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Hey! It’s Rae. I have a very special guest interview with Alexandra Kozak from Living Simply PGH. She is a pro organizer and has a wealth of knowledge on the subject. I reached out to her so we could do a little interview to get all of your organizing questions answered.

She can be found over on her website to answer any others questions you may have.

If you ever find yourself wondering how to better your home, especially through organizing, this is for you.

Let’s get into it!

Your organizing questions answered image

Q: First things first, what exactly is organizing?

In my opinion, to organize is to create a system of order. When things are organized, things are in order. My view of organizing focuses on simplifying. When things are simplified, it is easier to get and stay organized. 

Q: How did you get started with becoming a professional organizer?

I am one of those crazy-productive, can’t sit still, lover of all things neat kind of people. But so much changed after the birth of my son. My days weren’t my own and I felt I had little control over anything. Having made the connection between living simply and peace of mind, I decluttered my entire house (think nesting on steroids!), ensuring I could really lean into those first hazy weeks with a newborn. I felt lighter and less stressed, and I wanted to share that with other women. So, I thought about starting a business for a long time before making the leap in 2019. 

Q: What’s the difference between organizing and decluttering?

Organizing comes after decluttering. They are both part of the process but it’s so important to ensure that ultimately what we allow to take up our space and time is what we love, need, use, and want. From there, the organizing not only comes more naturally but then is also sustainable. 

Q: What are the steps to organizing a house?

To organize any space:

Declutter

Categorize/Put like with like

Declutter again (optional if you find duplicates after categorizing)

Contain

Label

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Q: What are some ways to organize a house cheaply?

It goes back to simplifying. And decluttering costs nothing. If you have less to organize, not only is it cheaper but easier to maintain. A lot of my clients who never would consider themselves organized were able to maintain systems we put in place once we rid them of the excess. Next, shop your home. If you’ve tried to get organized in the past, you likely have bins or containers laying around that can be used. Last, label with what you have. Sometimes a post it and tape are all you need. Gift tags are another great way to label a bin or container. 

Q: How do you organize if you live in a small house?

Get creative. Simplify. Use vertical space and under furniture organizers.

Q: What are your most favorite tips when it comes to successfully organizing?

1. Address clutter before it comes in by having a catchall and system for mail. Address it immediately or at a designated time each week.

2. Be mindful when you shop. Shop with a list and try to avoid impulse buying. Sleep on big purchases. Decluttering and organizing are great but if you don’t address your consumption habits no amount of organizing will address the issue. 

3. Clean up as you cook and prepare school lunches while dinner is on the stove.

4. If you don’t have a closet near your door of entry, hang pretty hooks and place baskets for shoes, making every family member responsible for putting their items there each day.

5. Sunday nights are a great time to prepare for the week ahead. Coordinate calendars, meal plan, and put together a grocery list for the week. 

I’m so honored to have Alex here on the blog teaching us and maybe even getting your organizing questions answered to get you started.

About Alexandra from Living Simply PGH

Alex here. I’m owner and lead organizer at Living Simply PGH. I am also a dog mom, #boymom, wife to an introvert, enneagram 8, Pittsburgh native, DC alum, political junkie, former soccer player, marathon runner, wannabe gardener, terrible baker, sushi lover, history nerd, martini drinker, travel lover, and big sister.

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Rae