Organizational Tips from Melanie Higuchi

Spring cleaning is in the air and the biggest challenge is organization, wouldn’t you agree? Whether it’s your kitchen, your kid’s playroom or your whole house, sometimes it can feel overwhelming and you don’t know where to start. Sometimes you can’t just Marie-Kondo everything in your home.

We love Melanie Higuchi from Functional Spaces, a professional organizer in Calgary. She’s an organizational genius and gave us all the tips and tricks for getting a space looking and feeling great. If you have more questions for her, comment below or DM us on Instagram!

How did you get started with professional organizing?

My journey to becoming a Trained Professional Organizer was an accidental one.  Having been diagnosed with chronic lyme disease, I found myself asking if being an office manager at a naturopathic doctor’s office was really what I was meant to do.  After a great deal of reflection, I realized that the part I loved most about my job/life was the joy I could bring to others through organizing their space/office. Shortly thereafter, my company Functional Spaces was born!

What are the benefits of having an organized home?

Being more organized can have the following impact:

  • I feel “lighter”
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased energy
  • Reduced feeling of “shame”
  • Increased sense of calm

My clients often tell me they didn’t realize the impact the clutter was having on their lives.  As we work together to increase functionality there lives naturally become simpler.

What are the most common challenges you see with clients when it comes to organizing their home?

Clients often don’t know where to begin and don’t have a plan of action. They often start in one room, get distracted, end up in another room, get distracted again and give up because they are overwhelmed by the clutter. 

If someone is feeling overwhelmed by their unorganized space, what advice do you have for them?

If you are overwhelmed by the clutter, reach out for help.  This could be a friend or family member or even a Trained Professional organizer like me.  There is no shame in this. Having someone encouraging you in your process will not only allow you to achieve your goal, but it just might be fun too!

What are 3 practical steps people can take right now to start organizing their home?

  • Start with a small space
  • Make a plan
  • Stay focused on that one space
  • Be realistic with your time

What are your go-to organizational items in a home?

  • Clear bins
  • Label maker
  • Drawer dividers
  • 3M hooks/strips

What is your number one rule when it comes to staying organized?

My best advice is to apply the “1-in and 1-out” rule.  Anytime you buy something new, donate someone old.  That way the overall amount of stuff remains the same.  

Keep a designated donation basket in your home. Whenever you are ready to part with an item, it can go directly into that basket.  Once it’s filled, immediately drop off to your favorite charity.

What services do you offer and where can people find you?

You can find my residential and business organizational services at www.functionalspaces.ca. You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram.