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By Thumbtack staff
This spring, our Thumbtack pros have been busy helping customers create clean, clutter-free spaces in their homes. Check out some of our favorite before-and-after transformations, and get tips from the pros on how to keep your home clean and organized throughout the year.
Thumbtack Pro: Kammy Lee
Company: Organized by Kammy
“My client's master bedroom closet was very cluttered to the point where you couldn't see the floor. She wanted my help in sorting and paring down her clothing, as there were numerous items she no longer wears. She also was having a new closet storage solution installed by an outside vendor (not me). We removed all the clothing, and I worked with her to sort and select the ‘keeps’ and ‘let go’s.’ After the new closet solution was installed, I put back and arranged the clothes she was keeping.
At the time of this project, my client was pregnant and expecting her second child soon. She really wanted things to be tidy and organized before the birth, and I'm so glad I was able to help her do just that.”
“Staying tidy is easier if you have fewer belongings, so keep only the things you love, need and use. When you've decided which possessions belong in your life, now it's time to decide where to put them. When everything has a home, things may still get messy, but the difference is that your home will be easier to ‘reset.’”
Thumbtack Pro: Cherry Hogan
Company: Green Clover Cleaning
“When we got there, the kitchen was a mess and disorganized. My client’s primary goal is for us to clean the kitchen and organize it a bit.”
“I would like to give my clients tips to just break down big jobs to smaller jobs so it’s not overwhelming — such as the kitchen, because the kitchen is always messy.
Start with the dishes, move to the sink, wipe the counter down, mop the floor — and slowly clear stuff that does not belong there and put it away in a right place. It feels good when we see our homes clean and tidy. Believe me: our lives are more productive and stress-free when our homes are not a mess.”
Thumbtack Pro: Blake Jones
Company: The Organizing Boss
“The pantry was very disorganized because there wasn't a system in place or specific areas for food categories. It was a bit of a mess.
The client has a mild form of celiac disease, so she can only have gluten-free [options]. Because the pantry was so disorganized and various food categories were getting mixed together, she was accidentally served gluten pasta on a couple of occasions. She wanted her own gluten-free section, and she wanted a dedicated space for other categories.
The slanted shelves were not working for this pantry; the client was willing to redesign the space to make it more efficient and functional. I worked with The Container Store to design an Elfa system, and we were able to reuse a lot of what was already there — particularly the drawers, which saved hundreds of dollars. Now the drawers and shelves work for a pantry, and it allows dedicated space for each food category. We also labeled them in both English and Spanish so that the client's housekeeper can easily find what she needs.”
“You must schedule some maintenance time in order to stay organized. Even the best systems require 15-30 minutes each week. If you're a procrastinator and put off maintenance, put it on your calendar and do it before something you really, really enjoy. Love your morning coffee? Put away cluttered items then reward yourself with a delicious cup.”
Thumbtack Pro: Lori Bull
Company: Easy Organizing Solutions
“The customer was in need of help in several areas of her home. She did not have an inherently dirty or cluttered home; however, she had kids and a busy schedule, which were contributing to her situation.
Our client’s goal was to get several areas of her home decluttered and organized, including her:
As always, we were so delighted to see the client's response to their newly organized home. We love what we do but we love the relationships that we create even more. Every job we attend, we make new friends along the way.”
“Our business is not in the cleaning of a home but in the setup of organizational systems, which contributes to around 50% less time physically ‘cleaning’ the home. This is accomplished by partnering with the client in decluttering, naming a place or everything in the area — and labeling, labeling, labeling.
Our #1 tip will always be to look objectively at your clutter and get rid of what you can. If this is a hard task for you, hire someone to help you do this, whether it is us or another company. You will come out from a weight you didn't know you were under. Our #2 tip is to switch the hangers in your closet to velvet hangers. They are thinner, which can free up so much more space, and the velvet prevents clothes from slipping off.”
Thumbtack Pro: Wendy Westerfield
Company: Organized By Wendy
“This family was in transition, having completed a home renovation project and seeing adult children move out. The pantry contents showed that they had hosted multiple large gatherings over recent months. Since the adults remaining in the home had different tastes and schedules than those they hosted, the pantry needed a rehaul to match their new season of life.
The primary goal was to match the pantry cleanliness and contents to the new dynamics of what would be used, how frequently, and by whom.
Working with this family was exciting! They are a positive group of people who have enjoyed a lot of life together and understood this pantry transition to be a part of moving forward with joy. We purged dated perishables, donated new and current items to food pantries, then customized each shelf to the height of the person accessing items and the frequency of their intended use.”
“My favorite tip for maintaining an organized home is to be realistic. Do you want to live in a Better Homes & Gardens photo of a home? Or do you want to actually enjoy living in your space? Family life involves meal time messes, busy schedules, muddy boots and clutter. The chaos of life requires that our time and energies be dedicated to the moment, recognizing that organized spaces come in waves.
Yes, I could’ve submitted pictures of a high-end client who wanted me to create Pinterest worthy, almost museum-quality organized spaces with matching containers and professional labeling. When a client wants that look, I’m happy to create it … but families typically go through seasons of life when order cannot be maintained in all places at all times.
I encourage my clients to NOT get sucked into the pressure of photos in social media. Instead, I ask that they give themselves some leeway. Focus on keeping trash and recycling out of each room daily. Rotate focal goals by organizing one room or closet per month. This fine-tuning method allows life to happen while still maintaining functional order.”
Thumbtack Pro: Beth Blacker
Company: It's Just Stuff!
“As a professional organizer, I see a lot of degrees of clutter and chaos, but it is always the backstories of how people have gotten to where they are that can be the most challenging part to actually get a particular client to the point of a much more organized and calm existence. This transformation was one of the most heartwarming — as well as heartbreaking — ones for me.
This particular client found me on Thumbtack in April 2020. Her sister had Down syndrome and was living with a caregiver for several years. But when the pandemic hit in 2020, the caregiver coped with the lockdown and social distancing by buying a lot of stuff that she didn't necessarily need but still couldn't stop herself. Every room was filled with clutter and a lot of garbage. Food was stuck to the floors, dishes piled in the sink, surplus supplies were everywhere.”
“I always recommend to clients once we have completed the clearing to spend 10-15 minutes at the end of the day dealing with any clutter that occurs during normal use of the home throughout the day. Be very intentional and deliberate … set a reminder so you don't forget. Controlling the clutter in your home is like being on Weight Watchers. It's a life-maintenance program, and if you aren't managing it every day you will always be surrounded by chaos.
If you tend to be an impulsive buyer, don't buy something unless you truly need it. There is a difference between wants and needs. We need food, clothing and shelter. We want the latest gadgets and shiny objects. Avoid the temptation at all costs. Not only will you save a lot of money but also a lot of time and energy trying to maintain and contain so much excess.
Think of your ‘stuff’ as a burden that you have to figuratively and literally carry with you throughout your life — and then be extremely ruthless. Give yourself time to reminisce — and then, anything that isn't serving a purpose on a regular basis? Be like Elsa from the Disney movie Frozen — let it go!!!”
Tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll show you pros right for the job, with prices.