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5 Mistakes To Avoid When Organizing

When first meeting with a potential client one thing that is often said is “I tried to organize this on my own but it always ends up like this…” or something along the lines ending with defeat. I have even been told how silly they feel for having to call a professional to organize paperwork or how cleaning a closet shouldn’t be this hard, but somewhere through their attempts they just got stuck.

By the time I arrive for a project, there are usually piles of unknown papers, boxes that may or may not be for donation, and a client that feels defeated and overwhelmed.

If you have had the same feelings while trying to get organized, this will help you finally get the support you need. Here are 5 mistakes most people make in the process of organizing you want to avoid.

1. Not Having A Plan

The biggest difference between someone who struggles to stay organized and a Professional Organizer is, professional organizers are planners.

We plan everything out, and when I say everything I do mean everything. We plan our schedules, our meals, our activities, our projects, when and what we clean and even plan time to plan those things. I personally find having a plan ahead of time to be calming and less anxious. Being able to see the big picture and what needs to be done gives me the time, believe it or not, to do the things I love and spend more time with my family.


So many people see an episode of The Home Edit or Tidy Up with Marie Kondo and jump right into trying to get organized excited and thinking, “I’m going to organize my closet RIGHT NOW!” Twenty minutes later there is a huge pile of clothes in the middle of the bedroom floor.

You wouldn’t plan a wedding without choosing a date, menu, guest list, etc.

When organizing your home you need a plan. What spaces you want to tackle, estimated time it will take you, what day and time are you going to work on it and when do you want it done by.

2. Over Planning

You may have read reason 1 and are thinking to yourself, “I’m a great planner…that is not why I can’t get organized!” There is a thing called TOO much planning, or as my husband would say, “OVERTHINKING IT.”

I am often guilty of over planning to the point it halts action. If you find yourself planning, re-planning, and not actually taking action, you may be suffering from over planning.

I love hosting parties. I alway have a theme, menu, favors, outfits picked out, table layout for decorations, food placement and so on. Planning is the fun part, but the party should be part of the fun too.

BE A LITTLE FLEXIBLE. Everything doesn't have to be PERFECT, just get started.

3. Becoming Overwhelmed

The biggest reason we become overwhelmed is not because one particular task is impossible but because we simply take on too much at one time.

Don’t try to organize your entire home in one weekend. Make a list of all the spaces you want to organize, start small with one drawer or a small closet.


4. Lack of Motivation

Not many people find organizing a closet as enjoyable as us professional organizers. Whenever I see an overflowing closet or messy pantry, I literally am in my happy place just thinking about how to organize it.

We are easily motivated when it’s something we enjoy doing or are just good at.

You probably WANT your home to be organized, but maybe you just need someone to motivate you and keep you accountable: kind of like a personal trainer.

As a professional organizer, I like to say I’m like a personal trainer for your home. I will help keep you accountable, and motivate you through the project; while teaching you how to be more organized while creating systems to maintain it.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR IN-HOME ORGANIZING SERVICES (a.k.a “personal training” for your home)

5. Really Just Wanted the Pretty Containers

Do you have empty containers that are not being utilized to organize your home? You are not alone. I have had many clients with pretty empty containers in their homes that they purchased with intentions to get organized, but realistically only added to the clutter.

Think of buying the pretty containers like icing a cake. You wouldn’t try icing a cake before you actually baked it, right?

Arranging everything into pretty containers to obtain that Pinterest perfect pantry requires some prep. So, for those in the back, DO NOT GO BUY PRETTY CONTAINERS FIRST. This only adds to the clutter. Here are the steps you want to take before maxing out your Container Store Card or Target Card.

  • Sort, Declutter, Organize, Repeat. Then REPEAT, REPEAT AND REPEAT.

  • Now once the previous step is done and only then you can plan out your space. Measure your space for containers so they fit nicely without hanging over the edge of the shelf. Then gauge the items you plan to store in the container and ensure the container will hold it.

  • After planning you have our blessing to shop for pretty containers.

Did you know that sourcing and shopping supplies is included as part of our services?

We do not charge extra for the time to research and plan your space. We organize for people almost every day, we know what works and where to get it. So if you are trying to plan out a space, and you are not sure where to find the right organizing supplies for containers, we can help with that too!

If you get stuck, there is no shame or obligation to contact us for a complimentary in-home consultation to learn more about the services we offer.

Happy Organizing,


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