Jul 1, 2023
Pro Tips

Decluttering Clears the Mind


Macu Mateo and Emily Speed share simpatico perspectives when discussing their businesses and news that global tidy queen Marie Kondo tossed her dust rags to raise her three young children.

The Pensacola professional organizers, wives and mothers of youngsters, welcome the fact Kondo succumbed to reality.

“It’s not easy, not even for naturally organized people, to keep your home organized one hundred percent of the time, ”said Mateo, founder and CEO of Reset Home. “As a mother of three little ones and wife of a not particularly organized husband, I feel I am in the same boat as Marie Kondo.

”Balance is key, said Mateo, who honed her organizational skills as her husband’s Navy career carried them to different countries and cities. Mateo has assisted many military and civilian households getting organized. She is inaugural director of the Military Spouse Chamber of Commerce/Home of Military Spouse Owned Businesses.

“We all need to let go of the idea of perfection, let go of the idea that everyday life looks like it’s never been touched,” said Speed, creator and CEO of The Organized Home Mindset and “a recovering perfectionist.

”But while letting go of perfection, go ahead and accept the mindset that being organized is a positive move, Speed said.

“Your home is supposed to be your sanctuary,” she said. “Some people have homes that are so cluttered that they go out just to get away from it all. You need to address the clutter that is stressing you out because being organized and mental health are linked. I left my career of fourteen years in forensics to follow a path that brought more peace and joy in my life. Decluttering your home can ultimately do the same thing: clear your mind and bring you peace.

”Indeed it can. A study published in “Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin” stated that “women who described their living spaces as cluttered...were more likely to be tired and depressed than women who found their homes restful and restorative.”

“Nobody enjoys coming home or winding down for the night surrounded by a mess,” Mateo said. “Reducing the number of belongings in your home is a great way to simplify your life, and it becomes easier to organize and keep it organized.”

Start by simply downsizing, Speed said.

“Don’t try to overhaul your whole house at once...start small,” Speed advised. “This will be less stressful for the non-organized person in your family.”

She recommends going room by room.

"We all need to let go of the idea of perfection, let go of the idea that everyday life looks like it's never been touched." - Emily speed, creator and CEO of The Organized Home Mindset

“Take one space at a time,” she said. “My husband and I have systems in place for each room and return items where they belong when we are finished using them. And we are teaching our children where the toys go, where dirty clothes go. To avoid clutter returning, understand that you will have to revisit those areas to maintain the levels of organization you created.

”And try not using a designated area such as a dining room as an office, a living room as a playroom, etc., Mateo said.

“Children need to be taught that rooms for the entire family are common areas – neutral, toy-free areas where everyone can relax,” Mateo said. “If you can, create a toy room or space for the children. ”

The Mateos have an activity cabinet near the dining room table for their children that is set up to accommodate their size and allows them to be independent.

“We let them use the dining room table so we can watch them, but when they are through with what they are doing, they must put away everything before dinner time,” Mateo said.

Mateo and Speed both believe: In a household, everyone – and that means the kids, too – can contribute to the organization and peace of the home.

“Reducing the number of belongings in your home is a great way to simplify your life, and it becomes easier to organize and keep it organized.”— Macu Mateo, founder and CEO of Reset Home

LET’S DO IT! Professional organizers Macu Mateo of Reset Home and Emily Speed of The Organized Home Mindset share ways to organize your homes on their Facebook and Instagram pages. (Instagram: resethomenow; the organized home mindset; Websites: resethomenow.com; theorganizedhomemindset.com)


1 Have a donation bin, and everything that is not sparking joy anymore for any reason (and it’s not trash) can happily go there. Pro tip: Once the bin is full, get it out of the house and to the donation site ASAP.

2 You should be able to see the floors in your home, including the corner of your closet. Pro tip: Use vertical space for storage.

3 Fold clothes and store them vertically in your drawers, like files in a filing cabinet. That way you see them all at once, and it will be easier to keep it neat.

4 Have only one or two (max!) laundry baskets. You will force yourself to fold and put away clean clothes before washing more dirty laundry.

5 Make it a habit to put things away before winding down or going to sleep. Tidy the kitchen, straighten pillows and throw blankets, etc. Your morning self will greatly appreciate it. Simplify your life with a happy reset!