give a free 30 min consultation.

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