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Blog: Organize This!
Organizing is ongoing so maintenance is the key

Before I became a professional organizer, I organized for certain reasons: to spend more time with friends and family, to be spontaneous, to go to graduate school, to stay in bed longer, to travel, and to handle the tough times with grace. I'm in the process of writing a book about organizing and I'll be explaining the meaning behind these words. After I began working with clients to organize in their homes, I realized that organizing isn't just about having a home for everything; it's about a state of mind and way of life. It isn't about making your home perfect because there's no such thing as perfect. Being organized doesn't mean that your home will never be messy again. That's just crazy talk!

When I work with clients in their homes to complete a major uncluttering, downsizing, or organizing process, they go through a number of changes. Besides the obvious goal of cutting down on clutter, many people admit that their buying habits change, priorities change, and they feel more calm in their homes. These clients also know that the work doesn't stop with finishing the project. Spaces won't stay organized without help so here is a list of ten maintenance tips to keep your home top notch (in David Letterman style):
#10. Trust your judgment You know whether you'll use certain items or not. Let your lifestyle and your values be your guide.  
#9.   Commitment Pledge to the organizing process. Trust the work we've done and give it time to fully work in your life. Tweak the process we've set up as you work with it.
#8.   Maintenance Set regular time on your calendar daily, weekly, monthly for regular maintenance. Put things back, hang up clothing, throw out the trash, unclutter flat surfaces, and wipe down areas.
#7.  New habits Continue to practice good habits and let go of the old ones. Revisit your goals and why we started the process in the first place.
#6.  Be thankful Encourage family members and acknowledge their contributions when they keep areas organized. Things won't change overnight.
#5.  No more digging You shouldn't have to unearth or search for anything you need; keep most-used items front and center. If it doesn't have a home, give it one. If you don't need it, let it go.
#4.  Constantly purge Continue to use the donation box we designated to place items into that you will no longer need or want. Take to the donation agency when the box is full.  
#3.  One bite at a time If you feel overwhelmed, remember to break a larger project into smaller, manageable tasks and stay focused until you move on to the next task. Reward yourself along the way!
#2.  Invite company Welcome people into your home regularly; you'll be motivated to keep your home organized.
And the number one maintenance tip to staying organized: If it takes less than 60 seconds, do it!

Clients who have worked with me in their home, office or business know that they are welcome to call or email anytime for answers to questions or words of encouragement. Organizing and uncluttering is a life-long pursuit of the good things in life without the all the clutter.  

Clutter Quote: "Each time you put something away, it's a gift to yourself!" Vali Heist

posted on: 11/19/2011 2:30:00 PM by Vali Heist
category: General Organizing Tips

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Organize This!

by Vali Heist

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About Vali:

Vali Heist is a Certified Professional Organizer, the owner of The Clutter Crew for homeowners, and a Certified GO System Trainer for businesses. She is the author of "Organize This! Practical Tips, Green Ideas, and Ruminations about your CRAP. CRAP stands for Clutter that Robs Anyone of Pleasure! She writes a monthly column for the Reading Eagle called "Organize This!". Vali's bachelor's degree is in Business Administration from Shippensburg University and her Master's Degree is in Higher Education from Kutztown University. Vali has an extensive background of 24 years in Higher Education including training, administration, project management, writing, and editorial production. Her passion has always been organization and how it relates to the simplification of work and personal life in order to enjoy both to the fullest. Her ultimate goal is to continue finding simple, easy to implement ideas that work in the real world and pass them on to her clients.

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