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Get organized: Professional Washington organizer says you need to know the '30-day rule'

Organizing your home and setting regular goals could save you time and money, according to a local home organizer in Washington state.

SEATTLE — Washington professional home organizer and author Elisa Hawkinson wants homeowners to ask themselves one question: Is your home in a state that it could be put on the market in 30 days?

If the answer is, no, Hawkinson said there is some work you need to do, and it could take months.

Hawkinson is the founder of How2GetOrganized and is the author of Calming Your Chaos.

The 30-day rule is important because "life happens," according to Hawkinson. After a marriage, death, or illness, you may need to list your home, and list it quickly.

In her own experience as the executor of her brother's, Hawkinson discovered a hoarding situation that built up over 40 years.

"It took 21 days and 245 hours of labor to empty that house," Hawkinson said.

If you are trying to get organized in your home, Hawkinson said you can start by setting up some staging areas in your home or garage. One of those sections should be for donations.

"Choose a thrift store with a mission that aligns to your heart," Hawkinson said. "Then you are more likely to let go of things to be put on the shelf and sold to help the mission prosper." 

There will be room to keep things you use and also some special meaningful things.

If you are moving, Hawkinson said you should be aware of the square footage of the next home and keep that in mind as downsizing is happening.

To hear Hawkinson's tips and more on KING 5 Mornings, click the video player above.

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