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07 January . 2021

Sweetwater’s resident organizing expert has advice for decluttering

“Clutter is overwhelming. Deciding where to even get started can be overwhelming,” says Sweetwater resident Brooke MacTaggart, co-founder of Austin’s Momma Method Personal Organizing.

Conquering those overwhelming and paralyzing feelings can offer some big payoffs, far beyond being able to find things. Decluttering builds confidence and energy, according to Psychology Today, and reduces anxiety and family tension. It also provides physical activity and helps you find lost treasures – which you can then decide to keep or donate.

“The vision is to live in freedom from clutter, and that can be life-changing,” says Brooke. “Freeing our homes, hearts and minds of clutter can give us inner peace, leading to more quality time with family and friends.”

For Brooke and her business partner, Brooke Morrow, the name of their company is all about family.

When they first met and became friends, they quickly realized that they shared a passion for order, simplicity, beauty and functionality at home. After they ran out of family members to help, they launched Momma Method to help bring order to other out-of-control spaces.

“We’ve met clients who’ve been embarrassed to have friends over to their house because of the clutter. As moms we understand what it’s like to have kids, toys and chaos. Non-judgment is a very important part of our process,” Brooke says.

Her interest in organizing began long before she became a mom. “One of my first memories is organizing my dresser drawers and toys when I was about 6,” she laughs.

Over the years, Brooke honed her organizing skills in a variety of jobs, from waitressing and childcare, to managing apartments and working as an administrative assistant. Ultimately, she became a professional organizer for Los Angeles-based Home Sweet Home, spending much of her time unpacking clients’ belongings and turning empty houses into homes.

After a complimentary consultation, the Momma Method approach starts with a purging process that divides everything into piles labeled keep, toss, donate and relocate. Once clients have decided which items they want to keep, the Brookes help them find new ways to reorganize, suggesting storage solutions and containers for ultimate space optimization. Labeling everything is an important part of staying organized.

“For most people, the biggest struggle is letting go of things they’ve held on to for a long time. For a lot of us, it’s part of our upbringing,” says Brooke. “Working with an organizer helps most people realize, ‘Oh, I really don’t need that, do I?’ Purging is so important. You can’t really do much organizing until you get the space cleared out.”

A native of Alabama, Brooke moved to Austin from California in 2016 with her husband, John, a student ministries pastor. They have two children, Everly and Elijah.

“We love Austin way more,” Brooke says.

The family first settled in South Austin and moved to Sweetwater about two years ago. The location is much closer to their church, Austin Ridge Bible Church in Bee Cave.

“Everything fell into place for us with Sweetwater,” she says. “We love being around other families with young children, and the Lake Travis ISD schools are so much better than where we lived before, especially the new Rough Hollow Elementary.”

Read more resident stories from Sweetwater.