Working with a Professional Organizer: Same Day. Same Intentions. Difference results.

working with a professional organizer


Because of COVID-19 we have lately had more time to declutter and organize our closets. We have the best intentions, however it is hard to get started and still harder to let go of items.  We may have the skills to declutter and organize like professional organizers.  What we are learning is that it was not necessarily a matter of how much time we have.  It is a matter of procrastination. It’s easy to put off getting started and getting organized.  Here is a tale of the same day with the same intentions with different outcomes. Names were changed to keep client confidentiality.


Working without the support of a Professional Organizer

Sandy knew that it was time to let go of professional attire and suits.  For weeks she had told friends she intended to organize her closet.  Finally, she set a date on her calendar to work in her closet. At 9 am she walked with a friend. At 10 am she called another friend. Continuing on with the day, she continued to procrastinate. Before she started, she offered to drive her cousin to work, offered to practice driving with her daughter, and ordered lunch. She texted to find out when the nail salon would be open.  Finally at 2 pm she started editing.

Decluttering was harder than Sandy thought.  It was much harder and taking more time. There were many items that did not fit so these were easier to declutter and donate.  Sandy would pull out an item only to put it back. After two hours, Sandy took a break to assess. She had 3 bags to donate. She was not making the progress she wanted to make and felt discouraged.


Working with the support of a Professional Organizer

My client and I set a date and determined we would meet for a 3 hour session to organize closets. After discussing the goals and taking a tour of the closets, we decided that best place to start would be a place where clothes have been stored rather than edited.  The client admitted that it was easier to move the clothes to another closet than eliminate.  We started working in auxiliary closets that are in spaces for less frequently worn clothes.  We pulled each item out to review whether it was in good condition and still fashionable.  We started to declutter and after 2 hours had over 250 items to donate to local charities.

This strong start to decluttering led to organizing the remaining items. We grouped the clothes by short sleeve, long sleeve, sweater and suits.  Then, we placed the items accordingly in 2 closets.  Donation places will be open soon so I took the clothes with me to drop off at local philanthropies.  The entire process took 3 hours to start, finish and exceed the client’s goals.


What’s the result

When we invest time and energy in decluttering and organizing, we want big results. Working with a professional organizer helps you accomplish your goals efficiently and productively.

  • Having a professional organizer with you, it’s easier to let go of more items.  The gentle pressure of another person guiding you helps you make decisions.
  • A professional organizer helps you get started and finish up.  There’s no procrastinating with a professional organizer working along side you. Because items leave at the end of the session, there is no regret or back sliding.
  • Bonus of organizing! We found some treasured keepsakes too! In one closet was a cherished cub scout uniform to pass along after taking photos.


Regardless of motivation and intentions, working alongside a professional organizer has multiple perks.  We are here to help and support you throughout the decluttering and organizing process! Accomplish your goals and get the results you want when you work together.





How many clothes do I need?

How many clothes do I need


I am asked this question a lot by my clients. How many clothes do you need per person in your home?  How many clothes do I need? It’s not an easy answer.

  • Too many clothes can cause chaos in your home.  Having too many clothes makes it difficult to get ready in the morning, aka “I have nothing to wear, but my closet is full.”
  • If your laundry is overwhelming, it’s probably because you own too many clothes. Laundry is never complete and you have a mountain to do.  Laundry can become a priority because no one has underwear too even when you have 14 pairs of undies.
  • Think of the money you can save if you knew the number of clothes to purchase.  Purchasing just what yo need could save you money.
  • So, just how many clothes do you need per person? See what you think after I share my experiment with my client.


Here’s what Organizing and Decluttering Blogs say

I searched many blogs for the answer to how many clothes.  If you are a minimalist, perhaps just owning fewer clothes is your first step. Owning less is an easy option to start.  If you turn your hangers around to see what you wear, you can see how much you don’t wear. To save money, a specific list works well. That list could be a starting point to let go of extra clothes.  A coordinated capsule wardrobe minimizes the number of clothes and maximizes your style potential. You will be excited to get ready each day when you know everything in your closet matches.


Here’s what followers on Facebook say

I posted this question to my Facebook followers. How many clothes do I need?  Most comments included “depending on your activities.”  More activities, then more clothes.  Some commented on their own capsule wardrobes.  Many commented that they let clothes go each season.  What I learned from my Facebook followers is that the number of clothes you need is not a constant and depends on what your activities are.


Here’s what a client and I did

How many clothes does a mom need? My client and I decided on an experiment. Our goal was to simplify her laundry. It had become overwhelming.  We took 5 (yes, just 5) of each item (shirts, pants, exercise, dresses, undies) in her closet to keep and placed the remainder in bags in her garage. Our experiment was to keep these bags in the garage for a month to see if she retrieved any clothes and how many she needed.  Here’s how we started. We went through her clothes piece by piece and place what we were keeping in a laundry basket. When we were complete, there were 2 baskets of clothes.  Immediately she felt relieved.  She had struggled with laundry for quite a while. Right away she knew she had plenty to wear and that everything she wore would fit and be what she loved.  She is enjoying the freedom from taking care of too many things. Then she did the same for her husband!

What’s the result of our experiment?

  • Less stress because of less laundry
  • Clothes are put away in closets and drawers
  • More time to play with her kiddos
  • Plenty to wear each day

When you think of how many clothes you need, drill down to what you need to wear and how many you need. It’s life changing!  Take home this experiment and see what you think is the number of clothes you need.


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Fresh Start Spring Organizing

fresh start spring organizing


With small green buds peeking out from the trees, or maybe just many feet of ice melting, spring is around the corner (thankfully.)  It’s been a long winter of nesting. We may be especially looking forward to the change of seasons.  We want to get started on our spring organizing.


“Reset” frequently used spots

It’s time to recheck those spaces that are frequently used in your home. Those spots are the landing strip and command center.  The landing strip is where all your bags and backpacks land each afternoon.  Get this area back into shape by distributing what needs to go elsewhere in your home.  Pull out the mittens, scarves and boots and place them back in closets for next year.  Your command center is paper central for all incoming papers.  Review what is there, recycle and shred what is not needed.


Closet renovation

Another season has passed and you know there are lots of unworn items in your closet.  Before you do your season switch out, get started by pulling out, donating and consigning unworn items.  It will make room for spring and summer, as well as help you lighten up your space.  If clothes have gotten out of whatever order and organization is best for you, go back in and realign.  You may find even more to eliminate after this is reorganized.


Linen reorganization

Spend a few minutes reviewing your linens. Do you have too many blankets and sheets for your needs?  Let go of extra blankets, pillows and older linens.  Take these out to donate and create space. Have towels that are ripped or not a color the coordinates?  Move these out to the garage for spills.     Fluff up your bed by switching out to lighter linens.  Let go of those extra decorative pillows (that you don’t place on your bed daily) and simplify your bedroom.


Fresh start your pantry

Spring and summer are about fresh veggies. Make room for this in your kitchen, refrigerator, freezer and pantry.  Go through and discard expired foods.  Set up spaces that are designated for categories of food, like breakfast, dinner and snacks, so you can easily plan and make meals.  Label your shelves for easy access and putting groceries away.  It’s a great way to welcome spring, improve your eating habits, and make wellness choices easy.

happy spring daffodils


Finish up your fresh start with a new plant or flowers in your kitchen.  It’s a lovely reward for your hard work!  A fresh start for your spring organizing is a great way to be ready for the season.


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Spring organizing to create a Capsule Wardrobe


capsule wardrobe

It’s not your typical wardrobe.  The concept of the capsule wardrobe was started in the 1970s as essential, traditional pieces that make up a complete wardrobe. It includes just a fraction of the items we have in our closets typically, but all the items we currently love!  With all the interest in minimalism and essentialism, is this the time for your spring organizing to focus on building a capsule wardrobe?

What items are included?

A capsule wardrobe includes a total of 40 items.  It includes tops, bottoms, dresses, jackets, sweaters and shoes.  Start with a color palette that you love. Build pieces that work together, that can be layered and that can be paired.  Add in accessories that add sparkle to your items. This includes scarves and jewelry.


Why organize to create a capsule wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe pulls together all the elements of simplicity. You can wear all of the clothes in your closet, rather than just the 20% we typically wear. You love all the clothes you have so you are energized and ready to go in the morning. You save money because there is no extra spending on sale items, items you purchase without a matching piece and no impulse purchases.  Most especially you have more outfits than you ever imagined.  Mixing and matching from your capsule wardrobe brings out creativity.

Pulling together your favorites

Get started with what you love already in your closet now. Pull items that work together.  Start discarding what still has tags and does not match your capsule wardrobe.  Enjoy your new attire!  Becoming more mindful of your purchases and making it easier to get ready in the morning are side benefits of this new adaptation of your closet.


More closet organizing ideas here!


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Spring Clean and Organize Your Closet

spring organizing

Our closets are our best friends and our worst enemies. Lurking in there are all sizes of clothes, keepsakes from our youth, elastic that has no elasticity and shoes that are completely fabulous but totally uncomfortable.  It’s time to get in gear and make closet decisions.  Use these tips to spring clean and organize your closet.



Evaluate then eliminate

A major source of closet problems is clothes clutter. By honestly evaluating the need and use of the items in your closet, you will find space galore! Place a sturdy handle bag in your closet to place clothes or items that are too old, too small or large, or just “not you” to donate to a worthy cause. Keep only what makes you look and feel fabulous.  Each time you take a blouse off a hanger and it does not work, place it in the bag! Think about what works together and if you have nothing that matches a certain piece. If you have professional wardrobe items, you can donate these to Dress for Success all year long. For tax donation values, use Its Deductible to create a tax deduction as well.  These lots of consignment as well in your neighborhood for trendy well cared for clothes.

Organize your space most effectively

Do you see white wall above, below or around the items in your closet? If so, there are many options to maximize the space in your closet. Double rods double your space! Use a shoe organizer to convert the back of your closet door to hidden extra space. It can be used for scarves, jewelry or other items.

Time to containerize

Looking for a certain pair of shoes? Are your scarves wadded up in a drawer, hard to find? Clear containers with labels are the way to go! Different shapes and sizes can be used to maximize your space.


Hangers, hangers everywhere

The first step to a more visually appealing closet is to use consistent hangers for your wardrobe. Available inexpensively, choose slim line hangers for those hard to hang items. You will find these hangers add uniformity and a visual sense of order. And remember, when you remove an item from the hanger, take the hanger off the shelf, and store it nearby for the garment to return!


Daily Routine

This is the Organized You – your evening routine to help you keep organized! Everyone needs a daily organization time, time to put away items and to get items prepared for the next day. Set up hooks over the door for those items that are not yet dirty enough to dry clean or launder.  When you put off organizing daily, it becomes a major chore.


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Hugs and happy organizing: Master Bedroom Closet

Hugs and happy organizing is all about sharing client success stories.  Here is a short story about master bedroom closet organizing. 


hugs and happy organizing master closet


Nothing’s more important to starting the day easily than organizing your master closet.  But it can be difficult to part with expensive clothes and shoes.   Sometimes we are completely overwhelmed with the task when working on our own.  Push through your resistance and start your closet organizing.

  • Start with the floor.  Keep only what makes you feel or look fabulous.  Bring in bags to drop items in to donate.  Keep items on hangers for consignment. Ask yourself, would you buy it again today?
  • Decisions about shoes depend on comfort and wear.  Well worn loved shoes and unworn uncomfortable shoes should be the first to go.
  • Group items by category, either by color, size, style or where it’s worn.  Set up an area for clothes that are not too dirty but have been worn once or twice.  Have a routine for rewearing or hanging these back.
  • Your closet looks best with consistent hangers (affiliate link).  Whether it’s slim line or white tube hangers, your clothes pop when everything hangs at the same height and one color hanger.
  • Choose a shoe organizing product that works with the space you have.  The product should be able to house all the shoes you have currently.
  • Set up a laundry routine that works with your newly organized space.  Doing laundry more frequently is easier with smaller loads. You can complete the laundry cycle in a shorter time frame too.


Hugs and happy organizing is all about client success stories. Here you will find a craft and sewing room organizing success story. – See more at:

Find more Hugs and Happy Organizing stories on pinterest!

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Hugs and Happy Organizing: Pantry Organizing

Hugs and happy organizing is all about client success stories. Here you will find a pantry organizing success story.



hugs and happy organizing pantry

Families, family dinners, family holidays all focus on the pantry!  Is you pantry chaotic? Is it a jungle of different cans, granola bars and seldom used mixes? Difficult to know what to make for dinner? It’s time to organize your pantry to make your life and your family meal times easier.

  • Remove all the items from the pantry, tossing what is expired.  Everyone has their own opinion of “expired”. Decide on yours and follow through on it.
  • Group the items together by use and like the grocery store. Typical categories include baking, breakfast, canned veggies, canned meats, beverages, pastas, rice, snacks and condiments.
  • Use plastic bins to help group items together and take advantage of deep shelves.  Bins help you “reach” to the back of a deep area.  Place a front and a back bin so you can move the front bin and reach the back bin.
  • Remove snack items from boxes for easier access for your kids.  Place these bins on a low shelf for easy access for the kids too.
  • Label the bins so everyone knows where items belong.
  • Place items into your pantry by use. The more frequently used items should be stored near the entry.  Extra storage of bulk purchases should be in the back and at a lower level.
  • Keep the floor clear.  Just like a closet, blocked access creates disorganization.

Keep a grocery list dry erase board easy to access in the pantry. Family can add to the list and it’s easier to grocery shop too.

More Hugs and Happy Organizing success stories on pinterest.

Want to rethink the gift giving? Clutter free gifts make the difference! Join me on pinterest for Happy Holidays.

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Spring Organizing: Its the Little Things: Your Purse

Spring organizing is all about the little things. Organizing your purse can be the biggest little organizing you can do.  Click on this video to see how I organize my purse.

Click and Ellen shares how she organized her purse.

Ready to start your spring organizing?

Spring Cleaning and Organizing: Guest Post by Katie McCall

 I love learning other’s perspectives on organizing. Enjoy this guest post by ABC13 Weekend Anchor Katie McCall and her “take” on organizing. 

I came up with this blog while jogging at Memorial Park.  I love the fact that the park belongs to everyone.  You don’t need a membership.  Organizing is the same in that regard.  It is also a great “equalizer.”  Anyone can organize.  It doesn’t matter if you have 2 pairs of shoes or 20.  You can organize anything you have.  It costs you nothing, and, if you do purchase organizing items, there are very affordable ones, at places like Target, T.J. Maxx, and Marshalls Home Goods.  Organizing is universal.     

At the start of each season, I like to shift my clothing and shoes around, placing my most-worn items in one closet, and organizing the winter items for storage in a less-accessible place.   I ask myself helpful questions that Ellen Delap has taught to so many people:  Do I have a place for this?  How is that space working for these items?  If you can give everything a place, you are giving yourself a wonderful gift.  You won’t have to worry about “where to stick” your sweaters, for example, because you’ve identified a place where they will live, so you can always find them there.  I also love Ellen’s concept of honoring your things by giving them a place.  When you complete your organizing, you receive a no-cost gift to you, from you: the serenity of having a place for everything, and everything in its place.     

Tools that I enjoy are cheap, for the most part.  I like to use clear shoe boxes, or the box in which my shoes came, to get the most use of my vertical space.  I recommend stacking your shoes along one wall, or placing shelves from the floor to the ceiling in any area that works for you, and making that your shoes’ home.

Sweaters are a challenge, so I keep all of them, regardless of the season, in one chest of drawers.  All of my blazers go together, they are neighbors with my skirts.  I put pants and dresses together, one on either side of a closet.  You can improvise with portable racks, if your closets are small.   The Container Store and Target sell accessories that can give you more space, but are attractive. 

The bathroom closet and the cabinets under the sink can be a challenge.  So is the linen closet.  Here’s my simple solution for both areas.  Group things by category.  Grab some plastic bins or baskets that fit in that space (it helps to measure before you shop), and put everything that “goes together,” in a bin.  Example: pillow cases are in one bin, sheets are in another.  Sunscreen is in one bin, soaps and scrubs are in another.  Razors, replacement blades, pedicure and manicure tools all “live” together.  This can be done in 20 minutes per area.  You’ll never dig around in the darkness.  You just pull out a bin. 

Finally, a word about “white space.”  Ellen uses this word, and I love it.  By organizing your papers, filing them in filing cabinets by category, and by giving things like magazines an attractive basket or bin that you can also display on your shelves, you can significantly increase your “white space.”  It’s the space where there is nothing.  I find that it brings serenity and order to any area.  What a great gift! You might be surprised to see how organizing, which many people think of as “work,” can actually be fun, if you think of it as a time when you’re creating a space that you will enjoy for years to come.