How to ‘Edit’ Your Possessions for a Better Sale

By Ellen James Martin.  A couple in their mid-60s were excited to sell their house and move to a condo they’d carefully chosen. But these empty-nesters also realized the necessity and the enormity of sorting through the things stored in the place where they’d lived for more than two decades and raised five children. So as part of a deliberately orchestrated plan to meet the moving challenge, they hired Virginia Barkley.  Read Full Article.

Create original decor by repurposing vintage objects

Create original decor by repurposing vintage objectsHome-organization consultant Virginia Barkley is one such homeowner. A friend of Winston’s since their days at the Louise S. McGehee school, Barkley called upon Winston to appraise her antique furniture after moving to a new home.





How to get the best (not the MOST) out of your purse


article - how to get the bestBy Chris Bynum Special to The Advocate
There are ways to lighten the load of the modern handbag, or at least find what’s in an overstuffed one, says professional organizer Virginia Barkley, author “ClutterBusting For Busy Women.” 1. Choose a purse with backbone: A purse that can stand on its own, literally, will keep its shape so you can peek inside to find what you need. 2. Keep inner pockets to a minimum: Choose a purse with pouches that hold the essentials such as keys, glasses, phone and makeup — and use them for that purpose. Differentiate the pouches by tagging with a color to make it easy to identify each. Read full article


Greater New Orleans – A clutter-free home for the New Year is within reach

Greater New Orleans - A clutter-free home for the New Year is within reachWith every new year comes a new list of resolutions, and “lose weight” is the perennial No. 1 goal. But a growing number rank “get organized” in their top 10 goals, a trend championed by local professional home organizers like Sally Johnston of Clutter Clearers and Virginia Barkley of Let’s Get it Straight. “People say they feel like they are drowning in stuff and so are rethinking their possessions,” Barkley said. “They want to reduce clutter and make things more easily manageable, but they just don’t know where to start.” Read full article

A Brilliant End of 2013 Calendar

ClutterBustingSoWorthIt Written by Ashley Bond

I am the least organized person on the planet. I forget things. I miss appointments. Every day when my husband asks me what I did, I’m never really sure what to say. There are days I don’t have time to pee because I’m just so busy, but I can’t for the life of me tell you why. I organize to procrastinate and then reorganize what I’ve organized because I read a book on organization. It’s ridiculous. I had the pleasure of sitting in on a presentation by the accomplished Virginia Barkley, life coach, professional organizer, speaker and author of Clutter Busting for Busy Women, a #1 best seller that teaches us what clutter really is, how it distracts us from the good stuff, and prevents us from being productive. Her mantra: More Living, Less Stuff.Read full article


Virginia Barkley Helps Women Stay Organized in Best Selling Self-Help Book CLUTTERBUSTING FOR BUSY WOMEN


Virginia Barkley Helps Women Stay Organized in Best Selling Self-Help Book CLUTTERBUSTING FOR BUSY WOMENNEW ORLEANS, Dec. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ In her #1 Best-selling self-help book, “ClutterBusting For Busy Women; How To Create A C.A.L.M. Life To Have More Time & Energy,” Virginia Barkley offers a simple four-step plan to get and stay organized.

“As 21st Century women, we are constantly bombarded with the message that we can do it all. It is our responsibility to define the priorities in our lives. Otherwise, our lives are going to be driving us in circles instead of toward more purpose-filled destinations,” said Barkley, a motivational speaker for busy women.

“The key is keeping yourself focused on the outcome you want, rather than getting caught up in the drama of the moment. Drama wastes time and devours energy,” said Barkley, who accepts a limited amount of speaking engagements per year.

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Gambit – Tips and tricks for organizing your outdoor space

Gambit - Tips and tricks for organizing your outdoor spaceKeeping an organized, uncluttered home can be difficult. Maintaining a yard and garage can prove even more challenging. Luckily, there are tools and experts who can lend a helping hand. According to Virginia Barkley (, professional organizer and author of Clutter Busting For Busy Women, focus is the key. Without focusing on the end result, it’s easy to feel defeated before you start. “Find a picture of an organized garage or shed, cut it out and start looking at it to shift your mindset from focusing on the current chaos to thirsting for the calm feelings that your newly clutter-free environment will give you,” Barkley says. “We have to know where we’re going in order to get motivated to begin any project.” One way to liven up the chore is to involve friends, roommates or family members who are enthusiastic about organizing and group projects. Their enthusiasm can help you loosen up and enjoy the process. To begin, make specific categories for grouping possessions. Magazines, websites and even Pinterest boards can serve as organizational inspiration. Then discard items you don’t want or need. “This gives you an opportunity to get comfortable with the idea of moving things around without taxing your brain too much,” Barkley says. “Think of yourself during this phase as an archaeologist in search of treasures and get rid of anything that doesn’t resonate with you.”

Womanetics – Are You Busting Your Butt When You Should Be Busting Your Clutter?

When I was a little girl, I didn’t like closed doors because I couldn’t see what was on the other side. I felt overwhelmed by the thought of what may or may not be lurking there. My sister, on the other hand, loved playing in her room. She could play for hours with the door closed because she was focused on what was happening on her side of the door, while I was focused on what may or may not be happening on the side I couldn’t see. Immediately following Hurricane Katrina, which devastated my city and caused a domino effect of implosions in my life, I felt extremely overwhelmed by my perception that a very big door had just shut me out of seeing my future. My mind was cluttered with thoughts of how to help my friends, help my community, help myself. Read full article

Clutter Culprits

clutter-culprits-300x225There is a difference between having clutter versus having a messy house. Our belongings will inevitably get out of order in our homes because life involves the constant movement of energy. I do not correlate items being out of place with clutter unless those items cannot easily be put back where they belong. More often than not, clutter accumulates when storage space is not being used to its full potential and our items land, by default, on counters, couches, doorknobs, or the floor. These items which create a cluttered environment are different from the clutter culprits I am addressing below because, hopefully, the items mentioned above are being used while not necessarily being put away effectively. Clutter culprits are nostalgic items that we can’t seem to part with but are not serving any active purpose in our life today, or the items that we buy impulsively and for a number of reasons. We may buy something to lift our spirits, for example. Our ‘tribe’ mentality kicks in when we buy something with friends because of their encouraging us to do so, even though we are doubtful of whether we really like it. Other times, while we might have the best of intentions, we buy items to help get us organized without fully understanding how or where we’ll use the items and they end up in a closet somewhere to deal with later. Read full article

Digesting The Day

Digesting the DaySince the kitchen is the backdrop for most of the action in the house, it is essential to make it your partner in efficiency. You’ve probably heard the kitchen referred to as the heart of the home, but I refer to it as the stomach. Kitchens act as the hub of the home, especially as they’ve grown in size. Inevitably, all that moves through the house seems to find its way, at one point or another, into and out of the kitchen. We come to the kitchen to be nourished not only by food but by the company and conversation. Have you ever noticed how the kitchen is the most crowded room at parties? We’re drawn to this room because no matter how the house is decorated, we are sure to find a refrigerator, stove, and sink in the kitchen and immediately we feel at home. We talk of certain items as being comfort food and the kitchen represents the most popular comfort zone in our homes. The kitchen is the prime example I employ to illustrate the beauty of zoning a room which places items closest to their point of use. Zoning saves precious time and energy when looking for cooking items and accessories. There seems to be an abundance of specialized gadgets and gizmos to cut, slice, dice, and mix, to name just a few. There are a plethora of items for the kitchen. Has one of these gadgets ever caught your eye and you said to yourself, ‘I wish I’d thought of that!’ Drawer dividers are golden in the kitchen so that you can find just what you’re looking for when you need it. Read full article

Can You Learn To Be Organized?



When it comes to my work, I am a master of organization. My prop cabinet has shelves organized by prop type (linen, bowl, accessories, etc). My computer files are divided into folders by type and client. I have spreadsheets for tracking everything from social media stats to income. They are up-to-date, and constantly monitored, to ensure that my work life is on the right course. But when it comes to my home … well, let’s just say organized is definitely notmy middle name. That’s not to say that I don’t try. I do, and when I tackle a project you can count on the organization lasting for awhile. The problem is that there inevitably is some slide … and before I know it, organizing needs to be tackled again.  Read More…

The Dilemma of Gift Giving…And Receiving

The-Dilemma-of-Gift-Giving...And-ReceivingGifts given from dear friends, and that have never been used, are the category of item that I consistently come across with clients who are in the midst of streamlining their homes. Have you ever received a gift that you knew was given with the best of intentions but you didnʼt have a clue how to use it, where to display it, or what to do with it? This creates a dilemma because our fear is that by giving the gift away we are disrespecting the friendship, and therefore, we choose to store it…for years. Most of the time, it remains unused and forgotten, but kept. Three key thoughts come to mind in this scenario. Number 1: Most of us at some time or another have stressed over what gift to give a friend or family member.Number 2: The height of joy in gift giving is the moment of giving when several emotions are peaked such as love, surprise, and joy. Number 3: The greatest demonstration of friendship comes when we show appreciation for receiving the gift regardless of its relevance. Read full article

Creating a User-Friendly Closet Environment

creating a user-friendlyWhen people ask me where to start organizing, if there are several areas that need to be streamlined, I recommend the master bedroom or master closet because these are, most likely, the two areas you see first thing in the morning. My organizing philosophy revolves around my simple 4-step C.A.L.M. technique that supports relaxation of the brain and harnesses increased focus and energy to spend on more fulfilling pursuits. While we may try to ignore clutter consciously, our subconscious is on-call 24/7, taking note of all that surrounds us. The calmer our environment, the less brain power is wasted on cataloguing our surroundings in its ongoing effort to ensure we are safe. Clutter creates anxiety within us regardless of whether we allow ourselves to feel it. Chances are if we don’t feel anxious about the clutter, that anxiety is playing itself out in some other area of our lives. So let’s venture into your closet and create a calm and functioning environment for you to enter into in the morning. I like to say, seeing and feeling calm breeds being calm. Read full article

More than Doers, We are Deciders

More-than-Doers-We-Are-DecidersAs with any endeavor we embark on, it is our commitment and consistent awareness of taking a minimum of one small step per day towards our end goal which will dictate our success rate.  Jin Shin Jyutsu (pronounced gin chin jitzu), the ancient oriental art of harmonizing mind, body, and spirit through physiological energy work, is how I came to learn this beautiful quote, More Than Doers, We Are Deciders…. I believe that decisions make or break our progress when it comes to getting ourselves organized.  I heard a quote recently that says, Decide whether Yes or No; it’s the maybe’s that kill us.  For example, while I might be skilled at organizing, I am HUGELY challenged to drink water consistently during the day; that being said, I have a choice to be bigger than the challenge and DECIDE to put actions into place that will move me toward drinking my eight glasses of water a day, hydrating and feeling healthier and more energized because of this decision. Read full article

Gambit – Interview with a professional organizer


Best-Book-Interview with a professional organizer

POSTED BY   ON FRI, JAN 18, 2013 AT 5:42 PM

Today’s a good day for cleaning house here in New Orleans, and January is National Organization Month, so what better time than now to talk to clutter-buster extraordinaire Virginia Barkley? The professional organizer’s first book, ClutterBusting for Busy Women, was published this month and is a number-one bestseller on Amazon in its category (Home Improvement & Design). Here, Barkley explains why the psychology behind clutter and how to get rid of it, one piece at a time. Read full article

New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles Magazine

new orleans homes

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Ready, Set, Sort – The Secret Ingredient To De-Cluttering and Organizing Any Environment

Professional Organizers will agree that there is no one way to organize a space. While there are different schools of thought as to how to approach an organizing project, the one key ingredient in my play book is SORTING. The most common challenge that I hear from my clients is, “where in the world do I start?” Counter to the theory of doing the hardest thing first, I believe that it’s best to begin an organizing project by doing something very simple; just tell yourself that all you’re going to do is Put Like Things Together. It’s what I refer to as ‘mind petting’, allowing yourself celebration in the beginning to raise your confidence that being organized is within your reach. Don’t you think it makes sense to know what you have an abundance of in order to easily decide what you can give away? Article Source: – Virginia Barkley – Constance Street

PRCAConstanceInteriorWhat was the reason for the renovation? When I was preparing to move home from Atlanta, I started looking at renovated shotguns in the area between Henry Clay and Audubon Park/Magazine and the river, and while the exteriors had a lot of curb appeal, I was unable to find a floor plan that I liked. My Realtor called me and said that a house on Constance Street was coming on the market –– coincidentally that’s my mother’s name and the only street where I’d ever lived in Uptown New Orleans. The house was in a great location and ironically next door to the shotgun double that I’d rented eight years earlier, and it was in desperate need of an overhaul, so I put in my bid, crossed my fingers and thankfully outbid five others who I’m sure wanted it as badly as I did. I can only explain my good fortune as divine intervention. Long answer to your question: Having never renovated before but loving new challenges for learning and growth, I took the plunge, bought the house for its prime location and set about the adventure of renovating a historic 1904 home. Read full article

Press Release

Press Release

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