Secrets of an Organized Mom
“Everyone should Barbarafy,” raves The New York Times! A life-changing program for streamlining everything that’s weighing you down—from over-stuffed closets to overwhelming social calendars—courtesy of the media’s go-to organizing guru: Barbara Reich.
Mothers can feel like life is one neverending loop. Just when one problem or responsibility is handled, another one trips us up. But help is on the way: Barbara Reich has all the strategies necessary for staying ahead of the curve—and she’s wrapped them up into four easy steps that can be applied to any organizing project.
The keys to Barbara’s success are simplicity and consistency. Room by room, she takes readers through the most problematic areas in the home—from the tornado-struck play area to the over-stuffed basement or storage unit. Barbara shows readers how to approach organizing in manageable bites—many of which can be dealt with in two hours or less. With each organizing project, she teaches readers how to apply the four steps—1) purge, 2) design, 3) organize, and 4) maintain. And she also reveals how to solve organizing problems that may pop up in the future—from knowing when and how to keep financial papers to how to digitally organize the family’s photographs.
As the mother of twelve-year-old twins, Barbara offers tips for crazed moms as only a mother could. Combining the humor of a sympathetic friend, and the no-nonsense advice of a true type-A personality, Reich offers clever, appealing solutions that are genuinely achievable for everyone.
When I had my twins (who are now twelve-years-old), I scaled back from full-time management consulting to part-time. I was used to commuting to an office for twelve-hour workdays wearing power suits and heels. So it was a big transition for me. I loved being a mom and I enjoyed meeting the other parents, but often enough I’d find myself getting a little antsy on play dates. I’d be looking around for something to do and I’d end up organizing the toys and straightening the shelves.
You can quickly gain a reputation for yourself by doing that. So when a friend of mine heard of someone who needed help setting up a home office, she suggested he hire me. And no, she didn’t ask me first. Bless her though, that first referral quickly multiplied into more referrals, and before long I had a business that I love.
The truth is that the seeds for my home organizing business were actually planted long before that. I was born to organize, but it wasn’t until I turned eight that my talents were recognized by others. That year marked a life-changing turning point for me. Twice in one twelve-month period I was publicly acknowledged for being a neat freak. And by acknowledged, I mean rewarded. It was heady, that praise. It was addictive. It was like the first smattering of applause for the wannabe star in the grammar school play. After that, it’s Hollywood or bust. For me, a career as a professional organizer became my destiny.
No matter what area of the home you’re organizing, my basic method for tackling the job is the same. You’ll see this method in each chapter, and you can apply this method to something as small as a drawer or as large as a room. There are four basic steps:
1. Purge. You can’t be organized if you have too much stuff. This is why the first priority is to get rid of what’s broken, not needed, unworn, unloved, and otherwise cluttering your space.
2. Design. It’s time to create the infrastructure you need, from drawer dividers to shelves and filing cabinets.
3. Organize. This is the fun part: Now that there’s a place for everything, we get to put everything in its place.
4. Maintain. There’s no point getting organized if you can’t stay that way—so the final step is to clarify the systems that will keep you on track in the long term.