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Love it or leave it: A professional's advice to decluttering

Show Me How Week on 13 ON YOUR SIDE continues with professional advice on decluttering.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — In Kate Wert's pantry there's balance, in her closet there's order, and even in the space where she stores board games appears to be professionally organized.

That's because it is.

Wert is co-owner of Moxie Life Organizing, a West Michigan company that helps clients declutter home, offices, businesses, garages, basements and anywhere clutter collects.

"Typically when you go into someone's house they have a long laundry list of everything they want done," Wert said.

One of the first steps to accomplish order is to prioritize what items and area are most important. Then get started, focusing in on one space.

"Set a realistic goal and break it down into smaller tasks," she said.

For a closet Wert likes to hang all her clothes. And she says overstuffing is a big mistake. "You can easily flip through things," she said.

Decluttering often involves letting go. Focusing on wants verses needs. Order can lead to finding what Wert call "our best self."

Clutter, "gets in the way of what we really want to do; what's our true happiness," she said.

In the pantry, pull everything out and remove food you won't eat.

For Wert containerizing is big.

"It saves you some space and then you can better see what you have," she said.

Additional space can be added by hanging a shoe organizer on the back of the pantry door.

Wert says like exercise, decluttering takes commitment. "Once you put it into practice and you start to work through that decision making sure you are practicing working your brain, so it starts to get easier as you go along," she said.

In the bathroom closet, try adding a number of clear or wire mesh baskets. Place items used daily on lower shelves, extra supplies should go on the high shelves.

And just start moving each day one step closer to order.

"Often times I will tell my clients progress not perfection or don't let perfections get in the way of doing good," said Wert.

The Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals is available as a resource for individuals looking for professional help decluttering.

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