I’ve had a style crush on Paige Minear of The Pink Clutch since I first saw her at the 2015 Summit owning the room and mixing brightly colored patterns like nobody’s business. I stalked her blog (doesn’t everyone?) and learned we lived 15 minutes apart. How could there be such a scion of great taste and style out here in suburbia? It’s like I found a pretty, preppy unicorn in my own backyard!
Fast forward to actually meeting in person earlier this year when I offered to help organize her closet based on a post she had written. I sadly learned she definitely did not need my help. Paige’s closet looked like an artfully curated jewel box of a wardrobe with matching hangers, clothes folded with proper creases, and shoes lined up next to each other. *sad face*
So, in an effort to share organizing tips and secrets, I reached out to Paige to interview her and find out what her secrets were. Here is someone who is super creative, stylish, and on top of her business game AND organized! Being organized isn’t something that just happens to some people and not others. It is a skill that can be learned just like another language or how to drive a stick shift. But it does require lots of practice and patience yet a willingness to allow your system evolve to meet your changing needs i.e. not be perfect.
CP: Do you consider yourself to be an organized person?
PM: Yes!! I am a person who has a place for everything and puts things away. I am person who even their mess has order to it, at least to me. I know what is there in my piles. My mother was extremely organized and I learned from her. She always said everything has a place. Plus I learned in retail if you don’t want to be the source of all information you have to create systems that other people can follow. You have to make it easy for them to find the information.If you don’t want to be the source of ALL information, you have to create systems that other people can follow. Click To Tweet
CP: What is something you’re NOT organized about?
PM: My pantry and garage, which are spaces shared with my family. I can’t control everything 100% of the time. Plus, there will be a day when my pantry is perfect and that means the littles are not around anymore and I’ll be sad that they aren’t there, eating my food and moving everything around. It’s a trade off.
CP: Do you set specific work hours? How do you schedule your day?
PM: Yes, I have 30 minutes before I officially start my day where I can have my coffee and get my To Do list written. I take the time to plan out what has to get done but I’m also flexible enough that if something urgent comes up, I can move things around. I use pencil for that specific reason; I can’t be rigid. I also take time at the end of the day to wrap things up.
CP: Do you set aside time each day to “organize” or do you do it sporadically?
PM: I’ve created systems to manage everything but I do take my 30 minutes to plan my day ahead and close it out at the end when I switch roles. Helping me decide what my goal is for the week helps me figure out the structure of what happens on each day.
CP: Do you struggle with saying no?
PM: I don’t struggle. It’s easiest for me when I acknowledge what I shouldn’t be doing or am not responsible for doing and stop doing it.
CP: What is your biggest organizational challenge?
PM: Spaces I don’t have 100% control over! Ha ! My pantry kills me. My storage room isn’t the way I want it. Nothing is perfect and that’s life. Also, the constant flow of paperwork like mail and kids’ school papers coming in the house drives me crazy.
CP: What kind of systems do you have to keep track of family activities? Work projects?
PM: I have 2 calendars: one for family and one for work. I’ve delegated the kids to keeping track of their activities but it’s on my calendar. The more they keep up with it the better they get at it. The more I do it for them the less they learn about responsibility. I don’t do everything for them so it’s not perfect but they are learning life skills. (#preach J)
For work, I use one notebook for tracking notes, events, etc. Everything is in that notebook and I can refer back to it easily. I’m not juggling multiple sources of information.
CP: Is there 1 organizing secret you’d like to share?
PM: Binders with clear pages for each child. That’s where all of the school activity sheets, report cards, schedules, certificates, etc go as they come in. At the end it’s pretty easy to toss out what’s no longer relevant and use the pages for next year. This way if anyone needs to know anything about a particular child, the information is all in one place.
CP: What is one tip you would give to others to help them better manage their time?
PM: Don’t spend time on things that aren’t your responsibility. I don’t prepare dinner so I don’t worry about it or think about it. I trust my husband 100% to handle it and I’m happy with that.
Also, take big projects and break them down into smaller, specific tasks. That way it’s not so overwhelming. You only worry about that one task getting done, not the others way down the line. Put it on your calendar but do it in pencil—then it can be moved to another day if necessary. I assign tasks for the week, not a specific day. I hate the idea of a task being on Monday and it doesn’t get done on Monday.
I have a system—my system. It evolves as things change but the basics are there. I feel very successful when I write something on a list and then cross it off. I even write things on the list that weren’t there after they happen so I can cross it off. I can then see what I have accomplished even though it wasn’t on the list originally. I don’t want to look at my day and say I didn’t get these things done even though I got a lot of other things done that popped up.
She’s not only creative, and has amazing taste, but she’s organized as well. I think one thing Paige does extremely well that we can all adopt is setting goals for her week and not necessarily on a specific day. Then each day starts with creating the list of “what am I going to do today to get to that week’s goal?” Even though tasks will get shifted around, they’ll get done eventually because they were on the list. She doesn’t focus on what’s not on the list. She creates structure but there is always room for things to change as different needs arise. I’ll leave you with one of her quotes that has stuck with me because it is so true about life:'You can’t escape the chaos but it doesn’t all have to be chaotic.' - Paige Minear on organizing Click To Tweet
Thank you, Paige Minear! Happy organizing!