Nothing grinds the gears of a professional organizer more than clutter. When they enter a your home for the first time, they're likely taking mental notes about what kind of collector you are and what's taking up the most space so they can get to work helping you streamline your storage.
" can get cluttered really fast unless you have only one jacket," says Jasmine Hobbs, an organizing expert at . Unfortunately, it's often the first thing people notice when entering your home." Make space for out-of-season outerwear in your bedroom closet to avoid this.
If there's a pile by your front door, that says a lot: "This could either mean they're lacking a front hall closet or mudroom space or that they have too many shoes," says Anna Bauer, home organizer and owner of .
"The first thing I notice is if there are on shelves, photos on the walls and easily-seen shelves of photo albums," says , a professional photo organizer. "If there are, I know this is a person who will value the benefit I bring to organizing photo collections."
"It may seem normal to other people, but if a non-student still somewhere exposed, a professional organizer gets immediately triggered," says Hobbs. This usually means the person has a hard time letting go of things.
"I believe no one needs a dozen subscriptions to be familiar with the news around the world," says Lucy Norman, a cleaning and organizing expert at . "I suggest to anyone who is keeping hundreds of magazines stashed somewhere, recycle them and to adapt to today's digital lifestyle." A.k.a. embrace that .
If you never have enough space to chop, unless you reconfigure your clutter, it could mean two things: "[You] have too many items in [your] cabinets and drawers and or [you're] not taking the time to put items away," says Bauer.
Not everything should be out of sight. "Storing the stuff you need on a daily basis, sometimes can be a bad practice," says Lauren Haynes, a cleaning and home organizing expert at . "The right approach here is to make spots on the countertop for t, like a ."
"Open or overflowing trash cans can really get the attention of a professional organizing expert," says Hobbs. "If you can't take the trash out regularly, at least use a ." Your guests will thank you, too.
"Seeing kitchen containers that aren't labeled and aren't see-through is a usual thing that can never be missed by a professional," says Haynes. You better believe they're already picturing will look best with your assortment of food.
"Besides your last-worn outfit, your bedroom should be free of clutter," says Norman. "Placing too much stuff in a place designed to bring you comfort and relaxation is not the wisest thing to do." If piles are impossible to avoid, just make sure you don't keep them where you sleep.
If your countertop is , this often tells an organizer there's tons of . "In general, when you store lots of cosmetics, it's almost sure that there are some expired ones," says Haynes. In other words, there's more stuff you can throw out.
Norman says she often finds that people overdo it on the . "While there is nothing wrong with placing your candles, books and photos there, no one needs to know what right now and what medications you've been prescribed from your doctor," she says.
Don't worry: No one wants to toss . "Kids will be messy, but it becomes clear when entering a home if they need better storage and systems so toys aren't everywhere," says Bauer. "After all, no one wants their home to feel like a Toys-R-Us as soon as you walk in."