Digging out of household clutter easier than you think

- Do you feel like your closets are suffering from an epidemic of clutter? Did you know the average American can waste up to an hour a day looking for things they own, but can’t find.

FOX 13's Consumer Reporter Sorboni Banerjee has some tips to help you reclaim some of that time you lost searching by getting rid of the clutter. 

Busy mom Lorraine Korb was looking for help mastering her closets. She showed us the tangle of products cluttering her bathroom closet, but that’s just half her problem. Her clothing closet was chaos. She has to use a hanger to reach clothes up on the top shelf that are just tossed up there.

When it comes to closets, stats show people wear the same 20-percent of their clothing 80-percent of the time, and accidentally buy repeats of products. In that case, getting organized means saving money.

"When you have little kids running around, you don't have a lot of time. You say, 'I’ll come back and do it,' and then you don't," she explains.

Thankfully, Kristin Fischer of Imagine Home Organization tackles closets for a living. 

Fischer says you really have to take everything out and sort - putting like items together. Then you must ask yourself if you need or use each item. If not, get rid of it.

She says people tend to go out and buy containers before really understanding the space they’re using. Don’t get excited about organization by going to the store and buying containers before you take everything out and decide how best to store it.

She also suggests adding vertical space, shelves up high with the help of a small step stool, and an extra row to hang things at the waist level, too. The key is to have a quick and easy place to return belongings.

"I always sort by type and I color code," Fischer explained. "Some people think that’s kind of O.D.C. How do you maintain that? But it’s surprisingly easy to maintain because I put it away in the spot, the specific home. It’s not just t-shirts, but black t-shirts, so you know exactly where to put things."

Fischer said getting started is hard and offered this list of steps to help get started. 

1. Sort - Be specific and don't be afraid to color-code
2. Prioritize - Do you need or use it? Keep the most important things easily accessible. 
3. Containerize - Choose containers that allow easy access, or that provide extra protection, depending on what's in them.
4. Use all the space - Don't be afraid to stack up to the ceiling and down to the floor. Put things used less frequently up high.
5. Give items a home - Don't allow yourself or the rest of the household leave things where they fall. Staying clutter free is a marathon, not a sprint, and you'll be glad you stuck to it!

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