Messiness doesn't really hurt anyone. Unless you count the kick to the shins your mom gave you last time she glimpsed your kitchen.
Maybe it's time to tidy things up. Neatnicks Ashley Murphy and Molly Graves, both from Chicago and founders of the organization business Neat Method, have dealt with everything from moldy leftovers to five years' worth of unopened mail. Their cure? Make each room in a house part of a circuit that can be tackled at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. We hit them up for their top bits of organized wisdom.
Open the mail. Do this daily rather than watch a pile grow. Beginner, open mail. Intermediate, toss aside junk. Advanced, file or pay NOW!
Make room for love. Romance can quickly go out the window when your honey doesn't have designated storage space. "The person won't feel welcome," Graves says. Solution: Beginner, identify a dresser drawer, space in a closet, in the medicine cabinet to turn over to your true love. Intermediate, give your honey proper hangers or acrylic boxes in the closet.
Rethink refrigerator real estate. No room for your leftovers? Beginner, find expired items. Intermediate, print labels with date stored and contents. Advanced, stick labels on see-through containers, so there's no mystery to mystery meat. Extra credit: Periodically, remove what's no longer good; replace – unless expired items are still full. "That means you never used it in the first place," Graves says.