How to Effectively Organize Your Westchester Home

This spring, put these tips from Fitz Just Right into action in your home to help it look decluttered and refreshed.

The months after the hectic and busy winter season are the perfect time to take inventory of the items in your home and start to declutter. Let the fresh air and sunshine in while getting rid of anything that’s weighing you down.

Maura Fitz from Fitz Just Right in Bronxville shares her tips for getting your house in tiptop shape.

She says to start small. “It gets you motivated to take on bigger projects. That said, I always believe you should start with the area that is occupying the most headspace,” she says. “If your attic seems daunting, but you think about it constantly, you should consider carving out a weekend, enlisting extra hands, and tackling it head-on.”

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Fitz Just Right
Photo courtesy of Fitz Just Right

One thing Fitz warns to avoid is sentimentality for non-sentimental items. “I’m all for storing keepsakes, photos, and family heirlooms, but your favorite sweater from the early 2000s that you haven’t worn since 2010 should not get more than a moment’s thought,” says Fitz.

She adds the success of your project depends on editing the items that no longer serve you. “The organizer’s rule of thumb is six months,” says Fitz. “If you haven’t worn it or used it in six months, it should go.”

She says the organizing process is very formulaic, so you can use these easy-to-follow steps for any project:

  • Take every single item out of the space.
  • Purge and edit what you no longer need or want.
  • Categorize items into like groups.
  • Measure shelves and areas in the space.
  • Purchase materials to contain items. This provides style, function, and accessibility.
  • Put items into the bins or materials purchased and then back into the space.
  • Label materials and spaces for continued accessibility.

While the weather is still crummy outside, she suggests starting with the garage. “Getting the outdoors ready for the warmer months will save you time and money when trying to head out to a day at the beach or even go on a simple bike ride,” says Fitz.

She adds that summer is also fast approaching, which means guests are coming. “Spring is a great time to clear out guestroom closets and drawers,” says Fitz. “You’ll be pleased these projects are done and you’ve saved yourself one more indoor project once the weather has turned and you’re looking to be outside again.”

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Still looking for motivation? What does an organized home really bring to you and your family? “I have always maintained that your closed-door spaces should make you as happy as your living spaces,” says Fitz. “Why invest in beautiful upholstery, furniture, and art only to have the mudroom closet fall out at your feet when you open it? When style and function come together it provides you with a very real sense of calm.”

Maura’s Top Five Tips for Getting and Staying Organized

1. Start small.

Spaces like junk drawers, medicine cabinets, or bedside drawers can quickly be organized, but they’re important because you see them every single day. When organized and pretty, even these little spaces will provide you with a sense of accomplishment and confidence.

Fitz Just Right shoes
Photo courtesy of Fitz Just Right

2. Do a little each day.

Tasks such as making the bed, putting dry cleaning onto real hangers, and clearing surface areas of paperwork can sometimes feel tedious, but if you carve out 20-30 minutes each day, your home will feel organized all the time, even if the closets are a mess. Build it into your daily to-do list and own the maintenance process. It will prevent clutter from building up and feeling overwhelming.

drawer organization
Photo courtesy of Fitz Just Right

3. The long game is all about labels.

I have always believed that labels are the key system in maintaining an organized home. Over time, labels serve two important purposes: the first, each family member will easily be able to participate in keeping items accessible and easy to stow. The second is knowing what you have and where to find it, which not only saves you precious time and money, but also provides you with a sense of true capability. I always recommend labeling your closed-door spaces.

4. Enlist help for larger projects.

Even if you aren’t able or don’t wish to hire a professional organizer, carve out a day or weekend with family and friends. Bribe them with pizza and wine if you must. Extra hands ensure larger projects will be successful, not to mention the time they save.

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5. Stay motivated.

There is real science behind ‘clear space, clear mind.’ The world is a busy place these days so staying motivated to keep your spaces functioning and clutter-free will only benefit you in your busy day-to-day life. It’s simply a matter of carving out the time to get started. Once the initial heavy lifting is done and the maintenance system is in place, there’s a lot less stress and work ahead of you.

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