| 1. How long have you been an organizing junkie?|
I think many will be surprised to learn that I haven’t been an organizing junkie my entire life. My teenage bedroom was a disaster if I ever did see one. I became addicted to the high of organizing when my husband and two young kids at the time had to get creative with 900 square feet of living space. I had no where to put a desk to use as office space and I was able to turn a small closet into an office area that thrilled me to no end. I was hooked after that!
2. What is one area in your home that is the hardest to organize and why?
Well I’d have to say my husband’s spaces (specifically the garage) because I don’t touch those. We have an agreement that he’ll follow my systems in the rest of the house as long as I don’t touch his stuff. Agreed! I absolutely respect his space and don’t want to jeopardize his trust in me especially over stuff. It’s all about compromise and negotiation.
3. How do you save money on organizing supplies? Do you have any favourite stores for purchasing those supplies?
This is where I excel. I live in Canada and have no access to Container Stores and other lovely organizing gems like that (not to mention the budget!) so I’ve learned to improvise and use products in new fresh ways than maybe what they were originally intended. I hit up garage sales and thrift shops frequently and as well Walmart and the Dollar Store. Our dollar stores here have a ton of organizing baskets and bins that make organizing cupboards and drawers a breeze at a really great price.
4. Just like me, I know you love your label maker! Do you have a specific type that you’d recommend?
I do love labelling although I’m not as obsessive about it as one might think for an organizing junkie 🙂 I don’t go crazy but labels are definitely necessary in many cases to help others know where things belong. My favourite labeller is a simple one that is inexpensive and super easy to use. It’s the Dymo LetraTag.
5. What’s the biggest mistake people make when they first start trying to get organized?
Not following the PROCESS steps! Having a plan helps keep the task at hand in focus and keeps us from getting distracted with everything else there is to do. Overwhelm does no one any good and it really holds us back from reaching our potential.
6. Do you have any tips for organizing paper clutter? I find that to be one of the biggest challenges in many homes.
Have a home for the papers that come in! No home = piles. Piles = confusion and clutter. This can be eliminated if you set up a system for the papers that do tend to pile up. For instance a file holder for your kitchen counter will help give you a spot to collect papers from school, bills to be paid, schedules, take out menus, etc.
7. How do you get everyone in the household involved in the organizing process?
I mentioned earlier the agreement my husband and I follow but in terms of the kids I think it’s important that we teach them these critical organizing skills from an early age. I truly believe organizing is a skill to be learned like any other. Work with them when organizing their belongings, walk them through the PROCESS step by step and slowly over time you will see the fruits of your labour. Ask them to make choices between two items and as much as possible don’t second guess their decisions. It’s much better for kids to learn these lessons early when the stakes aren’t quite as high.
8. Many people are overwhelmed with the thought of organizing their home and their life. What advice would you give those people?
Through my blog I’ve heard from many ladies that are so overwhelmed with their homes that they just don’t know where to start. This led me to start the 52 Weeks of Organizing series on my site. It’s all about taking little bites of organizing one small task at a time. You can read more about it here.
9. How do you organize kids toys in a way that takes up little space?
Limit them! Kids these days have too much to choose from, it’s crazy. The best advice I have here is to do a toy rotation and each week switch out the toy tote. Not only does it keep your child from getting overwhelmed but it makes clean up a breeze! As for simple toy storage I’m a huge fan of cubbies 🙂
10. What can readers expect to find on your website, Organizing Junkie?
I never take myself too seriously so you’ll often find me being a little silly while sharing the organizing skills that I’m so passionate about. I’m addicted to the high that comes from living a simple organized lifestyle and I want others to get “hooked” along with me!