Decluttering Mantras to Kick Start Your Spring Cleanout

saw my first bunch of daffodils yesterday as I took a walk outside. They gave me a jolt of happiness and a spring in my step (pun intended!) The emergence of spring gives me renewed energy and motivation to think about projects I haven’t tackled during my winter hibernation (or procrastination depending on how you look at it!) My garage, for example, is currently begging for a little TLC. I may need more than a glimpse of some spring flowers to get me started. That’s when I bring out my four favorite decluttering mantras:

  • If I don’t love it, need it, or use it, it doesn’t deserve a place in my home. This is my all-time favorite because nothing really gets by this (and if it does, I proceed right to the next three bullet points. Every time I’m on the fence about keeping something, I recite this. It keeps me honest, ruthless, and accountable to my mission to live with less.
  • Just because something is useable doesn’t mean I need to keep it. This is an easy pitfall for even the diehard minimalist. I frequently use pens as the ultimate example when I’m giving a presentation. We all have too many pens (that most of us got for free anyway!) While they appear innocuous, they represent all the other items we hang onto because they are still in good working order. If we have multiples of the same item and keep them because they are still useable, you know what you have…clutter. 
  • If I keep everything then nothing is special. I recite this when I am going through memorabilia. Perhaps it’s your kids’ artwork from kindergarten or mementos from a trip. Keeping a few pieces is fine. Keeping every masterpiece your child created in preschool is not. (Your adult kids do not want them either, ask them!) Digitally preserving our memories has never been easier. Do you really need the map of Amsterdam and the ticket stubs of the boat cruise when you recorded half the trip on your phone? Snap some pics of your child’s artwork along with the mementos you brought back from your trip. (We discuss digital clutter in a separate newsletter). Pare your mementos down to one tub per person.
  • I will declutter without guilt. When you give a gift do you intend for the recipient to keep it forever? I hope the answer is no. Why then do we struggle to let go of items that were gifted to us? How many times have I heard from a client that they can’t part with something because it will hurt the gift giver’s feelings? (Frequently) Gift giving should come with no strings attached but even if it doesn’t, we should not feel obligated to keep something we don’t ‘love, need, or use’. 

If you feel you need a little (or a lot) more help with your spring decluttering do not hesitate to reach out. We are always here to help!

Other news! We made it to the elimination round of Best of The Main Line. If you voted for us previously, thank you! Could we please ask you to vote one more time?  Voting ends on 3/17/23. We are in the running for ‘Best Professional Organizer’ and ‘Best Closet Organizer’ Please help us make it five years in a row!

Sherrie Jenkins

Sherrie is a Certified Personal Photo Organizer with APPO (Association of Photo Organizers). She has been helping clients with their photo collections since 2001. Sherrie provides print and digital photo organizing as well as premium photo scanning services and photo backup/archival systems. Sherrie designs custom print and digital photo albums, slideshows and displays. Sherrie holds a B.A. from the University of Maryland and was a consultant and manager with Creative Memories for 11 years. Sherrie is honored to help families preserve their photo histories for future generations to share and enjoy.

Dawn Eitzen

Dawn’s love of organizing grew out of an extensive prior career in women’s retail. After a circuitous route by way of one of the Main Line’s popular garden centers, Dawn found her happy place at The Organizing Professionals®. In her free time, she enjoys globetrotting to far flung places, relishing food and wine with her husband, family and friends and tackling DIY projects.  “I find organizing and gardening incredibly therapeutic and calming,” says Dawn. “Sharing these skills with others is a dream come true!”

Maria Recinos

Born and raised in Guatemala, Maria recently relocated to Philadelphia with her family. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture with a concentration in Interior Design from Universidad del Istmo, Guatemala. Before happily transitioning into professional organizing, Maria worked as an architectural assistant, interior designer, and 3D designer. Her previous design experience and love of organized spaces make Maria a wonderful addition to the TOP team. Maria spends her free time, with her family, getting to know her new hometown, and reading up on eco-friendly living.  

Kelsey Rich

Kelsey has been a dog trainer for the past 7 years after finding her pup, Roswell, while living in Texas. She joined TOP in 2020 to explore her passion for design and organization. Kelsey has been flipping her home for the past 4 years, completing projects from installing closets to staining floors.  In addition, she loves gardening, constructing window boxes, and decorating with indoor plants. She holds degrees in Psychology and Sociology from Rutgers New Brunswick. 

Caryn Fallon

Caryn joined The Organizing Professionals team in 2021.  Prior to this, she enjoyed a successful career at QVC in various Marketing and Operations leadership roles, and most recently led Mission Services for Surrey, a local non-profit supporting Seniors in our community.

Caryn holds a B.S. in Marketing and Finance from the University of Richmond in Virginia.

When Caryn isn’t organizing, she loves spending time with her family and rescue dog, playing Pickleball, Cape May visits and volunteer driving for local Seniors.




Alina Cuervo

Alina graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Business. After over a decade working in advertising, Alina switched gears to real estate where she developed a love for home staging and organizing. Creating spaces that work more efficiently has been Alina’s true joy and passion for as long as she can remember. Combining these skills into a career helping TOP’s clients organize and beautify their spaces is a dream come true for Alina.