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What’s New & Exciting in Organizing for 2020?

Before I can say “in a flash”, I will be celebrating an unconventional pilgrimage of 42 years as a Professional Organizer. The business of organization was not common back then; I was a frontierswoman in this unheard-of field, along with a dozen other smart and caring leap-of-faithers around the country aiming to bestow the magic of organization. Now, you will find thousands of other sharp and talented Professional Organizers all over the world. The organizing business has boomed.

Back in the old west, very few people understood what I did for a living. It would take up to 10 minutes to explain and even then people would assume it was a hobby instead of a real business. Luckily, times have changed and everyone has heard of this truly life-changing profession.

How Organizing has Changed

Here’s what is fascinating and what’s new. Not much and then some. The problems I saw 42 years ago, I still see today and many of the solutions remain the same. What’s mostly changed is that four decades ago you might have said, “I have 10 things on my to-do list that I should’ve done yesterday.” Today there may be a whopping 25 things on your list. Sure, you’re overworked, overwhelmed and sometimes feel on the margin of collapse. Back then, your mamas did too.

The difference is, we didn’t have the same benefits of modern technology, which is a game-changer and at the very same time, stress charger. Today, expectations are at a coronary high. As a frontierswoman, snail mail was in; cell phones were a heartbeat away. You couldn’t be found and you could actually have a real vacation without being interrupted. Times were a little slower. There was less. You even had a grace period to decide without pressure beating down your fitness crazed back. Kids had after school activities too and watching some telly like Sesame Street wasn’t the worst thing in the world.

Today we need an air traffic controller to navigate a family calendar with the finesse of getting who to where and when. More room to store more stuff.  We have apps to keep track of and sort information, emails to keep track of more information that you really didn’t need to know and text to store conversations that get misconstrued anyway.  That’s how we get in touch today. Picking up the telephone and having a “Hello, how are you, what’s new?” conversation is almost unheard-of. Being there has everything to do with being fully charged and plugged in. It’s all about fast-forwarded change, and what stays the same.

Paper to Digital Organizing

When I started organizing, paper was the number one American problem, closets were busting out all over, time management was a mess for many, systems became a buzz word and people were beginning to think organized thoughts. All in that exact order.

Today…move over paper, digital everything has taken over. Closets still need sorting, systems of every kind are being taught and people are still trying to think organized thoughts: Less is more, clutter is simply delayed decisions, The secret to getting ahead is getting started, There is beauty in simplicity or A year from now you will wish you had started today.

2020 Organizing Trends

There are a few key trends that are influencing the organization market and it has a lot to do with how much stuff we’ve all collected over the years. But all this stuff leads to clutter which can interfere with our lives and results in unnecessary baggage. Most people need a little extra help to get their homes organized which is why the market for home organization products has boomed as well. Therefore, it’s so important to start organizing in a way that works for you and your family. Take note of these organizing trends to help you in 2020.

Get the Hang of Organizing

I’ve always had a thing for hangers. Not just the ones that sit pretty in your closet. But ones that stand the test of time because of their value and substance. If they meet my criteria, then they can look exquisite and fashionable.

Hangers aren’t exactly a trend. However, those that are sustainable are taking over, and they won’t end up in a landfill. 

I recently fell in love with All Hung Up Hangers for lots of reasons including their kindness to the earth. As a smart hanger should, they hold the shape of clothing beautifully and the ends are smooth and rounded. My pet peeve with most hangers is that they’re flimsy, poorly made and their oversized shape end to end creates pointed and overstretched shoulders in your clothing. I also love the versatility of All Hung Up Hangers. They have lots of options to choose from which means different price points- so they’re affordable too.

If you love special designs you can customize your own by selecting a color, type of hook and monogram. Go avant-garde or stay simple. You can have whatever your imagination and budget allow.

All Hung Up Hangers have provided me with a discount code for readers of The Organizing Confessions. Get 25% off your purchase throughout January when you use the promo code: Ronni5

What's New & Exciting in Organizing for 2020?
I just love my All Hung Up Hangers
Photo credit: Corrine from @piccolopictures
Do More with Less Space

Lifestyle trends, urban living, multi-generational homes and the accumulation of too much stuff are all resulting in less living space. When space is at a premium you need to be organized and maximize all available space. One way to do this is by creating multi-functional rooms that serve more than one purpose. For example, a guest bedroom that doubles as an office or craft room. Get creative and look for the potential in any unused or infrequently used spaces.

Use Organization Products Wisely

Internet shopping may have made our lives easier but it’s also made our homes messier. Because we’re able to shop from anywhere at any time, we tend to accumulate way more than we need. As a result, manufacturers have had to get creative with organizational products that can help us to order the chaos. Perhaps in 2020 aim to buy less and rather invest in products that can help you create systems and give everything a proper place. Think bins, baskets, totes, containers, shelving and other items that will make your life easier.

What’s New & Exciting in Organizing for 2020?
This basket from Real Home Innovations is ideal for children’s toys – keep them at eye level for easy access and clean up.
Photo credit: Corinne from @piccolopictures
Allow Influencers to Inspire You

As the business of organization has grown so significantly over recent years, so has the number of television programs and social media images promoting images of tidier homes. Shows about remodeling or getting innovative with unappealing spaces have become more popular and encourages people to get organized and re-imagine the way they live. This trend of influencers in the industry is set to continue throughout 2020, so allow it to inspire you. Save good ideas to your organization Pinterest board, share organization blog posts like this one with your partner or friends, follow Organizing Professionals on Instagram and let them inspire you to make the change. Sometimes all you need is to see that it’s possible and it will light a fire within you. Use these sources of inspiration to make 2020 your most organized year yet.

Work-Life Balance Aids Organization

Recent surveys have shown that 85% of millennials (a large portion of the workforce) choose to work remotely. As digital technology advances the ease of telecommuting makes this favorable for workers and companies. This is because it promotes a healthy work-life balance that had previously been neglected. It also reduces commuting costs and boosts productivity. A win-win for everyone. Although working from home allows people to spend more time with their families it also means more time at home. In order to work well remotely, you need to be disciplined and ruthless about distractions or interruptions. Clutter stifles productivity, so if you are one of the many working from home let this encourage you to de-clutter and create order.

Make Use of Opportunities to Sell Online

In our digital age, there are plenty of opportunities to sell things online. Whether it’s something you bought on a whim and never used or an item that’s been in the family for ages, you’ll find someone who wants to buy it. Essentially, this allows you to pass on things that you don’t want or don’t have space for. Today there are many upscale sites and opportunities to make money online by passing your unwanted stuff along to others.

Outsourcing or Hiring help

With the rise of remote workers comes many options for you to get help with many tasks and projects including organizing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Organizing can be a momentous task for some. So, why not outsource some of your tasks or even consider getting a personal assistant to help you take control of your situation. A big trend for 2020 is using the tools available to you to get more organized.

Organize This, Not That

You may not realize it but there are a number of organizing mistakes that can actually leave your house looking messy. On the surface, you might think your home looks in order but if you’re making any of these organizing mistakes maintaining the order will be tough. As you tackle your organizing challenges for 2020, keep these tips in mind:

Don’t Confuse Clean with Organized

Neat and lined up piles on counters, tables or any available flat surface will seem tidy at first but the order will quickly fall apart. Just because it’s neatly stacked doesn’t mean it’s organized. If you find yourself filling flat surfaces with clutter, then you need to rethink your system. Designate a spot for each item and your piles will soon be gone.

Don’t Use Your Refrigerator as a Message Board

The messy spot in any kitchen is usually the refrigerator tacked full of magnets with reminders, notes, letters, invitations, lists, and photos. Many of these things are left or forgotten on the fridge even when they are no longer needed or relevant. Rather, keep one clipboard on your kitchen wall for reminders and shopping lists. When it’s full you can remove what you no longer need. This will limit the number of papers you keep and will look much tidier.

Don’t Shop First and Organize Second

Yes, organizing products can be super helpful but buying organizing products that you don’t actually need will just make the problem worse. For organizing products to solve your clutter nightmare you first need to take stock of what you have, get rid of what you don’t need and then decide on products that can help you organize what’s left.

Don’t Forget to Use Labels

Bins and storage containers are a great way to organize but you need to use them properly. First of all, they need to be space-efficient and suit your needs. The problem is that it can be easy to stuff them full of mismatched items just to get them out of the way. Next thing you know, your junk drawer extends to your storage bins too. Instead, label each bin or container as you organize them initially. This will stop you in your tracks before you add something that doesn’t belong.

Don’t Waste Time Organizing Your Email

Many people spend hours trying to organize their email inboxes to try to maintain technological order. But studies have shown that the email search tool works much better than folders when it comes to looking for old emails. Rather, use the time to create order on your Smartphone home screen. Frequently used apps can be on the home screen but little-used applications should be moved to the second page or deleted as it will save you time, free up space and spare your battery life.

What inspires you to get organized?

Disclaimer: Keep in mind that I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you when you click my links and make a purchase. However, this does not impact my opinion. I try my best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

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Comments 38

  1. Wow – 42 years. Such an amazing accomplishment. I really enjoyed reading how things are both changing and staying the same. I feel for parents today with the pace of activities and the onset of technology. The pace has certainly picked up, and in many cases, I think the intensity has as well. Everyone benefits from having a team to help you get things done. I love that I can be part of that team for some:)

    1. Seana,

      Today it absolutely takes a team. There are so many expectations and demands on our time. The pace has picked up and there’s so much to choose from.

      I know you’d be an important part of anyone’s team!

      Warmly,
      Ronni

  2. Ronni, this is a great round up! My favorite comment is one of my pet peeves – don’t shop for organizing tools before you start! So many clients ask what they need to buy in advance of our first session. My answer is always: nothing.

    1. Hi Diane,

      I always discouraged my clients from purchasing too much. I wanted to teach organizing skills first as it’s a mindset.

      Thank you!
      Ronni

  3. Congratulations, Ronni, for 42 years in this wonderful organizing business! That’s an enormous accomplishment.

    I enjoyed reading your take on changes in the industry over these four past decades. One other trend I’ve seen is the growth of specialization. There used to be one professional association with organizers doing very close to the same work. Now there are international organizing associations, organizers specializing in everything from moves to photos to chronic disorganization and more. There also is a lot more education available.

    I’m not the business as long as you (only 27 years,) but when I started there were only a few books about organizing (Stephanie Winston’s “Getting Organized,” was my go-to-source,) and no formal education venues. Now there are hundreds if not thousands of organizing books and places like NAPO, ICD, Coach Approach, and more to become better organizers.

    1. Hi Linda!

      I knew Stephanie very well. She was an icon in our field and truly the first Professional Organizer.
      You are right about specialization. I didn’t think of that.
      The main difference when I began was that some specialized in business and others in the home. Many offered workshops, engaged in public speaking and product promotion. I pretty much did it all!! I loved expanding.

      Warm regards,
      Ronni

    1. Janet,

      I also love how so much has stayed the same.
      The bottom line is, people still need
      to organize and simplify. They also need motivation and our help!

      Best regards, Ronni

  4. I have been organizing my home since the start of the new year. I just redid my kitchen cabinets. Next project will be getting my closets organized.

    1. Hi Jess,
      You’re on a roll. That’s awesome. Doesn’t it feel great? (I love it when I’ve organized a space,) Keep it up.

  5. Another wonderful post! I really enjoyed reading tips. And this kind of article always inspires me to get organized! Thank you.

    1. Thank you, Anne. That’s the best compliment. Inspiring my readers is my goal and I am so very happy you enjoy my posts.!!

  6. Thank you so much for the great tips! We have lived in our home for 15+ years and are now looking for a new home with more property i the country. I can’t believe how much stuff we have accumulated over the years and how a lot of it was just hidden away in closets. I have a big task ahead of me and I plan on decluttering and donating a lot of items.

    1. I know. Tossing, donating, giving away, tag sales, calling in the junk removers… I did all of that when we downsized!!

  7. I don’t consider myself OCD but, I definitely keep my home and life organized. Many friends want to know how I do it. Tell them it’s not only making things more organized the biggest key is to follow through with what you’ve implemented into your home and daily routine

  8. Would REALLY LOVE to WIN THIS!! Thank you SO VERY MUCH for opportunity!! Good luck everyone!!

    1. I’m loving the response I’m getting. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for everyone, including you.🙏

  9. What a beautiful success story! 42 years teaching, sharing and caring! I love ideas and show-me’s to help.

  10. That is true that we have so much more to do on our lists but we need to ask ourselves will this matter a year or even a month from now?

    1. I like that! I always ask myself, “How important is it?” The answer comes quickly.💪

  11. I try to stay organized, I really do but then life gets in the way or I need to do a quick pick up and everything just ends in a mess again!

  12. i am at the decluttering stage and have been for a little over a year. donating and selling some stuff, so there is more room and can organize properly

    1. Good going Jodi! It looks like you’ve done a lot of work. It must be a really good feeling. Especially when you see space open up.🙌

  13. New Year’s resolution is to become more organized. Some days, I feel like I’m making progress, but I’m quickly learning that if I let something slide, it’s a chain reaction and a train wreck causing things to come undone. It really is a lot of work and dedication. I laughed at the comment about organizing emails. With 15,000 of them, I’d never finished!

    1. I’m glad you’re motivated. Getting organized can be an uphill battle. And there’s always something to do. Can you give me an example of what you let slide that creates a challenge for you when trying to get back on track?

    1. There are never enough hours in the day. That’s why knowing your priorities is so key. Always do the most important task first, the one that will bring you the most impact for your time.

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