If you are like most of us, becoming and staying organized creates a great challenge in our busy lives. This past June, as part of the Mpls.St.Paul Home & Design week, our ASID Industry Partner Twin Cities Closet Company held a workshop in their new showroom (located in Mound) that offered practical solutions for this very problem. Titled Home Organization for Summer, the event was hosted by Home & Design Editor Kelly Kegans,and Michele Vig,owner of Neat Little Nest. Vig, who has been called the Marie Kondo of Minnesota ( http://mspmag.com/shop-and-style/neat-little-nest/), is an expert in the KonMari Method of organization and de-cluttering, “As a wife and a mom, I understand that life is innately chaotic and inherently messy. It is my philosophy that living with less and cultivating organization where it makes sense allows for a home environment that is more pleasing and productive.”[1]

She spoke about a de-cluttering system titled “Tidying Marathon,” which is a method that utilizes organizing items by category rather than location. She shared a very useful checklist charting categories and household items to help create a systematic approach to getting the job done. Making decisions based on “like” items simplifies the process and makes it more manageable. She also talked about the concept of using “zones” for seasonal organizing in closets. For example: Spring zones (Gardening, Spring Break), Summer zones (Swim, Travel, Camping, Golf), Fall zones (Hunting, Halloween, School Projects),and Winter zones (Skiing, Christmas) etc.

Vig showed the group how to use baskets, bins and labels to organize everything from cubbies for children to creating orderly kitchen cabinets and closets. A great example is to use bins to store school documents starting from preschool through graduation, labeling them 1st, 2nd, 3rd grade, middle school, and high school.  Teach your kids how to prioritize and make it their decision about what to keep or discard periodically, so that it doesn’t accumulate over time and become overwhelming. This same concept can be applied to toys.

When organizing paperwork, there is a generational difference in understanding what documents are important to maintain. The Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers have lived in both worlds of paper and digital files, and most likely will have a harder time discarding things in our increasingly paperless world.  One strategy for tackling these items, such as paperwork, mail and magazines, is to create a system where the items are placed in two to three bins based on what needs the most attention and what can be discarded.  Junk drawers can have separate compartments for electronics, pens, and utility items.

During the Q & A, Vig was presented with many questions ranging from organizing clothing to sentimental items and photographs. She stressed that you should start with JOY, which is to the core concept of the KonMari method. Keep the clothes you can wear and love. “EVERYTHING IN YOUR CLOSET SHOULD FIT AND YOU SHOULD LOVE IT! If it doesn’t fit and you’re not ready to part with it, put it in a different place.” She advised that sentimental items (including photographs) should be tackled last because they are the most difficult and may take the most time.

Ultimately, Vig’s primary goal is to: “HELP PEOPLE SIMPLIFY SO THEY CAN ENJOY THEIR LIFE.”Check out her website for more tools and ideas for de-cluttering your life to make room for the JOY you seek. https://www.neatlittlenest.com/

[1] https://www.neatlittlenest.com/