Could Minimalism Be Right For You?

Headshot and title for Lisa Kaplan, a Professional Organizer in South Florida and the Founder of Your Pro Organizer.

Minimalism, the concept wherein everything is stripped down to its essential quality to achieve simplicity.

What began decades ago as an artistic movement has more recently spread across our culture like a wildfire. Businesses are adopting minimalist design in their logos, young professionals are moving into tiny homes, and families across the nation are even taking the leap and pairing down. I know, I know, you’re thinking, “listen, I’m no hippie…I love my things and I don’t plan on getting rid of anything because of some trend.”

While minimalism is an effective lifestyle choice for some, it isn’t “for” everyone. A great way to know for sure? Peruse through our list below, and if you find yourself wondering, “what if?” a lifestyle transformation is easier than you may think.

1. You HATE Cleaning

Most people enjoy a freshly cleaned space. No dirt, grime or clutter…it’s wonderful. Well, if you are someone who enjoys the actual process of rearranging tchotchkes to dust, picking up toys before mopping or general tidying up, minimalism may not be right for you. Having less means you spend less time decluttering and cleaning the things in your space, and more time on, well…anything else.

2. You’d Like To Start A New Hobby

There is a saying, “the thing’s you own end up owning you.” This is 100% true. Organizing, cleaning, repairing, replacing, purchasing. Everything we own takes some level of commitment. Some of these items are never really used, yet their storage and maintenance takes time. Time that could be spent doing something fun. Now if you are one of those people who would rather spend a beautiful weekend at home re-arranging your closets instead of visiting friends or taking a trip, minimalism may not be right for you.

3. You’re Constantly Searching For Things

Most people I speak to about minimalism are under the impression that it means living in a home with one chair, one table, one pencil and so on. This is not the case! Being a minimalist does not come with a rule book, but rather a lens to look through asking, “is this item/action truly, beneficial to my life?” Naturally, if you are able to ask this question to each of your possessions you will find items you own that neither bring joy or usefulness to your life, and as a minimalist you would have no qualms getting rid of them. If you are however someone who likes to sift through piles of paperwork, rake through clothing to find the piece you want, or shuffle dishes to get to your favorite platter, the “minimalist lens” might just remove those joys from your life.

4. You Are Looking For A Real Lifestyle Change

Minimalism has a way of spreading to all aspects of life for those who pursue it. This means that once you adopt the lifestyle to your surroundings, you may find the same concepts creeping into your mental and even physical states. Minimalism is, in many ways, about applying the minimal effective dose to achieve a desired result. Having excess weight is usually a sign that your intake is greater than your exertion. Ergo, a true minimalist lifestyle could be the cause for you achieving and maintaining your body-type’s healthiest balance.

5. The Environment Is Important To You

Simply stated, having less means you have less of an impact on the environment. When you buy less you waste and dispose of less. People who adopt a minimalist lifestyle drastically shrink their ecological footprint, leaving less stress on our environment.

6. You Could Use A Little Free Time

Imagine it’s Saturday morning, you wake up and the weekend is ahead of you. The first thing you do is think of everything you need to get done around the house before work on Monday. Cleaning the garage, dusting, tidying up your daughter’s room, answering emails. This mental clutter fuels some of us into action, while bogging others down. It is important to stay busy, but lacking control of what is keeping you busy is what minimalism helps combat. It removes the aspects of your life that take up time unnecessarily, freeing you up for what you would rather be spending your time on.

7. You Enjoy Embarking On Experiences, But Can’t Seem To Find The Cash

When you decide to spend your hard earned money, it makes sense to spend wisely on something that lasts. Possessions are tangible. You can see the thread-work on a shirt and the design of a vase along with the price on their tags to determine the value. Experiences are wildly intangible, and affect different people in different ways. So what lasts longer, a possession and the initial excitement it brings or an experience and its effect on your life?

8. You Constantly Wonder If There’s An Easier Way

Minimalism allows people to practice mindful control of their possessions. This begins by combing through and decisively making what is sometimes a difficult decision regarding what stays and what goes. Being able to cut through the emotional clutter and then to maintain the same mental framework moving forward doesn’t always come naturally, but it can be learned. Minimalists practice until they ultimately become master decision-makers without a hint of indecision.

Much like the termfeminist the term “minimalist” is often misunderstood as an extreme viewpoint or lifestyle choice. Minimalism does not mean living without the things you love, it simply requires you to do a little soul searching to find the truth about what is most important to you, then determine the possessions and actions you need to fulfill that truth. It allows you to veer from the masses and experience the lifestyle you crave instead of the consumeristic one promoted by our culture. Once you determine that a simpler more streamlined life is right for you, moving forward becomes of utmost importance. YPO specialists are trained to guide you through your journey toward a more simplified life, and can begin the process as early as today.

**Minimalism is different for each of us, but the principles remain steady. If you are interested in simplifying your life our organization specialists are ready to help. Call 954-406-6002 or email for your complimentary consultation.**

your pro organizer is a hands-on organizing firm specializing in helping you get and STAY organized. We bring efficiency, style and peace to our clients spaces so they can concentrate on the more important things in life.

5 Steps To A Totally Transformed Closet

Headshot and title for Lisa Kaplan, a Professional Organizer in South Florida and the Founder of Your Pro Organizer.

Welcome back! Last December we posted on a topic that most of our clients struggle with. Streamlining their wardrobe so that every piece they own is one they love and use. If you haven’t yet read it, drop everything and sneak a peak at “The Wardrobe Cleanse That Works!” You can only achieve the TRUE results after both steps are complete, so don’t miss out!

Now that you have trimmed the fat and you are living with your most favorite pieces it’s time to get the “magazine worthy” closet you always dreamed of. Here are our expert tips to creating picture perfection in your formerly cluttered closet.

1. Arrange By Type And Color

Skirts go with skirts, shirts with shirts, etc. Once this is done, color coding within these sections (white, black, then following the ROYGBIV rainbow guide) will not only look incredible, it will help you find pieces more easily.

2. Coordinate Your Hangers

This might seem like an unnecessary extra step. After all, we are talking about getting your clothing in order. As long as it’s hanging it should be fine right? Keeping clothing on the same style hanger not only frees up space, but it gives your closet a uniform look. It also places each piece on a “level playing field” which will help you spot the items that are no longer relevant to you in the future.

3. Label It!

Depending on how thoroughly you previously sorted, you may have just the right amount of clothing to fit comfortably in your space, or you may not. If it’s still a tight squeeze, you might consider investing in some clothing rod dividers. These dividers allow you to create visibly defined sections based on the types of clothing you have. This is also a great option if you have someone else using the space like a housekeeper or a partner who is helping with the laundry.

4. Containerize Folded Clothing

As a professional organizer, folded clothing kept outside a drawer is a personal nightmare. Sure, if you spend the time folding everything uniformly and stacking it by type and color it can give your closet that “department store” feeling…at least until the next time you need a piece of clothing. As soon as you need to get to something, these stacks become a jumbled mess of toppled-over piles of clothing shoved on a shelf. A chest of drawers is ideal for folded clothing. If yours is full or you don’t have one at all, consider adding baskets to an open shelf. It is a great way to contain folded items, giving you a uniform look and separation between types of clothing. Technique: Clothing should be folded as compact as the piece will permit. This allows it to stand upward in your drawer (or basket) so that you can arrange in rows rather than stacked one on top of another.

5. Solve It With Shelving

Utilize shelving for lesser used accessories or bulky seasonal items. I generally do not like to separate clothing by season, but some of the more cumbersome items like ski jackets and snow boots are appropriate pieces to containerize and place “up.” Accessories like purses and hats are also great items to shelve. To keep your shelves looking their best, label just underneath each item and make sure there is space between sections so getting to whatever you need is simple and effortless.

**If you are interested in saving time and streamlining the process by working with an organization specialist, call 954-406-6002 or email for your complimentary consultation.**

your pro organizer is a hands-on organizing firm specializing in helping you get and STAY organized. We bring efficiency, style and peace to our clients spaces so they can concentrate on the more important things in life.

Young handsome man keeping hand on chin and looking away while sitting in the chair against illustration of an organized closet in the background

The Wardrobe Cleanse That Works!

Headshot and title for Lisa Kaplan, a Professional Organizer in South Florida and the Founder of Your Pro Organizer.

Welcome to the YPO blog. Built by organization specialists, read by anyone looking for more time, space and simplicity, and focused on uncovering the CORE of simplified living. I have decided to focus part one of this two-part remedy on the one thing that allows us to express ourselves before we even open our mouth. Our style!

The suit you wore to that office holiday party the year you were let go, the designer dress you got at a sample sale in Chelsea but never wore, then there is the clothing you constantly gloss over while searching for something to wear. All of this has a psychological impact that has likely been piling up in your closet and your mind for years. It is time to wipe the slate clean by making mindful decisions on what we have in our closets and why. Just like a body cleanse, a “wardrobe cleanse” will help trim the fat, allowing you to showcase the “you” you want to be. Our team of organizers has complied some of their favorite tips to help you develop the wardrobe of your dreams without purchasing a single thing. So take a day (or two) grab our checklist (or an organization specialist) and get started!

1. Remove The Tragic

Do a once over of all your clothing, remove anything damaged beyond repair and set aside items that need tailoring in a special pile near the front door. Have you had these damaged items for a long time? Set a deadline for yourself on when they must be fixed and stick to it. If you pass the deadline and your clothing remains un-mended, it’s probably time to let it go.

2. Find Fit and Function

Most of us have a few items that used to be real go-to pieces, but that have not fit or been practical for quite some time. Run through your clothing once more, no need to try anything on just yet, this step is to get rid of the pieces you already know are there. Ask yourself…Does it fit? (physically or lifestyle-wise). How long has it been since it’s fit? Will it ever fit? Be realistic with your answer. It may be hard to get rid of your favorite halter top from 1997, but the fact is it is no longer contributing to your happiness and probably hasn’t for some time now.

3. But It’s Brand Spankin’ New(ish)!

Most of us are guilty of having one or more pieces of clothing that went straight from the store to our closet and never again saw the light of day. Maybe it was an amazing sale, the (gasp) last one on the rack, or an item purchased for a special occasion that was never used. Whatever the reason, if it has been more than six months and you have not yet worn it…it is most likely time to let go. Having trouble parting? Consider gifting the piece to a friend. Just because you can not find a use for it does not mean it shouldn’t be enjoyed.

4. Revamping Your “Cozies” 

Now this is something we ALL have. The clothing we wear around the house. Super comfy, but often downright terrifying. The public sees the polished put together us, but as soon as that front door closes we cover ourselves in over-sized shirts, worn out and saggy pants, maybe even a sock with a hole. It’s kind of like that ‘laundry day underwear’ you own, “hey, nobody sees it but me right?” While that is true it’s also true that what you wear has a profound effect on how you see yourself. If you start the day (or evening) in your movie marathon sweats, how likely are you to interact with the outside world, leave the house, heck, even finish that work report? Put your best foot forward at home by removing those pieces of worn out and tired clothing. This will allow you to find and wear the pieces that are comfortable and make you feel great. So say goodbye to those sweatpants from three boyfriends past and slip into something a little more luxurious like those silk pajama bottoms you got last Christmas.

5. Nix Negative Association

This can be many things to many people. Maybe it is the blouse you wore the day you crashed your car, maybe it’s the section of “I know I will fit back into this one day” clothing. Whatever this category means to you, the most important thing to consider about the clothing we keep is that it should make us feel good, both to look at and to wear. It might be a beautiful blouse, but if it brings up that negative memory every time you see it…you are better off without it.

6. Dump The Doubles

We all have a style. Sometimes our style is ingrained in the latest fashions, sometimes it is more home-grown. Either way, it’s likely that somewhere in our closet there is at least one piece that is almost identical to another (think that blue flower print dress that has a blue-green cousin). Now unless you have adopted the Steve Jobs wardrobe, the duplicates of our favorite pieces, and there is always a favorite, rarely get worn. Lay out the items that are noticeably similar and eliminate the runners up keeping only those go-to pieces. This will free up space and make your daily routine much simpler.

7. The Fool-Proof Fix

Now maybe you have just gone through the first six steps and you are feeling great! There are piles of clothing for donation on their way out and your closet is fresh, light, and everything is easily visible. Yes, it’s possible, but more than likely there is still a lot left. This is after all a process…clothing is an intimately personal possession and not cheap to replace! Our last trick takes longer than 1-2 days, but is a fool-proof way to uncover what you really are or are not wearing. Start by removing all of the hanging clothing from your closet and re-hang it, facing the hooks towards you (the “wrong way”). Now whenever you wear something, put it back the right way. In six months, any items still facing the wrong way (excluding any formal or specialty pieces) are items you are clearly not wearing that are safe to let go.

Understanding the “why” behind what we own is a process that requires some introspection. It may not be quick, it may not be easy, but by starting you have taken the first step towards discovering your very own possession-connection. What you do with this knowledge from here is up to you, but we hope that your journey uncovers a more peaceful and fulfilling way of life.

**If you are interested in saving time and streamlining the process by working with an organization specialist, call 954-406-6002 or email for your complimentary consultation.**

your pro organizer is a hands-on organizing firm specializing in helping you get and STAY organized. We bring efficiency, style and peace to our clients spaces so they can concentrate on the more important things in life.