By Laura Gee, Storage and Organization Contributor

“Oh, that? That was easy. I do that all the time,” was Katie’s response to my complete

In the closet, everything must be in a bin or else it cannot stay. This drastically reduces clutter build up.

aww of her quick turn around of my mother-in-law’s office. For one day, I want to have her energy and ability to clear stuff out. Part of her success is having the art of organization down to a science. Hopefully you already read part 1 of this office makeover blog and are ready for part 2. Katie has lots of great stuff to share again today as I show you her final product.

First off, she wanted me to share more about the “purging” portion of organization. She is adamant that it is more than just getting rid of trash. You’ll probably end up giving away a lot of useful stuff–well useful to other people. Her first tip is to ask yourself “does this already have a logical place somewhere? If it doesn’t, do I genuinely need it?” Such a great point! Do you really want to make room for something that you don’t actually need? There could be somebody else out there who could really use whatever it is that you are trying to force fit into your home. Next, she says it’s okay to keep a “not ready to part with yet” pile while you are sorting. There is some room for “grey” area while sorting. When putting the polishing touches on the project later, that’s a different story.

Okay, now that you’ve purged, it is time to organize. Katie warns that having lots of little

This is the pile of un-used organizers that came from the office.

organizers doesn’t mean your organized. She’s noticed that far too often people fall into a trap of using organizers incorrectly. Just because you have something shoved in a cabinet or in a file folder doesn’t mean it is organized. That’s why she encourages people who aren’t “naturally disciplined in organization” to use labeled drawers and bins. That way you can see on the label what goes in there and aren’t tempted to shove random stuff in there. You can see in the picture that the years of purchasing desk organizers was a waste of time and money because a better system could be found.

Katie, like me, loves to save money. So don’t worry–that pile of organizers will find a new home elsewhere in the house or in her classroom.

One money saving AND organizational tip she gave is that you don’t have to spend money

Put labeled bins is easy-to-access parts of the room to store the items you use the most.

on a label maker. Many times, she has printed off words from her computer and used clear tape to make her own labels. Doing this allows you to change the font, size, color, and keeps you from having to purchase a label maker in order to make clean looking labels.

As you can tell from the pictures, Katie doesn’t encourage having loose items sitting about anywhere. If there isn’t a bin for it, you don’t need. One loose item sitting leads to many loose items quicker than you can imagine. As she was going around and putting decorations back up and filling up the closet, she had her mom take a serious look at the “not ready to part with yet” pile. After seeing the great system Katie had in place, her mom decided to just get rid of that stuff and not try to rock the boat at all.

Being a state away, I didn’t get to share in this experience, but after getting texts from both of them all weekend long about the office, I wish I could’ve been there. My mother-in-law got herself an amazing work space, Katie got to work her self-proclaimed “OCD” magic (those who witness it call it magic…she doesn’t), I got material for this blog, and my father-in-law was even thrilled by the experience because some much stuff was being eliminated from the house.

I’m hopeful we’re going to hear much more from her in the future. Her parting words about this blog are to make sure you remember to get rid of stuff you don’t use, use the storage space you have in the best way possible by using labeled bins and spaces, and try not to buy new stuff to help you reduce clutter and add organizational space. Essentially, she has taken the idea of “a place for everything and everything in it’s place” and turned it into “a place for everything YOU NEED and ONLY things you NEED in a place.”

Once you're organized, have fun by adding personal touches throughout the office!