Better Living: De-cluttering with the Chaos Whisperer

Cluttered interiors 300x229 Better Living: De cluttering with the Chaos WhispererIf you’ve postponed organizing your home, moving generally forces you to make good on all the things you have promised yourself. If you are selling your home, buyers–especially in New York City—will open your closet doors to see how big they are. We generally recommend that sellers tidy those closets by moving out anything they absolutely won’t be using in the next six months.

We also know that new home buyers want their beautiful new home to be as lovely and well functioning as possible. Sonya Weisshappel, in my opinion, is an organizing savant. As owner of move-relocation experts Seriatim, she really is the Chaos Whisperer. She has been in my home, and in just a few minutes of looking around she has offered tips that have revolutionized the way I organize. I asked her about how we can minimize chaos.

“The problem is that people put the wrong things in the wrong places,” she said. “It’s like having photographs on the kitchen counter—that doesn’t work. It’s out of place, because the kitchen is for food. It’s like being in the car and you have a whole bunch of clothes in the car.”

That’s when organization becomes most chaotic: when there are no rules about where things go.

“Most peoples’ desks are the receptacle for everything. For example, people pile way too many office supplies on their desks. You don’t need four rolls of tape and ten cases of staples; you need a clean surface. On their desks, people mix up things that they want to leave, and things that they want to do and then check off of a list. A lot of those activities they don’t actually do at their desk: They typically don’t read their magazines at their desk; they typically don’t pay their bills at the same place where they send their e-mails. But they keep all the supplies there like they’re going to do it.”

I asked Sonya how she approaches chaotic spaces.

“The most important thing is to start to pull apart what is in the wrong place, and put it towards the right place. It’s sorting. It’s putting books with books, and clothes with clothes,” she said.

“And that requires organization and a storage solution. It’s being consistent. And some people never establish which spaces things go in. That’s when organization becomes most chaotic: when there are no rules about where things go.”

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