I like to think of myself as “Type A Minus.” At work, I’m hyper-organized, with multiple to-do lists, calendar reminders and extensive filing systems. But when it comes to my apartment, sh*t hits the fan. Especially in my closet.

As a fashion and style editor living in New York City for the past eight years, I grew accustomed to living with lots of clothes and no space. When I finally moved into a bigger apartment last year with a real closet and two dressers, things got worse. Having one whole drawer to dedicate to bras and underwear felt like a dream, until I realized it always looked a clustered mess.

More space inevitably led to more mess.
Every few months I would lose my mind trying to organize — folding clothes and arranging all the stuff on my desk into arbitrary, albeit pretty, piles. It was only a matter of days before my drawers were in shambles and my desk looked like it was hit by a tornado. A few weeks ago, I needed to leave for a trip but I couldn’t find my passport, a bathing suit or any of the sunscreens from my extensive collection. It was time to get organized.

I called in an expert.

Hiring a professional organizer is not cheap, but it comes down to how much you want the help. Charges range from $40-100 per hour, which seem to be an industry standard. While the rate can be pricey, customers can tailor the experience to match their needs and their budgets. It’s not uncommon for a professional organizer to spend an hour with a client, recommend solutions, and later return to give additional feedback. Other times, organize everything from top to bottom and redesign a space.

Professional organizers will:
1. Evaluate and measure the room or space you want help with. You will be asked how you use the space, most likely your answer will be: not that well.
2. Be given recommendations of ways in which the space can be rearranged based on the furniture/items you have, items which could be purchased to create storage solutions, items that are not benefiting the space and can be donated/sold/disposed of.

Organizing Session 1: Keep, toss and donate.
The process can be tough, but it can force you to get rid of things you don’t need. The best part is going through everything in the room and discovering items you have forgotten existed.

Organizing Session 2: Put like items with like items, then beautify!
Apparently, stacking your footwear one on top of the other and creating a massive pile on your closet floor is not the way you should be storing your shoes. You should leave the floor of your closet empty to allow accessing the space more easily. Using shoe cubbies, racks or a wall rack inside the closet for sneakers and sandals, ensures everything isn’t crammed into the one spot.
Moving jeans from hangers to drawers, tights from nightstand into a small storage bin inside the closet, re-arranging tops in my armoire, long dresses and pants into the closet, and adding hooks throughout the space were just some of the solutions that made my space functional and helped with overcrowding.
A filing cabinet was suggested to deal with my stacks of paper and important documents that were spread throughout my closest and on my desk.
Overall the process was cathartic. I felt good about giving away garbage bags full of items that were just taking up space and finally organizing my room in a smart, systematic way. Professional organizers approach is function above all else and making sure that all the organizational systems that are put in place were ones you can keep up on your own.

I would have never been able to organize my room as efficiently or effectively without the help of a professional organizer, and I certainly wouldn’t have thought of all the storage solutions that were set up. Don’t continue to live in regret like I do, ask for help and book a professional today. Clearly, I needed help. By Michelle Persad

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