20 Things Professional Organizers Would Never Do in Their Own Homes
Professional organizers reveal some unexpected things they never do when keeping their own homes neat and tidy.
They don’t use the chair as a closet
“I never leave clothes lying or draped on the floor, chair, bed, or treadmill,” says Betsy Fein, president of Clutterbusters. They can get wrinkled, coated in pet hair, or simply forgotten about when not stored properly. If you need space to hang gently used clothes for another wearing, try installing a few hooks on the back of your closet door. In fact, not having a place to store “worn once, not dirty clothes” is one of the 12 biggest closet organizing mistakes.
They don’t clutter the nightstand
Keep your bedroom clutter-free for a good night’s sleep. “I never clutter a nightstand because it’s next to where I sleep, and I need peaceful surroundings to get the best night’s rest,” says Ellen Delap, a certified professional organizer. Discover more morning habits of highly organized people.
They don’t shop for organizing products first
When you’re preparing to organize an area of your home, don’t make purchase organizing products the first thing you do, says Jodi Granok, professional organizer and owner of Organizing Magic, LLC. Shop for an organizing solution only after you’ve edited down and know how many and what size containers you need—or whether you already have one you can re-use. These are the 17 most popular organizers from the Container Store.
They don’t just buy more bins
“Never purchase a new organizing bin just because the current one is full,” says Colleen Ashe, certified professional organizer and chief expert organizer at Ashe Organizing Solutions, Ltd. Make space in the current container by paring down what’s inside.
They don’t overcrowd
One thing most of us don’t need help with is acquiring more stuff, so leave room for that eventuality. “Leave some room to grow in your cabinets, bins, drawers, and shelves,” suggests Granok. Otherwise, you’ll outgrow your storage containers, find yourself storing stuff in random spots, and you’ll never be able to find things when you need them.
They don’t forget to plan for storage
“I never buy anything unless I know where it’s going to live in my home,” says Standolyn Robertson, certified professional organizer and owner of Things in Place. This goes for everything from that new juicer you want to that sweater you’ve been eyeing. This rule of thumb will help you “buy one, let go of one” and avoid the problem of having something new and nowhere to store it.
They don’t forget to label
“Never put unlabeled cables in a drawer or box,” says Sharon Lowenheim, a certified professional organizer. You’ll have no idea what devices they belong to when you come across them later.
They don’t make a mess in the pantry
If you buy in bulk, take the individual items out of the giant bag. “Never leave bulk items, such as protein bars and snack foods, in large packages,” advises Laura Leist, author of Eliminate Chaos: The 10-Step Process to Organize Your Home & Life. She places often-used items into bins in the pantry for easy access. That said, these are the things you should never buy in bulk.
They don’t let dishes linger
One sure way to get your day off to a bad start is to wake up to a pile of dirty dishes in the morning, says Gayle Goddard, certified professional organizer and owner of The Clutter Fairy, LLC. Deal with the dishes before you go to bed, because “a spotless sink sets the tone for your house—and your day,” she says.
They don’t keep out of date things
Sherry Yates Young/Shutterstock
Don’t keep things that are past their prime; it could be unsafe to use them. This includes expired food, expired home goods, like batteries, and expired personal care items, says John Trosko, founder of Los Angeles based OrganizingLA. This goes for expired medications, too. Find out the safest ways to get rid of leftover medication.