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Spring Cleaning

Eliza Cantlay, professional organizer and owner of Simplicana.
Eliza Cantlay, professional organizer and owner of Simplicana.

Professional organizer Eliza Cantlay of Simplicana shares her tips for spring cleaning

Chances are it’s been awhile since you cleared out the clutter in your house, and you’ve got some series spring cleaning to do. Enter Eliza Cantlay.

The certified professional organizer and owner of Simplicana has been making her way through the messes of Kansas City homes since 2012, and now she’s sharing her advice for homeowners who want to tackle the job on their own.

Eliza’s tips:

  • The best way to get and stay organized is to let go of as much clutter as possible- you will be surprised to see how things often click into place and organize themselves when you remove the superfluous.
  • If you like to pour your pantry ingredients into clear jars, which always looks better than the “busy” packaging, use erasable labels- then you can write the expiration date under the ingredient name.
  • Organizing an area once a month might take 1 hour. But organizing that same area once every two months might take 3 hours. The more often you do it, the less time you spend on it overall. Don’t wait until the last minute to organize- set a recurring reminder in your phone or calendar to organize each space. You can rotate a different space every week.
  • Unless you sincerely enjoy a garage sale, skip the headache and simply donate the items. Look at a tax write-off as simply a delayed form of income. When you donate, you can “sell” 100 percent of your stuff, instead of being disappointed that only 7 percent sold at your garage sale.
  • If your children are transitioning into reading, label their toys with pictures and words. Get them excited about organizing by letting them be in charge of the label printing; many of my clients’ children love labeling so much that they hesitate to hand the label maker back to the adults!
  • If you have an over-abundance of clothing, and are having trouble deciding what to keep or donate, invest in a half day to go “get your colors done”. I went to House of Colour in Leawood, and it was one of the most fun classes I ever took! Once I learned that I am a “Summer Blue” (I look best in soft/muted blue-based colors), I was able to donate one third of my wardrobe. It made it so much easier knowing what colors made me look healthy and approachable, and which ones made me look under the weather. (What can I say? Orange just wasn’t helping me look my best.) I enjoy opening my closet now and knowing that every piece in there will go to battle for me.