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Three Simple Steps to Become Clutter-Free in 2021

Amy Tokos

President-Elect, National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO)

As consumers corralled their clutter, downsized their stuff, and tried to improve their workflow during the pandemic, they turned to productivity experts and professional organizers for help.

The National Association of Organizing and Productivity Professionals (NAPO), an association of more than 3,500 members, noted a significant uptick in interest in decluttering and organizing during the pandemic and predicts the need to continue in 2021.

“Hiring a professional to help with decluttering and organizing is the same as hiring a personal training or financial advisor,” said NAPO Executive Director Jennifer Pastore Monroy. “Every January is GO month – Get Organized and be productive – because it’s the perfect time to make a fresh start, regardless of how little or much space you have.” 

Here are three expert tips to get started on creating a more productive space.

1. Start small

Pick one area, room, or section of a room to make it manageable. Also, set aside the items you want to keep, which sets the stage for determining what to do with the rest.

2. Start at the front door

Entries get cluttered with bags, shoes, and keys. Pros designate space for each person with color-coded bins, a hanging rack with hooks for coats, or a bench with baskets to keep shoes tidy. Affix an over-the-door shoe organizer for hats, gloves and scarves.

3. Address papers immediately

Sort and file all papers immediately and scan receipts so you can reduce paper. Recycle envelopes and inserts. Use a file folder for bills or items that need immediate response and file the rest. Reduce papers by using electronic payments and an online folder.

Clutter can negatively affect our mental health, but there are resources available. For instance, www.napo.net provides a directory of local professional organizers or productivity experts who abide by a strict code of ethics and discretion and are available to help create a better environment at home or work.

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