home organization

Here Come the Wedding Gifts: What Should You Do With All of Them?

By Rachel Hartman   May 26, 2015

wedding gifts

In 2014, the average U.S. wedding had 136 guests, according to wedding website The Knot. In some states, the guest list was longer. For instance, Nebraska newlyweds had an average of 208 guests in attendance.

Regardless of the exact number of guests who share your special day with you, when the wedding ends, gift opening begins.

If you receive doubles—or even triples or more—of certain items, it can be tough to figure out what to do with them. Is it worth keeping three toasters, two blenders or five sets of silverware?

Here, experts share six strategies to help you decide when to keep extra gifts and when to find a new place for them. → Keep Reading

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Ryan Nicodemus: From Misery to Minimalism

By John Egan   May 22, 2015

Ryan Nicodemus

Not that long ago, Ryan Nicodemus thought he was living the life. He had a six-figure income and a fancy job title at a telecom company. He had a new car every couple of years. He had a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 2,000-square-foot condo with two living rooms. “I have no idea why a single guy would ever need two living rooms,” he said.

Even with two living rooms, though, Nicodemus wasn’t really living. He was in debt, stressed out, anxious and discontent.

“I may have looked happy, I may have looked successful, but I certainly didn’t feel successful,” he recalled at the recent annual conference of the National Association of Professional Organizers. → Keep Reading

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‘Hoarders’ Coming Back to TV on May 28

By John Egan   May 21, 2015

Hoarders: Family Secrets

The “Hoarders” franchise is returning in a splashy way.

On May 28, “Hoarders: Family Secrets” will launch on the Lifetime cable TV network with a one-hour special featuring both live and taped segments. The premiere will focus on a Massachusetts family, complete with an intervention on live TV, and on a repeat hoarder who could end up in jail if his home doesn’t pass a city inspection. → Keep Reading

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NAPO President: Your Disorganized Home Doesn’t Mirror Who You Are

By John Egan   May 15, 2015

Ellen Faye

Look around your home. Is your bedroom closet a haven for clothing cast-offs? Does your kitchen look like Gordon Ramsay went on a rampage? Have bills piled up in stacks that seem taller than the Egyptian pyramids?

If you answered “yes,” don’t get down on yourself. Your disorganized home doesn’t embody who you are, professional organizer Ellen Faye says.

“Being disorganized or having a struggle with it is in no way, shape or form a reflection who you are as a human being,” Faye, the new president of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), told The SpareFoot Blog. → Keep Reading

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Deluxe Dumpster Diving: Matt Malone’s 8 Fascinating Finds

By Lauren Everitt   May 6, 2015

dumpster diver matt malone

Need to furnish a new apartment? Equip your office? Buy a wedding gift? What if you could do it all for free?

Turns out, you can. All you need a little gumption, a strong stomach and a decent dumpster. Still, digging through other people’s refuse can be a hard sell, which is why we’ve brought in a pro. Matt Malone, an IT consultant in Austin, TX, has financed his startup, gifted his friends, decorated his house and outfitted his office—all with stuff from dumpsters.

His hotspot for the best items? Self-storage facilities. Read on for Malone’s top tips and best finds. (Disclaimer: This journalist walked away with a Pier 1 vase and several picture frames.) → Keep Reading

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Are You an Extreme Declutterer? If So, Reality TV Might Be in Your Future

By John Egan   May 5, 2015

keep calm and declutter

The production company behind the reality TV show “Hoarders” wants to shed light on a condition that’s the polar opposite of hoarding.

Screaming Flea Productions says it’s seeking stories about people with a condition known in some circles as extreme Spartanism. Others might refer to it as excessive decluttering. Whatever the name, it’s not an officially recognized medical condition or psychiatric disorder. → Keep Reading

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Joshua Fields Millburn: Maximizing His Life Through a Commitment to Minimalism

By John Egan   May 4, 2015

Joshua Fields Millburn

In 2009, Joshua Fields Millburn’s mother died and his marriage fell apart. In the same month.

“These two events forced me to look around and take an inventory of my life,” Millburn said, “and really question what had become my life’s focus.”

His life’s focus came into sharp focus after he flew from Ohio, where he lived at the time, to Florida, where his 65-year-old mother had lived until succumbing to lung cancer. Once there, Millburn sifted through the stuff crammed into his late mother’s one-bedroom apartment: antique furniture; old paintings; numerous doilies; mismatched plates, cups and bowls; towels, sheets, blankets and quilts; and even 14 winter coats. → Keep Reading

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8 Tips for Organizing Your Closets [Infographic]

By John Egan   April 29, 2015


Roughly 50 times a week, Angie’s List says, we visit America’s dumping ground for household clutter—our closets. And those visits can be more painful than a trip to the doctor: Many of us come across mounds of never-worn sandals, outdated jeans and long-forgotten prom dresses. In fact, Americans rank closets as the most disorganized spaces in their homes, according to the National Association of Professional Organizers.

While we at SpareFoot can’t perform the physical task of clearing out your closets, we can help you get started. In this infographic, we offer eight tips for organizing your closets. → Keep Reading

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7 Organizing Tips for Small Bedrooms

By Rachel Hartman   April 21, 2015

small bedroom

It doesn’t take much for a small space like a bedroom to feel cramped.

To avoid the tendency of clutter buildup, “keep items to a minimum,” suggested Debra McCann, CEO of Delaware-based Organizing Outside the Box.

Here, experts weigh in with strategies to clear out items you don’t need, and maximize the space in a small bedroom to make it feel comfortable, clean and orderly. → Keep Reading

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Too Much Junk in Your Storage Unit? Here Are 6 Outdated Items to Clear Out

By Jay MacDonald   April 20, 2015

junk in storage unit

Is your storage unit cluttered with Mom’s polyester pantsuits from the ’70s or Dad’s cassette collection of greatest hair-band hits from the ’80s?

If so, you might be needlessly holding onto mementos of someone else’s past.

Storage units often are laden with a merry mix of outdated junk, whether it’s technological relics like “Seinfield”-era shoebox cellphones, VCR and eight-track players, Beanie Baby collections, period clothing or hopelessly homely furniture straight from Walton’s Mountain. → Keep Reading

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