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Fall Organizing Tips From Tonia Tomlin

Now that summer is over, and we can focus more on our work schedules and family, we can now throw in some clutter therapy as well. De-cluttering your closets, bathroom drawers, and desk areas will give you the answer you’ve needed to start fresh this fall.

In my fourteen years of organizing for clients, friends and family, I have discovered that profiling unorganized spaces has been my expertise. The catalyst questions just came easily to me. For example, before you decide what needs to be de-cluttered, ask yourself, “What is going to make me the most productive?” Do you desire a clean, straight-lined office? Then don’t start in your kitchen! After that, you decide what kind of person you are, as far as how you sort your clutter. Am I am an ‘Out-of-Sight, Out-of-Mind Person? Am I an Over Organizer? Am I a “Stacker?” Identifying these will help you decide what systems are going to work best for you.

1. START SMALL

Starting small helps to avoid becoming overwhelmed; that’s clutter therapy Rule #1. Start with your file drawer in the office. But really, don’t overstuff the drawers to begin with, if you can help it. Sort any papers you don’t need anymore, and shred them if they have important information on them, such as social security numbers or other identifying features. If the file drawer is not working properly, and that’s what’s keeping you from filing in that drawer, then fit it, or get a new one. If you are an out-of-sight, out-of-mind person, consider using a table-top filing system, rather than the drawer itself. Use stylish file boxes and file folders, so that you are more likely to see and then want to file your paperwork.

2. CLEANING OUT THAT CLOSET

Your closet is Rule #2. Ask yourself the hard questions, and do so honestly. How long has it been since I’ve worked with X? Do I really like this pair of shoes? How long has it been since I’ve worn X? Purging can be fun, because you might discover items you forgot about that you can now integrate into your current wardrobe. After sorting, decide what is going to be the best way to contain and keep your closet organized based on what kind of organized person you are. If you are a stacker, then you might be inclined to put contents into a storage system that allows for open-cube storage. It’s the look of “stacking,” but is organized within the storage cube. Looking for savvy decorative boxes is also another alternative; just be sure to label appropriately.

3. THE CROWN JEWELS

As we’re keeping things simple for fall, consider organizing your jewelry box. Rule #3: Lock it up if you love it.

Even with jewelry, it can be the most simple piece, and if you’re not wearing it, get rid of it, unless of course, it’s a keepsake item. If you have a jewelry box that is broken, or you have outgrown the current one, consider using the wall in your closet as a new home. A great option is hanging a fabric-covered bulletin board on which to secure necklaces, bracelets and bigger earrings.

Also, if you are indeed an out-of-sight, out-of-mind person, this will help you keep up the maintenance of the jewelry. If you want to keep new items that have just been sitting around for awhile, physically take the jewelry out of the box, and display it on your wall unit or jewelry armoire and use it. If you can’t see it, chances are, it’s been stuck in the box for a reason. Then, evaluate in the fall of next year to see if you wore or used that piece. Group all like items together along the way, and violá – organized jewelry.

Now that your office drawers are neat and uncluttered, your closet has its style back, and you can coordinate with fabulous jewelry that you forgot you had, now you are ready for fall. Believe me; you will thank yourself later when the holidays come around and you need a place to put all your new fun gifts!

Tonia Tomlin is the Founder and President of Sorted Out™ and Sorted Out Publishing. Tonia is an author, publisher, speaker and mother of twin girls. She has been featured on HGTV’s, Mission: Organization, and is the author of the book Chaos 2 Calm: The Moms-of-Multiples’ Guide to an Organized Family. For more information about Tonia’s professional organizing services, visit www.SortedOut.com

Tonia Tomlin: President Sorted Out, LLC

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