Ask A…Professional Organizer

Justin Klosky is the founder and creative director of the OCD (Organize and Create Discipline) Experience.

So What Do You Do?

"The misconception is that we're nice housemaids in cute little outfits," says Klosky. "It's so much more than just a cleaner. It's someone who is cleaning your mentality."

Related: Why clutter costs you

According to Klosky, people don't get rid of things because "it's kind of shielding them from feeling and from really having to deal with themselves because when you're surrounded by stuff everywhere, you're protected." He says that he helps people get to the place where they are ready to deal with themselves "or whatever's going on in their head."

Related: 6 spring closet cleaning tips from professional organizers

What's With All the Clutter?

Klosky says, "Every person has something that they're fighting in their life to get control of. 75 percent of the time, it's the closet in the bedroom or their office." He adds that the most common source of clutter is people's stuff, such as books or clothes, but he says the biggest source of clutter is paper. "Paper is really the culprit, and digital is really a way to simplify your life."

Tricks of the Trade

To get started, says Klosky, "Organize, pull everything out, set piles, figure out what is where and why it's there, and then create a system for that stuff." Then, he says, "If you discipline yourself about keeping up on the things that you're committing to, you're going to have so much more free time and so much more energy to do the things that you really want to do."

So if you have things and you want a place for them, Klosky says that you need to find a place for them. If you can't find a place, those things may not be as important as you thought.

In addition, he says, there are always hidden areas and dead space that isn't being used in your home. For example, he notes, "If there's vertical space, put some shelves up and appropriate some space up there. Try to get the thinnest hangers possible to maximize your space." But, he adds, "You want everything to be uniform because it's less distracting to your eye, which also uses brain power."

For your office, Klosky says to buy a scanner, a shredder, and a backup hard drive. "Start scanning the things in your life that have significant value to you. If they're not worth scanning, then most likely you don't need it."

Parting thoughts

Klosky says, "People do have those strange, unique situations holding them back from just being free." As a result, he says his job is trying to understand why those people are so scared to make a change. "And once you can do that with a client, you get to see this weight of the world lifted off their shoulders and then, for the first time, they have clarity."

He adds, "Knowing that I really helped change someone's life is as fulfilling as any career can be."

You can learn more about Justin here.

Related links

The lost art of spring cleaning

Refresh your home's style for spring

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