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Laura interviewed by the Atlanta Journal/Constitution: Organizing your home

Article posted on Thursday, March, 31st, 2016 at 8:49 PM

An excerpt from Laura’s interview with the Atlanta Journal/Constitution newspaper (August 30, 2015) by H. M. Cauley

For many homeowners autumn means going back on overload, juggling jobs, kids, social activities, family obligations and pre-winter repairs around the house. In the crush to get it all done, it’s easy to let clutter take over.
       Experts who have made careers out of organizing other people’s stuff say fall is a good time to clear out that garage, basement or extra bedroom that Junior just vacated. But most people put off these big projects until they are forced to face them in a life-altering moment: a divorce, a job transfer, the death of a parent whose clutter is now inherited. Yet tackling clutter pays off with immediate stress reduction.
     “It’s particularly important in bedroom closets and baths, the two places where you start your day,” said Laura Ray, owner of the Marietta-based OrganizeAtlanta.com and president of the National Association of Professional Organizers, Georgia chapter.
“If you have a home for everything, it reduces a lot of the strain and stress. In the bath I like separate drawers or trays for each category: dental, makeup, soaps, medicines, toiletries. A big bin for everything doesn’t work; it’s more helpful to see exactly what you have in the right spot.”
       If the prospect of re-organizing seems daunting, Ray suggests whittling it down to one question: What is the most aggravating situation you are trying to solve? Always misplacing your keys? Kids’ backpacks going astray? Losing your laptop?
       “Have a home for everything and a simple system” suggests Ray. “When I walk in the door, I put my backpack here. A dish by the door is where I put my keys. If you move something, put it back before you go to bed, so in the morning it’s exactly where it’s supposed to be.”
     …And even in this digital age, organizers say the top problem they confront when called on to streamline a residential or commercial space is paper.
       Ray estimates that about 60 percent of the jobs she tackles involve cleaning up paper. “I create file systems to get it under control and keep track of taxes and other important financial papers,” she said. “Some clients are challenged by the volume of paper that comes in the door, and they aren’t sure how long to keep it or where to keep it. The IRS website has a good list that tells you what you need to keep and for how long.”
       If the prospect of sorting through piles of paper or organizing that crammed garage is overwhelming, it may be time to call in an expert… (END)
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