By Kerry McNally, WCCO-TV

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The weather is warming up, and spring cleaning season is finally here. It’s out with the old and in with the new, so all week long, WCCO is helping you get rid of the winter grime and clutter.

Even though everyone probably thinks they have one of the worst messes of all time in their house, professional organizer Sarah F. Gordon says that’s highly unlikely.

“I come into their home and they tell me, ‘This is the worst home you’ve ever seen.’ And it is by far not the case at all,” she said. “I hear that almost every single home that I go to.”

Gordon has been a self described neat-freak since she was a little girl growing up in Eau Claire, Wis. According to Gordon, a personal or professional upheaval usually triggers a breakdown in organization.

“A multitude of things might change with your work, your personal life and those issues do cause the stress, do cause the clutter, all those things that involve me to come into their home,” she said.

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One of the toughest decisions to make, when it comes to a thorough spring cleaning, is what throw out and what to hang on to.

“I am a huge proponent of letting go of things and throwing out. I do like to test my clients by having them answer me as if it were a sale,” she said.

The trick, Gordon says, is to prove that an item you’ve been hanging on to is actually worth keeping.

“You need to sell this to me,” she will say. “Tell me why I want to buy this jar from you. You tell me how great this is. And if you can, then you should hang on to it.”

One of Sarah’s tips for cleaning the clutter is to take an egg timer or use the stopwatch feature on your Smartphone and clean up for 5 minutes once a day for a week. By the end of the week, you’ll be surprised at how much you’ve accomplished.

“Keeping clutter off cabinets and keeping it in the cabinets is much more productive and easier to find rather than fumbling through it on your actual workspace,” she said.

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In other words, “A place for everything and everything in its place.”