i need a professional organizer


Confession : Our home is still out of control. Remember this post? The one where I talked about doing three rooms in one month and pretending to maintain a semblance of parenting for our children all at the same time? The aftermath is still lingering. Because we had people over, and photographed, and filmed…

and just stuffed things in closets.

Meh. You do what you have to do with three kids, kindergarten at a magnet school, hours of homework, potty accidents, a car wreck, a family trip, a show, a shoot, and a 50 plus pound abominable snow dog all thrown into the mix. We’ve been living in mass chaos for a while…so I’m kind of waiting for the avalanche. Literally and figuratively.

Big WAH. I know.


I need a bulldozer and a crane to come and lift the collected crapola out and away from our house because we simply can’t do it all. Someone will find one of us, buried, quite soon in our closet. They’ll be all, dude. What smells in here? And I’ll be all gross and smelly and corpse-y and stuff. And that won’t be fun, because Jamin probably won’t miss me, but he won’t be able to sell the house because of the dead body they found in the back closet.

Don’t even get me started on the garage. I can’t show you photos, because DHR will come and take our children away. Let’s just put it this way: We had to finish up a project today. We couldn’t find the hammer.

Jamin had to purchase one.

It is what it is.



Things are out of control with the hot spots in our home, and our lives have taken over. I haven’t had a systematic purge  in a year. I need my home back.


I don’t know if its the size of our home, or if I feel like I’m a full time work at home mom now with three small children and a crazy life…or what.

But Enough. is. Enough.


For. Shame.


I’ve already dubbed October “taking back our lives month” over here at THH.  That was just for us, personally. Because that would make me a big fat hypocrite if I went on some tyrade about how awesome I am with my great system because I rock like that. And then you make me stand in front of my house and stone me with my clutter. Just like that sorority story where they strip you down and circle your fat.

So I guess you pretty much know what’s happening this weekend. {No, not the stripping for fat part.}



Because I’m drowning in children’s clothes, and legos, and school papers, maternity jeans I no longer need, and old toothpaste tubes, and naked barbies, doors and pieces of wood and scraps of MDF and expired cheerios and crusty paint brushes. Gross.



So until we can kick the kids out of the house to spend the night at their grandparents’…just so we can go all stealth rogue on them and throw out those burger king toys they just aren’t playing with and will never miss in the meantime…because I’m too tired to deal with the screaming banshee of death also known as the Eminator…


I’ll be oogling over pretty photos of nice, contained, ever so organized {and probaby totally unrealistic, if you have three young children} lives.



This winter, I’m gutting out our closet, and transforming it completely. And our pantry, too. I’m not sure Jamin knows it yet, but if I can get Mr.-dreams-of-organization on board with me, then I’m pretty sure he’ll go for it.

In the meantime, we’ll wrangling things back into control this weekend.



So wish us luck! This too, shall pass. But in the meantime, what are some of your organization tricks that work for you? Spill ‘em!

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45 Responses to i need a professional organizer

  1. Catherine says:

    Oh my goodness. This post actually makes me want to clean out my closets!

  2. First of all, I am truly sorry for the chaos in your home. I would immediately clear out one small corner of your home (far from the madding crowd) where you can place a chair and just sit for a few minutes every so often to recharge or collect your thoughts while you work through this. It does happen to the best of us sometimes while we are having good things happening (& it is for you). I do hope you are able to make at least a small dent in the reorganization before the holidays. By the way, stunning pics of inspiration.

  3. Lauren says:

    I feel the same way about my life! Visit iheartorganizing.blogspot.com. Jen is fabulous and has some great tips on organizing your life. I read her everyday too!

  4. Oh wow. That pantry with all the perfectly stored spices and things makes me feel kinda guilty. Great inspiration!

  5. Molly Richardson says:

    Amen, sister! It’s like you’re in my house. 3 kindergartend and younger for me too, It is all I can do to try to keep the purdy, purdy, and the avalanche in the closet. As for makin it better…I know you”ll come up with the most awesomest, why didn’t I think of that, diy idea in the world; and, with a gigantic sigh of relief, I will copy said idea and thank you in my head everytime I open a closet/ cabinet/ dresser without ducking for cover! Thanks in advance!

  6. I literally read this post while trying to empty the dishwasher. I then looked around the kitchen/laundry nook/eat-in area, and realized that I suck at organization. So I guess I better get crackalackin. I have three girls 8,6,and 3. The two older ones are in school, and I am still trying to find a way to organize their school stuff. I have a huge bulletin board in the kitchen (I got the idea from you), and it holds important things. I think I will just buy more baskets and label them stuff1, stuff2, and stuff3.

  7. I can relate! We just moved from a house with great big closets to a house with “seriously, why’d they even bother” sized closets and I’m having some organizing problems!!

  8. I think most people feel this way- especially moms! Good luck with the transformation. Do it bit by bit and you’ll get there.

  9. Wow, I too want to start cleaning and organizing after seeing these fantastic pictures. Who knew what a few great pics could do! Thanks

  10. Teri says:

    We have the “Black Bag at Midnight”. That’s where after the kids are asleep you purge their junk into a black garbage bag. This way when it goes to the curb they can’t see what is in the garbage. Honestly they have never looked for anything I’ve gotten rid of so how important was it?

  11. Sarah says:

    I suddenly want to clean my house… waaaa!? I’m constantly feeling that way though. There’s always too much clutter when you live in a 800 foot house with no basement & a leaking garage. Oof! Good luck to you in your quest!

  12. Jamie says:

    I LOVE organizing! It makes me happy to make even a small thing better. My sister and I recently did a professional organizing job in an office and we had SO MUCH FUN! I’m a dork, I know. :)

    Good luck, it’s always worth the work in the end!

  13. Tote says:

    I loved all of those pictures! What good ideas.

  14. Becca says:

    That basically sounds just like our life . . .

  15. I’m drooling over all of these wonderfully organized spaces! I hear you on the chaos though – you’re not alone. I make progress, but then it all seems to get “undone” (I have three kids also). It’s an uphill battle. One thing that has helped me some with the organization of my kids’ school stuff is getting some magazine organizers to store their papers that need my attention. A small step, but it helps with some of the school/paper clutter I am battling on a daily basis. :-)

  16. Debbie says:

    I keep talking about it too, but haven’t done anything…come help me and I’ll help you! Be careful…in that closet! LOL Thanks for more inspiration, I hope it works this time (for me).

  17. Jessica says:

    I’m suddenly filled with the urge to clean out my pantry!

  18. Janet says:

    This actually made me laugh out loud. Then I started thinking about the dirty clothes I need to wash tonight. I’ve been trying out a new system of keeping everything straight which is helping some but it’s always a struggle. I still feel like we’re drowning in clutter. I’m trying to figure out how I can hire a cleaning lady without my husband knowing.

  19. haha! glad to know I’m not alone, ladies! Yes, I just need to purge. I don’t have a problem with getting organized…it’s keeping it there. ;) I’m hoping to knock it all out this weekend, except the garage. The garage is an entire beast in itself. It will require some heavy lifting, etc. Jamin gives the the scape goat excuse of having a creative mind, so I struggle with it. I guess he’s right!

  20. Shawnda says:

    Oh honey…I’ve so been there. Just try not to get too discouraged if it takes you longer than you think it should to get things back in order. Work a little bit at a time, and you’ll see progress. Don’t forget to take before pics. Even if they never see the light of day, YOU’LL have them to look back on when you think you haven’t made a dent and you’ll see what progress you’re making. I have also learned that many of the things that I put off because it’s going to take “forever”, end up being fairly quick jobs. We couldn’t get into our crawlspace because everyone had dumped their stuff right in the opening. In a short 25 minutes, DS and I had gotten the opening cleared, items stacked, and a whole pile of “to-be-stored-long-term” items put away and we reclaimed a huge area of our basement.

    Hang in there.

  21. I came to the conclusion last week that my lack of storage really contributes to my “crapola”! We have minimal closets & no basement so needless to say, it’s a problem. We are currently adding shelves & making some new closets in “useless” space so I am hoping that once I have a place to put things….it will be a little easier to keep up with :) Although, the playroom is another whole beast! Serious crapola going on in there!

  22. Susan says:

    I feel your pain-once upon a time, I had twins who were 5 years old, a 2600 square foot house, and enough crap to outfit more than one home. I started to read about Feng Shui, with it’s emphasis on de-cluttering, and I was hooked.
    I purged, purged, and purged some more-and once I got it all under control, I kept to a twice a year clean out ( right before holidays and right after school let out).
    It kept my sanity, and allowed me to have more time to write/paint etc.

    Life happens. My twins are now 25, and after being widowed five years ago, I have remarried-a wonderful man who has walked the same sad path as me… his only fault? YEP-he has never thrown anything away/donated/recycled anything that he and the late wife acquired since college graduation!( that would be 1990)

    I have spent the first year of our married life going through boxes, boxes, and more boxes…jeeze. Makes the hubby twitch, but he is starting to see the light.

    It’s a royal pain, but the results are SO worth it-good luck with your clean-out. If I lived closer, I would offer my services.


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  24. Kim says:

    Oh wow, those pictures make me swoon! I have itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny, not-so-yellow-polka-dot-bikini closets that are a pure joke! When they do small closet transformations in magazines and on HGTV, my husband and just laugh. Their idea of small spaces is twice the size of what we have to work with! I know it can happen somehow – but we need an entire weekend (or week???) at home sans kiddos to get it done. Maybe someday…..

  25. Jenn says:

    I want to repin each and every one of those organization pictures! But I guess the best thing for me to do will be to continue with what I’ve started… I purged the pantry and the refrigerator last week… next up, the laundry room. I think I’ll save the kids disaster for last! :)

    Good luck to you, me and everyone else working on this project!

  26. Organisation Freak in tha house! I would so be a professional organiser if I could!
    Having said that, my closet is a dump. Organising is fun, but then constantly putting things away after every time you use them…. who does that?
    My tip is baskets. They look all neat and lined up from the outside, but you can just chuck stuff in however you like.
    Be ruthless.

  27. Stephanie says:

    I used to be totally OCD about putting my kids’ blocks away in same size and color stacks because that was the only way I knew everything was there and fit back into the container (oh, the horror when I couldn’t close the container). My husband just laughed. Actually, more made fun of me (in a loving, aw you’re so cute way). One more kid later and I have abandoned the hope of ever having time to do that. My solution to wrangling toys in the living room without it looking like toys were taking over the grown-up space is the ikea Expedit bookshelf, and I got some cheap totes (cloth, so they don’t scratch the veneer). Now I’m just OCD that the toys get put back in the right tote…

  28. Jami Nato says:

    take it back, gurrrrrrl.

  29. Dorothy says:

    I so hear ya, sister! Buying multiple new tools is my husband’s specialty, I think. Time for a dumpster here for sure! I’m sure you’ll clean it up in the same stupendous way you do everthing else. Keep us posted; we’re pulling for you!

  30. Emily Johnson says:

    Organizing is one thing I love to do. Maybe we could link our brains together, and you could share just a tiny little bit of your bril design know-how and I could share some of my organizational skills. =P Good luck getting it all worked out! I’m sure you’ll come up with something organized AND beautiful!

  31. Natalya Hoak says:

    I got so excited when I read your post (not by your pain though!). I’m the world’s most disorganized gal, but I recently stumbled across FlyLady online and it has been an amazing help for me. So much of her advice creates “no duh” moments and I catch myself thinking why didn’t I think of that?!? Check her out, you won’t regret it.

  32. I wish I could give you a hand! :) Hope you have a successful start this weekend.


  33. Kristen says:

    The stinky part is sometimes we have to clean and sort and it doesn’t end of feeling like an amazing design project like these amazing pics!! I never mind a cleaning project if it includes a fun new refurbished armoire, new baskets and some kind of fun fabric thrown in. I have a harder time getting motivated when it’s just plain work :)
    Good luck!!! When my house feels out of control I remind myself that we have eaten three meals a day, my kids have played hard and happy, my husband had clean clothes for work and we are all healthy!! Running a household with little ones is a LOT of work!!!

  34. Lisa says:

    You have no idea how “right there with you” I am right now. I just commented to my mother yesterday that I feel like it will never get any better. I, too, want to gut out my closet, the hall closet, the garage, the kitchen cupboards…but when???? Help!

  35. Getting there is half the battle, but I found that once I get a system that works, it is bliss. Two things I still love and find useful is organizing my paperwork into binders. It was a huge mess, but so worth the effort to get everything organized. I then have two organizers that I luvvvv. One is over the door canvas shoe pockets. I used this to organize all of our electronic cables. Second is lazy susans. I find they work well everywhere, especially in my linen and bath cabinets, not to mention the pantry.

  36. Elena says:

    FlyLady ist the best! She has changed my life (3 kids too). You won´t regret it.
    P.S. You have a beautiful blog!

  37. Jen says:

    I personally think what is most daunting about beginning to organize any room or closet is thinking about how to make it both functional and beautiful. Anybody can go to target and purchase a gazillion plastic bins and a label maker and orgainze their entire house but that wouldn’t be appealing…who wants to be surrounded by plastic! Good luck and I can’t wait to hear what you did so I can copy :)

  38. Jen says:

    Oooh, I can’t wait to see what you do! Your home is BEYOND lovely and I adore your posts, but your organizing ones have a special place in my heart! :)

    Oh, and thanks so much for the link! I almost fell out of my chair when I saw my shoe closet mentioned along with such other incredible inspiration!

    I would love to feature you sometime if you wouldn’t mind! You inspire me.


  39. a says:

    this post is amazingly funny to read. but also sad. because my house is ALSO in a complete state of blah disorganization. i think that old revamped dressers and cubicals with those fabric boxes are a good way to go. and i’m obsessed with wicker baskets, which get me nowhere because a bunch of mismatched odds and ends just get thrown in there! but these pictures are totally inspirational. i’ve been wanting to some open cabinetry in the kitchen, but i’m terrified to start because i’m afraid they’ll get cluttered.

  40. Laura says:

    I have to jump in. My kids are in middle school and I’ve learned some hard lessons along the way. Don’t forget to look up when looking for space. Shelves are your friend. You lose so much height when you don’t have good shelves, especially if you have little ones and you need to keep things organized and out of their reach. I see a lot of people organize with bins and wonder why it doesn’t work. You gotta go with containers with lids. Stack them, move them around, drop em, etc Labels are a must too. Just pick a spot and start there. Don’t let the whole thing overwhelm you. Everything starts in one spot and this is no different. GOOD LUCK!

  41. HoneyBee Lee says:

    Thank You!I loved the Gorgeous pictures, they are inspiring!Your candor is a breathe of fresh air, to all of us!( who aspire to live like a magazine layout!) Remember this is just a season, your precious children grow up and actually begin to help! I have 5! I had my first 4 in 6 years!!! You will survive and conquer! Enjoy the journey and take 1 project at a time!

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  43. jackie fadl says:

    i do not know if you can help me, i am looking for someone to come out to my home and help organize my closets, kitchen bedrooms, etc.
    please let me know if that is possible. thank u.

    • Hi Jackie! I am sorry- this is just a series on organization DIY style. We do not offer services like that, but thank you for thinking of us! Be sure to check out more of our lazy gal’s guide in our series section for more on the process. ;} Thank you!