Spanx vs the Lapband: what’s your clutter situation?

Did you ever consider losing clutter to be analogous to losing weight? It is! And though everyone is unique, in Get Organized Already’s professional organizing adventures three different situations show up over and over.

Which of the following weight loss scenarios best describes you? Check out my pro tips to help you get organized no matter what the size of your clutter is.
nonni w basket

Tummy tuck anyone?

Sometimes when we walk in the door with our cute aprons and our magic organizing basket, people want to have a complete overhaul. Their house, or just a room, is too packed to be usable anymore. If this sounds familiar, you are probably too overwhelmed to know where to start.

Pro tip: Start with a trash bag, a lined donation bin, and a box for any papers you find. Start in one corner of the room and set a timer. Touch everything only once, put each item in the appropriate container, and work until the timer goes off. That’s less daunting than tackling the whole room, right? In situations like this, our professional team will spend a few hours getting your room, or home, back to a manageable state. The momentum will keep you moving forward on your own or with people who love you.

Staying in shape

My personal organizing style is livable and comfortable. I know where everything is, but the beds may not be made. (Shocking, I know! But this is real life we are living—not a movie.) As long as the people in my home know where stuff lives, we can all navigate around each other and not spend our time searching for our things (and yelling, “HAVE YOU SEEN IT?” across the house). This scenario is for those who need a maintenance plan to keep their home organized.

Pro tip: Let all users of items know where things belong using labels. (It doesn’t have to be fancy. A sticky note or painter’s tape works just fine inside cabinets, drawers, and pantries.)

People generally flip out about this comfortable style of organizing because they have fallen victim to thinking that organized means rigid and perfect. Newsflash: perfection is not possible! A comfortable style of organizing suits most people because it is realistic and less expensive (as in no fancy labels or matching containers to buy). And works a lot better than what about 56 percent of you have going on right now: the dreaded PicMonkey Collagewe-don’t-have-a-system approach.

Ready for the college reunion

At the far end of the organizing continuum lie the Martha Stewart and Howard Hughes personalities of the world. Get Organized Already can help you, too! I have two lovely ladies on my organizing team with extensive backgrounds in interior design. They are amazing at creating the types of rooms you see in magazines. Whenever someone calls and I can tell they want to take their home to the next level (think Better Homes and Gardens or Apartment Therapy), I send out my Label Ladies.

I love to be in these places: fresh flowers and herbs in the entryway, a calendar printed in chalkboard paint and framed in a custom frame. Open the drawers and angels sing. The labels whisper beautiful phrases like, “fresh nutmeg” and “organic basmati rice.”

I’m not kidding. It is very peaceful and if I could, I’d have a Get Organized Already organizer over here every day to keep my shizzle looking like that in a heartbeat!

Pro tip: Getting organized isn’t a one time event. It has to happen regularly.

Everyone has their comfort level. Whatever your state of comfort or chaos, there’s a way to stay organized. And my team can help you accomplish your vision of the just-right organized home for less than you spend on two trips to Whole Foods. True story.


A good whine is like a summer’s day: Complaining about my husband

Everyone knows my husband is a great guy.  My parents know it.  My friends know it.  His friends know it.  The teachers at school know it.

There is only one draw-back I have found to having a great husband and that is when I have PMS or am generally annoyed by one of his idiosyncrasies and really need to vent to someone, there is no one who will listen.  Most of the people I try to whine to don’t believe me.  They say things like, “JEFF?!  Really?!” and make a pfffttt sound with their lips.  Or they say in all sincerity, “But Jeff cooks dinner, so you can’t really complain.” Or something equally irritating like that.  It is really a pain.  What’s a girl to do?   I even tried complaining to his sister once, thinking, she has GOT to understand because she lived with him for 17 odd years.  Right?  Wrong.  She was very defensive of her dear brother, the golden boy.  So!  I was left with no one.

Except for Michelle.  Michelle has been friends with Jeff longer than I have and has also been frustrated more than once by his quirks.  Their relationship has always reminded me of a sibling relationship where there are almost equal parts love and annoyance.  She therefore, has come to be the only person I could whine to when I no one else will listen.  We have had such cathartic phone calls, fb chats, playdates, and you-name-its where we sit and whine and whine and then we whine.  Aahhh…  just like therapy.

Except now, through one of those crappy circumstances that happen in life, Michelle is gone, too.  It’s a sad day for our house.  No more Michelle.  My kids are sad and Jeff and I are sad.  We used to celebrate the holidays together.  We played, we talked.  We were really close.  Now the friendship is over.  It’s no one’s fault and there is no one to yell at.  Still want to yell, though.

Certain friends play roles in your life, I’ve known that for a while: the drinking buddies, the fellow moms, the exercise partner, shopper, go-to birthday cake maker, and the all-important whiner friend.  I love a good whine.  And I don’t need any judgment with my whine, just enthusiastic nods.  I will miss Michelle for this reason.  A lot.

When I sit around and try not to yell about it I can’t help but contemplate the greater meaning of this loss and wonder if maybe its time I stop complaining about Jeff so much.


I’m going to be on vacation for the rest of August with my family in the Eastern Sierras. Excited to get away! Jeff is going to teach the kids to fly fish.

I’ll be off the grid from the 21st-29th. Please send me a note anytime and I’ll get back to you after the 29th.

See you in September!