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Last Friday, I posted about my process for organizing for a move. Today, I want to share with you all the little tricks I use to making this decluttering/organizing/packing process a little easier.

First of all, try to organize for no more than four hours each day. Packing is tiring enough, but sorting and making decisions about what to keep can be emotionally and cognitively exhausting. This is why even professional organizers only work in 4-hour chunks of time with clients.

Don’t skip around the room. And definitely don’t skip around the house. Otherwise, you might have little to show after an afternoon of packing, which can be very discouraging.

Be sure to take a short 10-minute break every hour in order to drink, stretch your legs and clear your mind. All that decision-making will be easier if you can “rest your thoughts” for a few minutes every hour.

If possible, work with a friend. Not only will it go faster, but a friend can provide some honest feedback if you find yourself wanting to keep everything. A friend will also boost your morale and make the process more fun. Or at least more tolerable.

Once you have finished sorting all the contents in the room and packing things into boxes, make sure each box is labeled clearly with the name of the room it is destined for. Be sure to place the label on the side of boxes, not on the top, so you can read the labels when the boxes are stacked.

Some people find it helpful to hire a professional organizer to do a walk-through of their new home with them, so the organizer can explain how to use each room, what systems to set up (e.g. kitchen hub, homework zones, recycling areas, etc.), and where to place the furniture. Being armed with all of that vital information before you move in can make your actual moving day operate much more efficiently.

On the other hand, some people find it more helpful to hire a professional organizer to come in after the family has moved in to help them unpack and set up key spaces, such as the kitchen or home office.  The organizer can set up custom systems as she unpacks the family’s belongings and make a shopping list of organizing products they might need, such as drawer dividers or spice racks.

There are lots of tips and tricks to organizing for your big move, but don’t feel like you have to follow all of them. Choose the ones that make the most sense to you and rest easy knowing that employing even a few organizing strategies will vastly improve your moving experience. Happy Moving!

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If you have a move in your future, even if it’s just down the street, it’s best to declutter first so you have less to pack and haul. But where should you start decluttering? And even more importantly, how do you start decluttering?

If you have the luxury of time (i.e. 6-9 months’ notice), start decluttering with the rooms you use the  least, such as the guest bedroom or basement. Declutter and pack up the rooms you use most often last. If time is at a premium, start by decluttering the rooms you use most frequently (usually kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms) and pack those up. Continue to pack up the rooms you use the least and plan to do a sort-and-purge of those rooms’ contents when you move into your new home and get some free time.

Gather up empty boxes or even brown bags, and label four of them “donate,” “trash,” “recycle,” and “give to friends/family.”  Work from one side of the room to the other, sorting items into one of the four categories, or putting them in an empty box to be packed and moved. (If you are doing the packing yourself, go ahead and wrap the item securely now. If you are hiring packers, simply leave the items to be packed in the box and let them wrap them.)

Can’t decide whether to keep an item or not? Here are the three questions I ask my organizing clients when they are stuck:

  1. Do you absolutely love it?
  2. Did you use it in the last year?
  3. Will you have space for it in your new home?

If you can’t answer yes to at least two of these questions, then the item needs to go. Still can’t part with the item? Try creating a category called “Decide Later,” then vow to decide by the end of the day.  Most people are amazed to find how much faster they can make a decision after a whole afternoon spent making similar decisions.

Check back on Wednesday for Part Two: Organizing for a Move for tips to make your move easier!

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Bedroom Makeover

I’m excited to announce that I’m partnering with Oregon Home magazine on their Dream Bedroom Makeover contest! One lucky winner will win a bedroom makeover for their home, featuring 6 hours of closet organizing services from me, 30 hours of interior design services from Amy Troute of Inspired Interior Design, paint from Colorhouse and painting services from FreshCoat Painting. The finished room will be profiled in Oregon Home’s fall issue.

If you are a current or former client of mine living in Multnomah, Washington or Clackamas County, you are welcome to enter the contest. The winner will be drawn on May 2, 2016. All you have to do is fill out the contest form on their website. Link here.

I’ve always wanted to do a team makeover project, and now I will get my chance. I am thrilled to be a part of this contest, but I would be even more thrilled if one of you, dear clients, won so be sure to enter! Best of luck to everyone!

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Want to know the secret to getting organized?

January 11, 2016

So much of getting — and staying — organized is maintenance. It’s mostly about doing a little bit every day when messes are small rather than waiting until messes are big and take hours or days to clean up. That’s why I like these posters that I recently spotted in a music teacher’s room. They […]

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Win a bedroom makeover with reSPACEd & Oregon Home Magazine

January 5, 2016

I’m excited to announce that I’m partnering with Oregon Home magazine on their Dream Bedroom Makeover contest! One lucky winner will win a bedroom makeover for their home, featuring 6 hours of closet organizing services from me, 30 hours of interior design services from Amy Troute of Inspired Interior Design, paint from Colorhouse and painting […]

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Fight the negative self-talk with this great idea from a 4th grade teacher

October 26, 2015

Negative self-talk. That evil little voice in our head starts telling us stories of doom at such an early age! My son’s teacher made this bulletin board for their fourth-grade classroom. The board is full of healthy — and true! — responses to those negative thoughts that clutter our mind when we are attempting something […]

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5 tips for getting back on the Organizing Wagon after you’ve fallen off

September 29, 2015

How many times have you started an organizing project only to quit half-way through? Maybe you gave up before you finished sorting through everything when you realized just how long it was going to take. Maybe you finished sorting everything, but the Goodwill and consignment store bags are still sitting out in your garage, waiting […]

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Here is how I keep track of To Do’s, appts

September 24, 2015

I get asked a lot about how I keep track of my schedule, to-do’s and calendar. What system should I use? is a question just about all of my clients ask. The first thing I tell them is, you don’t have to go digital! Digital is just one option out of many. I personally prefer […]

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Keep only those things you use FREQUENTLY or love FIERCELY

September 10, 2015

You know what is a gigantic waste of time and money? Organizing things you may never use or look at again. Examples include: Getting an expensive filing cabinet for documents you may never look at again Buying expensive shelving to hold box after box of memorabilia out in the garage Spending the time organizing hundreds […]

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My 10 best tips for getting stuff done

September 1, 2015

A while ago, I asked you to submit your best tips for getting tasks done. I picked out my favorites, plus added my own. The result? Ten awesome ideas for getting boring, annoying, or overwhelming tasks done around your house:   Prepare Schedule weekly (home) office hours for yourself in order to get mail sorted, […]

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