​Organize365.com owner knows importance of decluttering

Home expert discusses first steps to take.

Contact this contributing writer at lisa.knodel@gmail.com.

The new year often brings about a renewed desire to declutter and get organized.

Lisa Woodruff, owner of Organize 365, helps people in the greater Cincinnati area get their lives more organized.

“Organized living is important, because when you are unorganized or your life is cluttered, then you have trouble making progress on the goals, dreams and aspirations that you have for your life. You spend your days surviving instead of thriving and doing what you were uniquely created to do,” she said.

Woodruff offers her advice.

Q: How did you to become a professional organizer?

A: The act of getting organized is not something that comes naturally to everyone. With my background in teaching, I realized I could break down what I do in organizing a home and teach those skills to other people so they could live a more organized life.

Q: What are the biggest challenges to getting organized?

A: The biggest challenges preventing people from having organized homes are not having enough time and not being able to prioritize what to do next.

As our lives have gotten more complicated and complex with electronic systems, working from home and the blending of family and work, the organization and productivity needed to be all of the different roles you have — wife or husband, worker, parent, sibling, caretaker of your parents — have gotten blurred.

In addition, the on-demand ability to see your work email, respond to Facebook requests and get texts from family and friends puts an immediacy on every single task that comes into our lives. The ability to stop and compartmentalize all of those tasks back into their proper categories leaves us feeling very frazzled and hurried, but at the end of the day not feeling productive or like we have gotten anything accomplished of value.

Q: What is the most common pitfall people experience when they start?

A: Once people decide to get organized, the most common pitfall they experience is knowing where to start. Getting organized can mean so many things to so many people. Is it getting your house organized? Is it getting your schedule and your to-dos organized? Is it getting your papers organized? Is it getting your finances organized?

Q: How can someone get started?

A: First, find one source for organization information and follow one organizer's ideas so that you can make progress toward your goals.

Set aside at least 15 minutes a day toward your goal of getting organized. Do something every single day to get yourself more organized and the cumulative effects will begin to be self evident.

Start a “Sunday basket.” The Sunday basket is my everyday paper management system. It starts by taking a basket, box, bag and collecting all of your daily, actionable, to-do papers in one place. Then, once a week go through that basket and do whatever needs to be done this week.

The Sunday basket is what I call Organization 101. Once you have a routine of going through it every single week, your daily to-dos will get organized. That is where people really get tripped up. They start organizing their closet, but then they find out they didn’t pay this bill, and then they feel really overwhelmed again.

Q: What is the most common organizing project you’re hired to do?

A: The most common organizing project that our Organize 365 team is hired to do is a complete home organization. Often people will be so overwhelmed that they don't know where to start, so they just want to hire a team to come in and get the house organized top to bottom and then leave them to maintain it. … They've had it, they are tired of living this way, they want us to just come in and reset their house. We can set up the systems; they will just maintain them.

Q: Can anyone get organized?

A: Everyone can be organized, you can learn to be organized. Start with the Sunday basket. It won't happen overnight, but over time, you will become more organized. Once you are more organized, you will become more productive and be able to live out your dreams and your true calling for your life.

For more information and organization tips, go online https://organize365.com.

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