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Order at home amid the chaos: Professional organizer Katie Regelin offers series of 10-minute tutorials

Katie Regelin, a professional organizer and owner of the Spokane-based business Order Restored,  created a series titled “Organizing Tips: Couch Series” for 10- to 15-minute organizational projects while we’re stuck at home. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Katie Regelin, a professional organizer and owner of the Spokane-based business Order Restored, created a series titled “Organizing Tips: Couch Series” for 10- to 15-minute organizational projects while we’re stuck at home. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

She’s a professional organizer, but Katie Regelin admits feeling a bit overwhelmed starting in March when she saw friends post elaborate home projects.

After the statewide stay-home orders, Regelin had to focus on work from home for her Spokane business Order Restored along with time for kids and housework. It was tough even with all her hours at home. Then inspiration struck: She could do 10-minute bursts of couch-time organization.

She’s since created a free series titled “Organizing Tips: Couch Series,” inspired by the COVID-19 stay-home orders, for 10- to 15-minute organizational projects while we’re all home more. Her posts quickly became popular on social media and off her website orderrestored.com.

“People started posting huge organizing projects and home improvement projects, and I think I started to feel overwhelmed,” Regelin said. “I’m trying to manage work from home, kids, home-schooling, cleaning, cooking,” she said.

“Then the idea popped into my head that maybe people want to get organized but don’t have the time. They can do it slowly with 10 or 15 minutes while sitting on the couch. I decided to start sharing those ideas and posting them on social media. People really liked the idea, and it started taking off.”

After posting on Instagram and Facebook, she discovered from feedback that others were like her wanting to accomplish time-consuming projects while staying home but in smaller segments.

Her couch-series topics include finding order for e-Books, fitness, emails, photos, phone apps, contact lists, recipes and meal planning.

For fitness, she outlined ways to spend 10 minutes organizing a home fitness plan and short at-home workouts. For some, that might mean penciling when on a calendar to take daily walks or pulling up a workout studio’s online fitness classes.

More recently, Regelin said she’s working through her own recipes to toss duplicates and file keepers.

“The strategies aren’t overwhelming, but they help you to conquer challenging, otherwise time-consuming organization,” Regelin said.

“My blog is out there for anyone, and it’s meant to be helpful, especially now. I’m sharing them for free because I want to help people in this time, and a lot of people are out of work.”

“I don’t want people to think they have to do it all at once; it doesn’t have to be done in a two-day project. There is a lot you can do in little chunks of time. I love to organize, but there are some things such as digital organization that can get out of control quickly for anyone.

“One of the things I focused on is digital photos and how to organize those. I’m the first to admit I’m not the best to clean out my photos regularly, but I can for 10 or 15 minutes while waiting for laundry to dry when I can delete photos I don’t need.”

She suggests another good strategy is using 10 minutes regularly to hit “unsubscribe” to marketing emails that clutter up the mailbox.

The posts on organizing photos and emails were the most popular.

All of her couch-time session ideas eventually will be in one blog post, she said. Regelin also has offered tips for stay-home routines and rituals. A chore chart is a free downloadable feature.

After she shared her posts, a friend admitted having an inbox with 14,000 emails.

“Hopefully, this can form a habit for people, that doing some things are better than nothing,” she said.

“The idea is that not everyone has the energy or desire to tackle a big home-organizing project right now, but there are still several things they can do to be productive and get organized right from the comfort of their own couch.”

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