We caught up with professional organizer, Jeffrey Phillip to get some insight on keeping your home organized. It can be hard to get things in order, especially when moving into a new home. See Jeffrey’s tips on how to get started. What is your top must-have organizational product or tip? There’s so many that I use all the time! The most widely used thing that I have is my label maker. I hate to say that because it sounds so trite but it really is! It identifies things and gives them a home so clients are able to remember and understand where each item goes. If you have an item and it doesn’t have a specific place to go, you’re often going to put it wherever there’s open space. When something is labeled, clients are usually more inclined to put things back where they should be. What tips can you give families to keep kids rooms organized? One of the big things you want to consider is not putting things in closed containers. When things have open containers, children are much more apt to put their items away. If there are lids that go on bins and they’re stacked, it makes it more difficult for children to clean up. Consider open shelving and open baskets that go in the shelving so everything is easily accessible and easy to put away. Labeling isn’t really practical for children because they can’t read yet. Using visual labels is something that I like to use. It’s easier for the kids to identify what goes where. There will be a bin with pictures of trucks for their toy trucks, a picture of blocks for their blocks and so on. Organizing an entire home can be a daunting task. Where do you recommend starting and how to you prioritize what to tackle first? Where I usually start is the kitchen. It’s where you go back to every single day and helps you get out the door, it’s where you function from. The next spot I jump to is the closets. Master closets or whichever need the most help. We’ll work with whatever the clients needs are. In order to approach it, you really need to look at it as one tiny project at a time. If you look at the overall task, it can be overwhelming. It’s really about looking at small, tiny projects and taking those baby steps to get everything done. You talk a lot about the importance of de-cluttering, especially when moving into a new home. How do you decide what to keep and what to toss? There are lots of rules that have been published like if you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it. While I use those as guidelines, I don’t believe they are rules that everyone needs to abide by. There are certain things that you may not have worn in a year, but they’re still classic items, they’re still in style and they still fit you. Many things have to be taken into consideration when you’re de-cluttering so I don’t really have a specific formula for telling someone what to keep. It’s really a personal thing that I work with my clients on. It depends on their lifestyle, what they want and need. Even after spending lots of time organizing, it’s easy to let your old messy habits come back to the forefront. How do you maintain an organized lifestyle long-term? Scheduling time for maintenance and discipline. I always tell my clients that I can come in and organize but if you don’t have discipline or some sort of maintenance program on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, it’s just going to continue to unravel. It can be as simple as 10 minutes in the morning, ten minutes minutes at night to run through the house and clean up. Even if you get to the point where it gets out of hand, you put the time in on the weekend and get it all back in check. It’s one of the most important things you can do – schedule time for maintenance and stick to it so you have everything you need for the next day or the next week. To learn more about Jeffrey Phillip’s services, please visit www.jeffreyphillip.com. And stay tuned for part two of our interview with Jeffrey!