Lauren White, the woman behind local company Intentional Edit, shares how her professional organizing service takes the tiresome act of cleaning up and organizing the house and changes it into something that families can look forward to establishing in their homes, while sharing some tips on how to take the stress out of organizing.
What do you do?
We are a service-based company and we go into people’s homes and organize them. For most clients, it starts with one area and then after we tackle one area, they might have me come back the next month for something else. It’s usually one area that’s gotten out of control.
A lot of my clients have younger kids and they didn’t realize how many toys would be involved and they become overwhelmed and don’t know how to organize them so that the toys don’t take over their family space. We start with that.
What gave you the inspiration to create this business?
Even as a child I have always liked order and have been good at organizing. I knew there was a need for busy moms with young kids since they struggle with keeping everything organized or being able to implement a system.
They can’t create the system, but once someone does it for them, they can keep it that way. I saw a need and it was something that I liked doing, so I thought I would test it out. And it worked.
What are the benefits of clutter-free living?
The benefits of decluttering are extensive and include reducing stress and anxiety, increased productivity and creativity, improving quality of sleep and overall health, removing allergens, reduces debt, improves relationships and frees time.
Clutter is found in all parts of the home. Families with school-aged children often have a lot of clutter in the kitchen and eating area as they can easily become a dumping ground for items coming in and leaving the home on a regular basis.
What are the benefits of having an organizer?
A professional organizer is an expert in space planning and efficiency. Just like a person hires an accountant to do taxes or a personal trainer to help them get in shape, an organizer has expertise in decluttering and creating systems to keep the clutter from creeping in.
Organizers can act as an accountability partner when a person wants to be involved in the process. They offer a different perspective without judgement and encourage the decluttering process and organizing.
What is the hardest room to organize?
Without proper systems in place any room in the house that is “lived in” or gets the most traffic is the one that can easily become disorganized and cluttered.
Habits are formed by all family members (such as hanging up a backpack rather than leaving on the kitchen island, taking shoes to the closet instead of leaving on the floor, taking plates to the sink/dishwasher rather than leaving on the table) that allow for the home to function more efficiently, therefore, eliminating some of the clutter and chaos.
What are some home and closet organizing tips?
When deciding what items to purge I have clients ask themselves the following questions:
- Does this item serve a purpose?
- Is it useful and in working order?
- Have I used it in the past year?
- Is this the only item I own used for this specific purpose?
- Would I buy it again today?
If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, it’s time to say goodbye to the item. When a person is struggling with letting go of something, asking the questions often makes it clear that the item is unnecessary and makes the decision to discard it easier.
There are also questions I use to help purge a closet:
- Does it still fit?
- Is it free from stains?
- Is it in working order?
- Is it in good condition?
- Is it still in style?
- Would I buy it again today?
- Do I feel good when I wear it?
- Have I worn it in the last year?
- Again, if the answer is “no” the item can be discarded.
How do you simplify the purging process?
Tackling individual rooms and breaking the process down into smaller more manageable tasks is helpful when purging. Asking the above questions is a great way to simplify the purging process.
What is the best way to get rid of kid stuff? How do kids thrive with fewer toys?
With fewer toys, children are more likely to spend time outside, read and use their imaginations for creative play. If you want to reduce the numbers of toys in the house, involve kids in the process:
Lead by example – Let your kids see you purge, eliminate and donate items that are no longer of value to you.
Start with a basic purge – Toss or donate broken toys or games and puzzles with missing pieces.
Gather – Gather all of the toys in one area and sort them into categories. Ask kids this question: “What do you want to keep?”
Donate – Donate the rest of the toys, or have a garage sale and/or give toys to friends or family.
Celebrate – Celebrate that you finished this big project and enjoy.