Organizing your home ‘exactly like dieting,’ expert says

  • Mon Jan 13th, 2014 8:09pm
  • Life

By Debbie Arrington The Sacramento Bee

Get organized! It’s near the top of every resolutions list.

“It’s just exactly like dieting,” said author and organization expert Deniece Schofield.

“Organizing doesn’t happen overnight. It’s one bite at a time, one step at a time. Just like those extra pounds, you added on stuff a lot easier than it comes off.”

Nicknamed “America’s most organized woman,” Schofield is all too familiar with such resolutions. What makes her different is she’s figured out ways to make them work.

“My first book came out in 1982, before organizing was an industry,” said Schofield, who has written five books on home management. “I really was an organizing pioneer. These resolutions come from things I’ve learned from years and years of experience.”

The most-requested areas for professional help? Home office or den ranks at the top, followed by the kitchen, closets and master bedroom.

Schofield takes a DIY approach to home organization. Aimed primarily at busy moms (and grandmothers) like herself, her methods have worked for thousands.

Woman’s Day magazine dubbed her “the world’s most organized woman” decades ago and she’s never misplaced that title.

Through working with so many would-be declutterers, Schofield realized they were trying to do too much all at once. The result? Everything stayed messy.

Get organized

Deniece Schofield came up with six resolutions for organizing.

1. Never ever buy something new unless you know exactly where to put and what you’ll use it for.

2. Never start today with yesterday’s work. We’re talking procrastination, the enabler of disorganization and clutter. Empty the dishwasher and don’t leave the dryer full of clothes.

3. Eliminate from your vocabulary the phrase “for now.” “‘For now’ becomes forever,” Schofield said.

4. Let go of clothes you won’t wear. Sort your clothes into three piles: Yes, no, maybe. Give away the no’s.

5. Plan menus. Shop for all ingredients at once to have them on hand.

6. Ask yourself: What would you hate for visitors to see? Every home has a trouble spot, a messy office, closet disaster or whole house.