Keeping your home organized is easier said than done, but luckily there are people like Bonnie J. Dewkett around to wipe that worry away. A Certified Professional Organizer, Bonnie heads up The Joyful Organizer and is a nationally recognized organizing expert. To put it simply, she’s kind of a big deal. We got to chat with her about common mistakes she sees in homes, what made her want to be a professional organizer, and how people can best prepare for a move.

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What made you want to become a professional organizer?

I have always been very organized, and I love organization. I even labeled items in our house when I was a kid! While nothing makes me happier than making MY space organized and functional, the true joy comes from helping others achieve their potential through getting organized!


The lovely Bonnie J. Dewkett of The Joyful Organizer.

What are some common mistakes you notice when you walk into a home?

We all have an ideal in our mind that has been put there by TV, magazines and advertisements. Organizing isn’t JUST about a beautiful space, it’s about making your home useful for your needs and helping you meet your goals. Organization can do everything from help you find time for your family, get a better job, and reduce stress!

What advice do you have for someone who’s two weeks away from moving to a new home?

Purge everything you can. You are paying someone to move every single item to your new home. For every single item, ask yourself if it’s worth it!

What’s your dream organization project?

I love helping people move into a new home. A new home with lots of closets and windows is fun to organize. BUT so often the most rewarding organizational challenges are when you take a small space and make it work.

Do you have any rules?

Put it away now. We all delay putting things away and while this is okay from time to time, just doing it while you take the item out, use it, or come home makes the most sense. I say, if it’s not away, it’s in the way. A place for everything. If an item doesn’t have a home without your home, it’s just clutter.

What’s your typical workday like?

I get up early and head to my home office for a few hours and return emails, blog-write, and work on research and development. I usually head out for a workout around 9:30 and then head back and start writing some more. I have phone calls with clients throughout the day to coach them on time management, social media, and, of course, organization. If I’m working with a client in their home that day I pack up my organizing bag the night before along with a snack and a water bottle. My two rescue dogs are always at my feet. They love that I work from home. :)

What are some of the most affordable ways for homeowners to get and stay organized?

The best thing you can do is to get rid of what you don’t need. Less clutter means less time putting things away, more space in your home and less to clean! You don’t have to but expensive organizing products either. The dollar store, dollar section at Target and discount stores have a wide variety of things you can organize with.