TAMPA - How are those New Year's resolutions going? Have you lost weight, saved some money, or gotten organized? Weight loss and money management are difficult. But getting organized is surprisingly easy, once you make the commitment. Angie Hicks, founder of the consumer group Angie's List , said it's all about knowing yourself. "I think all of us can admit to having some area of their house that is a little more cluttered then it should be. But the key here is finding out whether you can fix it yourself or whether you need to hire someone - and what are the steps to get it resolved."
Getting organized is one of those things that takes a bit of work but can pay off instantly in peace of mind and satisfaction. You won't have to scramble to find your keys in the morning or track down that tool you used months ago but can't find now. Hicks said highly rated service providers tell her the most disorganized areas of the home are bedrooms, closets, and garages. The biggest contributor to clutter and disorganization? Anything on paper.
Professional Organizer Carrie Bell agrees, and offer these tips to get paper under control:
"A lot of what I hear over time," said Bell, "has been (clients) are very stressed, worried that with all the other things that keep them busy in life that they are getting chronically disorganized. And when they are at home then don't feel comfortable anymore. They don't like being in their space." No task is too small or large for a professional organizer, so ask for help if you're uncertain about how to begin or what to do to best use your space within your budget and capabilities. An organizer can do as little as pointing you in the right direction to helping you sort and re-store your belongings. "I think that one of the most common questions we get is what do they need to do or what do they need to buy before they meet with us. My answer to that is nothing. I want to see exactly what is working for them and not working for them. I try to reutilize the things that are already in the space before we go out and start making purchases," Bell said.
Hicks added, "The key to a good organizer is someone who sits down and consults with you first, someone that understands what your objective is and listens to you. The goal is not to just have someone come in and throughout your stuff without you even having any input. This is really them helping you get your life more organized not just them cleaning out your house."
Here are Angie's List suggestions for getting started organizing various rooms of your house.
Organize your bedroom:
Organize your closet:
TIP: Can't decide what to purge and what to keep? At the beginning of the year face all your hangers in the same direction. Once you wear an item and return it to your closet, turn the hanger in the opposite direction. At the end of the season or year get rid of any clothing where the hanger is still facing the original way.
Organize your kitchen/pantry:
Organize your Garage:
"When hiring a professional organizer the first thing you want to do is make sure you've got a good reputable one with experience and a history of organizing," Hicks said. "Checking with friends and family, checking Angie's List can be a great way to find good resources. Then you need to know exactly what you are going to be getting and how much you are going to be paying. Are they just giving advice? Are they actually going to be doing the organizing? Do they bring the supplies? Do you have to take away the stuff that is getting thrown out or do they take care of it?"
Angie's List tips to find the right professional organizer for you: