Clutter. We all have it. We all want less of it. Getting and staying organized tops the list of so many people’s New Year’s resolutions. To make your resolution a reality, we’ve turned to several local organizing pros to help you whip your home into shape. Here are their mess-tackling tips.
Ask the Right Questions
Rob Mizrahi, of Chaos Commandos in White Plains, NY, (nycorganizers.com), suggests clients weed through all of their things by asking two important questions of each item: “Do we still use it?” And “Does it belong here?” Get rid of anything that fails the first question and relocate anything that doesn’t pass the second. Then get ready to organize what remains.
Involve Everyone Who Lives With You
Mizrahi recommends buying cardboard boxes or plastic bins at the beginning of a dedicated organizing weekend. Give one to each household member to fill with old clothing, games, puzzles and other junk. Each person seals their box and places it in the trunk of the car to be delivered to a donation site at the end of the weekend.
Focus on the Garage
Garages tend to have big items that can be easily discarded and donated. Once those are cleared, the space opens up for other uses like a home gym, a workshop, or more efficient storage space, says Matt Baier of Matt Baier Organizing in Stamford, CT, (mattbaier.com).
Tackle the Paper
Baier suggests a four stage attack with paper accumulation: Running files are items you need to act on. Sitting files are files that you need to be able to find easily. Sleeping files (ones kept just in case) may be the most important stage to recognize, because they can be stored remotely. Dead files have no value. Discard immediately.
Set Up a Donation Depot
Next to the recyclables and trash in the garage set up a donation depot. “Dedicate a shelf or some bins to items to donate, so that when they fill up they are as close to the car as possible,” says Baier. His favorite donation spots include Vietnam Veterans of America and Habitat for Humanity.
Take Your Time
Baier suggests not being too aggressive ridding yourself of keepsakes because it is important to avoid regrets. “Store like with like, because after a while, if you have saved 100 unicorn drawings it will be easier to choose favorites.”
SELL YOUR HOME: SMALL TWEAKS THAT MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
Send Your Junk to a Storage Space
“Consider packing up and taking some of your items off-site to a storage unit, giving the impression that the house has more than enough storage space,” says Christine Saxe of William Raveis Real Estate in New Canaan, CT.
Change Out the Light Fixtures
“Change the fixtures to something current and you’ll have a whole new look,” says Lisa Hynes, of home staging company Stage to Show in Stamford, CT, (stagetoshow.com). “The old, shiny federal style is not in fashion and can make a home look dated.”
Depersonalize Your Home
Get rid of bric-a-brac. Put family photos in only one place in the house—either an office or bedroom. Clear out personal items from the bathroom and vanity. “Buyers don’t want to see your stuff. They only want to think about themselves living there,” says Hynes.
Focus On the Floors
Rip out old-fashioned shag rugs. Remove carpets with bold heavy colors and replace them with something simple and fresh that will appeal to a large audience. “Floors can be re-done and re-stained and it makes a huge difference,” says Hynes.
Want to hire a professional organizer or home stager?
Matt Baier Matt Baier Organizing 203-428-6294 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Hynes Stage to Show 203-921-6628 email@example.com
Robert Mizrahi Chaos Commandos 914-949-9742 firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by all about space/Shutterstock.com (Closet)