A real life DIY pro! What secrets do they possess?
Clearissa Coward

Have you ever wanted to pick the brain of a professional organization expert? Now’s your chance! We’ve had the pleasure and honor of interviewing Clearissa Coward - blogger, mother, grandmother, and professional organizer. In Part II of our interview, she shares with us insider tips and tricks to start getting your home clutter-free and keeping it organized. Turns out organizing is more fun and rewarding than we ever thought!

How do you advise someone with very little free time on how to maintain a well-organized house?

That’s simple for me. Once you get a space organized, make an effort to do something daily to keep it that way. Make this a routine so that it will eventually become a habit and you will know what you have to do every day to maintain an uncluttered and organized space. For example, decide you will never leave dirty dishes in your sink. It may sound overwhelming to begin with, but you will find that if you place breakfast dishes in the dishwasher, place all dinner dishes in the dishwasher, and run the dishwasher daily, you will never have dirty dishes in your sink. Set a schedule to empty the dishwasher before preparing dinner and running it every morning when leaving for work and voilà…the dish issue is settled. If you and your family have a chore list, make loading the dishwasher one person’s chore and unloading it another person’s. Sharing the load means one person does not feel overwhelmed.

Coward's command center keeps cleaning continuously
Organization is key Pinterest

To make life easier, what are the staples that every homemaker should have?

There are a few items I could not function without and I am so happy to share my list.

  • A journal. It does not need to be anything expensive. A three ring binder or a spiral notebook or whatever is comfortable for you. But you MUST have someplace to write down those ideas for DIY-ing, crafting, or organizing on the fly. Also, if you run across a design you like you can quickly add a pic to your journal.
  • Have a note section on your phone or tablet. This way when you run across something you absolutely love, you can snap a photo with your phone or make a quick note to refer back to. Later, print it and add it to your journal.
  • Make sure you have a glue gun. A glue gun is a necessary staple. And remember a glue gun without glue sticks is just clutter. Make sure to keep plenty of glue sticks on hand as well.
  • Chalk and chalkboard paints in black and white. You could decide to upcycle a lamp, jar, or something else in the middle of the night. I have a multitude of stored paint colors but to begin black and white are the basics.
  • Some sort of super glue or all-purpose glue.
  • Pinking and craft scissors.
  • White Vinegar is a cleaning staple for me. It fixes a myriad of sins.
  • Rubbing Alcohol comes in handy with lots of crafts.
  • Never run out of bathroom tissue & paper towels (or cleaning rags if you are a recycler)
  • Wicker or plastic baskets. They are great to have around just in case you decide to clean out a cabinet or shelf on the fly.

If a whole house needs everything to be put in place, how would you start tackling an intimidating project?

Break any project down into smaller bites and keep track of your progress. That will make the project seem much less intimidating.

On one of your latest articles you stated the importance of creating a Vision Board. Do you think it’s an essential step to have a year full of action and goal chasing?

A message board gets the point across
A la Clearissa Coward

I do think it’s important to put your dreams and goals in writing and to keep them visual. The reason for that is that anything that you see daily helps you to manifest it into your life. I believe if you place “organize my bedroom” as a goal on your vision board with a picture of an organized bedroom that you would love to have and see it every day, it will help you to make that desire come true.

Don’t get me wrong. Don’t expect to place win the lottery on your vision board with a stack of money and expect to hit the lottery. But attainable goals will come to fruition if you visualize and meditate on them daily. And who knows, the lottery may be a possibility as well.

What do you want to change this year?

Although, there are several desires for the upcoming year, I have 3 major goals for 2016:

  • Other than maintaining my family, my most important goals this year are to grow my readership for my blog which will allow me help more people lead a clutter-free and organized life.
  • I am also focused to get my business in order to transition from working for someone else to working for myself within the next 2.5 – 3.5 years (yes you have to be specific in your goal setting).
  • Finally, I would love to complete my organization eBook and open my DIY eStore.

3 Storm Questions:

Next DIY : Stencil a wall in my powder room

A guilty pleasure : Breyers Butter Almond Ice Cream

A quote that inspires you: I have two.

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou

I believe in miracles…do you? – Clearissa Coward

And last, what do you advise our readers who are looking to get inspired to take that first step into making their homes organized and better?

The inspiration may not come from the individual. I would advise if you are feeling anxious or like your space needs a change, begin by checking out pictures of rooms that are similar to yours and finding ones that you really like. This is the perfect time to begin your journal. This should inspire a refresh. However, if you need to purge, organize and reinvent, perhaps you need to read an organizational blog, preferably mine, or have a 30-minute consultation with an organizer. Just a few minutes talking with a professional could just be the jumpstart you need to catch the organization bug.

Custom wooden organization
DIY wood table Pinterest

We certainly hope our interview with Clearissa has inspired you to start an organization journey and begin decluttering your home and your life. Keep what serves you and makes you better. For more information and helpful tutorials and step-by-step instructions, visit Clearissa’s blog, Clearissa Coward’s Command Center.

Clearissa Cowards is the creator and editor of the blog Clearissa Coward’s Command Center. Lifestyle blogger with an emphasis on organization and redesign and a personal organization consultant with a flair for design on a dime. Her website is a conglomerate which includes, Divinely Organized - Professional & Personal Organization & Redesign, Customized Virtual Business Solutions (CVBS) - a full service virtual assistant business, and Clearissa's Avon Boutique. Although there are several tendrils to her business, they are all centered around living an uncluttered, successful and feel good life. She blogs about her passions and you can feel it in every article or blog post she shares with her readers.

You can find Clearissa on Twitter @clearissacoward, Facebook, G+, Hometalk and Pinterest.

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