Spring cleaning

Professional organizers share their tips for decluttering.
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Kate Wert, left, and Susie Marsh are professional organizers who can help you overcome the clutter. Courtesy Mindy Peterson

Spring is the perfect time to declutter your home, particularly a basement or garage
that has become a dumping ground for items you just don’t know what to do with.

Professional organizers Kate Wert and Susie Marsh, co-owners of Moxie Life Organizing, shared some tips to help you get organized without becoming overwhelmed by the process. The pair provide professional organizing services throughout Michigan, but particularly in West Michigan. Their services include interior decluttering and organizing, relocation services, spatial planning and aesthetic organizing, estate and project management, coaching and consulting, and more.

“Season changes are a great time to sort through your clothing to see which ones you really love and represent your current self.”
Kate Wert

Wert said the first step when starting any organizing project is to “manage your mindset.”

“It’s always helpful to figure out a motivating force or household goal to keep you going when the project seems overwhelming,” she said. “For example, ‘getting the garage organized’ is a concrete goal but what’s going to be your driving force? Streamlining spaces and having less ‘stuff’ saves time and energy. Rather than viewing the task as a job to do, try thinking of it as an opportunity to spend more time at the beach or playing outdoors with the kids, without the looming guilt or long to-do list.”

Wert said you should also break the job up into small, achievable tasks. Maybe spend 30 minutes a day until a project is finished or dedicate three hours for several consecutive weekends until your goal is achieved.

Also, take advantage of vertical space. “When putting items back into spaces, zone it out. The space between waist and shoulders is typically the target area for frequently used items. Use higher vertical spaces for lesser-used items and lighter items that won’t cause injury if they fall from that height. Use lower areas for cubes/shelving for storage of items and for kids to access easily.”

Spring also is a great time to evaluate your winter wardrobe before you store it. “Season changes are a great time to sort through your clothing to see which ones you really love and represent your current self,” Wert said.

“When working with clients, we like to go Marie Kondo on clothing, pulling items from the closet and storage spaces, grouping like clothing items together — it really helps gain perspective on how many similar items are owned and the overabundance of unused items.”

Visit moxielifeorganizing.com.

Get your kids involved

Start good habits when they are young 

Asking them to pick up their toys and putting them away when done with them helps them develop a sense of responsibility in the home and in the family unit. That goes for laundry, too. Show them how to fold laundry and how to put away clean clothes.

Get visual!

Using labels and pictures on drawers, in closets, pantry shelves, etc. will help them know where items go. And don’t be afraid to offer reinforcements. Our kids need regular reminders, but they will get there!

Consider implementing an end of the day 15-minute clutter cleanup

The whole family participates. It will promote maintenance and help keep the clutter under control.

Please never feel bad asking your kids to help!

You are teaching them valuable skills that will carry on far into the future. Some day, they will have roommates, spouses or partners — and they will thank you too!

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