Whether you’re falling behind on your New Year’s resolution or ahead of schedule for spring cleaning, it’s the perfect time to add a little more organization to your life. Let’s face it — we’re all busy and looking for a little bit of a shortcut when it comes to home organization. Cue Katie and Hollie of Trimmed Home Organizing. We called in the pros (and this dynamic Chantilly and Plaza Midwood neighbor duo) to share their tips and tricks… and we’re already feeling more confident that we can kick the clutter!


Meet Katie Sontag and Hollie Collins-Dean. 

Hi. We’re friends, turned tennis partners, turned business partners. We’re problem solvers, list-makers, and moms. Katie started her career working as an elementary school teacher before transitioning to the corporate world. She began managing corporate training programs and organizational development initiatives. In these roles, she honed her skills in organizing people, time, and resources. Hollie has had the “organizing” bug from an early age. Making several moves as a child and into adulthood, she is skilled at adapting to different environments and has a passion for making every space feel like home no matter the size or layout. For Hollie, organizing is so much more than putting pretty baskets and bins in a home. It’s about having systems in place to handle the items that come into your home over time. Her goal is to empower clients to manage their space rather than letting their spaces manage them.


How did the two of you come to start Trimmed Home Organizing? 

For years, Hollie had been doing organizational projects for friends and family and had far-off dreams of taking it to the next level one day. At the same time, Katie was also considering going back to work and that’s when the organizational stars aligned! In 2022, we began imagining what this business could become. After months of brainstorming, planning, and a lot of coffee drinking — Trimmed Home Organizing was officially up and running!


A lot of people find organizing their home overwhelming. Where do you recommend people begin? 

Organizing can feel so overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Small changes can make a big difference. Rather than trying to tackle an entire room, start with a quick project. For example, a quick and easy way to elevate your closet is to change out your hangers. Swapping mixed hangers in your closet for a matching set will make a huge visual impact. And if you happen to thin out some old or unworn clothing in the process, it’s a win-win!


What are the benefits of an organized home? 

Believe it or not, there are studies that prove being surrounded by clutter can negatively impact your mental health. Aside from the research, we have seen first-hand the impact that organized spaces with easily maintained, customized systems, have on our clients. They tell us it feels like a weight has been lifted after we tackled a space that has been causing them stress for too long. Giving our clients mental peace of mind makes our job so rewarding!


What are your top 3 organizational hacks? 

  • Our motto is ABP – Always Be Purging. Put a bin or basket in your mudroom or laundry room and add items throughout the week that need to be donated. No need to set aside an entire day or weekend to purge your things. Instead, make it part of your daily routine.
  • The 80/20 rule. Try to keep closets, pantries, and other storage areas no more than 80% full. The other 20% is used as flex space to store short-term or special occasion items.
  • Be a gatekeeper for your home. Most people don’t realize how much stuff comes into their house every day. Remind yourself that it all has to have a place to “live” if it’s not tossed or donated. When kids come home from birthday parties with a bag of favors or family members drop off bins of memorabilia, ask yourself, “Where will this live?” If you don’t have an answer, it might be best to toss or donate the items.


What space in your home do you find the most fun to organize? 

Katie could organize pantries all day, every day! Cooking and baking are some of her favorite hobbies, so she feels there is nothing better than a well-organized pantry where everything can be easily found and accessed.


Can you share some of your favorite organizing tools and products?

  • This label maker is small, easy to use, and perfect for organization newbies.
  • Having matching hangers is an easy first step to tackling your closet, and makes such a difference visually. We love these!
  • For attics and garages, these are our go-to bins. They’re weatherproof, clear (so you can easily see what’s inside), and come in a variety of sizes.


In your experience, what are the hardest and easiest rooms in a home to organize?

  • The easiest rooms for us to organize are kitchens and pantries. In these spaces, clients almost always have clear ideas on the things they use most often. This makes it quick and easy for us to organize things in a way that is the most functional for them.
  • The most difficult rooms are ones with a lot of collectors’ items or items with sentimental value to clients, such as attics and basements. However, we never put pressure on our clients to get rid of anything they aren’t ready to part with; instead, we help our clients prioritize their belongings. Creating a hierarchy in clients’ minds makes it easier to eliminate things that aren’t as important. It’s all about balance!


What’s one piece of organizing advice you find yourself giving to clients most often? 

Give yourself grace. We find that many clients are their worst critics. Homes are supposed to be lived in, and a lot of times clutter comes along with this. So when you’re ready to tackle your home’s organization, treat yourself like you would a friend – be kind, be patient, and celebrate the small victories.


To see more of Katie and Hollie’s work or inquire about their services, visit the Trimmed Home Organizing website or follow them on Instagram @trimmedhomeorganizing.