Use your plan that you created as a guide and click the images below for decluttering how-tos for each room in your house.
Bedrooms often become dumping grounds for stuff that doesn’t have a home in your house. When you think about it, you don’t really need more than a bed, a nightstand or two, storage for clothes, shoes and perhaps a home for jewelry and makeup.
How to Organize & Declutter Your Bedrooms
Follow the tips below to declutter messy bedrooms – we’ll address decluttering closets in another section since they also tend to be clutter hot-spots requiring special attention!
Start by Decluttering the Bedroom Drawers
Take everything out of the drawers and ask yourself the following questions about each item:
- Does it belong in the bedroom?
- Have you used it in the last year?
Did you answer, “No," to either of those questions? If so, then put it in your “Get Rid of It" bin or move it to the room where it belongs.
When you are ready to place items back into the drawers try adding dividers or small containers so you can store like things together.
Keep Flat Surfaces in the Bedroom Clear
Or at least keep them almost clear. Moderation is key here. It’s ok to have a few decorations, a lamp or pictures on your dresser or nightstand tops, but try to limit each surface in the bedroom to less than five things. When you have fewer things cluttering the flat surfaces in your bedroom, the space will feel more calming and peaceful.
Use Storage Bins for Kids’ Toys, Seasonal Items or Things You Use Infrequently
Let’s face it, not everything can be tucked away behind a closed door - closets are valuable real estate in a house, so some items like kids’ toys or seasonal clothing/bedding need to go somewhere else.
Kids’ toys can live in baskets, toy chests or even shelves in a bedroom. If you find yourself running out of space for toys, it’s probably time to donate those toys that were a hit for a few weeks but no longer get much attention.
Seasonal clothing, bedding or decorations can be easily stored in plastic or cloth bins that fit under the bed or in a closet. Space-saver bags or even comforter bags are also an option if you’re looking to get bulky items into a smaller space.
How to Clean Your Closet ClutterI have some good news: decluttering your closet is therapeutic. The process of going through clothes, shoes and other long-forgotten belongings will help you cleanse your house and your mind of any emotional baggage that may be connected to these items. Be sure you keep your three bins nearby for this task as you follow these three ways to declutter your closet:
Declutter Your Closet From the Bottom Up
Your instinct will be to start from the top with the things that are hanging, but cleaning up and cleaning out the mess at the bottom of the closet is the better way to go. Not only will you free up space in which to work, but you will feel like you’re halfway done in no time!
Get Rid of Clothes and Shoes
In case you glossed over the section earlier in the guide where I discussed the 80/20 rule, I’ll reiterate. We typically wear 20 percent of our clothes 80 percent of the time, which means you should have a significant amount of clothing you can purge. Ask yourself these questions about each item if you’re having trouble deciding which items you should pitch:
- Does it fit?
- Is it damaged? (stained, torn, faded)
- Has it been worn in the past year?
If you answered, “No," to any of those questions, I strongly urge you to add the item to your “Get Rid of It" bin. If you have something that is sentimental or seasonal that you don’t wear often, put it in your storage bin and free up some space in your closet. The same goes for shoes.
Since I’m sure you will keep at least a few things that you probably should get rid of, even after this exercise (I know I did), try the “backwards hanger" trick over the course of the next year to weed out any more items that can free up space in your closet. Start the year with the hangers' tips all facing the front of the closet (backwards). After you wear something, put it back in the closet with the hanger facing the back. At the end of the year, you’ll be able to easily identify the clothes that just aren’t worth keeping anymore.
Clean Up Closet Shelves
Remove everything from your closet shelves, wipe down the shelves and then get rid of anything that isn’t adding value to your life. Avoid stacking clothing on shelves and storing stuff on shelves that can get buried under hanging clothes. Aside from items you store in containers, you should be able to see everything in your closet without moving too much. Boxes and bins are recommended for storing smaller items on your closet shelves.
If you are decluttering a closet that you don’t use to store clothing, it can be really tempting to stack everything in there like a beautiful game of Tetris. Don’t do it. Consider adding more shelving above things that you may keep at the bottom, like a vacuum cleaner or storage bins. You can also add hooks inside the door for brooms, mops and dustpans.
Cleaning up your closets is guaranteed to improve your quality of life! Seriously, it’s the little things. You’ll save time when you no longer have to look and search for items you ‘could have sworn were in there.’ You’ll make room for new belongings that bring you more joy. And you won’t risk something falling on you the next time you open a closet door.
How to Declutter Your Home Office or WorkspaceDoes your home office or workspace look like it was hit by a tornado? Have no fear; our tips will help with the disaster cleanup. And as an added bonus, organizing your home office can actually make you more productive!
Go Through Paper Items
For most people, office clutter consists of piles of bills, important documents, semi-important documents, receipts and other pieces of paper you "intended" to get to. When cleaning up an office or workspace, it’s best to start with the papers. Cleaning up the paper mess is likely half the battle!
The best way to start organizing your office is to sort papers into three piles: File, To-do and Trash. Once you have everything sorted, throw the trash pile in the trash or shred the papers, file the papers you need to keep and put your to-do pile in a basket or special file so you can address it when you’ve cleaned up your office space.
Here are some other tips for decluttering stacks of papers in your home office:
- Scan important documents and receipts to make a digital record, then shred and throw away the paper if you don’t need a physical copy lying around.
- Older paper files, such as taxes can be stored in a plastic bin and kept in your basement, garage or another space for things you don’t need to access often.
- Designate a space for important mail or paper documents that you need to act on soon, or for future incoming paper documents – this way you’ll have a place to put them when you get them.
- When you’re filing paperwork, don’t forget the most important file: the circular file.
- Clear Off Your Desk
- Challenge yourself to remove most items from your office desk, aside from your computer, a lamp and a few other essentials. Only keep items on your desk that you use frequently. Whenever possible you should store office supplies in drawers – table top organizers can easily get messy. A few knickknacks are OK, but don’t overdo it!
- Clean Out and Organize Drawers
Do your office drawers look like piles of junk when you open them up? We have three simple steps to help you make sense of your office supplies:
- Take everything out of the office drawers.
- Get rid of the excess. If you have more than you actually need in the next year, then get rid of it. If you haven’t used it in six months, you should probably get rid of it.
- Organize like-things together and avoid a lot of free-floating objects in a drawer when you put your office supplies back in. There are drawer organizers you can purchase or you can use small boxes or containers you already have.
Tame Your Cords
While not essential for organizing your home office, wrangling in your cords will help you achieve the clean, crisp look you will want to have in every room of your house. A simple search online will present a myriad of cord management products made for tying up and taming cords. You can also use a few of these clever cord hacks:
Label cords with washi tape, so it’s easier to tell what cord goes with each device.
Hold cords that are frequently unplugged up on your desk with binder clips.
Use twist-ties or rubber bands to tie up excess cables – it’s not fancy, but it’s effective!