Neighborhood Expert: Small business spotlight — Beyond Organized

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or Laura@GuidingYourMove.com.

There’s nothing I love more than starting the school year off with decluttering, getting rid of all the STUFF that’s piled up over the summer and getting a fresh start for everyone to the year.

You know this if you’re a long time reader because every year when school starts I share my favorite list of places to donate used and new items. Well this year, I have a new business to introduce you to.

My friend, Stefanie Petrucelli is a local Vienna mom of 3 and military spouse who launched her professional organization business this year. I’ve seen her work first hand and it’s an amazing transformation if you’re looking for some help to organize your space — be it just your playroom, your whole house, your car, your business, whatever the need is — she can do. I’d like for you to get to know her a little better:

Q: What is your favorite space to organize?

Definitely a playroom because it is filled with fun, colorful and easy to sort items. 

Q: What is your favorite “get started” tip?

Start small with a drawer, cabinet, small closet and only take about 15-30 minutes at a time to organize that space. You will quickly find it becomes contagious, hopefully encouraging you to take on larger projects. 

Q: What do you do with pot lids and tupperware?

Pot lids and tupperware lids can be a nightmare. If you have tons of cabinet space, there are so many awesome products out there to keep the lids organized by size and shape. However, if you don’t have endless cabinet or pantry space (like me) then stick with the bin system. Two small bins; one for lids and the other for the containers or you can just do one medium sized bin for both. 

Before organizing, always remember to first go through your tupperware, get rid of the tired, stained containers as well as the containers that no longer have matching tops. Always eliminate first and then organize. I also like to mark my tupperware lids and container bottoms with matching numbers or letters. Helps me find their match quickly.

Q: Do you have any tips for organizing toys?

First, start by going through all the toys, make sure everything is working and in good condition. Throw away broken toys, donate or sell toys that are not liked or no longer played with. It’s good to do this every six months or so, especially around holidays and birthdays. Don’t feel guilty about getting rid of stuff if it’s no longer being used, pass it on to someone else that will enjoy it. 

Once you have eliminated unnecessary toys, look at what is remaining and basically hide half of it by storing it away in a closet, basement storage area or garage. Swap in those toys every few months and switch out toys that your children have started to get bored with.  

Then look at your space and decide if you have the best products (i.e., furniture and storage bins) to contain and store the toys. I personally like matching bins and baskets that hide toys, which makes a room look less cluttered. I like to clearly label the bins with the toy’s name and picture of the toy. Both bins and labeling make it easy for kids to put away their own toys. 

Q: What’s your favorite show on Netflix (organization or otherwise!)

I like The Home Edit, Dream House Makeover and any sort of baking or building challenge. At the moment I am watching a comedy on Apple TV called Platonic and on Hulu I am watching Only Murders in the Building. 

Q: What inspired you to get started? 

I have always been a super organized person. I vaguely remember as a young child organizing cluttered spaces around my house. During the summer of 2022, I had a light bulb moment while preparing for my kids return to school. I found myself trying to relieve some stress by overly organizing my already organized home. I thought to myself maybe I should take this show on the road and use my skills and knowledge to help others organize their space. I decided to take the year to get everything set up and in order so that I could launch Beyond Organized once the school year ended. I really enjoyed designing my webpage, Facebook and Instagram accounts, developing an email address, obtaining my LLC and getting myself knowledgeable about all aspects of organization and owning a small business. That’s how it all started. 

Q: Who do you serve? 

I will organize almost anything, your entire home, cars, offices, beach house, hotel room, a cruise ship cabin (you just need to pay my way and I will be there for you). 

But seriously, I really like working with couples or families trying to downsize. Also, families that have just moved and are trying to make their current items fit into their new home. As a military spouse we have moved a lot, many of our moves we have done on our own and there is nothing a family wants more than to quickly turn their new house into a home for their family and sometimes that can be a challenge. I love being able to assist with this challenge and help families achieve their organization goals. 

You can follow Stefanie and her funny cleaning memes on Facebook and Instagram.

You can also read more about her and her business, at www.beyondorganized22.com.