Expert Series – Organizing With the Experts

Happy New Year Everyone.

We’re kicking off a new series of interviews with experts! Our first series will be on organizing experts – people who help others get organized for a living! Our inaugural guest is Krista Colvin. As owner of Organize in Style llc, she helps women organize their homes and offices. As the creator of, The Smart Woman’s Guide to Doing it All, she inspires women to get it and keep it together. Krista is the lifestyle expert for AM Northwest, & co host of The O Myth, a Blog Talk Radio show. She is a guest blogger for Working Mother Magazine and Online Organizing.

[Qlubb] What do you do and how did you get started being a professional organizer?

[Krista]I’m a lifestylist and organizing maven… which basically means I believe in organizing the whole shebang! Simply put, I help people get it and keep it together based on their personal organizing style.

After teaching high school for 13 years I decided to take what I dubbed my “Domestic Diva” leave of absence. After about a year I got antsy and discovered via many hours of HGTV that professional organizing was a ‘real job’! From there I launched Organize in Style my consulting and hands-on organizing business then later developed The Shebang- The Smart Woman’s Guide to Doing it All!, which is an online lifestyle management program.

[Qlubb] Why do people need to be better organized?

[Krista] Being organized takes the ‘overwhelm’ out of life’s craziness. A simple clearing of a paper pile may be all one needs to feel in control or a complete office re-do may be the answer. I believe we each have our threshold and when it’s out-of-whack, we feel it.

[Qlubb] What have been the top three favorite tips you’ve found help someone get organized?

1. Piles are just flat files- if you loathe filing consider tossing the paper in a box. This works best with financial statements or bank statements or paid bills. They will still be in chronological order and you’ll easily be able to reference them if need be.

2. Create paper systems based on your organizing style. I believe people are filers, pilers, or into binders. Determine which style suits you and the task at hand, then create a simple system.

3. Just because your mother did it that way, you don’t have to! For example, there’s nothing wrong with keeping the peanut butter with the bread if you make PB&J’s everyday.

[Qlubb] Many of our members are balancing work, family and their group activities. What advice do you have for them to stay organized in three separate, busy contexts?

[Krista] As much as we’d like to keep our work, family + group activities separate, that rarely seems to be the case. We don’t lead 3 different lives, so the key is to integrate and manage them the best we can.

work- Make the best use of your time. Asking yourself “is this the BEST use of my time?” will have you knock out the “Must Do’s” instead of the “Could-Do’s.”

family- Create routines and have simple systems in place. Implementing a daily 5 minute pick up-clean up session for the entire family is the key to staying organized.

group activities- Keep it simple! Make sure everyone has the needed information in a clear and concise manner.

[Qlubb] For our team leaders and organizers, what tips can you offer for them to help get someone else in the group to be better organized? What “buttons” do you push to help someone get organized and most importantly, stay organized?

[Krista] Organizing someone else… hmmm always a can of worms 🙂 First remind yourself that we each have different organizing styles so what works for you will not always work for someone else. I suggest setting the system up for the end user. Create something simple. Don’t go crazy with the details.

Setting deadlines to include specific time due, for example, Tuesday at 11am, helps keep your group members on task. Most people know what they need to do but put it off until the last minute. When setting the deadline consider that some will need to push out the due time as they may have underestimated the amount of time to complete the task.

[Qlubb] Thanks Krista. We really appreciate your advice. Happy New Year to you and all of our readers!
Posted by Qlubb-Andy at 3:47 PM
Labels: club organizer, experts, get organized, leader, organizing
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January 2, 2009 3:40 AM
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