Contest winner gets a closet makeover
We know you’re out there, Clutter Bugs. We’ve seen the evidence: Photos of clothes and toys all jumbled together, piled on the floor, spilling out from your children’s overstuffed closets.
You want to clean it up, but you don’t know where to start. You’re not alone:
“I have REALLY tried to do something about this problem, but every time I get the rooms a little organized then more clutter is created,” wrote Yakima mom Chantelle McKinney, whose plea for help won our Messy Closet Contest. “This is a never-ending battle… I am so overwhelmed.”
Want to organize your kids’ closets? Click here for tips from the pros.
Chantelle is mom to 9-year-old Tanner and little brother Colton, 6. After sharing a room for several years, the boys were ready to have their own space. Trouble was, the spare bedroom had become a disorganized dumping grounds for everything that didn’t fit in the boys’ shared bedroom.
The clutter had become a source of friction in her marriage to the boy’s dad, Johnny. Family history played its part: Chantelle comes from a clan of collectors, but her husband was raised “just the opposite.”
Chantelle really wanted to get organized, but felt overwhelmed by the task at hand: Two rooms overflowing with toys, clothes, baby mementos and art projects. Contributing to the chaos, this busy mama watches other children in her home while her boys are in school, leaving little time for getting organized.
“I’ve got little mess makers everywhere,” Chantelle sighed.
To help out, we called in some gals who really know how to straighten up: Professional organizers Sheila Treat and Tamara Alexander, a.k.a. Clutter Busters.
“We make people so happy,” Sheila said about her work. “That’s just really rewarding. In some cases, we feel like we’ve saved their sanity.”
The main reason kids can’t keep their rooms clean, Sheila told us, is too much stuff. Chantelle recognized this as a problem at her house, but she’s also sentimental and had a hard time knowing what to let go.
The Clutter Busters promised they wouldn’t throw away anything she really wanted to keep. However, “we will be encouraging you to throw a lot away,” Sheila advised.
“Once it’s gone, you won’t miss it,” assured Tamara. “You’ll be so relieved.”
Their predictions proved true: Even before the project was finished, Chantelle reported that her boys were excited about how much more space they had to play and how nice their rooms looked.
“When Tanner walked into his room today, he said, ‘This is a good day.’”
The boys even pitched in with the purging, and vowed to keep their rooms organized.
Unfortunately, for Chantelle, it looks like she kicked the Clutter Bug but caught a case of spring fever: “Now I’m looking at my (kitchen) cupboards thinking, ‘Oh, that has got to go.’”
— Sara Bristol
Filed under From the Mag