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4 Things I Learned From a Professional Organizer

April 16, 2018 in I Adore What I Love, Local Love

4 Things I Learned From a Professional Organizer // I Adore What I Love Blog // #iadorewhatilove

Well hello there! Today is special because I am sharing with you something that most people would probably be interested to know… prior to kids I was UBER organized! I mean, everything of mine had a spot and an area and it was even marked with what belonged where. I’m talking about in my personal life and in my professional life. Organizing was relaxing and fun for me and I took pride in my skills! 

Most of you already know that I was a teacher and if you walked into my classroom, you would have seen a very colorful space where everything had it’s own place. Welllll, then Brody came along and there just wasn’t as much time in my life to organize! Ugh! Two years after that and Levi entered the world; let’s just say my organizational skills have been more than slacking for longer than I’d like to admit. Enter my friend Jessica Litman of The Organized Mama and omg my life has changed for the better! 

Jessica and I went to college together; although different years, we were both Kappas at Indiana University and I knew she lived in the Chicago suburbs. I also knew that since graduating she had decided to take her passion of organizing and turn it into a thriving business. Basically, I knew I needed her in my life!!! What I recently learned is that Jessica was a former special education teacher turned professional organizer who’s had her own company for 5 years doing what she loves. She’s a member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals and her work has been featured in Parents Magazine, Boston Globe, Better Homes and Gardens, and North Shore Luxury Magazine!

So why did I need a professional organizer, you ask? Specifically, because my kitchen pantry, cabinets and drawers had become A MESS and it was driving me crazy. I was re-buying food, condiments and pantry staples thinking we didn’t have them but oh no, we did, you just couldn’t see them {or even find them if you tried to look for them}. Oy!!! I kept thinking that I was going to organize it myself eventually but did I ever do that? Nope. I needed to hire someone to push me to do it or else it was never going to get done. So I called Jessica with my kitchen in mind and boy did I learn a lot from her! Keep reading to find out the 4 major things I learned that everyone else should know too…

4 Things I Learned From a Professional Organizer // I Adore What I Love Blog // #iadorewhatilove

Take EVERYTHING out of the space you want to organize FIRST.

When I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING!! I could not believe the amount of stuff that we took out of my pantry. {literally alllll this stuff above!!! yikes!!!!} To be honest, that’s when I realized how big my pantry was; who knew?! But it was so beyond disorganized that I had food in there that was expired over a year ago and I literally had no idea. Did I just admit that out loud? Jessica didn’t judge so I hope you won’t either. Hahah thanks!

4 Things I Learned From a Professional Organizer // I Adore What I Love Blog // #iadorewhatilove

4 Things I Learned From a Professional Organizer // I Adore What I Love Blog // #iadorewhatilove

Containers are your best friend.

When it came to my pantry, I never thought to sort everything out to then put it all in bins. I mean, I would do that in an office but in my pantry?? Yet it makes SO much sense. Why wouldn’t someone use containers in their kitchen too?! They quickly allow you to group all your food, spices, baking supplies, etc. into easily accessible areas to find everything you’re looking for. Jessica also clued me in on the fact that my pantry is extra deep. I had no idea! So she advised me to buy extra deep bins, which I didn’t even know existed, but are so necessary and kind of life changing. I’m obsessed!!! Click HERE to see the bins that I bought and HERE to find the regular length ones. Also, click HERE to see the awesome spice rack I got and THESE airtight containers for our baking ingredients like flour and sugar.

4 Things I Learned From a Professional Organizer // I Adore What I Love Blog // #iadorewhatilove

4 Things I Learned From a Professional Organizer // I Adore What I Love Blog // #iadorewhatilove

Label, label, label.

Without labels, how do you know where you stuff belongs? I purchased THESE clear stickers on Amazon and then followed the directions on the Avery website to create my own pantry labels on my computer. Now, anyone who opens my pantry will know exactly where everything goes! Oh! And for my baking cabinet I decided to write on a few of the containers with THESE pens, which are actually originally intended for use on wine glasses! Ha. Jessica was telling me about them and I was like – ummm I’m pretty sure that I already have them and I did! So if making and printing out labels isn’t for you, these wipe-off markers always work too! 

Andddd one thing I learned that specifically pertains to organizing your kitchen… 

4 Things I Learned From a Professional Organizer // I Adore What I Love Blog // #iadorewhatilove

Arrange your canned goods like a grocery store would do it.

Ok, so apparently I’m super weird and keep a lot of my canned goods in my refrigerator. Does anyone else do this? {just an FYI: Jessica wasn’t even phased by it, yet my friend Maayan always gets on me for it LOL} but with that, I do have many cans that I also keep in my pantry. What Jessica taught me works for my pantry AND for my refrigerator and it’s kind of the best trick in the book: canned goods should be arranged as they are in the grocery stores. To get more specific, all your different cans should be in the front and then any cans that are the same go right behind the front one. Later, when you go to the grocery store and buy more, you have to put the new cans in the back once you get home, NOT in the front. Does this make sense? I honestly think it’s GENIUS and never would have thought of that in a million years. But again, it makes SO. MUCH. SENSE. 

4 Things I Learned From a Professional Organizer // I Adore What I Love Blog // #iadorewhatilove

{this is the before!! gahhhhhh, so pretty, right?! LOL it’s an eyesore}

4 Things I Learned From a Professional Organizer // I Adore What I Love Blog // #iadorewhatilove

{this is what my pantry looked like right after Jessica left my house. didn’t have the bins yet but such an improvement!}

4 Things I Learned From a Professional Organizer // I Adore What I Love Blog // #iadorewhatilove

{we created an easily accessible drawer for my paper goods, too!}

4 Things I Learned From a Professional Organizer // I Adore What I Love Blog // #iadorewhatilove

With all this being said, if you live in the Chicagoland area and are looking to hire someone to help you organize just one space in your home or alllll the spaces, Jessica is your girl. She’s beyond easy to talk to, she won’t judge your “before” space, and she has really functional and simple organizational ideas that I guarantee you might not have thought of yourself. While she will offer you suggestions on things to buy to aid you in the process, she is there to help you and not sell you on products that you don’t need. Her coming to my house has truly been a game changer for my whole family! I’m not only obsessed with how our kitchen pantry, cabinets, and drawers look these days but I more than ever appreciate how functional they are! It’s refreshing! I am SO grateful for Jessica’s guidance!! 

4 Things I Learned From a Professional Organizer // I Adore What I Love Blog // #iadorewhatilove

The best part is that we’ve maintained it looking like this! {finished product above!} I mean, why wouldn’t we? It’s so much more manageable now!

Oh, and we’ve teamed up to give away 5 full sheets of premade hand-lettered pantry labels to one lucky reader! Just enter to win via my Instagram post HERE.

So what are you waiting for? Go contact Jessica now! She’s going to rock your world and make all your organized dreams to come true!! 

[bctt tweet=”4 Things I Learned From A Professional Organizer… and I’m sharing them with you! Click here to read the post now! ” username=”iadorewhatilove”]

Have you ever used a professional organizer? If not, what room in your house would you want someone to organize the most? Tell me in the comments! 

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My Name is Dana Ivy.

Hey hey! I’m a MOM of three, here to share and I’m so happy you found me!! As a Chicago lifer {currently settled in the North Shore ‘burbs}, self-admitted shopping addict, and foodie, at the core I’m really just a mom {and a wife, gotta give a shout-out to my hubby!} just trying to balance it all! My 3 kids are my whole entire world and while being their mom is the BEST thing ever, it ain’t always easy! I created this space for all the moms out there who are just trying to get by... WE are all in this together! Read More.

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