Leigh Achenbach, the owner of Suddenly Simple Organizing, has an eye for both organization and style. You will love these tips shared by this middle-Tennessee organizer.
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Our Favorite Organizing experts
Have you ever met a professional organizer? These people are some of the smartest people that love helping others. Their wisdom and tricks turn messy rooms into pure organized bliss!
This Organizing Experts series on Clutter Keeper will help you discover more people to follow and fresh places to find inspiration. Some of them own their own professional organizing business and some are online influencers. All of them have relatable stories to share.
Leigh Achenbach – Suddenly Simple Organizing
Meet Leigh. She’s the owner of Suddenly Simple Organizing, where she discovered she can turn her passion for organizing into a fun and rewarding career.
Leigh is a native of middle Tennessee who finds the greatest joy from making a disorganized room look peaceful and functional.
When you chat with her, you feel like you are chatting with a close friend. She’s exactly the person you want to go to when you have a room that is out of control.
We are thrilled to introduce you to a Nashville/Murfreesboro organizer that has some clever tips.
WHAT IS THE MOST COMMON QUESTION YOU ARE ASKED ABOUT ORGANIZING?
People always ask how to know what to get rid of. I always ask three questions:
- “Do you need it?”
- “Do you love it?”
- “Do you use it?”
If you can’t answer yes to at least one of these questions you can let it go with no guilt. Notice how I don’t ask, “How much did you pay for it?” Or “Was it a gift?” I don’t think you should ever feel obligated to keep items just because someone gave it to you or you paid a lot of money for it. Reclaim your space and let go of the items you won’t use or don’t like.
What products should I buy? The most important part of getting organized is purging. Pulling everything out, sorting and purging all need to happen before you ever buy any products because you need to know what items you will actually be storing. Buying more products does not GET you organized, but spending money wisely on the right systems after purging and sorting can help you STAY organized!
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE STORAGE HACKS?
I love using a basket to store flip flops and sandals vertically. It helps save so much space on your shoe rack!
In pantries I love taking as much out of packing as possible so you can see what you have. Nothing is more annoying than going to get a snack and realizing someone put an empty box back on the shelf. Snacks that are individually-packaged are great to take out of the box and store in clear containers.
WHAT MADE YOU REALLY ENJOY ORGANIZING IN THE FIRST PLACE?
I have always loved decluttering and organizing. Growing up, and even now, it’s the only way I can focus. A tidy space really helps me be able to focus and destress.
“A tidy space helps me focus and destress.”-Leigh from Suddenly Simple Organizing
WHO IS YOUR INSPIRATION?
I’m really inspired by Christy Wright and her approach to business as a mom. I have loved her books and conferences before I became a mom, but ever since I had my son 7 months ago I appreciate her words on a whole new level. One thing I love that she teaches is how to say no.
Turning things down is hard, but gets easier the more you do it. Knowing the boundaries you need to set for your business to protect the precious time you have with your family is so important.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WAY TO LABEL THINGS?
It really depends on what type of bin or container I am labeling. For plastic or glass containers I love using the Brother P-Touch label maker or Chalkboard Tape and a white permanent marker. For bins and baskets I love using the silver bin clip labels from Target or tie on a cute tag. I also just got a Cricut machine and am learning to make vinyl labels!
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE “MUST-HAVE” STORAGE PRODUCTS?
Velvet Hangers! They are space-savers, keep your clothes from falling off and give a clean, uniform look to your closet. (Hint: I always like black hangers, because if you need to purchase more they are easier to match if you are not able to find the exact same ones.)
Recollections Photo Keeper: This is the ultimate storage box for your photos! The box includes individual cases to organize, store, and protect your priceless photos.
Water Hyacinth/Wicker Baskets: They look great in any space. I love using them in pantries, playrooms, and offices, and even in closets to store flip flops. They are functional obviously, but also give great texture and style to the room.
WHAT IS THE MOST POPULAR THING YOU ORGANIZE?
Kitchens/Pantries are popular because it is the center of the home daily for the entire family and for guests if you entertain at all. It is also an area that you are constantly bringing in new items after grocery shopping. So clients want to have a great sustainable system in place so they know where everything should go.
Closets are also a huge request we get and happen to be my favorite space to organize! I love giving clients a closet that feels like a shopping experience rather than a scavenger hunt whenever they walk in!
Has anything funny or memorable happened to you when you were on a job?
My favorite thing with every job is the final reveal, especially if the client hasn’t been able to see any of the progress along the way. If a client screams with excitement, cries, or is speechless, I know we have done a great job!
WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE?
My one piece of advice would be THINK before you BUY! When you are considering buying anything and bringing it into your home first think, “Do I have a place to put this?” That is how clutter starts in the first place.
Often, we see an item that is cute and we “NEED” it, but when we get it home we realize it doesn’t have a spot, whether it doesn’t match your decor, or you just don’t have the storage space for it. So think before you purchase, even take a day to think about it and go home to see where you will store it.
You might even find that in order to purchase this new item, you need to get rid of something else. Be very picky about what you bring into your home!
THE BEST ARTICLES FROM Leigh’S BLOG
Did you know that your refrigerator is the most overlooked area in your home? Leigh digs deep in fridges and how to whip it into shape.
Leigh breaks down the organizing process into small manageable chunks. No matter which stage you are at, you can meet your goals
Which of these 10 things are you holding onto that you should let go? From non-working pens to sports trophies, these are the things junking up our rooms.
In her interview with WSMV, Leigh shares the three questions she always asks her clients. You’ll even get to hear from one of her past clients and see some of her work in action! (Please note that the interview is no longer available online as of February 09, 2023)
WHERE TO FIND Leigh
- Website: www.suddenlysimpleorganizing.com
- Instagram: @suddenlysimpleorganizing
- Facebook: @suddenlysimpleorganizing
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INFLUENTIAL HOME ORGANIZATION EXPERTS
We’ve had the joy of meeting some smart and creative home organizers. Here are some more tips straight from the pros.