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Professional organizer offers tips to cleaning your space for the new year

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With a newly organized space you can give yourself a clean start to 2019 – Jan 3, 2019

With a newly organized space, you can give yourself a clean start to 2019.

Professional organizer Susan Macaulay from Clarity Over Clutter says the process can be overwhelming, but you shouldn’t start with the big picture.

“You want to break it down into small manageable tasks. If you want to reorganize your kitchen drawers and cupboards, you don’t say I’m going to do the whole thing at once — you pick one drawer at a time and pre-group everything so you can get an idea of what you have with each item,” she said.

READ MORE: How to clean and organize the garage

Macaulay says the trick is putting all similar items together so you can really see what you have and then you can evaluate what you really need.

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She also has a different approach than the classic keep, donate or trash. She starts with the question of should we donate this item instead.

“It’s easy to say I’m keeping it without really breaking down the thinking process to see if I need it. If you say ‘can I donate it,’ you’re challenging your thinking.”

That’s a key tip when tackling the front closet that can become littered with coats, shoes and accessories.

Macaulay suggests tucking away all the items you won’t be using for the season and using bins, baskets and the same types of hangers for your coats to keep it looking clean.

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Even though the kitchen may seem like a natural place to start, it’s filled with cupboards and closets full of items.

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Macaulay suggests starting small in a drawer and using dividers to keep that area organized.

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One area that can become a problem area, says Macaulay, is the linen closet.

“It can become a catchall. It can become the paper products, it can be the bedding,” she said.

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Having an organized space is a great way to de-stress and it’s healthy for your mental health, says psychologist Syras Derksen.

“Being organized is related to mental health significantly. It’s also related to energy and efficiently. It’s related to a lot of things that affect how you feel and how you function,” he said.

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He says when you have a clean home or desk you can have more energy to get more done in a day.

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