A publication of the Cape Cod Times
by Amy Dufault

It’s hard to know when the need to organize actually dawns on you as necessary. Some credit it to the itch from a spring like day in late winter, others to tax preparation fall-out and a small few to that sense of blocked energy, that feng shui disaster festering behind a tidy painted closet door.

For many, this need to rearrange is trumped by the time and organization involved behind such a monstrous task. Imagining oneself wading through catch-all closets or unopened boxes from moves lining attic walls. Depending on the size of the project, the feat may seem daunting, so much so that the job never gets underway and organizing becomes just another verb that never takes action.

Nicole Gabai, owner of B.Organized, a Falmouth based home and office organizing business, says when she meets with a client she breaks the project down into “zones.”

“Giving people a language to use so when they are sorting things they can say it’s a zone and that means it’s the bookshelf or a closet, makes it easier to handle a project,” says Gabai. A Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons graduate, Gabai credits her own organizing skills to a slough of demanding jobs ranging from set decorating to commercial production, in the field of television. Jobs that required mastering the skills of arranging, coordinating and planning. From this background she works with clients across the country that need her creative expertise and solid common sense.

Nicole Gabai of B. Organized starts the organization process for Doug Kennedy of North Falmouth. It’s essential that you trust and feel comfortable with your organizer.

“I think winter lends itself to being slower so it’s the best time to get organized before the busier seasons where we want to be more efficient. Being efficient means being organized,” says Gabai who is a big fan of The Container Store for storage solutions. The Container Store has a service called “Plan a Space,” where a planning expert will electronically design with you a space you’ve been mentally designing for years, in addition to organizing everything from CD’s to the family bathroom.

Gabai says one of the first things you should do when deciding to organize an area is to sort piles of like things. If it’s a clothing closet you choose to go through, then think about putting sweaters, t-shirts, formal dresses and shoes into piles, then go back and look through them with the help of an unbiased friend, discarding items you haven’t worn in two years or more. Gabai says this process should be ruthless, but is a good way to see what you do have and what might need mending, dry cleaning or possible alterations at a tailor. After all the clothing is sorted and ready to be packed away, Gabai says to think about sweater bags, large plastic storage containers and good hangers to put away what you will and won’t be using for the months to come.

“It’s funny but people tend to keep hangers forever and having all those different hangers are going to make a closet look all cluttered. I love Huggable Hangers  because they’re thin and sturdy with a fabric, non-slip coating that won’t make pointy bubbles on the tips of your shirts and your clothes won’t be falling off the hanger.”

Although there are countless storage and organizing solutions for your disorganized spaces, Gabai says a lot is dictated by your budget and lifestyle.

One of the most important things you need to think about if you are going to go the route of a professional home organizer is deciding early on if he or she is compatible with you as the level of trust is immense. An organizer’s going to see all your warts so meeting with them and feeling comfortable before you go ahead with a project is very important.

If any of this sounds appealing to you, remember these April showers will soon bring May flowers and lots of outdoor activities, recreation that will have a dizzying effect on you, undoubtedly taking you away from tackling indoor projects. Seize the moment to at least bag up old clothing, get rid of those 10 pairs of “yard shoes,” the more than ample supply of not so flannelly flannel sheets, and the expired prescriptions pushed back far in the kitchen cabinet. Taking one shelf at a time may lead you to explore more, to get rid of more and to go where no one in your house has gone before….into a state of being organized.

Go figure.