How to organize your home after the holidays
It’s a familiar, annual scene: Family and friends are leaving after another holiday season, but the clutter in your home remains. For all the fun of holidays, this time of year homeowners can accumulate a lot of junk. But Amber Kostelny-Cussen, owner of highly rated Amber’s Organizing LLC in Chicago, says there are ways to get your home and your life back in order.
“Be consistent,” Kostelny-Cussen says. “If you store things haphazardly, it will take up a lot of time next year.”
To stay consistent, she says homeowners should store by location. For instance, have decorations on a mantle? Put all items that go on a mantle in an appropriately labeled container. Labeling is very important, Kostelny-Cussen says. You should label all storage boxes.
Dana Carney, owner of highly rated Organizing Indy Inc., says the key to avoid clutter is to always be mindful of what you have.
“Put things away as you get them or as you are finished with them,” Carney says. “It’s a very busy time of year and everybody is dealing with chaos. Maybe recruit the family and delegate the work. “
But, also bemindful of the fragile items.
“Take the time to pack expensive ornaments properlywhether that’s using tissue paper or bubble wrap,” Carney says.
Kostelny-Cussen says fragile decorations can determine not only how you store, but where you store as well.
“[Homeowners] should usually store decorations inside in a basement,” she says. “A garage can be dirty and the weather changes can affect glassware and candles.”
Use sealed, plastic containers for maximum protection for glassware and candles. Kostelny-Cussen says people should also avoid stacking container upon container and instead invest in shelves.
“Nowadays, you can get very inexpensive stand alone shelving,” she says.
If homeowners are unable to handle the holiday clutter and feel the stress stacking on them, Kostelny-Cussen suggests hiring a professional.
“Many hands make light work,” she says. “We don’t get overwhelmed with stuff as many homeowners do. Because we are professionals, we do this day in and day out, so we can usually do this much more quickly.”
Carney agrees: “Sometimes having fresh eyes or having a second opinion can help get things organized most effectively,” she says.
To organize a storage area, homeowners can expect to pay from $300 to $700. Kostelny-Cussen says you’ll need to wait till spring if wanting a professional’s help in the garage. Most organizers will only work in a garage from March to November.