Don’t Delay — Declutter!

If one of your goals for 2018 is to get more organized, local author and blogger Carrie Higgins has some tips for you.

Higgins, from Apex, is a former teacher who has been writing about making the most of your home environment for more than seven years. She has compiled hundreds of her favorite fixes and project ideas in her new book “Organization Hacks: Over 350 Simple Solutions to Organize Your Home in No Time!”

“To set the stage for a successful year, I’m really into goal-setting — look at the long-term vision, but set short-term goals that you can actually achieve,” said Higgins. “If you have goals with actual deadlines attached to them, you’re so much more likely to reach those goals.”

Fighting clutter is the biggest challenge for fans of her blog, she says.

“The most important organizational thing you can do is to do an absolute, thorough decluttering of your home,” said Higgins. “Even if you give away half of your things, it creates room in your life for space to breathe and enjoy life.

“We have so much in our lives that we don’t need, and we don’t realize it until we start letting it go.”

Higgins is a fan of the KonMari Method of decluttering. This popular program outlined in “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” by Marie Kondo, recommends decluttering your possessions by type — clothes, books, paper, miscellaneous items and finally, mementos. Kondo advises only keeping those items that are useful or “spark joy.”

One way to fight the emotional hold of our possessions, says Higgins, is to set aside 15 minutes a day for these decluttering sessions.

“I think of decluttering as a muscle, and if we don’t use our muscles, then they start getting soft,” she said. “The more you declutter and the more you realize how much room and space it gives you to grow, the easier it becomes.”

Once you’ve decluttered, Higgins’ book provides some quick practical projects that will help you stay organized. She sees her book as a reference to solve life’s little annoyances.

“Our goal was to provide quick — I can do this in under 5 minutes — hacks to solve problems,” she said.

Her practical advice is divided by room, listing common difficulties and several ways to solve the issue.

Some of her projects include:

  • Using magnetic spice jars to keep your most-used spices on your fridge and near at hand
  • Hanging easy-attach baskets to store children’s bath toys
  • Setting up a travel packing grid for quick and easy getaways

More information about her book, organizational tips and decluttering advice can be found at

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