Tips on Conquering Clutter from an Expert

I shouldn’t even show this but this is what my back door area looks like at the end of the day.

Heather: I am sitting down with Donna Infantolino of Ridgewood’s California Closets and she is going to help me conquer my clutter! Donna, I feel like I’ve seen you around town.

Donna: You probably have! I’ve worked in several of your neighbors homes! I love working in Ridgewood!

Heather: Ok, Donna, you saw our backdoor area. You were very kind to not gasp out in horror–thank you! No judgment, right? So, like most families, this area is filled with shoes, boots, coats, backpacks, science projects, library books and god knows what else!!!

Donna: You’re really not working with a huge area here so you really have to think carefully about what you allow to stay there.

1. Clear out anything that is seasonal that you’re not using right now. It’s February! Get rid of the flip-flops and sunscreen.
2. Try to limit everyone in your family to 2 to 3 pairs of shoes and 1 jacket that they wear every day.  Right now, each person in your family has about 6 pairs of shoes here and 2-3 coats. Do they really need them all? Leave only what you really use.
3. Think about your lifestyle and make the plan easy enough for everyone in the house to follow–even your littlest one. This will keep you successful in staying organized.

“If you wanted to keep the bench, you could do something like this. You can store a lot in the upper area,” Donna told me.

Heather: When you say this, it makes so much sense. I’m not sure why I didn’t think of that myself! I think sometimes it’s just easier to have a fresh five.

Donna: This is what I do ALL day EVERY day! My mission in life is to help people live more simply and beautifully.

“This might be the way to go for you. Add doors so all the clutter is hidden!”

Heather: If I wanted to go in extra step, and actually have something custom built here, what would you suggest. Like you said, it’s not that big of a space. Do you really think I would be able to make much of his space?

Donna, Conquerer of Clutter.

Donna: Absolutely! You could…..And it probably wouldn’t cost as much as you think. You can even do it in stages. We could come up with a plan that you could gradually implement and see how it works for you.  These are all great improvements to your home.

Heather: So for my friends that have the same problem as me, is it ok if they give you a call?

Donna: Yes, please do! I’m happy to brainstorm anytime! Conquering clutter is my passion…

Email or call Donna at, 973-896-5990. California Closets of Northern NJ


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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine, Heather Leahy Zachariah, left her career in publishing after baby number number one. She now works from home as a freelance graphic designer and a chauffeur to her 3 busy kids. "Working on TipsFromTown has been a wonderful outlet for me. It renewed my love of publishing where I can design colorful, enticing pages online and allows me to share the things I love about being a mom." Heather grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place that still is near and dear to her. " After living in Brooklyn for 18 years and studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, she now lives in the Jersey burbs. "I love living so close to NYC, but in my heart, I'm an Ohio girl."


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