11 Secrets from Professional Organizers

11 Secrets from Professional Organizers

By: Eric Mees


June 5, 2023

Professional organizers are experts in making the most out of any space, big or small. They have an eye for detail and a knack for decluttering even the messiest of spaces. Whether it’s your closet, kitchen or home office, professional organizers know how to make everything look organized and tidy. But what exactly are their secrets? Here are 11 insider tips from professional organizers that will help you transform your space into a clutter-free oasis.

1. Start with a plan: Before you begin organizing, make a plan for each space you want to tackle.

This includes setting goals, determining what items you want to keep and what can be discarded or donated, and creating a timeline for completing your organizing project. Having a plan will help you stay focused and motivated throughout the organizing process.

Pro tip: Judi the Organizer explains How I plan Organizing Sessions as a Professional Organizer on her YouTube Channel.

2. Declutter first: Get rid of anything you don’t need or use before organizing what’s left.

When decluttering, professional organizers recommend sorting items into piles of keep, donate, sell or discard. Unwanted items that are still in good condition can be donated to local charities or sold online. For items that are damaged or beyond repair, it’s best to recycle or dispose of them responsibly. Professional organizers also suggest setting a deadline for getting rid of unwanted items to prevent them from taking up space again. Donating or discarding unneeded possessions not only frees up physical space but can also help clear mental clutter and reduce stress.

Pro tip: Aren’t sure about what to do with some items? Professional organizer and TV reality star Marie Kondo recommends, “Ask Yourself If It Sparks Joy” when deciding to keep or get rid of items. If you’re not sure, consider a storage unit (more on this later).

3. Group like items together: Organize similar items in the same area or container to make finding things easier.

One of the key secrets of professional organizers is to group similar items together when organizing a space. This means grouping clothing by type or color, storing all kitchen utensils in one drawer or container, and keeping office supplies organized by category. By doing this, it becomes easier to find what you need when you need it, saving time and reducing frustration. Additionally, grouping like items together also helps create a sense of order and structure within a space, making it more visually appealing and calming.

Pro tip: If you’re reading between the lines, that means no more junk drawer! Here’s Ashley Abramson’s article, Here’s Why (and How) to Get Rid of Your Junk Drawer, at Apartment Therapy.

4. Use vertical space: Maximize your storage by using shelves, hooks and other vertical spaces.

Many professional organizers will recommend using vertical space in any room. This means utilizing shelves, hooks and other wall-mounted storage systems to maximize storage capacity while keeping items easily accessible. For example, you can install floating shelves in your kitchen to store spices or coffee mugs, hang a pegboard in your garage for tools and equipment, or use over-the-door organizers in your closet for shoes or accessories. By using vertical space effectively, you can free up valuable floor space while keeping everything organized and within reach.

Pro tip: Some of the best vertical space usages can be found on Abby Lawson’s blog, 20+ Vertical Storage Solutions to Organize Your Whole House.

5. Label everything: Labels help keep items organized and make it easy to find what you need.

Labeling items is a crucial step in staying organized. Use labels to identify what’s inside boxes, containers and drawers. Labels can also be helpful when sorting items into different categories or zones within a space. Make sure to use clear and concise labels that are easy to read and understand. You can use labeling systems such as color-coding or numbering to make it even easier to find what you’re looking for. Additionally, consider using label makers or printable labels for a more professional look. Overall, labeling items is an effective way to stay organized and maintain order in any space.

Pro tip: Vicki Norris espouses the benefits of labeling like a professional in this blog on Restoring Order.

6. Store frequently used items within reach: Keep things you use often in easy-to-reach places.

Professional organizers recommend storing items you use frequently in easy-to-reach places so you can access them quickly. This helps save time and reduces the frustration of searching for something that should be within reach. 

For example, if a person frequently cooks in the kitchen, they should keep items such as cooking utensils, cutting boards, pots and pans, spices, and ingredients for their favorite recipes within arm’s reach. This can be achieved by storing them in easily accessible drawers or shelves near the stove or prep area. Additionally, keeping frequently used appliances such as a blender or toaster on the counter can also save time and make meal preparation easier.

Pro tip: Kylie Brown’s blog at Get Organized Wizard offers great tips for keeping a workspace clear and functional.

7. Use clear containers: Clear containers allow you to see what’s inside and keep everything organized.

When it comes to organizing, clear containers are a great way to keep items visible and tidy. Clear plastic containers or boxes with lids are an excellent choice for storing items such as clothes, bedding, toys, seasonal decorations and tools. For fragile items such as dishes or glassware, opt for clear storage crates with removable dividers for added protection. Additionally, clear acrylic drawers are a great way to store small items such as office supplies or jewelry in an organized manner. Finally, if you need something more decorative, consider using decorative baskets with fabric liners to store magazines or other knick-knacks around the house. Overall, clear containers are a versatile and effective solution for keeping any space organized and clutter-free.

Pro tip: Not all storage professionals advocate using clear containers all the time. Here’s a blog from Elegant Simplicity that makes a case for both clear and non-clear storage bins, based on your personality.

8. Create zones in your space: Designate areas for specific tasks or types of items to reduce clutter.

Creating zones in your space is an effective way to reduce clutter and keep things organized. Assigning specific areas for different tasks or types of items can help you stay on top of organization and avoid a cluttered look. For example, you can designate a specific area in the kitchen for meal prep, another area for dishes, and another area for cooking utensils. This will help ensure that each item has its own place and make it easier to find what you need when you need it. Additionally, create zones within your closet by sorting clothes into categories such as formal wear, casual wear, or workout clothes. By creating zones within your space and assigning specific areas for certain tasks or items, you can achieve an organized look without feeling overwhelmed.

Pro tip: Jen is a big proponent of creating zones in her blog on Organizenvy.

9. Make use of hidden storage spaces: Utilize under-bed storage or built-in bookshelves for additional storage.

Oftentimes, people overlook some of the hidden storage locations that are available in their homes. One great way to utilize hidden storage is under beds. This is a great place to store seasonal items such as bedding, extra blankets, and clothes. Additionally, adding shelves or drawers to a closet can help maximize storage potential and keep items off the floor. Built-in bookshelves are also a great way to make use of otherwise unused wall space while creating more storage options. Finally, utilizing wall space with hanging organizers or hooks can help arrange items like belts, handbags, jewelry and other accessories in an organized manner. Overall, there are plenty of hidden storage solutions available for those looking to maximize their home’s organizational potential. 

Pro tip: Kim Hildenbrand offers 10 Ways to Maximize Under-the-Bed Storage on HGTV.com.

10. Maintain organization regularly: Set aside time each week to maintain the organization of your space.

Organizing small areas of your home doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Setting aside just a few minutes each week can help you maintain organization and keep clutter at bay. Start by picking one area in your home that needs organizing, such as the kitchen counter or the entryway table. Take a few minutes to put away any items that don’t belong in that space, while also taking note of any items that need to be moved elsewhere. Set aside time each week to go through papers or mail and file them away accordingly. By devoting just a few minutes each week to organize your small spaces around the house, you’ll be able to maintain an organized look without feeling overwhelmed.

Pro tip: Johnna Kaplan reveals 8 Spaces You Should Declutter Every Week on The Spruce.

11. Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Professional organizers can offer guidance and support as you work towards your organizational goals.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task of getting organized, it may be time to reach out to a professional organizer. Professional organizers can help provide guidance and support as you work towards your organizational goals. They can provide advice on how to optimize storage space and offer tips on streamlining processes for maximum efficiency. Additionally, professional organizers can help create systems for organizing paperwork, decluttering closets, or even reorganizing an entire home or office. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of getting organized and need some extra guidance or support, consider reaching out to a professional organizer today.

Pro tip: Dawn Weinberger and Samantha Allen opine about How To Hire A Professional Organizer on Forbes.com.


Q: Are professional organizers worth it?

A: The answer to this question depends on the individual. Professional organizers are skilled individuals who possess a unique set of skills and knowledge that can help you achieve your organizational goals. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task of organizing your home or office, hiring a professional organizer may be worth it. They can provide advice, guidance and support as you work towards decluttering and streamlining your space. Additionally, professional organizers can create systems for organizing paperwork, decluttering closets, or even reorganizing an entire home or office. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference – if you’re struggling to organize your space on your own, then enlisting the help of a professional organizer may be worth it.

Q: What are the skills of a good organizer?

A: A good organizer should have strong communication and interpersonal skills, be detail-oriented, have organizational systems in place, and be able to think creatively. They should also have a good understanding of how to break down large tasks into smaller, manageable pieces. In addition, they should be able to prioritize tasks and stay focused on their goals. Finally, a good organizer should be flexible and able to adapt quickly as needed.

Final Thoughts: What if you can’t decide what to do with EVERYTHING? 

Self-storage can be an invaluable resource for homeowners and renters who aren’t quite ready to join the minimalist craze. When organizing a space, it can be difficult to know what to keep and what to let go of. Self-storage allows you to store items that you want to keep but don’t necessarily need in your day-to-day life. It’s also a great way to store seasonal items such as decorations or holiday apparel without taking up valuable space in your home.

Additionally, self-storage is a great option for those who are downsizing their homes or moving and need somewhere to keep their belongings while they transition into the new space. Professional organizers suggest using self-storage when organizing because it provides a safe, climate-controlled environment for storing items without having them take up valuable living space in the home. If this sounds like a reasonable step, use Store Space’s storage finder to locate the store nearest you.

Eric Mees

Writer who also enjoys cars, guitars and Mars bars.


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