MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Did you know January is National Get Organized month? This week, the WCCO Morning Show is focusing on what many of you listed as a top New Year’s resolution — getting organized — and how you can keep the trend going throughout 2014.

Jason DeRusha asked a professional organizer to help us, help you … but not before first concentrating on whipping his house into shape.

The first place DeRusha took Diana Allard of Efficient Spaces Organizing Services in Plymouth was the kitchen. As is the case with many people, the kitchen is where piles of mail and bills flood counters and where cabinets become jam-packed with food and sundries.

“What you’re trying to do is keep the like with the like,” Allard said. “Have your baking items together.”

Allard said that it’s best to start with just one single cabinet.

“One of the things I like to say is: shop your pantry, shop your refrigerator. You get through a lot of the items you’ve accumulated,” she said.

In other words, take everything out and “edit it down.” Don’t be afraid to throw out items you’re never going to use — which, in DeRusha’s case, included a giant bottle of Torani almond syrup.

Also, use containers to keep things uniform and matched. Perhaps invest in turntables to allow you to see all your spices or liquor.

It can be overwhelming, as most New Year’s resolutions generally are at the beginning, but Allard said you can conquer the challenge by “breaking it into smaller pieces.”

One thing to note: If you hire a professional organizer, don’t think they’re going to come in and do the work for you. They are more like personal trainers; they’ll show you the way, but you still do the heavy lifting.

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