Simon Says: Organize Your Space

Mia Iverson | Jul 23, 2010 @ 03:02 PM

Karena Simon, CEO (Chief Executive Organizer) and founder of Organize N Refine, has always been organized. Her mother stressed its importance, as did her grandmother. Organization became routine during her childhood. Once she hit adulthood, Simon saw her organizational skills grow.

“I would organize people’s spaces or just would see something out of place and develop a system for them. I would just do it naturally,” Simon says.

Starting out, she would organize here and there based on referrals. But then it quickly turned into helping friends of family, friends of friends, and so on. Then it struck her, “Why not create a business doing what I love?”

When beginning a new project with a client, whether it be in the home or office, Simon asks them one question: "How do you see your space?"

“Before I start projecting any opinions or suggestions, I ask them what is it that they see. What was their original purpose, intentional purpose for this space? … A lot of times when someone tells me the intended purpose, it doesn’t match with what it looks like.”

The second step in Karena’s process is helping the client acknowledge that things have to go away. From there, she works with the client to determine that the space is intended for XYZ.

“Take out the things that don’t meet the criteria,” Simon says. “If it’s supposed to be a bedroom, why is your workout bike in there?”

Declutter and organize roomIn her Organize N Refine blog, Simon often talks about effective living spaces. "It means creating something that is functional and works effectively for you and your family."

“Everyone’s space is going to be different,” Simon says. “You want to create an efficient lifestyle, be able to get things done in a timely manner, because you’re not looking for that pen or sorting through tins since you already did that in the process of organizing your space.”

The July 3 blog post entitled “Determine Your Y,” Simon focused on finding your purpose – whether it be in life or the space you wish to organize.

“In another position I was involved in, the director used to talk about ‘what’s your purpose in your work?’ And I started thinking about that. Before you can do anything in life, you have to determine why it’s important to you. If you haven’t determined that, you’ll never move forward.”

Another tip to help sort through the items you wish to keep, stow, or throw away, is having a "donation day." Gather up those unworn shoes, books and other items you haven’t used for a significant amount of time and find a way to donate them. Simon suggests having one every month, but if that’s too often, try once a season.

“You’ll always find something every four months that you know you could do without or will be a better service to someone else,” Simon says.

To wrap up her interview in a tidy bow (just the way a classy organized lady would like it), we asked Karena Simon, "If you had 30 seconds to help someone with his or her space, what would she say?" Here are our key take-aways:

1. Sit down and determine your “Y.” 2. Look at your space. What do you want to create? 3. Start with one space at a time, one day at a time. Don’t try to organize your life in one week. One corner, one drawer, one countertop. You’ll see results before you know it!

Karena Simon organizes personal space for better livingOrganize N Refine is a Houston-based business with plans to extend its reach throughout the nation. We think Simon just might pull it off. Given the incredible growth of self storage in recent years, America could use a little more "Y."

Are you all sorted and ready to stow away those sentimental and prized possessions you thought you couldn’t live without? Use StorageFront to find the right facility.