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Stumped organizing your home? Try virtual decluttering, Cambridge expert says

Bianca Baader reminds us that, like with so much else involving house and home these days, virtual can play a role in getting organized fast

A somewhat cluttered closet with winter coats hanging up and boxes and other things crammed onto shelves at the end. Shutterstock

The novel coronavirus pandemic has many Boston-area residents spending a lot more time at home—and often with a lot more people at once than most are used to really.

So home-organizing has taken on new prominence in the region. How best to fit everyone and everything as harmoniously as possible? To winkle tips on how to do so, Curbed Boston has been putting the same set of questions to local organizing experts.

Next up is ​Bianca Baader, founder of Haus Pixie, a home-staging and -organizing company based in Cambridge. She’s here to remind us that, like with so much else involving house and home these days, virtual can play a role in getting organized fast.


Top two or three tips for getting organized quickly?

Baader over email: Start with a smaller project in an area that is used frequently and most in need of some sprucing-up. Getting a kitchen drawer sorted won’t take that long. Don’t tell yourself you should organize the whole closet. Take one area at a time: Sock drawer, sweater shelf, etc. …

Small successes in areas of everyday use will have a great impact and will motivate you to tackle bigger projects next.

Most of my clients have read or at least heard of Marie Kondo, and I actually do like some of what she says. Like with most things, I don’t believe there is ONE way to do something. Really ask yourself: Do you NEED it and/or LOVE it? And why?

What’s the hardest habit for clients to break?

For some, it’s hard to stick to always putting things back where they came from. And several have a hard time saying no to free or cheap stuff they absolutely don’t need.

A couple of organizational essentials for any home office right now? (Or if you want to share an essential or two from your own office?)

Make sure that where you work is comfortable. Because it was hard to be stationary for super long stretches, I helped turn my husband’s desk into a “sometimes standing” desk. We didn’t order anything but were creative with what we had around the house.

My “office” is a desk in our living room. Just earlier this week, I totally rearranged it. I’m the kind of person who’d rather have a bit of clutter in a drawer than on the desk/shelf.

One trade secret (or a hint) for decluttering fast?

Do it with a friend (a virtual decluttering session? why not!), family member, or, once it’s safe again, a professional.

It may say “organizing” on my business card, but sometimes even I have a hard time motivating. So in the past I’ve traded services with another organizer. It’s so much more fun and effective. Set a timer and reward yourself.