It’s that time of the year when minimalists turn into maximalists. For those who celebrate the holidays we find our larders filling up with homemade jam or liquor, gifts from friends and neighbors, packages hidden or out under a tree and winter clothing piled everywhere on top of ski boots and poles. It’s also the time of year right after Thanksgiving and heading into Hanukkah and Christmas when some folk think “this place is too small, we’ve got to find a bigger place to live in this new year!”

Once the festivities are done, it’s time to declutter and purge if you’re planning to sell in the new year. You can read up on how to do it by watching a video or reading a book by the famous Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo, or you can hire a local pro like Linda Hilton and her company ‘’ in Salt Lake. Linda has been helping people organize, purge, and donate contents of houses for several years and is a licensed professional organizer.  In January of every year, she has a 30 day cure to help you defrag (my word) your home. She starts in a way that makes me smile and lets me believe ‘I can do this!’ by suggesting on the first day to simply find a cardboard box. That’s easy! I can do that!  On the second day put one piece of clothing in it that you want to donate to someone that needs it more than you. Get the idea?

If you can’t do it yourself, Hilton and her team will, at an hourly rate, to help you organize, pack, plan a yard sale, find movers, shredders or storage for you, donate unneeded items, hook you up with consignment stores, give you referrals for junk disposal and recycling services.

Frankly, my last move was overwhelming. I had a basement full of crap all the way back to college, a mix of treasured items/family keepsakes, as well as boxes and boxes of paperwork along with camping equipment, Burning Man stuff, staging items, collectables-you name it. As time grew closer and closer to moving, I found myself paralyzed as to what I could pack, throw out/donate and store. I literally would go downstairs and just stare at my stuff. I finally called Linda and she patiently, and without judgement, put her hands on virtually every item or box down there and simply asked: “Keep? Donate? Throw out?”.  After three sessions we had the whole basement cleaned out and all the items on their way to a new but smaller storage (rental) facility, various charities, a local consignment store or the dumpster. She was worth every penny and although I was quite embarrassed when I introduced her to my piles of detritus, I was completely joyful as we got into the pattern of packing and purging.

Buyers want to picture themselves in your home, so after the hols pack up holiday décor, organize closets, cupboards, and purge. Make your home open, light and neutral if possible, for a cheap and easy way to stage it for a sale.