How to Organize Like a Pro

Advice from a professional organizer
How to organize your home like a pro
How to organize your home like a pro
Updated: Apr. 9, 2020 at 12:45 PM EDT
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With all the time you’re spending indoors right now, you may realize your house has started to feel a little cluttered, chaotic or cramped. We got advice from an expert for those of you who have decided to organize your home. Kate Turk owns her own organizing business, House of Turk. She says where you start organizing makes a big difference.

“The first place to start, and I always tell this to all of my clients, is to work on what I call the things that move. And so it’s the things that come in and out of your house normally and the things that you’re using everyday. So mail, kids papers from school, and then entryways, so like your shoes, your jackets, all of that. And right now because we are in spring, it’s a great time to transition the entryway," Turk said. "So really, the whole point is to start with things that you see that are going to reduce visual clutter, because it’s the visual clutter that’s creating a lot of the anxiety. So I always start with that before I jump into like a pantry or something or a closet, because once you take that stuff out, it’s out and there’s no turning back.”

The warmer weather we’ve been experiencing may inspire you to do you spring cleaning of your closet. Turk advises you take all your clothes out of the closet, and think about what you’ve actually worn.

“Taking your sweaters out, and really looking at what did you use. It’s really all about what you need, editing out what you haven’t used, so that you’re not just shoving a bunch of sweaters in to deal with next season. Right? So if you haven’t worn it in five years, but you’re like ‘Oh, I’m going to hold onto this chunky sweater because I love it.' But you didn’t wear it, I always say like put that aside, and then finish everything else, then go back to it and think even harder that you probably should give it away. It’s really about editing when you’re transitioning, and that’s like step number one. I always like to switch different things in my closet like shorts and sweaters. So wherever my shorts are in the winter, my sweaters are in the summer. So that’s the kind of system I think about."

Turk also says there are some fun ways you can actually “trick” your kids into helping you organize and clean up while they’re home from school.

“Most people’s linen closets are very ignored, so if that’s something you want to tackle. I would put everything out and make what I call a ‘pallet’ at my house. And it’s just a pallet of blanket and sheets and pillows, and we make it like a movie night. Because you’re always going to have to take everything out. So at the end of that, you can sort everything out, fold it and put it back in different sections so like queen, king, twin, whatever it is. So that’s a fun one," Turk said. "I mean a real easy one is like Legos or blocks, anything that has like a fun color to it that you can sort. Kids love that kind of stuff, and it’s also kind of a learning experience if you have a pre-schooler or younger. So things like that, it’s like really simple. I think I never want to make it overwhelming for people, so I think it’s really important to just keep it simple. If it doesn’t work for your kids, move on.”

Turk has even more ideas for incorporating your kids into picking up around the house in this blog post.

Turk says organizing is all about creating systems so that you waste less time trying to find things. You should create that system based on what you do in an average day at home.

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