There's something about fall that makes some people want to clean out closets, rearrange cabinets and get organized.
CBS News This Morning invited a member of the National Organization of Professional Organizers to show how a family in need of organization could be whipped into shape.
The Furphy family lives in suburban New York state. Like many, they accumulated a fair amount of stuff over the years. The stuff started to take on a life of its own.
"It's just overwhelming," said Regina Furphy. "It's just a lot of stuff."
"And now that we have two kids, there's that much more stuff," she added.
The Furphys actually lived in only about a third of their house. Two-thirds of their living space was occupied by their possessions.
"Things will evaporate, and you look for it for a day or two and can't find it. And two weeks after you needed it, hey, it shows up again," said Robert Furphy.
Things gravitated toward the office. "I'm moving papers, and I don't know what to do with this, don't know where to put it, but I'm saving it," Regina Furphy said.
The Furphys were a case for organizer Sheila Delson.
|The garage area before a consultation|
"Basically the living room is working as the playroom also," she observed.
"Are you planning on using these items again?" she asked.
And when told no, she said: "They need to leave."
It's not just about throwing away a lot of stuff, explained Delson, "but assigning a home to all the items we own."
A good way of doing that is to consider basic organizing concepts and principles.
Consider the living room as a container. "A container in which certain items are meant to stay and maintained," explained Delson.
Several weeks ago the Furphy's living room was filled with toys.
"What we've done is created a new area for play toys and a play area," says Delson, who points out the back wraparound porch is now used for toys.
Nobody considered putting a car in the garage for quite some time, but for three weeks Delson and the Furphys have been hard at work.
The garage now houses a car, home maintenance tools and lawn items.
| The garage area after an overhaul|
The office was another dumping zone for procrastinated decision making and those items with no home. The solution: creating a supply closet, where everything is fully labeled, says Delson.
"It's great. It's amazing. It's very empowering to be able to find something," concludes Regina Furphy.
©1999 CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved