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The Process: Getting Organized with Float On Organizing

February 21, 20245 min read

So how does it actually work? Do you judge every house you walk into? Do you show up with a bunch of bins and make the space look like The Home Edit? Do you ask if everything “sparks joy”?

Not exactly…here’s how it typically goes:

First things first - you reach out to me. There are only two people in this world whose homes I will organize without them explicitly asking - my college roommate and my boyfriend. And the only reason they get this special treatment is if I can see that things aren’t functioning well and they are overwhelmed. Everyone else has to make those two determinations for themselves and then let me know, because who am I to judge how you're feeling and if your space is functional for you?

After I hear from you, we chat and look at the space (either in person or via video call). During this consultation, I am trying to understand your space and pain points, but I’m also getting a feel for who you are and if we are a good fit for each other. You should be doing the same! Decluttering and organizing can be an intimate process and it often requires many hours spent together. Luckily if it isn’t a good fit (for any reason) there are a lot of other organizers in the area that I can help you connect with. But if it IS a good fit (yay!) we move forward scheduling your session(s).

Our first organizing session!

Most people have some nerves at the beginning of this first day, but by the end of even a 2-hr session, every single client has said that they feel way better! They can’t believe how much we got through or how different the space feels after just a few hours. So we move through the initial nerves!

I’ll be honest, after about 6 months of writing out plans and scripts for each session, I don’t really plan them anymore. I haven’t gotten lazy, I’ve just found that things follow the same pattern:

  • I arrive, we exchange pleasantries. I ask what your top priority is for today (yes, we did discuss this during the consultation, but oftentimes people change their mind when the day actually comes and there’s something more important to start with).

  • We go to that space and (typically) pull everything out. I also lightly sort things during this step (all the bowls together, pencils together…) This is going to look wild and you might feel overwhelmed - but I’m here, so you don’t have to worry about the temptation to abandon the project during this middle (chaotic) step. Depending on the space and your home layout, we might empty things into an adjacent room, or the middle of the floor, or a hallway.

  • Once everything is out and kinda sorted, we start from one side and go through every single item. Depending on what category of items, what type of processor you are, and how much volume we are dealing with, I may ask you to hold each item or I might encourage you not to touch things as we go through them. But I will always ask a bunch of questions -

    • What is this?

    • When/how do you use it?

    • How often do you use it?

    • Do you like it?

    • What would you do if you didn’t have it?

    • Is this a reasonable number of X category for you to use/store?

    I sometimes worry about my tone at this point, because the questions themselves could certainly be interpreted as judgmental. But, I promise I’m not judging! It has no impact on me what you keep. I am trying to help you discern what is serving you well just as much as I’m trying to support you letting go of the clutter. I’m also gathering as much information as possible so that I can put each item in the most effective place for you once we get to the “organizing” step.

  • Going through and making decisions about each item is exhausting! Decision fatigue is real, as is the physical fatigue that can come from this process. So after you’ve done the super hard part of choosing what to keep and release, I give you a break and encourage you to fuel and rest or do what you need to do for yourself. Then I sit and plan. My drawings are crude and not nearly to scale, but they help me figure out how we will fit all the “keeps” back into the space, but in an easy to use and maintain way.

  • Once I get your approval on a plan, then I start putting things away. I measure for any product needs that I might suggest and I take reference photos for myself (I don’t post client spaces on social media).

  • As long as we aren’t too tight on time, I offer to take out the trash and recycling. And I haul away any donations we identified. Getting those out of the space has a huge effect on that “transformation” feeling!


Following that session, I send some product suggestions if they are necessary and a copy of our session recap. I don’t bring products on the first day because I am a firm believer that the problem in 90% of spaces is too much stuff, not a lack of organizational products. In fact, my clients typically have an abundance of those products. So we start by decluttering and the products come afterwards (product days look very different, maybe that'll be a future post).

And that's it! The typical process for a regular decluttering and organizing job. Sometimes those steps are completed all in one day, one session. Other times those steps take us 3-4 sessions for a single space. Every space, project, and client is different and I adapt to meet you where you are at. If you want a better idea of what your project might look like, click here to schedule your complimentary consultation!

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Megan Pilquist

Megan Pilquist is a Chicago-based home organizer who founded Float On Organizing. She specializes in decluttering and systems creation for people and families of all neurotypes.

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Providing professional home organizing, decluttering, packing, unpacking, renovation prep, ADHD home support, nursery prep, and many other organizational services to the Chicagoland area.

Providing professional home organizing services in:

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