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Organize + Energize: 6 Tips to Help Newly Engaged & Overwhelmed Brides to be

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Congratulations on your engagement! Not to be a downer during this exciting time, but, if you’re disorganized, it can be the most stressful event of your life! I’m here to help you break the process down and relieve some of the stress. Each quarter this year, I’ll be writing an article relating to weddings and how you can get organized for your big day!

Once you pick a date, it’s time to start planning!

If you’re newly engaged, here are 6 tips to help you with the feeling of overwhelm:

Take a deep breath and exhale. If you plan and prepare and stay on track with your checklists, everything is going to be ok. You’ll be able to enjoy this exciting time and relax knowing that you have a good handle on everything.

Start using a calendar and a daily to-do list ASAP! I’m not going to sugar coat anything. You’re going to have mental clutter during this time. It’s so important to use a calendar and daily to-do lists. It’s going to release the mental clutter and you won’t be wondering if you forgot to do something.  I’d prefer you use a paper calendar so you can see your entire month/year in front of you. Start releasing the mental clutter and write down appointments, time needed to research, phone calls, etc.

Create a binder or digital folder.  Purchase a binder or if you’re a digital gal, create a file folder with categories within the file.  Start with tabbing out the binder with categories i.e., Church, Reception, Flowers, Attire, Transportation, Rehearsal Dinner, etc. Within those tabbed sections, create excel spreadsheets with vendor names, appointment times, fees, payments made, etc. and add this paper to the tabbed sections. Create checklists.  Refer to this binder often. It’s going to be your bible during this time.

Set aside time to plan and prepare. Life isn’t going to stop during this time, so aside from everything going on in your life, you have to make time to plan your wedding. Once you have your binder in place, each week take a look at your calendar and find some holes in your day where you can focus on planning. Schedule them in your calendar. You won’t have to get stressed wondering where you’re going to find the time to schedule and attend appointments. If you plan and prepare your weeks, you’ll be in great shape!

Start making appointments now. Start scheduling appointments for your venue, invitations, hair, makeup, cake, etc. If you have a venue in mind, visit and schedule it now. If you have a favorite makeup artist, schedule them now. These professionals fill their schedules quickly, and if you know you want them, book them now!

Don’t procrastinate. Get what you can get done now so you can relax later. There will be a lull in planning once you schedule the major vendors. If you’re disorganized and scattered, you’ll never be able to enjoy the lull.

If you start out ahead of the game and plan and prepare early on, you’ll be less overwhelmed and you’ll feel like you have a really good handle on everything. It’s only going to be stressful if you allow it to be. This time between your engagement and wedding will fly by. Enjoy it and don’t let the stress of planning ruin this time.


Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. She has also given over 70 presentations throughout the state. Watch Kristin LIVE every Thursday at 3pm here on GoLocal LIVE with Molly O’Brien.


Related Slideshow: 10 Areas You Find Most Challenging to Get Organized

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Paper in any form

This was the most challenging space! 91% of people surveyed stated paper was their biggest headache. Just because we are in this digital age, people think paper is going to disappear. As long as we have mail, and paper at work, kid’s school papers, etc., paper is going to be around for a very long time. We need to develop systems to organize and maintain our paper clutter.

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 To stay on top of an organized closet, you should be emptying your closet twice a year. Switch your closets in the spring and fall. This will force you to take inventory of the contents of the closet. You’ll never know what’s hiding in the back corners of your closet unless you take everything out.

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When was the last time you emptied your entire food closet down to bare shelves? I asked this question at my last presentation and not one person could remember. Some said the last time their food pantry was empty was when they first moved in and others stated it had been years. Have garbage bags on hand. In every kitchen I organize, we throw out at least three garbage bags of expired food.

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This is the black hole of the house. If an item doesn’t have a home, it usually gets thrown in the basement on a shelf. You’ll walk into the basement one day and wonder how did it get so bad? The first thing you need to do in the basement is declutter, then categorize items and then decide how you want to function going forward. Measure your space and choose shelving units that will fit what you need to hold. Block off 3 hours and don’t leave the basement during that time. Staying in the room will keep you focused.

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The garage is an area similar to the basement. The garage tends to be a drop spot for outdoor items and usually there isn’t any organization.  Most tend to regret not organizing the garage when they find they can’t park their cars in the garage in the winter months when it’s snowing. Put this project on your to-do list this fall.

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Office at work

Most will say they don’t have time to tackle this area, but think about the time you are wasting by not being organized. The office can be challenging for some because you have paper, closet space, desk space and bookshelves. Most get overwhelmed and stressed just thinking about tackling this space. They think it’s easier to function this way than to actually tackle the project.

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Kid’s rooms

If your kids are over the age of 6, incorporate them in this process. If you don’t have the skill set to help them get organized, call in a professional to work one-on-one with them. If your kids are craving structure, it’s time for them to get organized.

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Another one of those black holes like the basement. You rarely venture into the attic and you continue to toss items in there that don’t have a home. The garage, basement and attic are really challenging areas because you don’t spend much time in them. Think about how you want to function in these spaces. Streamline and maximize this space. This room should have a purpose.

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Linen closets

When items are just thrown into this closet without being contained, chaos will ensue. Empty the entire closet, categorize, itemize and then measure the space. Purchase containers to match the space and what you have to hold. It’s all about maximizing space in this closet and being able to put your hand on something without moving five other items out of the way.

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This is a tough project even for people who are organized. Memorabilia items and photos are a challenge because as you go through them, you tend to reminisce. Save this for the last project on your list of areas to organize. Once you begin, just focus on tossing and keeping and then reminisce when the decluttering process is completed.


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