The path to achieving peace of mind through organization


Wanting to get organized is something that just about every person has strived to do at one point in their lives, but it can be much harder to accomplish.

According to Karen Duncan, a certified professional organizer, just like any project there is a certain process to take and many people just have a hard time finding the right path to take without getting overwhelmed by the task.

For 20 years, Duncan has been helping individuals and families find the peace of mind that comes with getting organized.

With advancements in technology and the introduction of platforms, such as Instagram, Duncan has seen that people are now more than ever aware of what they want but discovering remains the biggest challenge.

“Kitchens and pantries are the most common areas of the household people look to organize,” Duncan said. “It is either do to the aesthetics or the area is just not setup the way they want it to be.”

Although one organized space may look similar to the next, there are subtle differences that are specific with the person or people using the space in mind.

“Being organized means something different from one person to the next,” Duncan said. “It’s all about finding what you need when you need it.”

An example of one of the common ways to organize in the kitchen is by creating “zones,” which includes grouping certain common items that are often used together in the same area to create a more convenient layout.

However, once again, convenience can be defined differently depending on the person.

“It seems like common sense, but it is amazing how many organizational projects are not a like,” Duncan said.

This is why Duncan uses an assessment phase at the beginning of the process, because she needs to know the person she is organizing for, just as much as she needs to know the items she is tasked with organizing.

“It’s a very personal business, because you really get to know the inner workings of the family and the persons that will be using the space,” Duncan said. “The assessment phase even looks into whether a person is left- or right-handed, because that will dictate where certain things are placed in the layout.”

One of the most challenging parts of getting organized that Duncan has seen people are faced with is when it comes to deciding what needs to stay and what items do not need to be a part of the area being organized.

“It can be a drawn-out step when you’re doing it by yourself, so it can help to have someone there to help guide and expedite the process,” Duncan said.

However, Duncan made it clear that no professional organizer should tell a person whether they need to keep an item or not, but instead they are there to help the person best understand what they are looking for from the space in question.

Once a space is organized, the final step is to maintain it.

According to Duncan, the maintenance of a space is not something that should be intimidating to people, and organization does not mean having the space completely perfect.

“You may not have your spices alphabetically listed, but they still made it into the drawer, and unmatched socks put away are still better than socks on the floor,” Duncan said.

January and September used to be extremely popular months where people sought to get their homes organized following the holiday season and as children went back to school from summer vacation.

However, in recent years she has noticed that people have started to think about their organization habits throughout the year.