‘Peace of mind’: Manitoba expert on tips to declutter this new year

A good rule of thumb when organizing one's home is to see if it takes more than five minutes to tidy up, says Manitoba-based professional organizer Sylvie Matthews. ASIFE/Getty Images

With the new year comes a set of new resolutions. For one expert, what should be top of mind for people is decluttering their home.

That, in turn, can declutter their minds.

Sylvie Matthews, a Manitoba-based professional organizer, told 680 CJOB that working on reorganizing and opening up more space in one’s home is easy. She says the number one strategy is to evaluate the different areas available at home. If it would take longer than five minutes to clean up, that space itself needs organizing.

“Every item in your space needs a dedicated home. If you’re looking at your kitchen counters or the surfaces in your living room, and there’s a pile of stuff, that’s what I call clutter,” Matthews said. “It’s time to get organized.”

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To Matthews, organization is a habit. It doesn’t matter how big or how small the space is, she said, because even with a bigger home people end up filling it with more stuff.

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As for the process of organizing, she said there are a number of ways to go about it. There are visual organizers, she said. Then there are those who pretend that their space is actually organized, even when it isn’t.

“People shouldn’t be ashamed of what they have. But I think it’s time to just start addressing the piles and getting through them,” Matthews said.

Another way of going about it, according to Matthews, is by being intentional about what is kept at home. This can include letting go off things one doesn’t need, from mismatched socks to stained towels and other old items.

Pick the very best things that belong at home, she said, and curate them. A way to do so is to use containers and organizing things by colour, closets and drawers.

“It’s a peace of mind, being on top of your things, of being able to tidy your home in five minutes because everything was home,” Matthews said.

Click to play video: 'Organizing tips to declutter your home'
Organizing tips to declutter your home

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