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Get Organized

Professional advice to clear the clutter



Photograph: ©ep_stock/istockphoto

Need help getting organized for 2014? You are not alone. Clutter has a way of creeping up on us all. Whether it be tackling the closet, your basement or desk files sometimes it's best to call a professional.

In Greenwich we have two local companies that will be able to get you on track. And if you have been dreaming of a gorgeous new walk-in closet worthy of a magazine, then you will be excited to hear that California Closets, the nation-wide custom closet organization system, is opening a location in Norwalk this winter. We have tips from these masters of organization that will help you reach your goals.

Where do you start?

A good place to begin, according to local professional organizer, Matt Baier, is the garage. Why? It offers a lot of "quick wins." You can clear space and establish "exit zones" for all the stuff you are going to get rid of. (Yes, purging is a major component of getting organized.) Once you have space to work with you can designate "exit zones" — for example: donation, selling and disposal.

How do you stay organized on a daily basis?

Clutter accumulates quickly and to keep from drowning in a sea of junk mail Carol Goldstone, of the Greenwich family organization business, Gold Star Services recommends that you not let mail pile up but efficiently open and file it all immediately. Open bills and write down the amount and date due on the outside of the envelope. That way you can easily see what invoices are coming up and pay them when you're ready. And don’t delay on throwing out that junk mail!

Maybe your office is in order but your closet is a mess. If you wake up in the morning and can never seem to find anything you want to wear, you may just need to toss the stuff you’re not wearing so that you can actually find the garments that you like. Most of us don't wear the vast majority of our clothes. Need proof to see what you are actually wearing and not? Try this trick from Carol Goldstone. Make sure all your hangers are facing one direction. Now every time you wear an item put it back in the closet with your hanger facing the opposite direction. This way you can really see what you are using.

Need professional help?

Do your organizational woes go beyond a cluttered closet? If you are in over your head or starting to worry that your home is in danger of turning into an episode of Hoarders, then it's time to call in the professionals. Who to call? Matt Baier of Stamford has been in business for almost 10 years and specializes in larger projects, which he and his team tackle with the help of contractors and NAPO (the National Organization of Professional Organizers).

Another recommended local source for professional organization is the new family business, Gold Star Services. The mother, son and daughter-in-law team started their company in Greenwich this past year and it has taken off, thanks in large part to their work experience in personal assistance and property management. They also work with the help of contactors and NAPO, with a specialization in organizing collections, whether it be an inheritance of antiques or a collection of photographs to catalogue.

Both companies offer a one hour complimentary meeting to look at your project and give an estimate for the time involved to complete the work. Regardless of who you hire, be sure to get recommendations and find out if the organizer is affiliated with NAPO.

If you are still fantasizing about the perfect walk in closet and have done your due diligence in parting ways with those clothes that are just not getting worn anymore, then it might be time to give California Closets a call. Like the local organization companies in our area, this nationwide chain also gives you a one hour complimentary visit to look at your current setup. You'll even get a 3D photo of what your new closet would look like.

Whether you do it on your own or hire some help, be prepared to purge so that you can enjoy a clutter-free new year!

Local resources for professional organizing:

California Closets (203) 924-8444

Gold Star Services — (203) 883-1490

Matt Baier Organizing (203) 428-6294

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