Organizing Tips from a Professional Organizer

This week we had the privilege of meeting with Lauren, owner of Organized at Last, to discuss all things home organization. Lauren grew up in Whatcom County, WA, then married and started her family while living in a 700 square foot cabin in Alaska. Living as a family of four in this small space challenged her to think creatively to make the most out of the space. We learned a lot while chatting with her as she went over how to get started organizing when you’re feeling overwhelmed, packing tips, and easy tips to create a home office.

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Organized at Last is a professional home organization company based in Bellingham, Washington. They specialize in helping you reduce clutter, simplify and minimize, and improve function by bringing life-changing order and organization to your home and/or office. Lauren and her team listen to your needs and find creative solutions without pressure or judgement. Real estate staging, helping you with moving and unpacking, and interior design and decorating services are also available. We wanted to hear more, and knew you would too, so we sat down with Lauren to discuss. We posted the full video on our Facebook and Instagram pages but summarized it here in writing as well.

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Q & A with Lauren:
Question (Jerry): Tell us a little bit about what you do.
Answer (Lauren): We do all kinds of organizing. Home organizing, office spaces, garage, anything to do with the home. We also do commercial office spaces, staging for real estate, interior design and decorating. Sometimes it all comes in together; sometimes I’ll do everything for one client. If somebody is moving we can pack them, leave the stuff they need for staging, then help get their house sold in that way, unpack them at the new house, set up…we’ve done that. The whole nine yards.

Q: Now when you’re moving, everyone just seems to have so much stuff. I’ve been here 25 years. I’m overwhelmed; where do I start?
A: With the moving I would say you start and you don’t hesitate. Just start collecting boxes, start collecting wrapping, and just room by room go through. Get the pictures off of the wall. Anything that you’re not going to need to live with. I would say start with a room so that way you don’t have to think about the whole house as one big project. Really just think of it as room by room if it really is starting to feel like that that big, huge, overwhelming project. And then when we pack for people what we really like to do is rather than when we pack a box writing a big paragraph of everything that’s on the box, if this is Box #1, we write 1. And say you’re packing your bathroom, write bathroom. So that all that’s written on the box is #1 bathroom. And then you have a sheet of paper and on that paper you have #1 bathroom and you write down everything that’s in that box. And then you have Box #2 and you have your paper so that when you go to your new home and ideally have moved all of the boxes that say bathroom #1 and bathroom #2 into the bathrooms that they need to be in…if you’re looking for one specific item, rather then looking through every box and trying to read every little paragraph you’re just looking at your sheet of paper and can see okay, that’s in #3. I just need to find #3. I think that’s a big thing when people move is that they can’t find any of their stuff anymore, it’s all misplaced. So starting early, trying to do it as methodical as possible and realize you’re doing yourself a huge favor by starting out that way, not just throwing everything in. Sometimes you want to do that. You want to just throw everything into a box and just get it done because it’s so much work. But really, then what you’re doing is creating even more of a headache for yourself on the unpacking side.

​Q & A continued below…

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Q and A continued…
Q: A lot of people are working remotely from home now. How do I organize my office at home so I don’t have all of the distractions that normally take part in a common home.
A: Most of us don’t have these homes with a whole extra room that we can take everything out of and now make it our home office. If you have that it’s great that you have that space and you have it set up but a lot of people don’t have that extra space to make an office…so I would say buy a room divider. A bifold, a trifold, you can get them at Target, they’re usually relatively cheap, and just putting up that wall helps. If you’re going to be in the living room, take a corner of your living room and put up that wall so you’re not looking at your kitchen, you’re not looking at your dishes, or thinking about your laundry or anything else. I think it really helps focus on the job at hand just to put up those blinders.

Thank you Lauren for sharing your tips and giving us a glimpse inside the life of a Professional Organizer! To follow along or contact Organized at Last:
Facebook: Organized at Last

Post compiled by: Haley Parker // // @haleyparkerstyle

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