|Pro organizer tackles clutter a room
at a time |
Anderson moved her home organization business, Southern
Home Organizers, into downtown
By Shelley Mann
papers. Piles of laundry. Piles of toys.
most of our lives, and sometimes the mere prospect of “getting
organized” is overwhelming.
Melinda Anderson is the
cluttered housekeeper’s own personal Superwoman. The
professional organizer will come out to your house and, for
$50 an hour (the sixth hour’s free), she’ll take on that most
menial of household tasks, organization. She’ll organize your
filing cabinets, your kitchen cabinets, your home office or
anything else you can imagine.
“People are so busy, and
you can’t always ask your sister or your best friend to come
help you tidy up,” Anderson said. “Six hours with somebody
working to get everything tidied makes a huge difference.”
The Dacula mother of two recently moved her business,
Southern Home Organizers, out of her house and into an office
in downtown Dacula.
Anderson admits her services aren’t as
aggressive as those featured on the popular HGTV show
“Mission: Organization.” On that program, homeowners are
forced to empty the entire contents of their house onto the
lawn, where they’re either tossed, sold or kept.
ask me, ‘Am I doing to have to throw away all my stuff?’”
Anderson said. “You don’t have to throw away anything if you
don’t want to.”
Anderson will use any containers, cabinets
or wall units her clients have already bought, or she’ll help
them pick out products to fit their home. Sometimes, the
solution is simple. Adding a second row of shelves in a closet
gives people twice the room to hang shirts, skirts and
Organizing things by category and by purpose is
the system that makes the most sense to Anderson. She’ll
tackle a home office by sorting office supplies by whether
they’re used for writing, fastening or taping, and she’ll put
all the glassware in one kitchen cabinet and all the metal
pans in another.
“If you think about it, when you go into
Target, all the small appliances are in one area,” Anderson
Anderson fell into her organizing gig by accident.
She and her family moved seven times in 11 years thanks to her
husband’s job. With each move, she’d pack everything up and
unpack everything into a new house.
After a while, she
started seeing a pattern in the way she’d unpack. She always
put the plates by the stove, so she could avoid using serving
dishes to transfer food to the table.
“We should set stuff
up so we can do those routine things,” Anderson said.
has a few techniques she recommends to almost every client.
Her own personal filing system is an innovative way to tackle
the endless piles of paper that flow through every house.
Anderson fills a file holder with about 10 daily files,
and any piece of paper that comes into the house that day
should be filed in one of the folders. The categories are
simple, and tailored to each specific family — to do, to pay,
to attend, to read, coupons, projects, receipts, things to
At the end of the month, she moves everything
she still needs from that box into a filing cabinet and throws
the rest away.
“Paper comes in and you have to do
something with it,” Anderson said. “It can snowball quickly,
and if you don’t open your mail every day, you can start
missing appointments, paying bills late. It’s a problem.”
After taking the time to get organized, it’s important to
stick to the system, Anderson said. Some clients schedule
monthly checkups to make sure the system is still working.
Others prefer visual reminders of what they should be doing.
“Sometimes, people will ask me to tape a digital picture
to the inside of the doors of the cabinets we organized,”
Anderson said. “That way, the husband or the kids will know
this is where things go when they’re helping put away the