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Professional organizer Stacey Platt offers tips for minimizing clutter

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When they're around 5, start showing them that everything has a home, and you should sort like things with like. I often use the example of the silverware drawer to start with. Teach them to sort their clothes and give away what they don't need.

What do you suggest to people who are attached to sentimental memorabilia?

Just because you let go of a thing doesn't mean you let go of a memory. You can take a photo before you part with something and put the photos in a memorabilia box. In this box, you can also keep things like ticket stubs or bundles of special letters tied up in ribbons.

How do you describe your job?

I help people set up systems to facilitate the organizing process and get them to adopt a different mind-set. I teach simplicity and clarity. You should love and use everything in your home and live within your "space means," like you live within your financial means.

Do you have a junk drawer?

It's not good to keep junk, such as pens that don't work or dead batteries, in a kitchen drawer, although there is room for a spot for random things you do use. I would approve of keeping Scotch tape, paper clips in a little container, 10 rubber bands, scissors. I live in a 500-square-foot place, so I don't have a junk drawer. I am very pared down.

My favorite tip in the book was stashing a yoga block under the kitchen sink to avoid hauling out a step-stool to get to a higher cabinet shelf. Where do you get one of these?


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