Do you ever look around your home and feel totally overwhelmed by the clutter surrounding you? Are you guilty of stashing the clutter away and telling yourself you'll tackle it another day? Knowing where to start can be the hardest part of decluttering and organizing your home. We called on four professional organizers to share their top tips for getting organized in a matter of hours.
Have an exit strategy: Know how you're going to move stuff out of the house, and where it's going. Set up a box or basket for each destination to streamline the end process.
Allow yourself a moment to sit in the middle of each room and visualize the finished look.
Take note of available storage — how you can best use what you already have and whether you need extra space.
Have one "maybe" box for items you're torn over — a single tub to organize later is better than hours of indecision.
You won't finish every room, but there are a few things experts say make the biggest difference in a short time.
Start with cupboards and drawers. You don't need that chipped plate.
Apply the six-month rule to gadgets and tools: Have you used it in the past six months? Will you use it in the next six?
To tackle the "plastics" drawer and stack everything together, try using a saucepan lid organizer to keep lids stacked.
Do you have too many dish towels? Add hooks to the side of a cupboard.
In the pantry, check dates, wipe shelves, use containers or trays to group similar items, restock containers, and arrange everything so the labels face forward. If you can't see it, it won't get used.
Create a dedicated zone, board, or file for bills, school notes, and other papers.
Spring is almost here, get ready with these spring cleaning hacks:
Identify your "worst offender" — the thing you just can't contain. Whether it's books, knick-knacks, or games, get rid of as much as you can.
Assign an amount of space to your problem item and once you've filled it with your favorites, dispose of the rest.
Get rid of outdated technology, broken remote controls, and missing parts.
Have a cord kit on hand to clean up and restrain electrical cords. Find a nice bowl to hold remotes.
Get rid of shabby cushions and blankets. If they can't be refreshed by a wash, get rid of it.
Keep magazines tidy in a basket.
Messy shelves? Neaten up the contents of any display units for an instant and big difference.
Add the finishing touch: fragrant fresh flowers or a diffuser.
Do you have clothes everywhere but nothing to wear? Break your closet down into segments: work, exercise, and sleep. Keep your favorite outfits for each category in the most visible spot.
If it doesn't fit or you never wear it, throw it away. If you don't feel good when you put it on, it should be gone.
If it's stained, torn, or hopelessly worn, toss it.
Put never-worn and high-quality items to one side to sell.
Check the pockets of anything before you throw it away.
Assess if you need dividers or other inserts before you declutter drawers. They'll help to keep you organized.
Attach hooks or racks inside doors for jewelry, scarves, and hats.
If you are bursting at the seams, consider storage under the bed. There are many affordable options.
Go through cupboards and drawers for old products.
Old makeup and perfume should be gone.
Put any brushes in a cleaning solution to soak when you start the room, then rinse and leave to dry when you're done.
If your drawers have bottles, containers, and dried-up mascara wands rolling around in them, throw them out.
Your favorite shampoo might be on sale, but you don't really need 10 bottles.
Old medications are a common clutter culprit — never argue with an expiration date or broken package.
Dispose of items according to the label. Are you short on storage? Buy a small stand to store items.
If you do nothing else, fold or roll your towels up — nicely.
If you need storage for your work area, make it separate from your daily life items.
Don't operate on instinct. Before you tackle paperwork, check how long you actually have to keep it.
Throw away all broken items.
Kids' art and memorabilia tends to congregate here. Fill up one box per child, close your eyes, and toss the rest.
Have one basket for unopened mail, one for bills to be paid, and one for filing.
Color-code your children's items. Have one colored folder per child for useful info — everything from birth certificates to sports rosters.
Take everything out, and dust and wipe the shelves.
Keep sheet sets and pillowcases together. Either store sheets and duvet covers inside one pillowcase or tie the whole set up inside one sheet with a ribbon.
For piles, stack similar items — towels with towels, facecloths with facecloths — and use dividers.
For a neat finish, fold like you work in store, with folded edges facing out. Or roll them.
Don't keep too many "extra" sets of sheets. Do you really need them?
Old sheets can become wash cloths.
Separate winter and summer linens, cotton, and wool blankets.
Use scented liners to make the cupboard fragrant.
Vacuum-bag spare duvet covers.
Use baskets for any random smaller items you keep in there.
This great advice came from:
This post was written by Francesca Newby. For more, check out our sister site Homes to Love.
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