Tips to help you be free of clutter

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Don’t make these 6 Clutter Causing Mistakes!

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9 Back-to-school Clutter Busters:

Keep your school-bound youngsters organized with WD’s A+ guide

By Madonna Behen from Women’s Day

Pick the Right Calendar

“This is probably the most important tool a mom can have,” says Cosentino, so don’t just hang up the free one from the bank. Find a calendar that has plenty of room to track kids’ activities, field trips and more. Cosentino likes the week-at-a-glance kind. Keeping dates in one place eliminates the need to hold on to paper reminders.


Simplify Your Coat Rack

Mount hooks near the door or in the hall closet to make it quicker and easier for kids to hang up their coats, advises Cosentino.


Make Your Kids Part of the Cleaning Solution

Jan 6, 2016

Have Realistic Expectations

Preschoolers may not have the coordination or dexterity to neatly make their beds every morning, so a good first effort may be to have them pull the comforter up to the top of the bed, says Kim Cosentino, owner of The De-Clutter Box, an organizing company in Westmont, Illinois. “Be proud of your child’s efforts, and don’t expect perfection.”

Be Specific

Try to give one simple instruction or direction at a time. To a 5- or 6-year-old, “Clean up your room” is an overwhelming statement, but “Put away all the cars in their container” is clearly understood, says organizing pro Cosentino.

Set Limits on Toys

Cleaning is a lot quicker and easier when there’s less clutter to pick up in the first place. Keep toys under control by storing them in covered bins, says Cosentino. “When the bin is overflowing, that flags you that it’s probably time to weed out and eliminate.” Designate a few hours to help your kids choose toys to donate to children who don’t have so many. They’ll learn organization skills and charity at the same time.

More tips here.



A big part of organizing is careful consideration of how you operate in daily life. “What you are doing is helping people set up their own personal department store in their home,” says Cosentino. “When they need something, they just need to go to the right department.”
“Clutter is caused by various things, but ultimately clutter represents unmade decisions,” says Cosentino. “Nobody teaches you how to organize — it really should be a class in school.”


Make It Better – Family, Food, Finances & Philanthropy

11 Steps to an Organized Garage (Plus the Products to Keep It That Way!)

Posted By Meghan Streit On July 18, 2016

Is there any spot more desperate for organization than the garage of a busy family? Wayward basketballs, buckets of screws and nails, last year’s unused potting soil — you name it, if it’s an item you’re not sure how to deal with, it’s probably lurking in your garage. If the state of your garage causes you anxiety (and embarrassment) every time you open the door to park the car, it’s time to reclaim your space. Follow these 11 easy steps for a tidy garage you’ll want to show off to the whole neighborhood.

1. Enlist your troops. The best way to get the whole family to keep the garage organized? Have them help create the system, advises Westmont-based organizer Kim Cosentino [1]. “When you put your energy into something, you’re more likely to maintain it,” she says. Also, label each corner, shelf or category to remind everybody to put things back where they belong.

3. Think of a department store. When Cosentino is helping clients revamp garages, she tells them to imagine they’re setting up their own personal department store. “A typical garage has four corners, therefore think of the four broad, but specific, categories of items that are important to your family,” Cosentino says. For instance, if you golf frequently, store golf clubs and other sports equipment in the corner closest to your trunk.

5. Look up. The most valuable real estate in the garage is on the walls and ceiling. That’s why Cosentino says to deck them out with hooks, shelves and pegboards. “A 2-foot plastic shelf unit with five shelves gives you 10 feet of storage space,” she says.

8. Reward yourself. You’ll be more motivated to finish what you started if you know there’s a treat waiting for you at the end. Cosentino says to stick to a timeframe for organizing the garage, and then reward the family with a pizza party or a trip to the ice cream shop.

Read the full article here.


Ask Kim!

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Throw, Give and Keep boxes I understand. What’s the 4th box? I think I need boxes 4-10 to categorize my papers. (I’m a ‘paper-pusher’ in my mind and thinking paper/lists/letters/photos/family/ friends/groups/hobbies/diabetes/ recipes… well you get the picture. I cause my own clutter with paper and my system of filing is cluttering also. Why is vertical better than horizontal. Less floor space?


I attended your seminar at the Oak Brook Marriott in Westmont and found it very helpful. I have always wanted to get rid of boxes of books by trying to sell them at our garage sales. I asked you at the seminar if you had a list of organizations that I could drop off donations. Can you please send me a list of where I can drop off not only books but toys, clothes and stuffed animals? I would appreciate your help.

One more question that I didn’t have time to ask you yesterday … do you schedule your everyday chores such as dinnertime, laundry, paying bills, etc. at certain times (ex. dinner-5:00 thru 6:00), or are you more flexible with daily stuff? Thanks you for your help. – Sandra


Any suggestions for those daily receipts (grocery, fuel, etc.)? They seem to pile up so fast. What do you do with the ones you need to save for returns? – Sheila


Do you have any tips for keeping on track with a check register? Your ideas for my calendar and to do list were so helpful, and have eliminated my post-its that had invaded my life! I currently don’t keep my register up to date.Thanks, Kathy


Kim, you spoke about having a fire safe box for important, hard to replace paperwork at the seminar I attended last week. Would you send me a copy of that list?Thanks so much. Richard

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