The Still Point


We spoke with Silver Spring, MD-based professional organizer and Founder of The Inspired Office, Kacy Paide, on how to best declutter your space and welcome in a new season.

She’s been a professional organizer since 2001 and has helped over 800 clients find what they need, when they need it, freeing them to live fuller lives both in and out of the office.

With a busy summer season behind us, we chatted with Kacy to learn how—and when—to declutter our space for the fall.

Get to know her below.

Let's start with the basic, what does a professional organizer do?

In simplest terms, we help people declutter and pare-down, from personal belongings to unnecessary mail. Professional organizers help others put a filter in place so they can decide what stays and goes, what’s of value and what’s not; this could be sentimental or monetary value.  

We also honor the fact that everyone has different thresholds of being organized and we don’t hold everyone to the same standard. I am happy to help liberate people from this idea of their home belonging on the cover of Real Simple magazine—it can be both beautiful and functional on their own terms.

Do you have a specialty with it comes to organizing?

My speciality is paper, especially organizing offices and helping people wrangle their paper wherever it might land in the home.

What kind of paper are we talking about?

The daily stuff that piles up, that bombards people and lands on a desk, nightstand, foyer floor, kitchen counter, or all of the above. I create very intuitive, visible paper systems so nothing is lost, or out of sight out of mind.

Out of 800 clients, is there one or two in particular that you really loved working with?

A few come to mind. One of them I haven’t worked with in a while, but she was late in her career, had been working at home for ages, and although the home itself was pretty immaculate, her home office was a disaster. The floor was buried up to my knees in piles and boxes of paper, she had two desks buried in paper, it was under the desks, spilling off the shelves, in the closet, etc. We patiently, meticulously sorted through an entire career’s worth of paper over the course of a year. That was about ten years ago and we’re in touch to this day.

I would imagine a professional organizer is very clean and organized?

I’m not a minimalist compared to some Organizers I know. But, one thing in and one thing out is my religion.

Do you have any recommended practices for decluttering at the end of one seaon/start of another?

If I’m being honest with what works, you should declutter weekly—it has to be ongoing. Part of being a modern American is managing information and stuff … from Amazon, Target, the mail, printouts, etc. I try to teach people the concept of balance with your stuff, one thing in, one thing out. If you visualize everything that comes into your house during the week, that much or more has to come out. Otherwise your stuff is going to grow and it will become overwhelming to deal with.