Since it’s January when everyone is trying to get a fresh start and wants to clear everything out and organize their entire life, I thought it’d be fun to have an organizing expert give us all some tips. I knew just the girl, Rachel Rosenthal, organizing expert and owner of Rachel and Company! So this is a part Behind the Biz interview and part organizing tips post!
What made you get into the organizing business?
I had gone to law school but realized that being a lawyer wasn’t for me. I decide to put my Type A personality to better use and had a desire to help people get organized and realize the benefits of it.
What has surprised you about the industry? What would people find surprising about the work?
The professional organizing industry is actually a lot bigger than I originally thought it was. Similar to interior designers, there are organizers out there for every price point, life stage, and aesthetic.
I think a lot of people don’t realize how much physical work goes into getting spaces designed and organized. It is very time consuming and gratifying at the same time.
Favorite and least favorite part about the work?
My favorite part about work is clients and the transformation we are able to assist them with.
My least favorite part is the administrative side of things.
Why should someone hire your company? Are any projects too small?
There is no project too small and we take pride in our specific focus to create a beautifully organized home. We have been in business for over 11 years and worked with over 2,000+ clients which have come to us mostly by word of mouth. My organizing tips and projects have also been featured in 80+ publications such as Real Simple, Washingtonian, Apartment Therapy, and Martha Stewart.
Is there a common theme with your clients? Maybe a common problem, common thought they all have?
After working in so many homes, there are a lot of common pain points that I hear from clients. First, how to use storage space. Next, not feeling like they have enough room for their items. Not knowing where things are that they know they own. Feeling burdened by too much stuff. Feeling stressed or embarrassed about the state of their home.
Typical response after your team is finished?
+ Can you move in!
+ I know I just said it would a few spaces, but can we do my entire home now?!
+ You have changed my life!
+ Read more here.
Since it’s January and everyone is getting a fresh start, do you have any tips for people who are trying to get organized?
Committing to getting organized can be daunting, especially when thinking about the big picture, like taking on a total home organization project. I always recommend starting small when it comes to getting organized, and tackling smaller, bite-sized areas first. Use 5 minutes to work on tasks that involve less emotional areas, say the fridge, to discard items that are expired, no longer used, or no longer wanted. It may sound simple, but the simple task of ridding yourself of the clutter in small categories will help you to be motivated to tackle bigger areas later on.
If there are areas of your life or home that are stressing you out because they have become too out of control to enjoy, take action to fix the solution. Is there an overstuffed closet that is making it difficult to find what you’re looking for? Or boxes of paperwork on your floor that need to be shred? Figure out what is bothering you and then spend 30 minutes working towards fixing the solution. Shred paperwork while watching the news or pull out everything from one drawer in your dresser to declutter. You’ll be surprised what can be done in a short amount of time and chances are that the momentum from seeing progress will inspire you to spend another 30 minutes on the area.
Can you share some tips, and a few specific ones for specific places like kitchen, kids stuff, closet, bathroom, etc.
Getting organized isn’t a one time event but truly a way of life. We are so busy and are running a mile a minute, but having your physical space organized will lead to many benefits. Not only will your space be more calm, but so will you as a person, and you’ll feel less stressed and have more time to focus on what really matters to you.
Physical clutter can create mental clutter. When you have a messy bedroom, an overstuffed closet, and spend too much time searching for items that you know you have but don’t know where to find them it can weigh heavy on a person. The frustration and stress that come from the physical clutter clouds other thoughts—like what you are trying to get done—because it is not only wasting your time but taking up your visual space and making it difficult to focus on the task at hand. Taking the time to clean up your space (and editing out pieces that no longer are useful/needed in your life) will help clear out the visual clutter.
Prep yourself and what you might need for the next day. Take the few minutes at night so you aren’t that much more stressed and chaotic in the morning to prep for the next day. For example, pack your gym bag so you make it to the gym and don’t wake up at night or get that much less sleep thinking about what you need to do to prepare for the gym. Make your lunch and pack it in the fridge, again, so you don’t lose valuable sleep thinking about what you “have to do” when you get up the next morning and when time is truly precious.
Give everything a home. Assigning a “home” and system to everything you own will help to keep clutter at bay. That means returning items where you found them and getting everyone who uses the space on the same page with what should be stored where.
More tips here.
Check out Rachel’s Instagram for some organizing eye candy and helpful videos!
Rachel is offering you all a discount code — use the code MEG10 to take 10% off her online course called, Your Home Organized that gets your entire home organized. The course is very simple to follow on your own time.
Photos by Laura Metzler