De-cluttering and Organizing with Ilene Becker

I’m a big fan of the minimalist mindset. I help parents simplify their environments, routines, and schedules so they can make more space (both physical and emotional) for the things and people they truly value.


While I try my best to stay organized, it’s not something that comes naturally to me. I’ve had to really work at it over the years. Recently, I began feeling suffocated by the piles of paper in my home office. From bills that needed filing to scraps of paper with notes scribbled on them to hundreds (literally) of lion drawings, I couldn’t stand working in such a cluttered space any longer.


I had tried sifting and sorting through the papers myself, but inevitably I became overwhelmed and ended up putting most of the papers right back in the “what-the-heck-to-do-with-this-stuff?” basket again.


That’s when I knew I needed to call in an expert. Enter Ilene Becker, owner of Ilene has been helping people organize their homes, offices, and lives since 2010. Before that, she taught preschool for 19 years, so she knows a thing or two about kids and organizational systems.


I loved the way Ilene broke tasks down into smaller, more manageable steps, such as handing me a few pieces of paper at a time to look through, rather than huge, messy piles. This helped me avoid major overwhelm. She also pushed me to put things in their proper places right away, with her, rather than adding to a “to do” pile and waiting until later. She grouped like items together, labeled them, and put everything in Ziploc baggies (she calls them “zippies”).


The whole process tends to be emotionally and physically draining for me, but Ilene remained upbeat the whole time, and was never judgmental at all. She helped me talk through my indecision, so she could best advise me about what to keep and what to toss.


While at my house, Ilene graciously agreed to be my guest on Periscope. (If you’re not following me on Periscope yet, you can download the app to your phone or tablet, and follow @lessdramamama for FREE parenting tips and support).


You can watch a replay of the Periscope broadcast below (or click here) to hear some of Ilene’s great organizing tips. We worked together for five hours (don’t worry — the video’s only about 15 minutes!) and got rid of a ton of stuff, but she’ll be back soon to help me with even more.


After you watch the video, leave a comment and let me know the first spot you’d tackle if you had a professional organizer at your house. What types of clutter do you struggle with the most?


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