How To Maintain Your Beautiful Organizing “After’s”

Apr 30

In all your efforts to get organized, you may have noticed that sometimes the beautiful “after” doesn’t stick around for long. There’s a few reasons for this and by the way – it’s all normal! We live in our homes and they should be comfortable and easy. Keeping up that after just requires a little maintenance…and some thought up front as you begin your organizing efforts. So how do you maintain your beautiful organizing “after’s”?

We ended last week’s webinar series talking with fellow Bay Area organizer Amanda Kuzak of Kuzak’s Closet. I have long admired her work in our organizing community because one wing of her business is dedicated to estate sales. That is a HUGE service offering alone and requires a lot of project management, which Amanda is highly skilled with. But she also offers organizing, relocation services and more. She’s a well-rounded organizer with a ton of experience so I knew she would be the perfect person to speak with on this topic.

About Amanda

For 15 years, Amanda Kuzak has been physically transforming the world around her. While attending law school in Michigan, Amanda started organizing professionally within her townhouse complex. She now mainly services clients on the San Francisco Bay Area’s Peninsula.

Amanda has an incomparable ability to create unique solutions for daunting projects and situations. Her project management skills — and ability to visualize the “after” before she starts — earn her rave reviews from her loyal clientele. Together with the team at Kuzak’s Closet, her specialities include large scale home organization, relocations, project management, estate organization and inventory, estate liquidations and estate sales. 

I love her sense of humor and down to earth attitude about organizing – both which totally resonate with me and my organizing vibe. We had so much fun talking and she shared many great tips that I hope you’ll watch the replay, which can be found here.

Interview Highlights

Amanda’s 5 P’s

Organizing any space always begins with purging. Whether it’s purging items to donate or sell or simply relocating to where they belong somewhere else in the house, you have to start by taking everything out and making decisions.

Once you have refined your items to the keeps, the next step is placing them where they make sense to you or where they best fit. A lot of times after you’ve purged, you get the itch to purchase products. But in fact it’s best to first place items and stage them to ensure that is where they should remain. And before buying products you need to know measurements, volume, etc. You should spend time living in the space where those items are placed too. For example, in your kitchen if you would prefer spices be within reach and dishtowels not be there – so be it. Move items around. But before moving onto the next P you should definitely place your items and live with them in place for a bit.

Product comes next on Amanda’s list of P’s. Once you know the items will remain in their current place, you can begin to look at products that fit best – in the space and with your own personal taste.

A close tie in with product comes pattern. The pattern will change depending on the space you’re working in of course. For example, in this pantry I organized you can see a pattern…

( view the details of this pantry )

Some professional organizers – like me and Amanda – not only help to declutter and organize, but we design and space plan too. That beautiful after comes from the streamlined look of the products you purchase AND how they are staged in the space. This is why it’s important to know the volume of your contents and the measurements of the space they are living in. You can create a pattern by following her tips.

The final P is Perfect. Not meaning = perfect like perfection. We’re talking about maintenance. This is the step that is constantly in motion. As Amanda mentions in the interview, your closet may not need to be perfected all the time, maybe 1-2x per year. But your pantry that is touched daily will likely need maintenance week to week.

Amanda shared so many great tips and hope you have the chance to watch our conversation.

I can’t believe how quickly the series blew by. And if you missed my post yesterday, I announced that the series will continue 1-2x per week for the duration of stay-at-home orders. We are home until the end of May here in the Bay Area so I am looking forward to bringing you more experts to motivate and inspire you though this period. And who knows…maybe even after we’re able to get back to work!

Today I had the great pleasure of speaking with Adam Pratt all about photo organizing. You MUST see this interview! He dropped some serious organizing knowledge and expertise….and in a way we can all grasp. Can’t wait to share my blog follow up with more details about our time together but if you can spare 90 minutes, I promise it will be worth it! Adam is incredible and so grateful to have had a bit of his time to speak on the topic of photo organization – something we all struggle with.

Back soon with more guys!



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