Allie Johnson

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What Do Professional Organizers Think of Marie Kondo’s Advice?

By Allie Johnson   June 29, 2015

Marie Kondo

Fans of Japanese organizing guru Marie Kondo (pictured at top) have called her a “warrior princess in the war on clutter.” Fast Company magazine went so far as to name her one of its most creative people in business for 2015. But professional organizers have mixed feelings about her one-size-fits-all system.

“I hear people using her name, like, ‘Oh, I totally Kondo’d my bathroom,’” said author and productivity expert Rivka Caroline, who agrees with some of Kondo’s advice. “It’s adorable.”

But, she added, “I don’t believe I’ve heard one brand-new concept from her.”

If you haven’t picked up Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” you can get the gist of it by listening to her talk on YouTube. → Keep Reading

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40 Fascinating Facts About Junk

By Allie Johnson   June 25, 2015

junk

Got junk? You’re not alone. In fact, Americans devote more money, time and energy to junk than anyone else—from buying it to it to storing it to paying professional organizers to help corral it and, finally, to recycling, donating or trashing it.

So, SpareFoot went on a treasure hunt to find out more about the ins and outs of junk. Here are 40 interesting facts. → Keep Reading

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The Key to Marital Bliss? Try Altar-ing Your View of Stuff

By Allie Johnson   June 22, 2015

newlyweds

On the way to the altar, it’s easy for priorities to get mixed up. You go from heartfelt talks about your relationship to lengthy discussions about dresses, centerpieces and gifts.

But too much focus on stuff can take away from your relationship. In fact, research by Karl Pillemer, a gerontologist at Cornell University, shows that a focus on people, rather than things, is important for a lasting marriage. In his book, “30 Lessons for Loving,” Pillemer shares advice from over 700 long-married couples who say that in 50 years, you won’t care about the teapot or mixing bowls you got as wedding gifts.

“People and experiences trump things,” Pillemer said.

So, here are six tips for changing your view about stuff and putting what’s important—the two of you—first. → Keep Reading

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SpareFoot Survey: Half of Americans Know a Hoarder

By Allie Johnson   June 16, 2015

HOARDING_IN_AMERICAjudgment_and_misunderstanding

Reality TV shows like Lifetime’s “Hoarders: Family Secrets” have given millions of viewers a glimpse into the lives of extreme hoarders, yet a new survey shows that many Americans have a skewed sense of hoarding.

Over half (52 percent) of Americans say they know someone—a coworker, friend, neighbor or relative—who’s a hoarder, while 7 percent identify themselves as hoarders, according to the survey, conducted for SpareFoot by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Just 2 percent to 5 percent of Americans are classified as hoarders, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

Matt Paxton, one of the stars of the “Hoarders” franchise, said he thinks 52 percent actually is too low. “I think we all know someone who’s a hoarder—it’s just that we may not be aware of it,” Paxton told The SpareFoot Blog. → Keep Reading

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Clear Thinking: Can You Get Hypnotized to Get Organized?

By Allie Johnson   June 4, 2015

blue eye

Just about everyone knows somebody who swears that getting hypnotized helped kick a smoking habit or shed 20 pounds. But what about getting hypnotized to get organized?

Hypnotherapist Beverly Taylor, author of the book and program “Clutter to Clarity: the Easy Key to Organizing,” specializes in using hypnotherapy to help the chronically cluttered—people she calls “clutterers.”

The SpareFoot Blog chatted with Taylor to find out how and why hypnotherapy can help some people let go of clutter. → Keep Reading

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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

hoarding

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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