Many people say they want to be super organized. They want a beautiful closet with color-coded clothing and matching hangers. They want pantries with glass jars labeled with their rice, quinoa, and breakfast cereals.

But they lie. Not intentionally.

But being super organized often means having less stuff, spending more time planning, and spending more time putting things away, or having the staff (maid service, nanny, personal assistant) to do it for you.

People like the idea of being extremely organized. The Instagram and Pinterest board likes and shares prove it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not being judgmental. I'm just being honest.  After about 10 years in the organizing industry, I speak from truth and experience.

I'll even pull back the layers of truth on myself. I love the idea of having six-pack abs but I'm not willing to put in the work and the eating habits (at least not with all the other priorities on my plate) to get them. I do what I can to live a healthy lifestyle, it's not perfect but I'm honest with myself. I love bread, wine, and I don't work out consistently.

How can you be more honest with yourself?


Notice what you say when you're in Target staring at pretty baskets and decor. How does that internal speech that drove you to buy that pretty basket measure up when you get home? What happens in reality? Will the pretty basket sit in the bag with the tag for weeks unused, perhaps adding to the clutter that's already in your home?

Notice what internal speech do you hear when you are home and discouraged by your home office papers in various stacks in your office or 2 months' worth of mail on the dining room table?

Don't DISS yourself.

  1. Distract

  2. Ignore

  3. Sabotage

  4. Suppress

Organizing takes work. It takes effort, consistency, and a bit of know-how (skill). What can keep you from getting or staying organized?

Are you distracting yourself with television, phone calls, social media? Set aside dedicated, consistent time to process and organize. It can be as little as 15-20 minutes but let it be daily or weekly but consistent. Music can be a motivator. But avoid things that keep you procrastinating or stopping and starting the process multiple times. Refocusing takes a lot of energy and time that you can be used in the processing mode.

Are you ignoring the mess? It's often when someone wants to come over that we suddenly see the stacks of magazines, the load(s) of laundry that needs to be folded, or that trash can overflowing. We all get busy, but ignoring the clutter or disorganization won't keep it from going away! Have an accountability partner, set a reminder, or have a regular routine for dealing with clutter build-up.

Do you sabotage your organizing efforts with negative self-talk? Saying things like "I've never been organized, so it's not possible for me..." "I don't like organizing so I can't do it." "I'm too busy." Are probably excuses that sabotage your efforts or from even trying. Organizing is a skill that most people can learn. You just need to find what you need when you need it. Manage your time and energy, and figure out what works for you and what doesn't. When you feel like you failed in an organizing endeavor ask yourself: "What did I learn?" You may be able to analyze and problem-solve to try something different.

We live in an information age: YouTube, blogs, podcasts all are chock-full of helpful tips, information, and ideas to learn how to organize. Don't follow too many. Pick 1-2 mediums that resonate with you and tune in regularly. It may give you the confidence to figure out a particular organizational challenge.

Perhaps you suppress your emotions regarding the clutter or disorganization in your life? Often times the emotions we suppress only come back with a vengeance and bite us in the rear. For instance, our cluttered space may make us depressed or anxious. Instead of dealing with the issue we move to another less cluttered space in the house, like from our dedicated office space to the kitchen table, and then ultimately clutter that area as well. Perhaps we make matters worst by behaviors that create temporary relief emotionally but actually make the problem worse, like "retail therapy".

Have you noticed these patterns in yourself or someone in your household? Are you ready to create a journey to a more organized lifestyle? Let's chat! Book a FREE Discovery Call with me or Kellie Powell.

I have been trained to coach (bringing awareness and partner with clients to bring positive change) around organizational and productivity issues. We can work out a plan to organize your space, and help you stay organized for good (even virtually)!

Don't DISS yourself! Let's put in the work and have the charmed organized life you desire!

Andrea Hancock is a Professional Organizer and Owner of Dexterous Organizing, a professional organizing and lifestyle company serving the Washington, DC Metro area. Andrea has been organizing professionally since 2010 and has completed the foundation courses in the Coach Approach for Organizers Training. She believes mostly anyone can create the organizational system that works for their lives through training, awareness, and consistent efforts.

Having Kim or Khloe Kardashian's pantry is possible but is it realistic for you and your lifestyle?

What would it take to have a pantry like this? Here's some suggestions:

  • Grocery shopping with a list. Prepare the shopping list by reviewing what you are low on and sticking to your list at the grocery store.

  • Using up items that will expire soon by meal planning.

  • Keeping like with like or categories in fridge and pantry by having a weekly routine to maintain your pantry

  • Only buying things that will fit in the space you have by asking "where will this fit/where will I put this?" when you're out shopping.

  • Limiting or eliminating buying in bulk (does a family of < 3 need a Costco membership?, just sayin'), unless you can follow above suggestion

  • Buying similar items most of the time by buying what you normally like and experiment with things when you have people over or taking items to friends. If you don't like the item, it won't clog up your pantry.

  • Firmly justifiy buying 10 for $10 deals. Do you need/will you use up 10 in a reasonable amount of time? Can you get less and still get the deal?

  • Having a general idea of how quickly you use up items. For instance: How long does it take you to use up 5 cans of beans? A pack of paper towels? A box of cereal? Having an idea will keep you from over-buying.

Want a more organized pantry?

Schedule a free discovery call today to get the conversation started!

Updated: Mar 4

Most of our clients hire Dexterous Organizing to answer many questions to get them back into shape organizationally. Many of those questions start with "how" and "where".

"How do I keep my office papers from piling up on my desk?" "Where's the best place to store my out of season clothing?" "How do I stay on top of business cards and receipts?" "Where should I keep my mail?"

We usually rock our clients' lives with new perspectives on the where and how of things, suggestions on containment solutions, best practices for labeling, and charities and recycling solutions for helping them to declutter. Although all of those how and where questions are valid in the organizational process, the biggest question to solve organizational challenges in the long term is WHEN?

After we figure out where things go, and how you will process these things, the next question in the puzzle is when will you put the things where they go and when you will process the things!

Let's call it a RESET.

Morning routines, evening routines, weekend routines, weekday routines, yearly, quarterly, the day-to-day of it all will help you keep your spaces in your home, office, and your life organized.

  • When do you empty the dishwasher?

  • When do you clean out the fridge?

  • When do you clean out the car?

  • When do you put your coat away when you come home?

  • When do you sort through your mail?

  • When do you pay bills?

  • When do you process the kid's school work that comes home?

  • When do you donate clothing that is too small, too large, too out-dated?

For long-term, sustainable organizational systems, where you do it and how you do it is important but not as important as when you do it!

We all get overwhelmed with life (secret: even Professional Organizers!) but it's the routines we cling to that help us to stay on track with systems and processes which actually keep overwhelm away more often or minimize its intensity.

Need help figuring out the Where, How, and When of an organizational or productivity challenge?

Let's schedule a time to chat! Book a FREE 15-minute discovery call with Kellie or Andrea to find out how we can help you create a sustainable organizational system in your life, home, or business.

If you have a great routine for keeping a particular place, space, or part of life organized, share with us in the comments below!