By Paul FP Pogue Ask Angi
Pre-spring doldrums can really take a toll on your home. The flurry of activity around the holidays is far in the past, but spring itself is still a few weeks away. Use this time wisely: Before you do your spring cleaning, you can get on your way to tidying up.
Your best bet is to hire a professional organizer. Pros typically charge between $55 and $100 per hour. If you hire them on a per-project fee, the average fee is $580. Consider seeking professionals certified by the National Association of Productivity and Organizational Professionals (NAPO; formerly the National Association of Professional Organizers.)
Before hiring, determine what you want. Organizers often charge per project, per room or per hour. Maybe you want them to walk you through the in-depth organization of a room, so you learn the skills to manage the rest of the house on your own. Or you can hire them to walk you through the process from top to bottom and back and forth!
When selecting your organizer, make sure it’s someone you want to work with. You’ll spend at least a few hours, if not days, with them while you go through most of your stuff.
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Here are some proven tips from professional organizers to master your space.
Kitchen Organization Ideas
— Separate canned and dry goods into categories (soups, vegetables, baked goods, etc.) and keep items on assigned shelves.
— Use transparent storage boxes to keep perishables in the fridge at eye level so you don’t forget to use them. Don’t forget to label them with dates. You can store canned drinks, leftovers, cold cuts and cheese in the crispers to free up shelf space.
— Keep plastic lids on their bowls. It may take up more space, but consider the time and frustration saved by not having to search for a matching set.
— Use dividers in all drawers to prevent stacks of objects from merging. This is especially important in the ubiquitous “garbage drawer”.
Bedroom Organization Tips
— Use boxes under the bed for out-of-season clothing, extra pillows, and spare sheets and blankets.
— Consider installing a closet organization system. These convenient configurations come in all sizes and price ranges, with plenty of shelving and hanging space, doors, drawers and coordinating accessories. They not only organize your closet, but also free up extra storage space.
— These days, you can pay most bills online, which cuts down on paper clutter.
— Sift through your mail as soon as it arrives and discard any junk mail.
— Have a specific place for reminders, like school calendars. Cork boards or home calendars can keep important dates and documents on your daily radar so nothing falls through the cracks. Throw away all the papers if you no longer need them. Take a photo or scan of school children’s artwork instead of keeping the original (ie if you’re not being too sentimental). If you can’t part with a keepsake, designate a decorative keepsake box for each family member.
Tweet your home care questions with #AskAngi and we’ll try to answer them in an upcoming column.
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