It is Getting Organized (GO) Month and during this time when the holidays are over and many of us are focused on what stays and what goes from our homes or how to better organize the items we do have, we asked Natalie Gallagher to share her thoughts about organization. Natalie Gallagher of Refined Rooms is blogger and professional organizer who strives to help people get organized, be more productive, and style their homes like a pro. She offers tips, resources and digital products focused on organization, home decor and productivity.
HomeZada: What inspires you?
Natalie Gallagher: So many things! I draw quite a bit of inspiration from online resources such as Pinterest, Houzz and other organizing/home decor blogs. Whenever I have an organizing or decorating project on the horizon, I start the process by researching ideas online.
I’m also inspired by my readers, who often share their organizing project successes with me. It’s very rewarding to receive feedback from readers that my blog has changed their life for the better in some way!
HZ: What is the first thing you would tell someone who is looking to get their home more organized?
Natalie: I would tell them to do 3 things:
– Know your “WHY” – write down your vision for your organized home (how your home will look and function differently when it’s organized). You’ll need to refer to your vision when your motivation begins to wane.
-Build in accountability – One of the keys to success is have someone to hold you accountable as you work towards your organizing goals. Whether you identify an accountability partner or simply share your organizing goals publicly via social media, having someone who will hold your feet to the fire makes it much more likely that you’ll achieve your goals.
-Schedule organizing appointments – Simply put, if you don’t set aside time to devote to your organizing project, it won’t get done. Create regular project appointments in your calendar (and stick to those appointments).
HZ: What do you think is the most challenging organizing project that people seek help for? Why?
Natalie: Hands down, organizing household paper. Paper clutter seems to be a universal problem for all of us. It poses extra challenges because every single piece of paper represents a decision to be made, which makes paper organization a time-intensive project. The sheer volume of paper that enters our homes on a continuous basis is yet another reason that paper organization is such challenge. The struggle is REAL! (so much so, that I created a 13 week paper declutter challenge series on my blog).
HZ: What is the area of the home that could benefit from better organization?
Natalie: Organizing “hot spots” really can vary from home to home. During my professional organizing days, the two most common rooms I was called in to help clients organize were kitchens and home offices.
HZ: What is a result of being better organized in your home?
Natalie: There are so many benefits associated with an organized home. At the top of the list is that an organized home saves you BUCKETS of time (and reduces your daily frustration levels) because you no longer have to constantly hunt for lost items!
There’s plenty of research regarding the negative psychological effects of living in a cluttered environment. When we reduce environmental clutter, we reduce our stress level (less clutter = more inner peace!)
HZ: What is your one quick tip that any homeowner can do to get the process of being organized started?
Natalie: Create a household binder that serves as the central place for keeping all of those reference papers that are typically cluttering up the front of the fridge and the kitchen countertops. Here’s my quick tutorial to walk you through the process.
HZ: What’s one thing in your home you couldn’t live without and why?
Natalie: Our household drop zone! I’ve put some simple systems in place in our mudroom (the point of entry into our home) using a few inexpensive organizing products so that everything has a place when we walk through the door. No more coats, purses, and backpacks thrown on the floor or cluttering up the kitchen island!
HZ: Why did you decide to start a blogging about the home?
Natalie: I was a professional organizer for several years prior to becoming a full-time blogger. I loved every minute that I spent in clients’ homes and offices, partnering with them to declutter, set up systems, and create new habits. It was an awesome feeling to make such a huge impact in a client’s quality of life by teaching them organizing skills. Last year, I made the decision to trade in my pro organizing tool bag for a laptop and created the Refined Rooms blog. This platform gives me the opportunity to expand my reach and help people achieve their organizing goals no matter where they live.
HZ: What can people gain from reading the information on your blog?
Natalie: The mission of my blog is to help readers achieve their goal of an organized lifestyle and a beautiful home. The blog also features easy do-it-yourself home decor and organizing projects, tips on how to banish builder-grade decor, as well as tips on how to use tech tools to get more done in less time.
HZ: You share challenges on your site. What does this look like?
Natalie: I created several different organizing challenges to provide my readers with the tools they need to reach a specific organizing goal (e.g., organizing digital photos, organizing household papers, organizing their closets, etc.). Each challenge is broken down into a series of weekly lessons and specific organizing assignments. Challenge participants can take advantage of a private Facebook group to ask questions, hold each other accountable, and celebrate successes.
HZ: Who would benefit from these challenges?
Natalie: Anyone whose had difficulty completing organizing projects on their own. The challenges break down large (and potentially overwhelming) organizing projects into bite-sized tasks, which helps people to take action.
Well there you have it, tips for better organization for 2017.