Wouldn’t it be nice to never have to look at a messy worktable, a pile of clothes, or stacks of paper ever again? Think it's way paradisiacal? It can definitely happen—it's just a matter of where and how to begin, says professional organizer Issa Reyes aka the woman behind the blog Neat Obsesions.
In case you haven't heard about Neat Obsessions from celebrity "clients" like Chesca Kramer, Rica Peralejo, Mikaela Lagdameo, and Neri Miranda, to name a few, it's Issa's passion project since March 2018. "I really just wanted to share my passion for organizing and making things around me orderly and beautiful through a blog and an Instagram account," Issa tells ABS-CBN Lifestyle. It was when people started to ask her if she was offering organizing services that she thought this could blossom into a business.
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But like any businesses, it wasn't an easy process putting up Neat Obsessions. "I had to assess and reassess myself if I am really eligible to pursue this as a business, especially because the profession is only known in the US and Canada. I needed to ask several people, do a lot of research, and ask myself again and again if this is something I can really do," she says.
Eventually, everything fell into place—with her husband's encouragement, she got her IAPO (International Certifications for Professional Organizer) certificate from New Jersey. She then worked on being a certified KonMari Consultant in Training, now working on her NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals) certifications. "I always believe that when you are willing to go the extra mile to learn more, that’s when you can say that you are passionate about what you are doing," she declares.
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With the recent Marie Kondo hype, people have been inspired to "KonMari" their spaces, too—decluttering here, piling boxes there, folding clothes here, stacking items there. Some think it's a daunting task to stay neat, but as Issa reiterates below, anyone can start anytime and anywhere!
Organizing is for everyone.
Forget gender roles and stereotypes, organizing is for everyone, Issa says. It's for your own benefit anyway, she adds, "In my experience, for example, it is my dad who trained us, his children, to be neat and organized in our home. This is why the message that I have always wanted to get across is: You can be organized even if you’re young, even if you’re not married yet, and most especially even if you’re not the female member of your family—because organizing, as well as homemaking, is for everyone."
It takes time.
Sorting can't be done in a day—unless you're a minimalist and have only just a few, Issa stresses. "In our #NeatProjects, it’s the sorting part that mostly takes time, all because we have to pay attention to small details. Our #DelRioGrande project was no exception. We had to sort everything we found: from clothes, gadgets, and books, to those teeny-tiny things such as accessories, and guitar picks."
There should always be balance.
"There should be a healthy balance between setting a standard and giving yourself leeway," says Issa. True, there is such a thing as "organized clutter"; but the hobbyist says even those who know exactly where their things are despite the mess will find themselves too tired of sorting their stuff some days. "There will come a point in your student or professional life when you’d need something that you cannot find immediately when you need it," she says. "So, if you don’t feel like really sorting down to the very details, you may just put a category of your things in one shelf, one drawer, or one box, so when you ever need your reviewers, receipts, or your bills, you know where to find them."
Never compromise your health.
If it's been months or years since you last cleaned an area in your house, dust may have accumulated or insects and roaches have already settled. Issa shared, "Make it a habit to do a little organizing everyday so that you don’t get overwhelmed and you don’t share your space with insects and roaches, too."
Know what you need.
Before you get ahead and start fixing your things, Issa recommends going to the area first and visualizing what you need for tidying. For Issa, her go-to products in organizing comprise velvet hangers, the Frigidaire bins, and Glad canisters. "Whenever we have projects, I also make sure I have baskets, carts, drawers, or bins to help my clients see their things easily," she adds.
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Banner image from Unsplash | Photos from @neatobsessions