4 easy things you can do right now to help organize your house better

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Spring cleaning doesn't have to be painful.  It can be cleansing.   We are getting answers from a professional organizer to help you dig out from all that clutter and start fresh this spring.

"Clutter is a big stresser," said Joanie MacRaild.

She has been digging out from a major renovation project, while trying to keep up with her active boys.

"If you open your linen closet and you have towels and sheets falling down on you, it's frustrating," she said.

At the MacRaild house they're trying to live by the "less is more" mantra. But clutter often gets the best of them.

"My pantry was completely shoved full.  It even had a bounce house in it.  I'm not going to lie," she admitted.

Starting Jan. 1 they start going through all their closets.

"We get rid of all the clothes.  We start going through cupboards trying to get rid of the things we don't use anymore," Joanie said.

She brought in the big guns this spring, Nancy Bender, a professional organizer and owner of Room to Breathe.

"When you want to have a family dinner and you all can't sit down together because the kitchen table is covered with stuff, that's chaos," Bender said.

She said getting organized will actually save you money.

"When you're searching for something that you know you already own, but you can't find it so you go buy a new one.  That's hard," said Bender.

She went to town on Joanie's kitchen and pantry.

"A lot of expired things get lost back there.  A lot of people waste a lot of food because you don't know what's back there," Bender said.

She shared some other tricks of the "org" trade.

  1. Make a menu board for the week, outlining what you'll be cooking or eating.  If you stick to it, you'll use up the food you have in the house, and clean out the fridge.
  2. Use an empty tissue box to contain all those plastic bags from the grocery store.
  3. In your family room, keep all your remotes in the same place, in a container.
  4. Use a Clean/Dirty magnet on the dishwasher to keep up with dirty dishes more efficiently.

Bender said she doesn't make clients throw things out. Instead she asks them to choose between the space, or the item.

"If something does not spark joy, if it does not mean something to you, if it wasn't a gift, don't keep it," she advises.

Now Joanie is thrilled to be living a life less cluttered.

"It's amazing, everything is right where it needs to be.  My kids even do the dishes and they know right where everything goes," Joanie said.

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