Get it together this year

Professional organizer Reanna Strange Wallace of Lantana offers advice to get the year off to a decluttered start. (Photo by Helen’s Photography)

How hard can it be to get your life and all the things in it in order, right?

Go ahead and open any drawer– including the “junk” drawer– and marvel at the tidiness; no? How about your closets– all your clothes hanging in color-coordinated order with your shoes in orderly cubby-holes, instead of mismatched all over the floor? Look at your office and desk; everything filed– either in folders or digitally– with calendars all up-to-date? How about your garage, fellas; know where that tool you bought two years ago might be? Want to discuss the kitchen, ahem … the pantry, that is– let’s talk about expiration dates.

Oh, then there are child-related issues: play rooms; closets; toys and toys and toys; and, all their extra-curricular schedules.

Unless your name is Reanna Strange Wallace, owner of Blissfully Organized, LLC of Lantana, it’s doubtful most people can claim they have an orderly environment.

“When they initially contact me, they’re overwhelmed and have no idea where or how to start,” said Wallace. “I gather information over the phone to find the top stress area. Once we get that, we can do in six hours what may take them three weeks.”

She said people contact her about their master closet, kitchen pantry, kitchen cabinets (gadgets and cookware), play rooms and the home office.

“Lots of time, they won’t have a system in place– no action center,” said Wallace. “The first thing I suggest is that they invest in a useful planner with a system to color-code each item or event or child– plus stickers for kids. Of course, people can also use digital calendars, but if more than one person is involved, having a central location calendar everyone can see is helpful.”

She added that learning how to set boundaries for family members regarding gifts for children is important.

“In play rooms, there can be so many toys and other gifts– some of them aren’t even out of their boxes– and people have never done a ‘purge’ to donate things the kids have outgrown,” said Wallace. “Although grandparents want to give things to their grandchildren, perhaps encouraging them to start a savings account or college fund instead– and sending only one gift to open– would be a good suggestion; or an ‘adventure’ trip for just that child is possible. I always tell people to ‘create experiences, not clutter.’”

Wallace founded her business in 2011 and has one fulltime employee, plus a couple of contract staff. She works with about 68- to 70-clients each year; many are repeat clients, “because life changes,” plus she serves two to five new clients per month.

“I work with organizational level 1-2-3, but will refer above that to a hoarder specialist,” she said.

For more information on how to “get-it-together,” contact Wallace at:, or call her at 214-384-9815.

How to Start:

1 — Write Things Down– on paper, on a computer or smart phone

2 — Make Schedules and Set Deadlines– break down goals into smaller steps on a calendar

3 — Do It Now– putting off things creates stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed

4 — Put Things in Their Place

5 — Automate– bills, clothing options, weekly meals

6 — Create daily checklists with priorities highlighted

7 — Use a digital app, such as the free to categorize items worth saving

Ten Things To Organize/Purge in 2018

1 — Old Holiday Decorations: Taking the time to pare down your stash now, before packing it away, will set you up for less of a headache next year.

2 — Paper Clutter: paperwork still seems to pile up. Whether it’s your son’s tests, your daughter’s artwork, bills, bank statements, or those scribbled daily to-do lists, it’s time to toss them out. If you really feel you may need something later on, scan it to your computer or take a photo and file it away—digitally.

3 — Clothing: Pack up anything that is in good condition to donate or sell.

4 — The Pantry: clear cabinets of the junk food you want to stay away from, and also the not-so-fresh spices, seasonings, and other dry goods that could use an update.

5 — Update Calendars: Jot down any critical reminders such as birthdays, pre-planned vacations, or annual events, but then toss the old calendar so you can embrace what’s to come in the year ahead.

6 — Bedding: Ditch any sheets, blankets, or comforters that no longer serve you and while you’re at it—clean the ones that do.

7 — Toys: Once they settle into the new toys they’re enjoying, weed out the ones that they’re over and either donate, give away, or trash. Same goes for arts and crafts supplies, books, and outdoor sports equipment.

8 — Unwanted (or not Re-Giftable) Gifts

9 — Beauty Products: Clear out what you don’t want, need, and anything that’s expired. Outdated items can be unhealthy and also take up valuable real estate on bathroom shelves.

10 — Junk Drawer Items: Rid your junk drawer of all the old, broken cords and plugs, especially those that can only be used with electronics you don’t have anymore. It’s way too easy to hold onto these items “just in case.”

CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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