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The Most Shocking Statistics On The Effects Of Clutter


Headshot and title for Lisa Kaplan, a Professional Organizer in South Florida and the Founder of Your Pro Organizer.


Could you be better organized? Do you have too much “stuff?” According to these surprising statistics, you are not alone. Here are some of our top finds on the shocking ways clutter is unnecessarily draining us of our time, space, money, and health…and what we can do about it.

 

Time Wasted

  • The average American wastes 55 minutes a day looking for things they know they own but cannot find. That’s about 12 days a year! –Newsweek

Compromised Health

  • A recent study confirms the direct correlation between a woman’s cortisol (stress) levels and the density of household objects. -UCLA

The Physical Burden

  • It is estimated that getting rid of clutter would eliminate 40% of the housework in the average home. –National Soap & Detergent Association
  • We wear 20% of the clothes we own 80% of the time. The rest just takes up valuable space. –NAPO
  • 25% of homeowners polled with two-car garages fill them with so much stuff they can’t even park one car inside. 32% can fit one, but not two. –U.S. Department of Energy
  • 80% of the things we keep we never use.  –NAPO

Papers, Papers, And More Papers!

  • Surprisingly, the use of office paper has tripled since the birth of the computer. –Organized World
  • 23% of adults pay bills late and incur late fees because they can’t find their bills. Harris Interactive
  • The average American receives 49,060 pieces of mail in their lifetime; 1/3 of it is junk mail. –NAPO
  • The average executive wastes a total of six weeks each year searching for important documents lost in among the clutter. –Wall Street Journal
  • Every day Americans buy 62 million newspapers and throw out 44 million. That’s the equivalent of dumping 500,000 trees into a landfill every weekColorado.edu

Who Cares?

Your Pro Organizer is dedicated to changing the current clutter mentality. The first step in breaking free from these statistics is the desire to live a happier healthier life by creating a mindful relationship with your surroundings. Looking for a more organized and streamlined home or office? We are here to help you “discover a life uncluttered.”

Could Minimalism Be Right For You?


Headshot and title for Lisa Kaplan, a Professional Organizer in South Florida and the Founder of Your Pro Organizer.


Minimalism, the concept wherein everything is stripped down to its essential quality to achieve simplicity.

What began decades ago as an artistic movement has more recently spread across our culture like a wildfire. Businesses are adopting minimalist design in their logos, young professionals are moving into tiny homes, and families across the nation are even taking the leap and pairing down. I know, I know, you’re thinking, “listen, I’m no hippie…I love my things and I don’t plan on getting rid of anything because of some trend.”

While minimalism is an effective lifestyle choice for some, it isn’t “for” everyone. A great way to know for sure? Peruse through our list below, and if you find yourself wondering, “what if?” a lifestyle transformation is easier than you may think.

1. You HATE Cleaning

Most people enjoy a freshly cleaned space. No dirt, grime or clutter…it’s wonderful. Well, if you are someone who enjoys the actual process of rearranging tchotchkes to dust, picking up toys before mopping or general tidying up, minimalism may not be right for you. Having less means you spend less time decluttering and cleaning the things in your space, and more time on, well…anything else.

2. You’d Like To Start A New Hobby

There is a saying, “the thing’s you own end up owning you.” This is 100% true. Organizing, cleaning, repairing, replacing, purchasing. Everything we own takes some level of commitment. Some of these items are never really used, yet their storage and maintenance takes time. Time that could be spent doing something fun. Now if you are one of those people who would rather spend a beautiful weekend at home re-arranging your closets instead of visiting friends or taking a trip, minimalism may not be right for you.

3. You’re Constantly Searching For Things

Most people I speak to about minimalism are under the impression that it means living in a home with one chair, one table, one pencil and so on. This is not the case! Being a minimalist does not come with a rule book, but rather a lens to look through asking, “is this item/action truly, beneficial to my life?” Naturally, if you are able to ask this question to each of your possessions you will find items you own that neither bring joy or usefulness to your life, and as a minimalist you would have no qualms getting rid of them. If you are however someone who likes to sift through piles of paperwork, rake through clothing to find the piece you want, or shuffle dishes to get to your favorite platter, the “minimalist lens” might just remove those joys from your life.

4. You Are Looking For A Real Lifestyle Change

Minimalism has a way of spreading to all aspects of life for those who pursue it. This means that once you adopt the lifestyle to your surroundings, you may find the same concepts creeping into your mental and even physical states. Minimalism is, in many ways, about applying the minimal effective dose to achieve a desired result. Having excess weight is usually a sign that your intake is greater than your exertion. Ergo, a true minimalist lifestyle could be the cause for you achieving and maintaining your body-type’s healthiest balance.

5. The Environment Is Important To You

Simply stated, having less means you have less of an impact on the environment. When you buy less you waste and dispose of less. People who adopt a minimalist lifestyle drastically shrink their ecological footprint, leaving less stress on our environment.

6. You Could Use A Little Free Time

Imagine it’s Saturday morning, you wake up and the weekend is ahead of you. The first thing you do is think of everything you need to get done around the house before work on Monday. Cleaning the garage, dusting, tidying up your daughter’s room, answering emails. This mental clutter fuels some of us into action, while bogging others down. It is important to stay busy, but lacking control of what is keeping you busy is what minimalism helps combat. It removes the aspects of your life that take up time unnecessarily, freeing you up for what you would rather be spending your time on.

7. You Enjoy Embarking On Experiences, But Can’t Seem To Find The Cash

When you decide to spend your hard earned money, it makes sense to spend wisely on something that lasts. Possessions are tangible. You can see the thread-work on a shirt and the design of a vase along with the price on their tags to determine the value. Experiences are wildly intangible, and affect different people in different ways. So what lasts longer, a possession and the initial excitement it brings or an experience and its effect on your life?

8. You Constantly Wonder If There’s An Easier Way

Minimalism allows people to practice mindful control of their possessions. This begins by combing through and decisively making what is sometimes a difficult decision regarding what stays and what goes. Being able to cut through the emotional clutter and then to maintain the same mental framework moving forward doesn’t always come naturally, but it can be learned. Minimalists practice until they ultimately become master decision-makers without a hint of indecision.

Much like the termfeminist the term “minimalist” is often misunderstood as an extreme viewpoint or lifestyle choice. Minimalism does not mean living without the things you love, it simply requires you to do a little soul searching to find the truth about what is most important to you, then determine the possessions and actions you need to fulfill that truth. It allows you to veer from the masses and experience the lifestyle you crave instead of the consumeristic one promoted by our culture. Once you determine that a simpler more streamlined life is right for you, moving forward becomes of utmost importance. YPO specialists are trained to guide you through your journey toward a more simplified life, and can begin the process as early as today.


**Minimalism is different for each of us, but the principles remain steady. If you are interested in simplifying your life our organization specialists are ready to help. Call 954-406-6002 or email info@yourproorganizer.com for your complimentary consultation.**

your pro organizer is a hands-on organizing firm specializing in helping you get and STAY organized. We bring efficiency, style and peace to our clients spaces so they can concentrate on the more important things in life.

5 Steps To A Totally Transformed Closet


Headshot and title for Lisa Kaplan, a Professional Organizer in South Florida and the Founder of Your Pro Organizer.


Welcome back! Last December we posted on a topic that most of our clients struggle with. Streamlining their wardrobe so that every piece they own is one they love and use. If you haven’t yet read it, drop everything and sneak a peak at “The Wardrobe Cleanse That Works!” You can only achieve the TRUE results after both steps are complete, so don’t miss out!

Now that you have trimmed the fat and you are living with your most favorite pieces it’s time to get the “magazine worthy” closet you always dreamed of. Here are our expert tips to creating picture perfection in your formerly cluttered closet.

1. Arrange By Type And Color

Skirts go with skirts, shirts with shirts, etc. Once this is done, color coding within these sections (white, black, then following the ROYGBIV rainbow guide) will not only look incredible, it will help you find pieces more easily.

2. Coordinate Your Hangers

This might seem like an unnecessary extra step. After all, we are talking about getting your clothing in order. As long as it’s hanging it should be fine right? Keeping clothing on the same style hanger not only frees up space, but it gives your closet a uniform look. It also places each piece on a “level playing field” which will help you spot the items that are no longer relevant to you in the future.

3. Label It!

Depending on how thoroughly you previously sorted, you may have just the right amount of clothing to fit comfortably in your space, or you may not. If it’s still a tight squeeze, you might consider investing in some clothing rod dividers. These dividers allow you to create visibly defined sections based on the types of clothing you have. This is also a great option if you have someone else using the space like a housekeeper or a partner who is helping with the laundry.

4. Containerize Folded Clothing

As a professional organizer, folded clothing kept outside a drawer is a personal nightmare. Sure, if you spend the time folding everything uniformly and stacking it by type and color it can give your closet that “department store” feeling…at least until the next time you need a piece of clothing. As soon as you need to get to something, these stacks become a jumbled mess of toppled-over piles of clothing shoved on a shelf. A chest of drawers is ideal for folded clothing. If yours is full or you don’t have one at all, consider adding baskets to an open shelf. It is a great way to contain folded items, giving you a uniform look and separation between types of clothing. Technique: Clothing should be folded as compact as the piece will permit. This allows it to stand upward in your drawer (or basket) so that you can arrange in rows rather than stacked one on top of another.

5. Solve It With Shelving

Utilize shelving for lesser used accessories or bulky seasonal items. I generally do not like to separate clothing by season, but some of the more cumbersome items like ski jackets and snow boots are appropriate pieces to containerize and place “up.” Accessories like purses and hats are also great items to shelve. To keep your shelves looking their best, label just underneath each item and make sure there is space between sections so getting to whatever you need is simple and effortless.


**If you are interested in saving time and streamlining the process by working with an organization specialist, call 954-406-6002 or email info@yourproorganizer.com for your complimentary consultation.**

your pro organizer is a hands-on organizing firm specializing in helping you get and STAY organized. We bring efficiency, style and peace to our clients spaces so they can concentrate on the more important things in life.

Young handsome man keeping hand on chin and looking away while sitting in the chair against illustration of an organized closet in the background

The Wardrobe Cleanse That Works!


Headshot and title for Lisa Kaplan, a Professional Organizer in South Florida and the Founder of Your Pro Organizer.


Welcome to the YPO blog. Built by organization specialists, read by anyone looking for more time, space and simplicity, and focused on uncovering the CORE of simplified living. I have decided to focus part one of this two-part remedy on the one thing that allows us to express ourselves before we even open our mouth. Our style!

The suit you wore to that office holiday party the year you were let go, the designer dress you got at a sample sale in Chelsea but never wore, then there is the clothing you constantly gloss over while searching for something to wear. All of this has a psychological impact that has likely been piling up in your closet and your mind for years. It is time to wipe the slate clean by making mindful decisions on what we have in our closets and why. Just like a body cleanse, a “wardrobe cleanse” will help trim the fat, allowing you to showcase the “you” you want to be. Our team of organizers has complied some of their favorite tips to help you develop the wardrobe of your dreams without purchasing a single thing. So take a day (or two) grab our checklist (or an organization specialist) and get started!

1. Remove The Tragic

Do a once over of all your clothing, remove anything damaged beyond repair and set aside items that need tailoring in a special pile near the front door. Have you had these damaged items for a long time? Set a deadline for yourself on when they must be fixed and stick to it. If you pass the deadline and your clothing remains un-mended, it’s probably time to let it go.

2. Find Fit and Function

Most of us have a few items that used to be real go-to pieces, but that have not fit or been practical for quite some time. Run through your clothing once more, no need to try anything on just yet, this step is to get rid of the pieces you already know are there. Ask yourself…Does it fit? (physically or lifestyle-wise). How long has it been since it’s fit? Will it ever fit? Be realistic with your answer. It may be hard to get rid of your favorite halter top from 1997, but the fact is it is no longer contributing to your happiness and probably hasn’t for some time now.

3. But It’s Brand Spankin’ New(ish)!

Most of us are guilty of having one or more pieces of clothing that went straight from the store to our closet and never again saw the light of day. Maybe it was an amazing sale, the (gasp) last one on the rack, or an item purchased for a special occasion that was never used. Whatever the reason, if it has been more than six months and you have not yet worn it…it is most likely time to let go. Having trouble parting? Consider gifting the piece to a friend. Just because you can not find a use for it does not mean it shouldn’t be enjoyed.

4. Revamping Your “Cozies” 

Now this is something we ALL have. The clothing we wear around the house. Super comfy, but often downright terrifying. The public sees the polished put together us, but as soon as that front door closes we cover ourselves in over-sized shirts, worn out and saggy pants, maybe even a sock with a hole. It’s kind of like that ‘laundry day underwear’ you own, “hey, nobody sees it but me right?” While that is true it’s also true that what you wear has a profound effect on how you see yourself. If you start the day (or evening) in your movie marathon sweats, how likely are you to interact with the outside world, leave the house, heck, even finish that work report? Put your best foot forward at home by removing those pieces of worn out and tired clothing. This will allow you to find and wear the pieces that are comfortable and make you feel great. So say goodbye to those sweatpants from three boyfriends past and slip into something a little more luxurious like those silk pajama bottoms you got last Christmas.

5. Nix Negative Association

This can be many things to many people. Maybe it is the blouse you wore the day you crashed your car, maybe it’s the section of “I know I will fit back into this one day” clothing. Whatever this category means to you, the most important thing to consider about the clothing we keep is that it should make us feel good, both to look at and to wear. It might be a beautiful blouse, but if it brings up that negative memory every time you see it…you are better off without it.

6. Dump The Doubles

We all have a style. Sometimes our style is ingrained in the latest fashions, sometimes it is more home-grown. Either way, it’s likely that somewhere in our closet there is at least one piece that is almost identical to another (think that blue flower print dress that has a blue-green cousin). Now unless you have adopted the Steve Jobs wardrobe, the duplicates of our favorite pieces, and there is always a favorite, rarely get worn. Lay out the items that are noticeably similar and eliminate the runners up keeping only those go-to pieces. This will free up space and make your daily routine much simpler.

7. The Fool-Proof Fix

Now maybe you have just gone through the first six steps and you are feeling great! There are piles of clothing for donation on their way out and your closet is fresh, light, and everything is easily visible. Yes, it’s possible, but more than likely there is still a lot left. This is after all a process…clothing is an intimately personal possession and not cheap to replace! Our last trick takes longer than 1-2 days, but is a fool-proof way to uncover what you really are or are not wearing. Start by removing all of the hanging clothing from your closet and re-hang it, facing the hooks towards you (the “wrong way”). Now whenever you wear something, put it back the right way. In six months, any items still facing the wrong way (excluding any formal or specialty pieces) are items you are clearly not wearing that are safe to let go.

Understanding the “why” behind what we own is a process that requires some introspection. It may not be quick, it may not be easy, but by starting you have taken the first step towards discovering your very own possession-connection. What you do with this knowledge from here is up to you, but we hope that your journey uncovers a more peaceful and fulfilling way of life.


**If you are interested in saving time and streamlining the process by working with an organization specialist, call 954-406-6002 or email info@yourproorganizer.com for your complimentary consultation.**

your pro organizer is a hands-on organizing firm specializing in helping you get and STAY organized. We bring efficiency, style and peace to our clients spaces so they can concentrate on the more important things in life.

boy child sitting on top of a toy motorcycle looking at his play room full of toys

What To Do With ALL Those Toys: A Holiday Tradition


Headshot and title for Lisa Kaplan, a Professional Organizer in South Florida and the Founder of Your Pro Organizer.


The holidays are here! Pumpkin spice lattes, friends and family, celebratory dinners, festive decorations, breaking out the fall/winter clothing…I LOVE this season. It’s the time of year where we can all come together, slow down a bit, and remember how grateful we are for the lives we have.

One of my personal favorite memories growing up happened every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. From as early on as I can remember, my parents and I piled into their car, drove to Toys”R”Us and went on a blow-out shopping spree. Barbies, toy cars, board games, stuffed animals, baseball bats, arts and crafts, you name it…we loaded our cart to the brim. Each year I got to pick out all the coolest toys I could find. I was in heaven! You would think this would be a kid’s wildest dream, but it wasn’t even the best part. Our next stop…Kids In Distress.

My parents made it a point to instill in me from very early on the importance of helping those who are less fortunate. I knew getting into that car that our shopping spree would end with giving up everything we had just bought. Now, I was still a kid so sometimes I experienced a little “gift envy” in the moment but when the day was over, giving it all to children who did not get to experience the holidays (or every day) like I did gave me a feeling that no toy ever could. We were giving, but we were given something more. My family and I were able to influence and make a change in other kid’s lives. Kids who deserved to love this season, to feel excited and cheerful and included. Growing up, we do not always remember the lessons taught to us, but this one has always stuck with me.

This time of year as we make our way through the holidays and into the new year, it is hard not to think about our own fortune. As a professional organizer I often meet parents who are able and willing to give their children anything and everything their heart desires, which puts these families in a very advantageous position. Not only can these children grow up not wanting for anything, with the best toys, supplies and gadgets at their fingertips, but they could be given something even more valuable…the ability to experience the gift of charity. Sometimes we do not realize how much we actually have until we take a closer look around at the “things” that have accumulated over the years. Luckily this time of year brings awareness on many levels, opening our eyes to areas where we may be lacking and those where there’s excess. Think about it, how often do we look around and say, “Wow, when’s the last time I/he/she used this?”

I propose we make a change this holiday season, by starting a tradition that will free up space in our home and more importantly leave a lasting impression on our heart. Take some time this holiday season to go through an area (or areas) of your home with your children and truly consider who would get the best use out of the toys and items you come across. Be truthful with yourselves. Is it there because you need it or just because you acquired it? Your children might have toys from birthdays past that they haven’t taken a second glance at, your husband or wife might have gadgets of their own they no longer (or never even) use. I challenge you during this search to keep in play the new or “like new” items, not just the old outdated pieces. Consider the new homes these possessions might find, and the joy you could bring to someone else by letting go. It might not be as apparent in the moment, but this is one of the best gifts your family will receive all year.

Throughout the year, I work with families who are overwhelmed with the amount of toys and “things” that have accumulated in their home. They are blessed with the ability to buy or with loved ones who are able to gift them some wonderful pieces, but they have yet to find the right way to cycle these items in and out of their space. Generally after working with us, clients discover anywhere from a few small pieces to several large bags of items that they no longer need. This season I hope that we can take an even closer look at our lives and spaces to make decisions on what really matters. Remove the stress of items we do not need, and replace it with humility, empathy, and charitable giving. Whether brand new, like-new, or gently used, consider creating a family tradition of your own by donating to your local charity and spreading joy this holiday season. You will not regret it.

The team at your pro organizer is committed to helping others year-round, especially during the holiday season. If you would like to make a change in your own space and in someone else’s life through the gift of charity please give us a call to us at 954-406-6002 or email info@yourproorganizer.com.


your pro organizer is a hands-on organizing firm specializing in helping you get and STAY organized. We bring efficiency, style and peace to our clients spaces so they can concentrate on the more important things in life.

A young family in a tidy home sitting down together for a meal

Your Neighbor’s Tidy Little Secret: Eight Reasons To Hire A Professional Organizer



Organizing is a trend that is sweeping the nation. From the success of Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up to the countless segments, articles, and products geared towards organizing our lives, it is safe to say…America is obsessed! One of my favorite quotes states it perfectly,”being organized is being in control” and who doesn’t want that?!? But you may ask, “with all of the books, blogs, and products out there…shouldn’t I be able to organize on my own?” Unfortunately it is not always that simple. In steps…the professional organizer.

A professional organizer is someone who is trained in the most effective methods of organization and knows how to implement these plans into your space. They have the knowledge and experience working with clients on a range of projects, from corporate offices to residential spaces and lifestyle projects, and they bring their expertise straight to your door. Just like you might hire a personal trainer to get in shape, a tutor to help your child get through a tough subject in school, or an interior designer to provide the layout for your new kitchen, a professional organizer is trained in the art of organizing. Working with you to learn how you live and how you dream of existing in your space in order to get you where you want to be.

With all of the information and products geared towards helping people get organized, the quickest and most effective method by far is working with a professional. With years of industry experience, our pro organizers have compiled some of the top reasons their clients have jumped on the professional organizer bandwagon.

 

1. Clutter Is More Common Than You Think

Think about it. Most of us juggle work, family, friends, chores and any extra “me” time we can squeeze in every day. So when it comes to organizing…we just can’t find the time or motivation. Just like a personal trainer a professional organizer acts as a coach. Someone to not only jump start the process, but to set you up for future success.

 

2. Physical And Emotional Clutter Is Overwhelming

Everyone has that space in their home, whether it is a drawer, a closet, a room, or a majority of the house. It is the place we keep things we don’t know where else to put, the room we leave our family’s or personal memorabilia, that space we dump life’s “seasonal” items. Going through components of our past can be both physically and mentally daunting. These elements have piled up for a reason, and the thought of tackling them alone…inconceivable. Professional organizers are sensitive to this and use an unbiased approach, not to mention another set of hands, while work with you on tackling those tough spaces. You have a goal, and we are here to help you achieve it.

 

3. Cleaning And Organizing Are Very Different

Cleaning keeps your home dirt, dust and grime free. Organizing is what allows you and your family to easily find and use the items you own. Hate cleaning in general? Well, maintaining an organized space also allows for more easy and effective cleaning. If there is a “home” for everything there is little room for clutter, and cleaning becomes a breeze.

 

4. A Blog Or A Book Cannot Predict YOUR Unique Situation

Blogs and books on organizing are a great source of inspiration. They may even help you stay organized once you have a system in place, but often times reading an article on “keeping a tidy closet” will not provide you the step by step guidance on your specific project. In our experience the benefit clients take away from working alongside a pro far exceeds the time and money spent trying to do it on their own. Remember, a professional organizer is an expert in strategy and the best available products on the market. They are a one-stop-shop for getting your space in tip-top shape.

 

5. The Daunting Task Of Paperwork

In the digital age, we have much less use for actual paper documents than in years past, yet the majority of Americans just don’t know where or how to begin the process of organizing their paperwork. Often times it seems easier to just “put it in a file” than to think about it, which leads to overcrowded filing cabinets and desks, misplaced information, and overall stress. Professional organizers are trained to spot and sort the documents you actually need, indicate what is OK to get rid of, and even help you go digital.

 

6. Creating Space Where There Is None

Life changes often bring about new and sometimes unexpected additions. A baby, an aging parent moving in, Thanksgiving dinner for 30…these are all additions to your home which might already be packed to the brim. Professional organizers are spacial experts trained to help you create space where needed by rearranging certain areas and helping you determine how to live a full and complete life in the space you already have.

 

7. The Stress of Moving

You just got the keys to your new place! Such an exciting moment followed by what is considered one of the most stressful times of anyone’s life…moving. An upheaval of all of your possessions and their transfer to your new home. Not to mention the unpacking! While movers may bring your belongings from one place to another the way your home is packed and unpacked sets the tone for the ease of the move. Professional organizers work with clients during their move to make sure they get a fresh and stress-free start in their new home.

 

8. Ambition With Lack Of Expertise

OK, so you’ve taken three days off work, read all of your favorite organization blogs, spent a pretty penny at The Container Store, and you’re ready to organize! You are motivated and you start right in the center of it. Six hours later you look around, and it seems you have barely made a dent. Also, where did you put that photo box? Often times the idea of organizing seems doable until we are in the midst of it. Some of us are musically gifted, others thrive in math and sciences, professional organizers are not only trained but have a mind for organization. This is an instinct that does not come naturally to everyone and cannot always be taught. Hiring a professional organizer provides you access to someone who is a master of their craft and who will help transfer their expertise to your project creating a customized space that works perfectly for you.


**If you are interested in saving time and streamlining the process by working with an organization specialist, call 954-406-6002 or email info@yourproorganizer.com for your complimentary consultation.**

your pro organizer is a hands-on organizing firm specializing in helping you get and STAY organized. We bring efficiency, style and peace to our clients spaces so they can concentrate on the more important things in life.