Angie’s List Report: Tips to get clutter under control

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Tips to get clutter under control

A new year is like a clean slate, and that means getting the clutter under control. Angie’s List Report has tips from the pros to get the ball rolling.

The beginning of a new year is a great time to get a fresh start on your home organization.

Angie Hicks — co-founder of Angie’s List — said, “The new year is a great time to consider decluttering your home.” 

“The best way to be successful is to start with one small area of your home, get that in tip-top shape, and that’ll give you the motivation to tackle other areas.”

Start small

That’s the same advice given by Maria Baer, the owner of Baer Essentials Home organization. 

“I always say, if it’s overwhelming, start small,” Baer said. “Start with a drawer or a cupboard. Don’t tackle those boxes of memories that you’ve been collecting of your kids for the last 18 years. That is generally the very last project that I would do because everything has an emotional tie.”

To set yourself up for success, start with a spot where the items themselves will indicate whether they should be kept or tossed. 

“Pantries are a great spot to start because things expire,” Baer said. Check those expiration dates, pitch anything that is past its prime and when you’re wanting to get started with an organizing project, take everything out of the space. Literally everything. Wipe it all clean, start with that clean slate and determine what really deserves to be back in that space. And, as I said, donate things, pitch things that no longer make sense for your lifestyle or where you’re at.”

Start filling the space up

Now you’re ready to start filling the space back up. Be sure to do so with thoughtful intention.

“Final piece of advice is shop for containers last, once you know what is going back in that space,” Baer said.

Seeing an organized and uncluttered finished product will give you satisfaction and confidence to keep going.

“I think once you’ve gotten into throwing things away or donating things that no longer work, it’s easier to get into say, the master closet or your kid’s playroom and start making decisions about those items,” Baer said. 

Use logic, less emotion

“When considering what to keep and what to throw away… when clearing out your house … make sure you stay logical and less emotional,” Angie said. “For example, we were cleaning out our basement recently.  I decided to part ways with a dollhouse that I had put together when I was in my teens. Again, hard decision to make but the right move for the house.”

Regardless of how logical you’re trying to be, there still may be spaces in your home that can seem overwhelming to organize. So don’t be afraid to call in the pros when you need to.

Call the professionals

Professional organizers can: 

  • create the plan
  • handle the cleanout
  • give some great tips for what to do with those items that you’re ready to let go of

Baer says there are tons of charities and nonprofits that are looking for very specific items that they put directly into the hands of those in need.