Start the year off strong and tidy with help from professional organizer Christine Bell, founder of Life’s Little Helpers. She offers a few tips to set you on the right path.
Find your weakness. Bell suggests first figuring out where you accumulate the most clutter. Do you own too many kitchen gadgets? Is there too much paper clutter in your home? Do you just purchase too many useless items in general? Once you’ve pinpointed your weak spot, attack that first.
Let go. “Ninety percent of my clients just have too many things,” says Bell. “Getting rid of items that have no sentimental value is a good place to start—whether you’re working on an area of the house, such as the bedroom or kitchen, or on a specific item, like clothing.” If you haven’t worn a pair of shoes or a dress in the past year, chances are it’s time to part ways.
Follow through. Once Bell has helped clients organize the home, she says she likes to leave them with tools to keep things on track.
“We teach them different methods that will work for their individual needs, so they can keep their home a peaceful space that they want to come home to,” she says. Some tools include lists or rules to get the homeowner in a new groove, such as the “first in and first out” rule—a reminder to rotate inventory anytime something new gets added to the mix, such as items in your refrigerator or closet.
Stay motivated. Hiring a professional like Bell can certainly change your life, but she notes that there are many tasks clients can handle just fine on their own. “We gladly steer them in the right direction and give them advice to get started,” she says. Picking up a good book on organization skills can also be very helpful. Bell recommends Sort and Succeed by Darla DeMorrow (which she references for feng shui) or anything by organization extraordinaire Marie Kondo.