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The Art of Getting Organized: Tammy Schotzko, Professional Organizer

Tammy Schotzko & Katie Carter

...we spend a lot of financial capital on our spaces, whether it's a garage or house or a spare room we never use or a beautiful living room set that we bought that's now cluttered with stuff that we don't really need, use or love...I think we're such a busy society that we need to have space to come back to at the end of a long day or when we need to do some processing or we need to square stuff away that is safe and comfortable and loving for us. ..And if it's cluttered, full of stuff that we're keeping because we feel guilty not getting rid of it, then you're just adding to the angst in your head and you don't really have that space. - Tammy Schotzko, Professional Organizer

Professional organizer Tammy Schotzko is in the business of helping people get a handle on their messes.   She stopped by the morning show to talk about how people can begin to get organized and how to maintain the new order in a home or office.  

The beautiful thing about organizing is that no matter what the space is, the process is the same. So we developed... an acronym called STEPS and it sort, total, eliminate, place and then straighten. So no matter what space you're working with, a pantry, a garage, a bathroom,  paper files, you have to sort the stuff first. You have to total up what you have in each category....  You have to know that you have a place for everything that you're keeping. And then once you've... placed it in its home, then that's your system. And you go back and straighten it periodically. So it doesn't matter if it's a garage, an attic, photos, papers - it doesn't matter. You do the same process. And I recommend not starting with a huge space, but doing like a bathroom closet or a pantry is a good place to start. But somewhere that's not huge that you can start the process, kind of get your footing and then build on the success of that. - Tammy Schotzko, We Love Messes

Tammy is the owner of We Love Messes in Bemidji.  She's a Professional organizer, certified by the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals.

I got certified in 2013. I think I'm the only certified professional organizer in northern Minnesota. It's totally voluntary, though. And then because it's such a fascinating study in psychology and how our brain works and how we do things differently. I started a masters in human behavior to kind of solidify the foundation of what I bring into homes when I'm working with clients. -Tammy Schotzko

Katie Carter started at Northern Community Radio in 2008 as Managing Editor of the station's grant-funded, online news experiment Northern Community Internet. Since 2016, she's produced Area Voices showcasing the arts, culture, and history stories of northern Minnesota. She's our local host of NPR's All Things Considered and CBC's As It Happens every weekday from 4-7pm.