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The Rapp Rapport – Organizing Tips & Tricks

Be it the excess that hit your home over the holidays, resolutions, or pre-spring cleaning, the new year brings a rush of organizing projects.  Whether you intend to DIY or hire a professional, there are valuable organizing tips and tricks to keep in mind.  Here I’ll share some answers to frequent questions I’m asked about organizing projects. 

 How do I get started? 

I encourage all types of clients to start small. For example, if you’re thinking about tackling a master closet, you need a lot of time, willpower and perhaps a mimosa or two. Instead of jumping into days of chaos, why not organize a drawer or a dresser first? The win will give you instant satisfaction and the energy to block off a day for the closet. Or it will inform you that you’re not cut out for that kind of pressure, and you’ll call me! 

How do I know what I need in terms of organizing products? 

It comes down to functionality, appearance, and price point. Take a pantry. If you don’t care about appearance other than looking tidy, you can easily find what you need at a dollar store or by repurposing cardboard boxes. If you want to see items, then wire baskets and acrylic boxes are your friends. Hyacinth baskets and solid containers work for those who don’t like visual clutter. And what do I buy in bulk? The multi-purpose turntable of course! 

How do I get my kids involved? 

Start early. You can teach toddlers to put toys back where they go, especially if you designate spaces and containers. Whether you put like colors or like items together, with or without labels, a young child can put items in proper places. Instill the one out, one back rule – and no one can leave a room that hasn’t been picked up. As children age, go through the toy box and closet on a quarterly basis. If something new comes in, at least one old thing should be donated or recycled. Finally, never put anything under a bed! Your Zoomba will thank you.

Am I allowed to have a junk drawer? 

Yes….but will you rebrand it as a useful drawer? The idea of a junk drawer implies items that are broken or discarded belong there. If you make it a home for useful items, like keys, pens/pencils, rubber bands, tape measures, scissors, etc. then it takes on a utilitarian function. Get rid of markers that don’t work, forgotten keys, expired coupons, dead batteries and make sure you have compartments or dividers to keep everything in its place. 

What is your organizing upkeep strategy? 

To maintain any organized space, you must revisit it monthly. Life happens and stuff gets out of sort. This is especially true after holidays, summer vacations or extended time at home. Pick one thing in each room to tackle to make it manageable. For instance, your office = documents. Shred for an hour and move on. Closet = worn, never will fit clothes. The pantry = expired and stale items. Your bathroom = the sludgy nail polish or the million samples you’ll never use. 

Let me know your best organizing tips and tricks in the comments!

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