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National Organization Month

August 15, 20225 min read

AUGUST 15, 2022

National Organization Month

January is National Organization Month!

Organization is the key to health and happiness. Since January is National Organization Month and we thought it would be a good idea to go back to the basics. Maybe you have been with us for a while or just discovered Organizing Etc., but either way it can be helpful to keep the basics of organizing in your back pocket.

  1. How to pare down your stuff

We humans are creatures of habit and attachment, and that goes double for the things we own. Often, we cling to things for sentimental value or just not wanting to go through the process of getting rid of it. Start by getting rid of things you don’t use.

Look at each item and ask yourself when the last time you used it. If you can’t specifically remember, get rid of it. If you can remember but it is a very specific occasion (like something you use once a year) ask yourself if it is worth keeping. If the answer is yes, be sure to store it away from everyday spaces.

The less you have, the easier it is to organize. When you get rid of the things you don’t need, it allows for you to have the things that you do use to be front and center.

  1. Organize the most use spaces 1st

It is no secret that clutter creates stress, and a cluttered space creates a cluttered mind. When the things around us are messy, we will feel stressed and unable to focus. When things are put in their designated spots, people tend to feel a sense of security and peace. It is important that everything you own has a place to call home. If it doesn’t have a home or you can’t find it a home, consider the fact that you may not need to keep it at all.

Make easy access storage for the things that you use all the time, but don’t be afraid to put those lesser-used things out of sight. They are still there when you need them, but they are not cluttering up your space!

Spend a little time each day putting things away so that you don't have to designate large chunks of time - or even whole days - to get your space in order.

  1. Kitchen/Pantry

Kitchens are often the source of much of the clutter in your home. Cabinets and pantries are a great place to stuff things and forget about them (this also means that they are a great place to start organizing!)

For National Organization Month, start with the cabinets. Separate the items that you use regularly with the ones that rarely get touched. Items used often should be in main areas, while rarely used items can be stored in a labeled bin for the few occasions they are needed.

It’s going to get messy - but pull everything out. While you have it all out, think about installing bins or risers to help locate items by category. Consider using a shelf riser or sorter for cans and small pullout shelves for spices. Categorize the items by type such as breakfast, baking and snacks. Move older items to the front and newer items to the back so that you use things before they expire. Place items by category back in the pantry and label. Labeling helps all family members know exactly where things should go.

Use the same organization system in the fridge (old in the front, new in the back). Make sure all perishable food is air-tight to keep the shelf life longer. Don’t be afraid to label bins (we love using clear ones!).

When it comes to drawers, you can organize them by using drawer dividers which are relatively inexpensive and adjustable. This is the best way to use the full capacity of the drawer for all your cooking utensils.

  1. Bedroom Closets / Drawers

Closets are scary to organize - I’ll admit it. Because of this, it’s not generally a great place to start. We usually like to get some easy organizing done first to build your confidence. Start with just one category such as jeans, then move on to another area like sweaters. Do not look at your closet as a whole - that might be overwhelming.

Get rid of items that you don’t wear, don’t fit, aren’t age appropriate, or that you wouldn’t buy in the store today. Take a moment with each item and be honest with yourself - Do you need it? Will you wear it?

Shoes can take up a ton of space - especially winter boots. Under bed storage is a great option for this. You are going to do the same thing with your shoes that you did with your clothes - go through each pair. Toss shoes that are worn down and only keep ones you see yourself wearing in the near future. Store out of season shoes in an airtight container and place them in a closet, under the bed, or in the attic.

Once you go through everything, it’s time to organize what is left. For folded clothes on shelves, use shelf dividers to keep everything neat and tidy. Hanging clothes are best on no-slip hangers (these also take up less space to allow for you to fit more in the closet!) Find out how many hangers you need for your clothes. Then, each time you buy something new - something old needs to go! Limiting hangers will help keep you in check. For things like scarves, belts and other accessories, bins at the top or bottom of the closet usually work well.

  1. Bathroom Storage

Most of the clutter in a bathroom happens under the sink, on the counter tops and in the shower. Identify your problem areas and what you need to do to reign in the problem.

For National Organization Month, first, start by cutting back on products. You don’t need five foundations, and you can just go ahead and throw away the facial massager you know you will never use. Get rid of old makeup brushes, sponges and any other random clutter that has found its way into your bathroom. Throw away old or expired bottles of products. Discard old and out of date vitamins. Store rarely used makeup under the counter. Throw out anything that has gone unused for the last 6 months.

home organization
Karen has been a professional organizer in Kansas City since 2015. With her experience in sales & marketing, complemented by a lifelong side gig as a fitness instructor, she discovered that maintaining organization is her method of cultivating tranquility in her life and thoughts. Her frequent family relocations were managed with ease thanks to her organizational prowess, a talent she now imparts to her clients.

Karen's enthusiasm is rooted in devising systems, overseeing projects, and utilizing her meticulous attention to detail to craft spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and practical. As her enterprise flourishes, so does her team—comprising only the most professional, efficient, and discreet organizers. She's selective, ensuring her team exemplifies their high standard of service. For her, organization transcends the mere purchase of attractive storage solutions; it's about equipping individuals with the means to alter their habits and revolutionize their lives.

Karen Swart

Karen has been a professional organizer in Kansas City since 2015. With her experience in sales & marketing, complemented by a lifelong side gig as a fitness instructor, she discovered that maintaining organization is her method of cultivating tranquility in her life and thoughts. Her frequent family relocations were managed with ease thanks to her organizational prowess, a talent she now imparts to her clients. Karen's enthusiasm is rooted in devising systems, overseeing projects, and utilizing her meticulous attention to detail to craft spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and practical. As her enterprise flourishes, so does her team—comprising only the most professional, efficient, and discreet organizers. She's selective, ensuring her team exemplifies their high standard of service. For her, organization transcends the mere purchase of attractive storage solutions; it's about equipping individuals with the means to alter their habits and revolutionize their lives.

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“I cannot recommend Karen Swart and her team enough! We were in the Kansas City area for a full summer, filming “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning,” and Karen and her team were our behind the scenes death-cleaner helpers! They helped our Death Cleaners move quickly, efficiently, and thoroughly through people’s homes - and they did it with heart. Thank you, Karen! Stay Gentle!”

— J.J. DUNCAN, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF “THE GENTLE ART OF SWEDISH DEATH CLEANING”