WEST BLOOMFIELD (WWJ) – Let’s face it, most of us have a clutter room — that place where your mess and junk just keeps piling up. And the biggest problem for most, according to a Metro Detroit organizer, is the garage.

WWJ’s Kathryn Larson met with one local couple to learn tips on how to tackle the mess — in just a day.

Part One: Psychological Preparation

It’s a nightmare no one wants to face — an old punching bag, rusty shelving and so much more. Then, enter the super organizer, the Clutter Coach, Janet Kester.

Kester, who just finished filming an episode of TLC’s “Hoarding: Buried Alive” and is president of Hoarding Pros, is hoping to bring peace to the chaos inside Sheryl and Jerry Coyne’s West Bloomfield garage.

“What I see in this garage is very typical of most garages. It’s the place where things get dropped off, there’s maybe no room in the house for some items that they don’t really want to keep in the house,” said Kester.

After sizing up the mess, Kester plans the attack. As a trained social worker, she knows that part of the battle isn’t just the garage — this is personal. So, she gets to the root of the problem and asks the Coynes why they can’t purge the dusty items.

Not surprisingly, Sheryl Coyne gave the answer many of us would: “We always feel like some day, we’ll use it.” But, Kester said the secret is so simple: “Just toss it. ”

“There’s that inclination for all of us to say ‘Well I’m just going to put it here for now.’ But it’s resisting that inclination to want to do that and say ‘No, I’m not going to put it here. I’m going to put it back where it belongs.”

Part Two: Cleaning Up The Clutter

Kester said the first thing to do, is size up what kind of organizing supplies you’ll need. She said many people will find out they have plenty of storage bins and drawers, and don’t even need spare an extra expense on containers.

“During the sorting process, many times we empty out a lot of containers so that we can use what we have,” she said.

Next, repurpose what you already have, such as restoring old cabinets or adding extra hooks to an old peg-board.

“You want to have something that can protect your items from water, from insects, mold, those types of things,” she said.

And in just four hours, most of the items from the Coynes’ garage are purged.

After all the organizing, Jerry Coyne said spending about $200 in new shelving and plastic bins made all the difference.

“All together a complete victory for organized people,” he said.

Comments (3)
  1. Hi Kathryn. Thanks for sharing these tips. Janet Kester is a PRO, indeed. Decluttering in two parts – this is an interesting way to do spring clutter cleaning. And in just a few hours – cool! This information will surely interest a lot of readers out there who are constantly ‘depressed’ with Spring cleaning as this usually means you need to invest time and a lot of effort to do so.

    You know, we recently talked to Joan Gale Frank, author of “Home Seller’s Blues and How to Beat Them” and she mentioned that de-cluttering is really important before advertising your house, or even before putting your house on the market. She also mentioned that clutter-free homes usually sell faster. If you have time and are interested to check out the interview, here’s the link: http://www.mega-quick-sale.co.uk/blog/declutter-sell-your-house-fast-interview-joan-gale-frank . Thank you and more power!