Allie Johnson

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Emptying the Nest: Making a Move After the Kids Fly Away

By Allie Johnson   May 19, 2015

Steve and Laura Hazan

Steve and Laura Hazan made an empty-nest move from Missouri to Maryland.

Mother of one Laura Hazan had just sent her son off to college when her husband got a job offer and the couple decided to make a major move.

The upside: They’d be going to Baltimore, MD, near family and an hour away from their son Paul’s university. The downside: They’d be leaving their home in an idyllic neighborhood in the St. Louis, MO, area.

“We lived in a fabulous suburb that’s like Main Street USA where kids could ride their bikes to the ice cream shop and the library,” Hazan said. “It was bittersweet to leave.”

In conjunction with National Moving Day, which in 2015 falls on May 26, SpareFoot is sharing various stories about people who’ve moved amid life-changing events. This story focuses on moving away from an empty nest.

→ Keep Reading

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‘Like’ Cash? 7 Steps for Selling Stuff in Facebook Groups

By Allie Johnson   May 12, 2015

Facebook like

If you’re like most Americans, you already spend tons of time on Facebook. So why not turn some of that time into money by selling your unwanted stuff?

“Selling in Facebook groups is just starting to get popular,” said Carolyn Schneider, author of “The Ultimate Consignment & Thrift Store Guide” and an expert on buying and selling. “It’s a great way to get rid of some items and make some money.” A big bonus: It’s free to do post things for sale on Facebook.

How do you get started? Here are seven easy steps for selling your stuff in Facebook groups. → Keep Reading

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Are You a Shopaholic? 8 Tips for Bagging the Habit

By Allie Johnson   April 15, 2015

shopper with bags

If your closet is crammed full of clothes still bearing the original tags, your house is strewn with unopened boxes or you’ve rented a storage unit to hold all your unused purchases, you might be a shopaholic.

“A lot of people are embarrassed to admit they have a problem and are out of control,” said Terrence Shulman, founder of The Shulman Center for Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding. → Keep Reading

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Hoarding Problem? Here Are 8 Steps to Deal With It

By Allie Johnson   March 6, 2015


Compulsive hoarding can turn your home into a disaster zone and interfere with your life: You might not be able to cook in your kitchen, eat at your dining room table or sleep in your bed.

But how do you know if you’re slightly disorganized, just a bit of a packrat or actually a hoarder? When you can’t function in your living space, that’s a big sign of a potential hoarding problem, said psychologist Fugen Neziroglu, director of the Bio-Behavioral Institute in New York and author of “Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding: Why You Save and How You Can Stop.” → Keep Reading

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Storage Auctioneers Spill Secrets About Self-Storage

By Allie Johnson   February 23, 2015

Walt Cade

In their line of work, storage auctioneers know self-storage facilities inside and out—almost on par with the owners and operators of those facilities.

Yet for all that auctioneers know about self-storage, how much do we know about their storage habits and beliefs? Not much.

We asked four storage auctioneers to give us the inside scoop on self-storage, including which of their own belongings they may or may not keep in storage units. Here’s what they told us. → Keep Reading

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7 Ways to Ring in Chinese New Year With Feng Shui

By Allie Johnson   February 17, 2015

Chinese New Year

Happy Lunar New Year! As we welcome the Year of the Sheep (also known as the Year of the Ram or Goat), it’s a good time to clear out, renew and spruce up your home.

That’s because the sheep is very feminine, or yin, and corresponds with the Western zodiac sign of Cancer, according to astrology and feng shui expert Susan Levitt. So, the sheep is the sign of home, family and roots, Levitt said. → Keep Reading

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Vocal Valentines: Half of American Couples Clash Over Clutter, SpareFoot Survey Says

By Allie Johnson   February 6, 2015

couple fighting

Nothing kills romance like smelly socks tossed on the floor, dirty dishes piled in the sink and piles of unpaid bills.

A new SpareFoot survey found that almost half (48 percent) of American couples who are married or are living with a partner argue over clutter. Seven percent of couples engage in clutter spats every day. → Keep Reading

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Ditch the Kitchen Chaos: 7 Tools to Help You Declutter

By Allie Johnson   

Kitchenaid standing mixer

Is your kitchen a disaster area crammed with appliances you never use, mountains of plastic containers and tea bags spilling out of drawers?

Conventional wisdom says you should just start getting rid of stuff, but a shopping trip actually might help you get your mess under control.

Here are seven types of appliances, gadgets and tools that can reduce clutter in your kitchen. → Keep Reading

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Un-Decking the Halls: 5 Tips for Holiday Decluttering

By Allie Johnson   December 11, 2014

Christmas tree lights

Is your house overflowing with strands of lights, ugly Christmas sweaters and toys that bring no joy? Then consider a new holiday tradition: decluttering.

“The holiday season is a great time to develop a one-in, one-out mentality,” author and professional organizer Peter Walsh said. That’s because many seasonal celebrations center on receiving new gifts, but there’s no corresponding ritual for letting go of old possessions, he said. → Keep Reading

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Can You Do Your Holiday Shopping at Storage Auctions?

By Allie Johnson   November 17, 2014

holiday gifts

You could battle crowds at the mall or just shop online. But how about heading to a storage auction to find cool holiday gifts at bargain prices?

That shopping tactic really is practical only for regular buyers at storage auctions, said Rich Schur, chief operating officer at The Storage Auction Kings, which handles auctions at self-storage facilities in four states.

“As you’re going through units in your normal course of buying, you’ll find items that would make good gifts,” Schur said. Those items could include antiques, coins, collectibles, jewelry, tools and watches. → Keep Reading

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