The first full week of the new year is a great time to get your life in order, so Metro has brought in the experts to help you get organized at home and at work.

Alana Green of Halifax’s Organize Anything says the first step is to dig deep into your closet and chuck out everything you don’t want.

“You have to think about the value of your space,” the professional organizer says. “It’s tough … you have to think about how this item actually adds value to your life.”


Green’s got a great tip for sentimental items like your vast collection of childhood art or your expansive T-shirt installment.

“Take a picture of it, and then throw away the actual item. You still have something to trigger the memory, and that’s really what’s important.”

You can put the photos in a digital frame or create an album online.

Then, break out the plastic storage bins to better stack what’s left.

Jane Veldhoven of Get Organized has been busy helping office clients do their annual purge.

Set up a system so you won’t have to do it again next year, she says. Put your must-save items like tax papers in deep storage, toss out everything you don’t need and put everything else in its home as soon as it comes in.

Veldhoven says there are pilers and there are filers, and pilers get a bad rap. Some people prefer to have their things where they can see them, rather than tucked away in drawers and cabinets.

“But even someone who likes to pile things can have organized piles,” she says. Use bins and baskets where things can be easily and openly stored in a systematic fashion.

Put your “finger-tip files” out and store the long-term projects in the filing cabinet.