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Trying to De-Clutter? Tips from a MI Expert

During Get Organized Month in January, experts recommend starting with closets. (emma kate/Flickr)
During Get Organized Month in January, experts recommend starting with closets. (emma kate/Flickr)
January 15, 2016

LANSING, Mich. - Getting organized is the second most common New Year's resolution, but it can be a hard goal to meet in a house full of clutter. Professional organizer Betty Houtari with Logical Placement in southeast Michigan says when trying to de-clutter, do a clean sweep of rooms, either in a clockwise or counter-clockwise fashion, instead of just digging in, in different areas. And she recommends pausing to consider which items are really needed.

"Closets are a great place to start and declutter," says Houtari. "So, making decisions, a lot of us have extra items in our closets that one day we'll 'fit into.' And so, it's just being realistic."

Houtari suggests items that are not being worn but you may want to keep be put in a bin to be stored elsewhere. And while clothing can be sold when it's no longer needed, she says it's a lot easier to donate it. Charities do have different guidelines for donations, so she recommends calling a donation center if there are questions about an item's condition.

Other major sources of clutter around the home are counter tops, which often are buried in mail and paperwork. She recommends creating a system that allows you to be proactive.

"Do I have to file this, do I have to pay this bill, what do I need to do with it," she says. "And then build a framework that's simple that you can remember and follow, and make the decisions with the paperwork."

Clutter not only affects a home, but Houtari explains, it also affects the morale and spirit of those who live there. She says getting organized can lift some weight off your shoulders.

"If the pile is six-inches deep, you have to take your breath and think, 'How am I going to tackle it?' And if you do it on a day-to-day basis and it never builds up to any huge degree, then you just find it more manageable, more at peace," says Houtari.

And if getting rid of things is a challenge, she suggests bringing in a friend or family member who can provide support and perspective. January is Get Organized Month.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - MI