Organization important for getting back to school

2014-08-09T00:00:00Z Organization important for getting back to schoolSEAN PLEMMONS splemmons@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

Clothes on the floor, papers strewn across the room and pencils hiding so they can never be found. The tools are there: Closets, dressers and desks. But they aren’t utilized. Organization is lacking. 

Some students' rooms can be messy enough during the summer, but with the start of school fast approaching, the addition of school supplies, new clothes and other necessities can mean organization will be put on the back burner.

For those who don’t have enough time to organize by themselves, there are people like Lisa Silsbee. She is a personal organizer and specializes in, well, organizing people’s lives.

Silsbee is the owner of Get Organized, a business in which she is the sole employee. She said she has been professionally organizing for around 10 years.

She is hired by clients who need organization in their lives, but just don’t have the time or the skills to do it themselves. Silsbee organizes everything from closets and cupboards to basements and bedrooms. She also organizes student’s rooms and their school-related supplies.

“I always find a way to organize things,” Silsbee said. “Everybody can be organized. Even a messy organized is organized in some way.”

Silsbee said she never tries to organize a space perfectly, because not everyone needs things perfect.

“I organize around the personality of the client I am helping,” Silsbee said. “People like to be organized. If it’s too perfect, it’s not going to keep getting used. It depends on each person.”

When it comes to organizing a student’s room and work area, Silsbee said a designated study area is a good idea to keep kids focused.

“Whether it’s the kitchen table or bed, make sure that’s the student’s area,” Silsbee said. “The study area should have no distractions so students can get their work done.”

Silsbee said setting a study time is an effective way to keep up a routine for students to devote their studies to.

In addition to a study space, Silsbee said a place for students to put their backpacks when they come home is a good way to keep track of their stuff.

“If students fill their backpack with supplies the night before, they can be ready to walk out of the door the next morning,” Silsbee said.

A master calendar can be a great way to plan daily activities, Silsbee said.

As far as the actual organization of supplies and schoolwork goes, Silsbee likes to use bins to keep things tidy. She said she likes to reuse a lot of items.

“I go to secondhand stores and thrift stores to help organize certain items,” Silsbee said. “I use things that you wouldn’t normally think would organize things. It also helps so I don’t stick my clients with a huge bill.”

Silsbee recommends students have three-ring binders with separators for each subject. Also, separate folders for each subject come in handy. She said separating each class keeps things simple and organized.

After she is done organizing a space, Silsbee said the client usually keeps up the organization. But Silsbee does return to some clients every few months to maintain the organization.

Silsbee said she never gets rid of anything she organizes because she always finds somewhere to put it.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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