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48 Best Organizing Tips And Ideas From 20 Top Professional Organizers

The benefits of getting organized are endless: There’s less housework. Goals become clearer. There’s more space for things you love. You may even sleep better.

There’s just one hurdle: The journey from Clutterville to Tidy Town can be bumpy.

To make your ride as smooth as possible, we asked 20 top professional organizers to share their best organizing tips and ideas.

All aboard!

Beth Penn, BNeato Bar

1. How to determine if your clutter is, well, clutter

beth penn, a professional organizer in los angeles, california

Clutter is sometimes hard to recognize. We live in our houses day-in and day-out, where clutter becomes part of the landscape. We don’t recognize piles and groupings of stuff because it’s become the norm. We have gotten pretty good at ignoring clutter, or just plain not realizing it’s moved in.

It usually doesn’t show itself until you can’t find what you’re looking for, or realize you have bought something you already had – costing time and money.

My recommendation for individuals wondering if they have clutter is this: Take a photo of the space. Start small with a drawer, a closet shelf, or a bookcase. Zoom in on the photo. How does the stuff make you feel? Do you use it all? How often? How would your life feel if the space was tidy, leaving room to grow?

The answers to these questions will be great indicators to the work that needs to be done.

2. Keep these three things in your bag to stay organized on-the-go

  • Cord Tacos for wrangling cords and earbuds (lifesavers, since wires can become a tangled mess).
  • Scannable app for taking photos of receipts and recycling paper.
  • A portable iPhone charger.

3. Use these four apps to digitally organize and save time

Snooze: Allows the user to snooze an email until they are ready to deal with it.

Snippets: We often type the same text over and over; emails, phrases, introductions – the list goes on and on. Snippets saves time by allowing you to create templates of saved text that you can insert within any email just by typing a short command.

Todoist: A task management app that coordinates effortlessly with Gmail. There are so many great features but my favorite is the ability to create to-dos from actual emails, therefore getting rid of the email. Emails can’t be prioritized, but in Todoist, they are.

FileThis : An online tool that helps me stay paperless. FileThis logs into each of my accounts and files my statements in Dropbox. It also alerts me when things are coming due so that nothing falls through the cracks.

Seana Turner, The Seana Method

seana turner, a professional organizer in connecticut

4. Accept that you probably do need to declutter

You may think you don’t have anything you want to get rid of, but believe me, you probably do. Even if you’ve carefully pruned before a move, you will likely still pull items out of a box and think, “Why did I bring this?”

Life tends to bring new items into our space each day, and we frequently fail to recognize the pace at which we are accumulating things.

5. Let yourself let go

Ownership is overrated. Often we feel that we need to own something to enjoy it. In reality, we may get more pleasure out of borrowing or renting something. Anything we own requires that we clean it, move it, store it, maintain it, and maybe insure it. This all takes energy. Be open to alternative ways to access and enjoy physical objects.

6. Get your kids on board

Set times each day for restoring order. Avoid using the words “clean up,” which children interpret as “make look pretty.” This leads to items being tossed into the nearest container.

Teach children that a space needs to be reset, with items going back into their homes. Do this at least once a day, and maybe more if children are in the space all day. For example, consider a cleanup before lunch and before dinner.

7. File, don’t pile

Paperwork is always better stored vertically than horizontally. Piles are difficult to sort through, and typically only provide a reminder of the page that is on the top. Even in a mostly paperless environment, there will still be some paper, so have either a file drawer or box where this paper belongs.

Separate the action space from the storeroom. Often we buy office products in bulk (e.g., a box of pens and a 20-pack of sticky notes). Don’t keep all of them in your desk. Keep one or two of each supply at your desk, but set up a separate supply space for the bulk packages. When a pen runs dry, throw it away and go get another from your storage area.

8. Put items away now, rather than later

It is very tempting to put something down rather than away. We tell ourselves we will put it away later, but then life gets in the way and it never happens. If you can, push yourself to get the item to its final destination in the moment.

Pooja Naik, Organizing With You

pooja naik, a professional organizer in chicago, illinois

9. Seek functionality over visual appeal

This is the best way to ensure you can stay organized. Organizing is about creating systems that cater to your needs, not just tidying up or putting things in piles. If you’re a visual person, label everything!

10. Take baby steps for your organizing goals

If it gets overwhelming, you will lose interest and momentum. A little bit every day, but continuity is key.

Organizing is not an end destination, it’s a process of acquiring skills, applying them, and being committed to being organized every day.

Linda Samuels, Oh, So Organized!

linda samuels, a professional organizer in croton-on-hudson, ny

11. Use an event to motivate your decluttering efforts

Entertain: Throwing a party, from an intimate dinner to a large BBQ, can motivate us to declutter as we prepare for company. Use social, happiness-producing events for clutter maintenance.

Move: Moving motivates us to evaluate our stuff and release the extraneous. The more you edit and declutter before a move, the faster your home will sell, and the easier it’ll be to organize your new space.

Sell: Having a yard sale gives you a specific deadline to work towards, increases your letting-go motivation, is an enjoyable social activity, and lets you make a few bucks in the process. It’s also fun to meet the buyers of your stuff.

Free Bonus: Move-Out And Move-In Cleaning Checklists You Can Actually Use

12. Prevent future clutter by developing a steady awareness of what you are doing

If you have just entered the house with groceries or purchases in hand, take time to put them away. The few minutes spent doing this minimizes clutter that might otherwise collect in hallways, corners, and on floors.

13. Tackle any closet build-up with these basic starts

Remove all extra hangers. Recycle, give away, or reroute hangers that don’t belong.

Pick up your clothes from the closet floor. Hang them up or reroute to laundry, dry cleaners, or giveaway.

Set the timer for 10 minutes, and quickly remove clothes that you absolutely no longer want. Reroute them to give away.

Voilà! This is a great beginning. Your closet feels more spacious and is on its way to being clutter-free.

Regina Lark, A Clear Path

regina lark, a professional organizer in los angeles, california

14. Set aside time and energy

Before one can start a decluttering strategy, one needs to make sure to:

  • Schedule blocks of time for every single project.
  • Plan in advance by putting every single project on a calendar.
  • Have someone to help on the projects that are too heavy, too emotional, too time-consuming.

15. A place for everything, and everything in its place

To stay organized anywhere, be mindful of everything you bring in through your front door. Everything needs its own home – don’t bring it in unless you know exactly where it’s going to live.

Rachel Rosenthal, Rachel & Company

rachel rosenthal, a professional organizer in washington, dc

16. How to begin decluttering if you’re overwhelmed by all your stuff

Once you start purging items (donate, trash, or consign) you’ll likely feel relieved, and even motivated to move on to another area.

Enlisting the help of a friend or family member to help you get through the task will give you the support needed to finish the (sometimes daunting) task at hand.

Tip: Start in the kitchen and pantry to weed out any expired food. I’m sure you’ll be surprised at what you’ve been holding onto, and will be inspired to tackle the next spot!

17. Limit your nightstand contents to vital objects

Items like eyeglasses, hand cream, ChapStick, a phone charger, and a nightly read (e.g., book, magazine, or e-reader) are the standard for this storage spot. If your necessities list is longer, by all means don’t stop yourself from having the items within arms’ reach.

If you depend on your nightstand for extra storage, just make sure you are strategic about what goes inside. It’s easy for an empty drawer to turn into a junk catch-all, so in order to prevent that from happening, give it a purpose before you start storing. Stick with one or two categories (e.g., sunglasses and jewelry) so that you know exactly what’s stored inside when you need it.

18. Restrict items in your office space to what you really need

A pad of paper and pen are always helpful for jotting down the thoughts and reminders filling your head. Headphones or noise-cancelling earbuds are great for blocking out noise and helping you focus. And a calendar nearby (digital or hard-copy) is a necessity to keep your schedule in check.

If you have the available space, add a personal touch with framed art or a plant.

Use structure in drawers. There is no way to keep small supplies from sloshing together if you don’t have a drawer organizer. Measure and get inserts to keep like items together.

19. Be strategic when packing for a trip

Create a list of items that you need to bring to ensure that you never leave without the essentials. Tip: Make a digital version on your computer so you can reference it for each trip.

Plan full outfits in advance (rather than bringing seven tops and four bottoms for a weekend trip), so that you know exactly what pieces work together and what you are comfortable wearing. That’s preferable to lugging around extras, “just in case” the outfit didn’t work out like you envisioned in your head. Similarly, ignore the “what if” scenarios!

Be realistic with the amount of options that you bring and stick with that number when choosing your clothing.

Tip: Stick with a color scheme and choose options based off of the scheme to ensure that all clothing, shoes, and jewelry can be mixed and matched!

Andrea Hancock, Dexterous Organizing

andrea hancock, a professional organizer in alexandria, va

20. Recommended organizing and decluttering books

Peter Walsh’s It’s All Too Much gives a rip-the-Band-Aid-off approach to decluttering, and most importantly, on making space for the things that are important to your life.

Julie Morgenstern’s Organizing From the Inside Out helps people figure out what some of their blocks are to organizing. She also provides a reusable formula for tackling any organizing project, whether it’s a wallet or your garage. I use that formula when working with my clients, and in my own life.

Getting Things Done by David Allen is great for productivity and time management. Even if you use just his core methodology, you’ll live a much more peaceful and productive life, with fewer things slipping through the cracks.

Once I get my client’s space organized, it’s up to them to maintain the systems we put in place. I love the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. It teaches us that if we don’t put habits in place, we get frustrated when getting and staying organized. It’s full of anecdotes and science, but presented in an interesting and intriguing read.

Tova Weinstock, Tidy Tova

tova weinstock, a professional organizer in nyc

21. Go paperless when you can

Set up automatic payments for monthly bills and make sure companies don’t send paper mail – all the information you need will be available online.

Send junk mail straight to the recycling. Don’t even let garbage mail hit your counter or tabletop –  pull it out of the pile as soon as you can and send it to the trash. Only keep important mail that involves items you have to address.

File important papers in an accordion folder. Its size will keep your papers down to a minimum. And remember: There are very few that you actually need to hold on to.

22. Keep sentimental papers in check

Don’t hold onto every card just because it was once special. I advise having one plastic container for sentimental items, and don’t let it overflow – if something new comes in, reconsider what you’re holding onto.

23. Keep your suitcase organized when traveling

Store smaller items and accessories in mesh bags. Keep your undergarments in a bag, and wires and electronics in a bag. This will keep things in your suitcase tidy.

Refrain from leaving trash in your bag. It’s a suitcase, not a trashcan!

Store toiletries in a clear plastic bag. This will keep them safe from spills and easy to see.

Free Bonus: 7 Super Creative And Cheap Ways To Store Your Luggage

Jean Marie Herron, POSSE Partners, LLC

jean marie herron, a professional organizer in new jersey

24. Treat your surfaces wisely

The more surface space you have in your house, the more opportunity for clutter, because people feel entitled to put things down on it – even if that’s not where the item belongs. So take away extra furniture surface space if you can.

But most importantly, either give everything you own a “home,” or get rid of it.

Julie Naylon, No Wire Hangers

julie naylon, a professional organizer in los angeles, california

25. Maximize what’s available in your closet

If you can see the back wall of your closet, you are not utilizing all its space.

Instead of piling hats on a shelf, install some hooks and hang your hats on the walls inside your closet. Hang clothes on the same type of hanger by style, and then by color. Make sure they are all facing the same direction.

Lisa Zaslow, Gotham Organizers

lisa zaslow, a manhattan professional organizer

26. Respect, don’t neglect, your bedroom

It’s tempting to store suitcases in a corner “just for now,” to pile up clothes that need to go to the cleaner or tailor, or to leave unfinished projects and papers strewn all over the dresser.

Banish anything that isn’t related to dressing, sleeping, relaxation, or romance. Relocate items to other rooms or closets – or let them go. Add fresh flowers or a candle.

27. Label, label, label any at-home storage

I.D. the contents of containers so you know what’s inside.

Clearly label file folders by topic.

Note what’s in a box before you stow it in a closet or in the garage.

Label the inside edge of a drawer or the inside of a cabinet door so it’s obvious what’s stored where.

Go pro with a label maker (I love the Brother P-Touch), or simply use a Sharpie marker.

Jodie Watson, Supreme Organization

jodie watson, a los angeles professional organizer

28. Practice the art of purging

We all have too much stuff (yes, even organizers have more than they need). If we don’t regularly and open-heartedly let go of things, the abundance of stuff starts to slowly overcome us and we find ourselves getting overwhelmed and squeezed out by our possessions.

Once we start to practice the art of purging, we are continually looking for what can be let go of.

This piece of advice actually benefits us in two ways because we also start to think more carefully before bringing more stuff into our lives.

29. Don’t be too hard on yourself when decluttering

Oftentimes, I hear my clients criticize, judge, and condemn themselves for the way they have let things become.

Decluttering and organizing takes time and can be hard work. So definitely don’t beat yourself up and tear yourself apart as you go. Keep your focus on where you are headed, not on where you have been.

Jeni Aron, Clutter Cowgirl

jeni aron, a professional organizer in nyc

30. Make your wardrobe space-efficient

Keep only current season clothing in your bedroom. Have the right amount of drawer and hanging space. If you create a routine of hanging up your daily clothes when you come home, this habit will keep clutter at bay.

31. Prime your bedroom for relaxation

Many people decide to eliminate TVs and other electronic equipment from the bedroom. Placing a desk somewhere other than the bedroom might be a good idea. Work, bills, paperwork, and other clutter leads to poor sleep and an unsexy environment.

Make your bed every day to ward off the piling of books, magazines, and other stuff.

Check in with yourself and your partner about how you feel in your space frequently.

Free Bonus: 9 Creative Book Storage Hacks For Small Apartments

Ann Sullivan, Ann Sullivan Inc.

ann sullivan, an nyc professional organizer

32. Be closet conscientious

The average person wears 20% of their clothes 80% of the time, so edit your closet twice a year and donate unwanted items.

To keep the closet organized, color code from light to dark. Invest in slim hangers to maximize space, and use shelf dividers to keep sweaters from tumbling.

Stephanie Shalofsky, The Organizing Zone

stephanie shalofsky, an nyc professional office organizer

33. Think of your desk as a command center

All of the items that you need to do your job must be in arm’s reach when you are sitting at your desk. The tools that you keep in this space should be customized so that they support your daily activities and tasks.

By doing this, you will be much more effective and more productive.

Barbara Reich, Resourceful Consultants

barbara reich, an nyc professional organizer

34. Dispose and reassess toiletries

Purge any expired products. Both over-the-counter medications and prescriptions have expiration dates. And makeup, once the package is open, is a breeding ground for bacteria.  Check dates and dispose of old products every six months.

Use acrylic makeup organizers that will hold your toiletries upright in your vanity.

Use drawer organizers inside shallow bathroom drawers to separate cosmetics.

Use apothecary jars to store small items like hair elastics, chapstick, q-tips, and makeup applicators.

Use vanity accessories like a soap dispenser, soap dish, and tissue box holder for a polished look in your bathroom.

Free Bonus: 11 Beautifully Easy Makeup Storage And Organizing Ideas

35. Find your packing harmony

Strike a balance between packing too far in advance and not waiting until the night before the trip. I always recommend that the packing take place the weekend before the trip. Generally, you’re calmer then, and if there are things you need, you’ll have time to purchase them.

Pack small items in individual Ziploc bags. For example, children’s underpants and socks can be stored in a Ziploc bag, and then placed in a suitcase.

Pack the suitcase in layers, and place heavier items on the bottom. For example, shoes go on the bottom of the suitcase along with jeans and sweatshirts, which are heavier than a silk blouse you may want to lay on the very top.

Put layers of tissue paper between items of clothing to prevent wrinkling.

Carry prescription medicines, cameras, laptops, and any expensive jewelry onboard with you.

For airline travel, employ “the rule of fractions.” If there are four people in your family, pack a fourth of each person’s clothing in each piece of luggage. If luggage is lost or stolen, everyone will have enough to wear until it’s found.

36. Tidy up while cooking

Wash or put items in the dishwasher as you go.

Put things away as you go. For example, if you’re done with the flour, put it away. If you’re done with a condiment, put it away.

When possible, prep food items ahead of time.

Determine when you need dishes to be ready and work backwards, time-wise.

Nonnahs Driskill, Get Organized Already

nonnahs driskill, a professional organizer in pasadena, california

37. Use produce drawers as time capsules in your fridge

Most refrigerators have two produce drawers. Instead of dividing produce by category into the drawers, try this trick:

When you are checking the fridge before you shop, toss out the unusable things in the drawers. Move everything to the right drawer which you have labeled with a sticky note. Eat these produce items first. Once you have new produce, put it all into the left drawer.

38. Use clear (preferably glass) storage containers for food

Regular plastic storage containers are cloudy and hard to see into. Take-out containers are even worse!

Put your leftover food and ingredients into sturdy containers with safe-sealing tops (I love the Pyrex ones) to clearly see what there is to eat in the fridge and freezer. I often store these containers full of food upside down for even greater visibility. Crazy!

39. Use a Lazy Susan for overlooked olives

Who can remember what condiments are hiding in the back of the refrigerator? Not me! I gotta see it to believe it. So, I use two Lazy Susans in the fridge. One is for pickles and olives. The other is for rarely used condiments. No more buying what you already have.

40. Tackle the black hole in your freezer

Most freezers are extremely hard to keep organized. The main problem is the things we store in there are all weird shapes and sizes. Hello turkey carcass for making soup!

Use a small cookie sheet to freeze your liquids into nice flat solids right in Ziploc bags. Then you can stack the solid bags. (Write the contents on the bag before filling it.)

Stack clear, glass storage containers for non-liquids in the freezer. Label them with a little piece of paper that sticks out of the lid.

Sarah Giller Nelson, Less Is More Organizers

sarah giller nelson, a professional organizer that serves miami and chicago

An organized home doesn’t just happen – it is the result of specific habits and routines that help one maintain a clutter-free environment long-term. Here are some habits that professional organizers, and organized people in general, use every day that help keep their homes neat and organized:

41. Make your bed every morning

Since your bed is the dominant feature in your bedroom, a made bed will make your whole room feel orderly. Bonus: This task takes less than two minutes.

42. Keep a donation bag in each of your clothes closets

You now have a place to keep clothes you no longer like or that no longer fit until you have the time to take them to a resale shop.

Pro Tip: MakeSpace offers free Goodwill pickups in NYC, Chicago, and Washington, DC.

43. Keep a trash bin as close to the mailbox as possible

The vast majority of the mail you receive will be junk. Throw it away [or recycle!] before it clutters your main living space.

44. Use more hooks

Hooks involve much less work than hangers. Place them low enough so your children can easily hang up their own coats, backpacks, and gear.

Jeffrey Phillip, Jeffrey Phillip

jeffrey phillip, an nyc professional organizer

45. Be constantly aware of your limits

When it comes to organizing and living with less clutter, something that we can all do very easily is to be more conscientious consumers and live within our spatial means.

By asking ourselves a few questions before we bring something home, we can easily help stop the clutter before it enters our house. A few example questions are, “Do I have space for this item?” “Do I need this item?” and “What am I willing to donate so that I do have room for this new item?”

Andrew Mellen, Andrew Mellen, Inc.

andrew mellen, an nyc professional organizer

46. Declutter your kitchen cabinets

Start by emptying out everything on your counters or table. Sort like with like. Get rid of everything you will not use or eat: donate still-good food to a local food bank, and discard anything that’s no longer consumable.

Zone the cabinets before you put things back: baking, cooking, storage, utensils, sharp items, dish towels, dishes, serving pieces, canned goods, spices, and sauces. Wipe and clean the cabinets thoroughly. Use Lazy Susans, bamboo drawer dividers, or wire shelves to corral smaller items such as spices, herbs, utensils, and hand tools.

Load everything back in, according to the zones you’ve created. Label the drawers/doors if needed for the first week or so, until you remember where things live now.

47. Attain inbox zero

Sign up for Unroll.me to get rid of all unwanted subscriptions. Create a separate email address just for subscriptions and online shopping, and migrate everything to that address so your personal one is reserved exclusively for actual correspondence.

Use your app’s rules or filters to pre-sort emails into clearly labeled subfolders.

Schedule appointments with yourself for any action items, and delete emails instead of allowing them to stack up in your inbox as a “tickler” or reminder.

48. Develop time-management skills

Always live in the math: 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week. If you aren’t in the math, you’re in the story, and the story seldom has a happy ending.

If you want a simple life, make simple choices. Think each choice through to its natural conclusion. Don’t stop examining the choice without carefully considering all the costs – both immediate and in the future.

Every person should do a set of core value exercises to gain complete clarity on what is important to them. If you live or work with anyone, you should do them as a family, team, or roommates.

Someday doesn’t exist.

There is no such thing as multitasking. You can’t bake a cake and do open heart surgery at the exact same time.


It’s no secret that getting organized is hard work. But sometime between restructuring your fridge and taming that paper dragon, take a step back. Breathe. Appreciate the extra space you’ve created.

And when you’re ready to make even more space?

Schedule a MakeSpace Pickup
 

We’ll pick up any bulky winter coats standing between you and your soon-to-be she-shed. Then, we’ll transport your items to our secure temperature-controlled storage facility. We’ll even create an online photo catalog of your stuff so you always remember what you have in storage.

And when you want something back, simply log into your MakeSpace account, select the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it to you.

Now that’s an organizing hack.

Click a city to learn more about MakeSpace in your area:

Chicago, IL
Los Angeles, CA
New York City
Washington, DC

These 15 Awesome Apps And Services Will Spring Clean Your Entire Apartment

The sun is out and winter coats are snuggled away. Spring has finally sprung!

The change of season, of course, has us thinking about spring cleaning. Namely, how to get out of it so we can ride our bikes instead.

Now, what if you could go cruising and have a sparkling home?

Welcome to 2017, where anything is possible … at least with some help.

These 15 apps and services do your dirty work for you, whether it’s hacking IKEA furniture or nixing junk mail for good.

For those of you who like doing the cleaning yourself, don’t worry, we didn’t forget about you. As in, there’s a service on this list that will send someone to your favorite brunch spot to wait in line for you. Please save us a waffle?

1. Outsource your chores to TaskRabbit.

taskrabbit app on a white iphone
Download the TaskRabbit app for iPhone or Android

Like your own personal Oddjob minus the evilness, TaskRabbit is your reliable, one-stop shop for outsourcing any errand. Such as assembling your furniture. Which is still sleeping soundly in an unopened box. In the middle of your living room. On wine-stained carpet.

Taskers, who are fully vetted by TaskRabbit and reviewed by other customers, obliterate your spring cleaning to-do list by taking care of pretty much anything you can imagine.

Things like cleaning your carpet, helping you move into a new place, mounting floating shelves and TVs, getting groceries, cooking those groceries, delivering potted plants to liven up your abode, performing puppet shows, packing your MakeSpace bins, and organizing your closet on a Saturday morning.

You know, so you can wait in line at your favorite brunch spot for 90 minutes. No wait, a Tasker can also wait in line for you, so you can sweep in last minute like a G.

2. Get your apartment masterfully cleaned by Merry Maids.

2 merry maids cleaning a kitchen
Merry Maids

Your apartment’s been through quite a bit this past winter. Give it a deep clean with zero labor on your part by enlisting the help of Merry Maids. Certified, background-checked pros will come to your home and clean every room better than the imaginary grime-fighting quartet of Rosie the Robot, Mr. Clean, Scrubby, and Brawny Man.

Merry Maids uses the brand’s own eco-friendly products, and will wash your dishes, do your laundry, fold your clothes, make your bed, and take out your trash and recyclables. Merry Maids … will you marry us?

3. Get butler-esque service from Alfred.

hello alfred app on a white iphone
Download the Hello Alfred app

For the 1%, there’s a live-in butler. For the 99%, and Batman, there’s Alfred. Up to twice a week, a carefully-vetted Alfred will swing by your Batcave and complete your chores and errands while you save Gotham.

Alfred will sort your mail, tidy up your apartment, do your grocery shopping, stock your fridge, and pick up and drop off your dry cleaning, laundry, and pharmacy items.

Have a top secret request, such as “Bring me a green smoothie. Go heavy on the power pellets”?

Alfred can take care of that too, so you return to your Batcave unharmed and with an awkward smile, Master Wayne.

4. Sell almost anything using OfferUp.

offerup app on a white iphone
Download the OfferUp app for iPhone or Android

The only thing that untouched set of dumbbells hiding in plain sight gives you is dust. Make it give you dough instead. Use OfferUp to easily sell just about anything (except for these forbidden items) to people in your neighborhood.

All you need is the app, your phone’s camera, and 30 seconds to list any item for sale. Just be sure to double check the buyer’s reviews so you can get your cash with confidence.

5. Sell your stacks of books and tech using Decluttr.

decluttr app on a black iphone, samsung phone, and other smartphone
Download the Decluttr app for iPhone or Android

Textbooks taking up precious shelf space? Unwanted video games, Blu-rays, CDs, or DVDs collecting dust ever since you discovered, well, the internet?

You could use them as coasters and collect nothing. Or you could send them to Decluttr and collect dollars.

The app turns your camera phone into a barcode scanner so you can get an instant value for your discs. You then ship your discs to Decluttr, using a box and their free shipping label.

The best part:

You’ll get paid immediately after Decluttr finishes processing your collection of Alanis Morissette albums and Adam Sandler movies.

But don’t stop there. Recycle one more thing – karma – by donating the proceeds to charity directly through the app.

6. Ship your stuff anywhere in the world using Shyp.

shyp app on a white iphone
Download the Shyp app for iPhone or Android

While purging your closet, a Tasker found a camera you no longer use. You’re thinking about giving it to your newbie photographer cousin who lives across the country. Or maybe you have to return a pile of online purchases that you trip over every time you pass through your entryway.

In either of these cases, how would you ship the items without, you know, actually doing it yourself?

Use Shyp. All you have to do is take a photo of the item and enter its destination. Shyp picks up the item, securely packs it, and sends it anywhere in the world using the most efficient option. Long lines at the post office and shipping stores during your lunch hour, begone.

7. Go paperless with Scanbot.

scanbot app
Download the Scanbot app for iPhone or Android

Take that pile of paper on your desk, yep the one that resembles the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and recycle it at long last. But only after you download and use Scanbot to hi-res scan and upload any paper that’s invaded your fortress.

Got some important info lurking in that stash of reincarnated trees?

Scanbot will convert all writing to searchable text in the uploaded images, so you can easily reference the papers later.

8. Stop receiving junk mail with Catalog Choice.

catalog choice: reduce clutter, simplify life
Catalog Choice

If you have five seconds and Catalog Choice, you can stop junk mail from ever touching your mailbox’s lips again.

Just search their database for any company that’s sending unwanted mail, enter your name and address, and Catalog Choice will contact the sender to remove you from their distribution list. The trees will thank you.

9. Teleport your kids’ artwork from the floor to your pocket with Keepy.

keepy app on two white iphones
Download the Keepy app for iPhone or Android

So you managed to get your own paper chaos under control, but now you’re faced with the glitter-gun abyss that is your kids’ homemade art collection. Clear out Picasso Jr.’s masterpieces — without any guilt — using Keepy.

Simply snap a photo,  save it, and then share it with adoring “fans”… also known as grandparents. You can even enrich each photo with voice or video recordings.

10. Mass unsubscribe from junk email with Unroll.Me.

unroll me app
Download the Unroll.Me app for iPhone

Your apartment isn’t the only thing that packed on some extra pounds this past winter. Your inbox needs a detox, too. Sign up for Unroll.Me, see all your subscription emails in one place, and unsubscribe from the junk you don’t want in just one click.

For the subscriptions you do want, Unroll.Me lets you combine them into one email called the “Rollup.”  Sup Inbox Zero?

11. Declutter like the most organized person on the planet with the KonMari app.

marie kondo using the konmari app
Download the KonMari app for iPhone

Konverts, rejoice! You can now spark joy from your pocket with the KonMari app.

As you tidy up, keep tabs with a checklist that adheres to the five categories outlined by the demigod of decluttering, Marie Kondo:

  1. Clothes
  2. Books
  3. Papers
  4. Miscellaneous items
  5. Sentimental items.

You can also upload photos and share your progress with other users. Of course, if you’d rather hire someone to thank your socks for you, you’ll soon be able to hire KonMari consultants directly via the app.

12. Convert your closet clutter into cash with Poshmark.

poshmark app on a rose gold iphone
Download the Poshmark app for iPhone or Android

Bid adieu to your Jimmy Choos, while making a pretty penny to boot. Better yet, do it from the comfort of your own couch. PoshMark connects you to thousands of shoppers based on your brand, style, and size preferences.

Once you’ve snapped a pic of your gently-worn jeans or too-small blouse, upload the item to the fashion cloud to make it rain. Then share your listing on Facebook and Pinterest because why not. And if you’re looking to revamp your wardrobe, browse the boutique-worthy pieces uploaded by your fellow hustlers.

13. Pawn or sell valuable items on PawnGuru.

pawnguru: get multiple offers from pawn shops near you
PawnGuru

Gone are the days of frustrating encounters with uninterested brokers at the pawn shop. Thanks to PawnGuru, you can upload a photo of whatever goods you’d like to pawn or sell, then negotiate directly with a number of interested shops to get the best deal.

If you’re cleaning out your jewelry collection, take note: Bids can vary massively according to each pawn shop’s specialty, margins, and capital, so this is a great platform to use if you’re listing valuable items.

14. List, don’t lift, your furniture with AptDeco.

aptdeco's website on a black iphone
AptDeco

So you’ve decided your couch really doesn’t spark joy. But then again, neither would hauling it down three flights of stairs for a sketchy Craigslist buyer. Enter AptDeco.

For a minor percentage of the final selling price (which they’ll even help calculate!), they’ll pick up that extra coffee table for you, unassemble it if necessary, and then deliver it to the buyer. The only finger you’ll lift is when you give the movers a big thumbs up.

15. Effortlessly store the stuff you love, but don’t need right now, in MakeSpace.

makespace storage app on a white iphone
Download the MakeSpace app for iPhone

Now that your apartment is almost in tip-top shape, what should you do with the stragglers that are overstaying their welcome and eating your space, rent-free? As in all your sweaters, snow boots, gloves, knitted hats, scarves, snowboard, skis, bulky coats, and other winter gear that you love but don’t need at the moment.

For those items, schedule a MakeSpace pickup, pack your stuff (a Tasker can do this for you too), and do your thing.

We’ll pick up everything, except for the Tasker, store it in our secure storage facility, and create an online photo inventory of your stuff, so when you need something delivered, it’s just a few clicks away.

Welcome to your newly-pristine sanctuary. And more time to enjoy spring, which gets shorter by 30 seconds every year.

35 Powerful Spring Cleaning Tips And Tricks From Professional Cleaners

If you need medical advice, you ring your doc. Digging a new ’do? Swing by the salon. But if your closet feels cramped, your fridge smells funky, and your tiles look terrifying … Who you gonna call? Grout busters?

Turns out, just like fixing back pain and botched bangs, effective deep cleaning is a lesson best gleaned from the pros. That’s why we’ve reached out to the best in the biz for the ultimate spring cleaning tips, tricks, and straight up hacks for every room in your home. So you can literally clean like it’s your job.

Click any of the below links to jump to a specific section:
Prep
Kitchen
Living Room
Bedroom
Bathroom
Laundry Room
Home Office

Prep

1. Disinfect your sponge in the microwave (we’re not kidding).

how to clean a sponge in the microwave according to chasing foxes: soak the sponge in water and microwave it for 2 minutes
Chasing Foxes

Quickly clean your sponge and eliminate bacteria by trying this hack from Maids by Trade:

Fill the sponge with water, set it on a microwaveable plate, and nuke it for two minutes.

Voilà: 99% of bacteria, gone.

2. Clean your vacuum and its attachments with a damp cloth and mild detergent.

laura’s crafty life says to air dry your vacuum cleaner attachments after washing them with warm water and dish soap
Laura’s Crafty Life

According to domestic demigod Martha Stewart, you should already be cleaning your vacuum monthly. We mere mortals can use a damp cloth and mild detergent to wipe any dirt from the unplugged device.

Cori Morenberg of Ms. Green-Clean recommends cleaning specialty attachments with warm water and a bit of dish soap. Air dry all the attachments, except the rug piece.

For the rug piece, use a white cotton utility cloth “to wipe and scrub the brush and superficial underside,” instructs Morenberg. Then dry carefully with a clean towel.

And don’t forget to change any full bags!

3. Sanitize your mop with vinegar.

bottles of heinz distilled white vinegar on a store shelf
Flickr/Mike Mozart

Start by rinsing the mop until the water runs clear, instructs Julie Bradshaw from Super Maids. Then, place the mop into a bucket filled with 1-2 gallons of water, followed by a cup of vinegar.

After letting it soak for 15 minutes, rinse with water again and air dry.

4. Bang out your broom.

Maids by Trade suggests cleaning your broom by thoroughly whacking it against a tree. Which, as a bonus, is pretty therapeutic.

Afterward, soak the broom in a bucket loaded with warm, soapy water for 30 minutes. Then rinse it off and dry with a cloth, or place it bristles-up in the shower.

To, ahem, brush up between cleanings, try BuzzFeed’s clever broom bristle cleaning hack shown in the video above.

5. Go for a reusable, eco-friendly wipe.

use an alaskan blue e-cloth and water to remove dirt, grease, oil, grime, and over 99% of bacteria from hard surfaces
e-cloth

Merry Maids swears by these mighty little cloths from e-cloth. Use them to remove dirt, dust, grease, oil, grime, and over 99% of bacteria from any hard surface.

Bonus: They last up to 300 machine washes, which makes them an environmentally-friendly alternative to paper towels.

Kitchen

6. Refresh your garbage disposal with ice and citrus.

citrus and distilled white vinegar garbage disposal refreshers from hello glow
Hello Glow

Bradshaw from Super Maids recommends tossing a couple ice cubes down the drain while the disposal is on. This will also help clean the unit.

Next, add a handful of lemon or orange peels (while the disposal is on) to eliminate any smells.

7. Make sure your dishwasher is running up to snuff.

how to clean dishwasher with vinegar: fill a mug with vinegar, put it in the top rack, and run a normal cycle
Clean Mama

To revamp your dishwasher, Molly Maid suggests filling a mug with vinegar or baking soda . Or you can do one of each. Place the mug(s) right side up in the top rack without other dishes, then run it for a normal cycle.

If there’s a funky smell permeating your plates, run a normal cycle with detergent plus two cups of vinegar added to the base.

8. Freshen up your fridge with a natural mix.

ground coffee beans on a clean white surface
Flickr/Joe King

Martha Stewart recommends combining two tablespoons of baking soda with one quart of hot water. Dip a sponge in the mix, and wipe your fridge’s interior. Wipe the surfaces again with a separate damp cloth, and dry with a towel.

Warning: Steer clear of soap and detergents, which leave odors that food might absorb.

Odd smells emanating from old food?

Scatter fresh coffee grounds on a tray and leave it inside your fridge until the odor dissipates.

9. Defrost your freezer in a flash by turning it into a sauna.

how to defrost a freezer with hot water in a pot
Mom on a Mission

The home cleaning pros at Cleaning Exec shared their speedy, five-step process for defrosting your freezer:

  1. Unplug your fridge or freezer unit and remove all frozen foods.
  2. Line the bottom of the freezer with paper towels.
  3. Fill a bowl or two with boiling hot water, and place them on top of the paper towels.
  4. Close the freezer door. The steam from the bowls will melt the frost. And in case you’re wondering, the paper towels will absorb the wetness.
  5. Wipe the freezer down with a sponge and some all-purpose cleaner.

10. Use an eco-friendly alternative to your oven’s self-cleaning mode.

cleaning oven racks using dish soap and dryer sheets
Life Love Larson

Whip up Molly Maid’s non-toxic paste of vinegar and baking soda . Apply it to any spills, let it sit for at least an hour (preferably overnight), and wipe down with elbow grease.

If your racks are wrecked, Molly Maid has another idea:

Place them in your tub and cover them with hot water. Add a half-cup of vinegar and ¾ cup of dish wash, let the racks soak for two hours, and then rinse them off. Scrub any remaining bits with a brush.

11. Sprinkle this one ingredient to clean your stove top.

clean a glass stove top with baking soda and a wet cloth
The Make Your Own Zone

Unplug cooled coils and wipe them down with a wet cloth or sponge, says Maids by Trade. To get rid of grease buildup, coat with baking soda and wipe with a wet cloth.

Wish there was an easy way to keep drip pans clean for future use?

Cover them snugly with aluminum foil.

12. Rejuvinate your cabinets with simple ingredients you already own.

how to remove grease from cabinets: wipe them with a rag dipped in baking soda, dish soap, and
Frugally Blonde

Since cabinet and pantry materials vary, Merry Maids recommends keeping the cabinet cleaning process simple: Use hot water and a disposable cloth or paper towel to spot clean.

To remove grease, Frugally Blonde mixes a paste of 1 tablespoon baking soda, ½ tablespoon dish soap, and ½ tablespoon water.

To clean smudges from glass-front enclosures, wipe them with a microfiber cloth and Windex.

13. The secret to getting gunk out of your coffeemaker is…

leftover coffee grinds in a coffee maker basket
Flickr/Gideon Tsang

According to Saudia Davis, founder and CEO of Greenhouse Eco-Cleaning, here’s the secret combo for clearing out any oily residue or hard-water deposits your coffeemaker has accumulated over the years:

A 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar. Yep, that’s it.

“Halfway through the cycle, turn it off for at least 30 minutes — allowing the mixture to steam-clean your machine — before turning it back on to finish,” she says. Finish with two or three cycles of only water.

Living Room

14. Use this everyday product to revive your rugs.

homemade carpet cleaner made of vinegar, water, and dishwashing liquid
Creekline House

Spill booze on your berber?

Resist the urge to scrub, warns Joseph from Maid Sailors. “The best way to get out a stain in any rug, especially when it’s fresh, is to simply dab it,” he says. This pulls up any excess material that hasn’t yet settled.

Then apply your secret weapon: Shaving cream.

Apply the cream directly to the stain, let it sit for 30 minutes, then do another dab. Spray the stain with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water. Finally, wipe it dry, like this:

15. Clear windows with this Windex alternative.

cleaning a window with a yellow glass polishing rag
IHeart Organizing

Wash your windows on a cloudy day to avoid streaking. And forget traditional glass cleaner – NYC and Chicago cleaning service MyClean recommends mixing 8 parts water to 1 part vinegar for a DIY solution. Then wipe the panes down with a coffee filter or newspaper.

Sounds insane, but it works.

16. Quickly wipe your blinds dry.

clean blinds in half the time with swiffer sweeper clothes rubber banded around tongs
A Cultivated Nest

Since most of what you’ll find on blinds is dust, Merry Maids advises keeping the cleaning process dry.

Use your handy microfiber cloth to wipe the convex side of your blinds from top to bottom. Then turn the rod and repeat on the other side.

Or, cut your cleaning time in half by attaching a clean rag to tongs, á la A Cultivated Nest. Clamp the tongs on a blind to clean both sides of it at the same time.

Last but not least, vacuum any spilled dust.

17. Take proper care of your hardwood floors.

mom 4 real's homemade wood floor cleaner in a spray bottle is made of water, vinegar, isopropyl alcohol, and dish soap
Mom 4 Real

First you’ll need to vacuum or dust, says TIDY. Next, fill a bucket with warm water and add ¼ cup of either white vinegar or all-purpose cleaner. Dip your microfiber towel in the solution, wring it out, and attach it to a mop handle.

Important: Take special care not to get your floor too wet while cleaning. And be sure to wipe away any excess water when you’re done.

18. Freshen up your carpet’s look – and smell.

homemade carpet deodorizer powder in a mason jar by mom4real
Mom 4 Real

No carpet powder? No problem. According to King of Maids, you can simply sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and vacuum after at least 30 minutes. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for an extra fresh touch.

For particularly stubborn stains, blot the area with club soda on a cloth, then spray it with a 1:1 mix of water and white vinegar. Rinse with just water, and use your hands to readjust the carpet hairs in their natural direction. Dry with a paper towel.

Bedroom

19. Use this awesome guide to declutter your closet.

rubbermaid homefree series closet system organizes, stores, and hangs clothes, shoes, bins, and more
Flickr/Rubbermaid Products

Organize your wardrobe – on the cheap! – with our comprehensive guide on how to organize your closet.

20. Wash your pillows in the washing machine.

how to wash pillows in washing machine
A Crafty Fox

Your pillow type will determine how you wash it, says says Merry Maids.

Put down- and fiber pillows in the wash on a warm, gentle cycle. Follow with an extra rinse to get all the detergent out, and tumble dry low with clean tennis balls to restore your pillows’ fluffiness.

Heads up: Foam pillows require gentle hand washing with mild detergent.

21. Sprinkle this white powder on your mattress.

a spoon of baking soda over a glass bowl of baking soda on a wooden table
Flickr/Aqua Mechanical

In addition to stepping up your mattress game and flipping it every six months, Maid Brigade has this simple mattress deodorizing hack:

Sift baking soda on the surface, let it sit for a few hours, then vacuum it up.

Bathroom

22. Obliterate soap scum with these eco-safe grime fighters.

baking soda in a white jar, white vinegar in a clear bottle, a glass water pitcher, and a small blue olive oil bottle
Bren Did

The Maids recommends coating the shower surface with a 1:1 mix of baking soda and water, then spraying with a 1:1 combo of vinegar and water before wiping it down.

23. Use vinegar to spruce up your shower curtains.

checkered-shower-curtain-creekline-house
Creekline House

Merry Maids advises pretreating new plastic shower curtains in the wash on a warm rinse cycle with distilled white vinegar.

On the other hand, an older shower curtain requires more TLC.  Hand wash it under warm water with a microfiber cloth and baking soda. You can also put it in the wash with either vinegar, baking soda, or a gentle detergent.

Emphasis on the “or,” unless you want your washing machine to erupt like a volcano.

24. Try this crazy simple hack to unclog your shower head.

water coming out of a clean shower head in a bathroom

Your shower head works hard to keep you so fresh and so clean. Return the favor.

Kim from A Real-Life Housewife pours distilled white vinegar in a plastic bag and fastens it to the shower head with a rubber band. She advises letting it soak for an hour before wiping clean with a wet cloth.

25. Citrify your bathtub.

grapefruit cut in half
Katie’s Pencil Box

For the ultimate green clean, Davis of Greenhouse Eco Cleaning suggests pairing grapefruit with salt.

“After wetting down your tub,” she instructs, “slice the grapefruit in half, sprinkle with salt [Davis recommends coarse kosher salt], and scrub the grapefruit around your tub.” Margaritas optional.

26. Bon Ami + Dish Soap = Immaculate Toilet

live simply's homemade toilet bowl cleaner is made of water, baking soda, castile soap, lavender essential oil, and hydrogen peroxide
Live Simply

If you scrub your toilet regularly, just some all-purpose cleaner will suffice, according to King of Maids.

Got a bit of buildup?

Morenberg of Ms. Green-Clean recommends a “little dish cleaning liquid,” alongside a dash of non-abrasive, eco-friendly cleaner like Bon Ami.

27. Safely clean grout with these two kitchen staples.

cleaning grout with toothbrush by iheart organizing
IHeart Organizing

Joseph from Maid Sailors shares his trusty, five-step process for cleaning grout like a boss:

  1. Sprinkle some baking soda on the grout, taking care to cover all affected areas.
  2. Wipe away excess powder.
  3. Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar, and spritz the powdered part of the grout.
  4. Let the mixture bubble for a few minutes, but not for too long, or else the grime will settle back in.
  5. Scrub with an old toothbrush.

“It’ll get messy,” warns Joseph, so have some water on hand. But not too much water, since you want the solution to stay gritty for easy scrubbing.

Wipe up, vacuum any leftover powder, and clean the area as usual.

28. Clean mold the same way you clean cuts.

diy bleach and peroxide being mixed in a clear bowl with a whisk
Mom 4 Real

“Mix one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide with one cup of water,” says Davis of Greenhouse Eco Cleaning.  (Bonus: Add a few drops of castile soap to make it a multipurpose cleaner as well.)

“Wipe the mixture on mold, let it sit for at least 10 minutes, scrub the area to remove all mold and stains, and wipe down the surface.”

Now that the mold is gone, how do you prevent it from growing in the future?

Easy: Spray the surface with a mixture of 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda and 2 cups of water.

29. Eliminate musty mildew funk with your favorite natural face wash

natural shower cleaner spray by a beautiful mess ingredients: water, white distilled vinegar, tea tree essential oil, and an urban outfitters glass plant mister
A Beautiful Mess

Joseph from Maid Sailors shared a natural anti-odor solution:

Simply mix one teaspoon of tea tree oil with one cup of water, pour it in a spray bottle, spray the affected area, and let it dry.

After a few days, the smell will vanish.

Laundry Room

30. Revamp your washing machine with a little TLC.

diy homemade fabric softener made from white vinegar
Creekline House

Tend to the door of the machine first, instructs Martha Stewart. Put some rubber gloves on and make a solution that’s one cup chlorine bleach to two cups of warm water. Wipe down the door’s seal, especially the lower portion, using your mix and a soft cloth.

Then move on to cleaning the inside. All you have to do is fill the bleach dispenser with bleach and run the machine on the hot-water cycle.

Can’t stand the smell of bleach and/or prefer a natural alternative?

Use, you guessed it, vinegar. But only vinegar! Because mixing vinegar and bleach creates toxic fumes.

31. De-lint the dryer in a flash with this cheap tool.

interior of a laundry dryer

According to Ms. Stewart, you can easily eliminate residual dust and lint in your dryer with just one cheap tool: a vacuum crevice tool or dryer vent brush, like this one from Home Depot.

32. Clean your iron like Salt Bae.

how to clean an iron step 1: turn the iron off and stand it up
Mom 4 Real

Unplug and make sure the iron is totally cooled, warns Maids by Trade. Then, place wax paper or a paper towel on a flat surface and sprinkle a tablespoon of coarse salt on top. Just like this:

 

Turn the iron on and crank it to the highest setting, but turn off the steam. Lightly press the iron down on the salted paper, moving it back and forth a few times until the sole plate is clean. Unplug and let cool.

Home Office

33. Spot check your desk for rings.

overhead view of a clean wooden workspace with a notebook, coffee mug, magic keyboard, and earpods

Keep an eye out for coffee and beverage rings, advises David Salsone, director of operations for the office-cleaning experts at Managed by Q. Wipe those spots down with an all-purpose cleaning solution and a rag.

34. Use a DIY solution to clean your computer screen.

diy computer screen cleaner, cleaning cloth, and a macbook from popsugar
Popsugar

Remember the magic mix you used on your coffee cleaner? The one that was just water and white vinegar?

Turns out, it works for cleaning your computer, too. Spray and wipe down with your microfiber BFF for a streak-free shine.

35. MakeSpace.

 

All done? Congrats! There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of a deeply-cleaned home.

Except, of course, a deeply-cleaned, spacious home. So, MakeSpace for spring!

Schedule a MakeSpace pickup and pack your space-eating skis, snowboard, and bulky winter gear. We’ll transport everything to our secure, temperature-controlled storage facility and create an online photo catalog of each item, so you never forget what you packed.

When you need something back from storage, simply log into your MakeSpace account, click the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it straight to you.

How To *Safely* Move With Dogs And Cats: The Ultimate Guide

You’ve signed the lease on your dream apartment, finished packing like a pro, and scheduled a MakeSpace pickup for your last-season wardrobe. All that’s left is tossing Fluffy’s litter box and Fido’s blanket in the trunk. Should be a cinch, right?

Just a doggone minute – that stress you feel while moving is amplified for your sense-heightened, totally paw-erless companion.

Whether you’re moving with pets across the country, flying abroad, or simply switching hoods, there are easy steps you can take before and on moving day to help the both of you smoothly transition under your new woof.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to move with your dog and/or cat — safely. Click any of the below links to jump to a specific section:

Before moving day
On moving day
At your new home

Prepare Your Pet A Month Or So Before Moving Day

prepare your dog for moving house a month before you move

Make sure all collars are updated with your name, cell number, and new address. If you’re leaving the vicinity, schedule a final appointment with your vet. This way, you can get recommendations for your new area, pick up vital medical records, and register a microchip if you haven’t already.

Got a particularly anxious dog or cat?

The ASPCA recommends leaving your packing boxes out a few weeks beforehand to ease your pet’s sensation of change. If you recently rescued your pet, this technique also allows him/her to get familiarized with his/her future kennel. Which should contain some treats, because it’s a sweet positive reinforcement trick.

Also, when you’re packing your own overnight bag, make sure you’ve got one for your four-legged co-captain as well. Load it with litter, food, toys, and treats — plus room deodorizer if you’ve booked pet-friendly lodging.

Ensure The Safety Of Your Pet On Moving Day

Each mode of transportation has its own pet safety tips. Click the link that applies to you:

I’m driving with my pet
I’m flying with my pet
I’m moving across the country or abroad with my pet

Important safety tips for driving with your pet

black and brown dog looking out of a moving car window while sitting on its owner's lap

As dog whisperer Cesar Millan points out, a tired pup is more likely to be a relaxed one. Go for a long walk or jog before starting your journey, especially if you’re planning on crating.

Not sure if you should crate your dog or cat in the first place?

According to Wirecutter, the best transportation vessel depends on the size of your pet. Bigger dogs and carrier-averse cats need a high-quality harness, such as the Sleepypod Clickit Utility. Smaller critters bode best in mesh carriers or crates, which pass more crash tests than plastic.

male white golden retriever named chowdah in a seat belt for dogs

No matter which pet carrying method you choose, Allied Moving Co. recommends you avoid feeding your pet for seven hours before driving.

Super important: Bring a gallon or so of water for the road. Unfamiliar water can cause upset tummies, which won’t mix well with possible anxiety and motion sickness.

Also, stop at least every two to three hours for breaks, stretching, and walks. For cats, bring a harness to prevent them from bolting into traffic.

Animals, just like humans, are sensitive to motion sickness, so keep the A/C on or leave the windows cracked a few inches. Because you don’t want stray litter or debris harming your pet’s adorable face.

While you’re driving, keep the windows on child lock because you never know when a loose paw can strike. And never leave your cuddly companion alone in the car. PETA warns that dogs can die when left inside a car, even in mild weather.

Important safety tips for flying with your dog or cat

henry, a chow chow who PetRelocation helped move from the US to Mexico, is sitting in front of a dog carrier
PetRelocation

Going the distance? Book as early as possible. The number of pets allowed is normally limited to one or two per flight.

Thinking about booking an indirect flight to save money?

Consider booking a nonstop flight instead to minimize any anxiety your pet may feel from being moved around too much.

On the day of the flight, Andi Parker from Air Animal Pet Movers recommends giving your pet plenty of water, but no food for at least four hours prior to departure. This minimizes “the chance for an upset stomach or need to soil the kennel,” says Parker.

Once you and your best friend are at the airport, make sure you both get some exercise with a short walk before doling out any necessary meds.

Speaking of meds, do not use tranquilizers, since they can cause breathing difficulties. Instead, Cesar Millan (we seriously love this guy) recommends naturally quelling your dog’s anxiety by rubbing lavender essential oil on your hands and massaging your dog’s spine or the base of his/her head.

Alternatively, Parker suggests placing an old t-shirt (because it’s saturated with your familiar smell) in the kennel/carrier for a calming effect.

Yes, regardless of whether or not you’re checking your pet with your baggage, he/she must be in a kennel or carrier. If your pet is going in the passenger cabin, the Federal Aviation Administration requires that you put him/her in a carry-on sized carrier.

If you’ve checked your buddy with baggage, confirm with a flight attendant after you’ve boarded to make sure your pet has also been loaded.

Important safety tips for moving across the country or abroad with your pet

bulldog sitting in the grass in front of a buddhist temple

Check the guidelines for your new home. PetRelocation has a great pet import requirements guide to get you started.

Feeling overwhelmed?

You might want to use a pet moving company, since the process can get extremely technical. Obstacles can range from weather-induced flight delays to unexpected regulations at border patrol.

“Many pet owners don’t realize they can hire pet travel professionals who specialize in carrying out complex pet moves around the world,” says Caitlin Moore of PetRelocation.

Help Your Dog Or Cat Adjust To Your New Home

Help your furry friend adjust to your new home by setting up at least one room with several familiar items before you have him/her enter. Things like your pet’s bed and favorite chew toys (which you can easily store in any of these 10 pawdorable dog toy storage solutions) will make him/her feel all the more at home.

Also, keep routines consistent: AARP suggests sticking to your normal schedule, including walks, bedtime, and outside time (even if kitty needs that harness again).

Free Bonus: How To Cat-Proof And Dog-Proof Your Home: 17 Pawesome Tips

All finished with your crate, but no place to store it?

Find yourself tripping on chew toys galore and your pet’s royal collar that he/she only wears once in a blue moon?

Schedule a MakeSpace pickup and clean your pet’s crate and toys with quick wipes like Nature’s Miracle Deodorizing Cage Wipes. We’ll pick up everything, transport it to our secure and temperature-controlled storage facility, and create an online photo catalog so you never forget what you have in storage.

When Fluffy wants her stuff back, all you have to do is log into your MakeSpace account and click the item’s photo. We’ll deliver everything to you.

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