Contributing Editors

The Downsizing Boom

by Winnie Hsiu September 27, 2010 11:54 PM
For years, Americans were famous for building McMansions -- adding every bit of space possible to new homes. Home builders were adding rooms for home theaters, game rooms, exercise rooms, interior greenhouses, and even separate children’s and guest wings. But according to a survey conducted this year by the American Institute of Architects, that trend has come to an end. Instead of living large, Americans have begun to downsize -- putting items in storage if necessary to make it possible to live in a smaller space. Industry analysts say that the new trend will mean more business for professional organizers, interior designers, home furnishing stores, and self storage companies, as Americans try to figure out how to maintain their old lifestyles in less space. [More]

September: A Good Time to Clean Your Garage, Professional Organizers Say

by John Stevens September 17, 2010 6:13 PM
Depending on what the climate is like where you live, professional organizers say that now might be a good time to clean out your garage. Most residential garages are not heated or air conditioned -- so the cool temperatures of fall can provide an ideal climate for pulling garage gear out into the driveway and reorganizing. Be ready to get rid of some things, store others, and organize the rest. One afternoon of garage cleaning could make the rest of the winter much more bearable, especially for people who live in states that have cold, snowy winters.

According to the National Association of Professional Organizers, about half of homeowners say that the most disorganized part of their home is the garage. [More]

Professional Organizers Offer Kitchen Advice

by John Stevens September 9, 2010 12:38 PM
The parallel to spring cleaning, it seems, is back to school organizing. In newspapers and on websites at this time of year, professional organizers are offering tips to help keep families from drowning in clutter. In many families, clutter tends to migrate into the kitchen. But organizing kitchen clutter does not have to be an impossible chore.

Most organizers suggest a twofold kitchen organizing strategy. First, move or store any items that do not truly need to be in the kitchen. Second, organize the items that remain, maximizing your use of space and expanding into previously unused spaces whenever possible. Kitchen counters, kitchen drawers, kitchen cupboards, kitchen cabinets can all be organized so that their entire space is functional. [More]

Spring Cleaning Gives Way to Summer Organizing

by Winnie Hsiu July 9, 2010 11:01 PM
Whatever happened to spring cleaning? Many families never had time to do spring cleaning, and home organization and housekeeping have been suffering ever since. During the summer months when children are out of school, the sense of structure imposed by the school day can sometimes cause a family’s routines, including house cleaning and decluttering routines, to devolve into clutter and chaos. In newspapers all over America, professional organizers are offering their advice on everything from spring cleaning tips, getting rid of clutter, closet organization and closet organizers, organizing everything from children’s schedules to basements, and how to decide what to keep, what to throw out or recycle, who might be able to reuse certain items, and what should be safely stowed in a secure self storage unit or other secure location. Most of all, they are offering tips on time management -- how to make time to declutter, clean, and organize. [More]