We all have an Achilles heel of clutter – that catchall for papers, books, knick-knacks and “stuff” in general. Even if the rest of your house is immaculate, this spot (or spots) can be a serious stress zone. Clean it up, clear it out and fight the clutter with these tips.
If you’ve had a long day, it feels great to drop your bag and empty your pockets at the entryway. The problem is, long days add up. And so does the clutter in your entryway. Creating a system is quicker (and easier) than fighting habits, so identify the problem and adapt: If it’s mail, create a mail system for your family to follow. If it’s shoes, place a shoe rack by the front door. And if keys are the issue, add a bowl to the entryway table or a few hooks to the wall.
Your bathroom may look spotless on the surface, but under your sink lurks chaos. Toiletries, hair products and cleaning products all work together to form an intimidating mess. The solution is simple: First, audit what you have. Then, toss what’s old or expired. Lastly, group similar items together in clear containers so you can see what’s there. Done!
Fridge clutter is generally caused by refugee kitchen items. Make room in your pantries and cabinets for the clutter that’s living on top of your fridge. Once you’ve made some room, move things from on top of the fridge and integrate them into your pantry system. If you can’t break the fridge habit, at least make sure that the items are used every day and organized so that you can see what’s available. Tip: Mason jars make top-of-fridge organization easier.
A remote control here, a magazine there and before you know it your coffee table is pure pandemonium. First, clear everything off. (Now is a good time to take care of those drink rings.) Then, put everything that doesn’t belong on the table somewhere else. You don’t have to organize it now – just get it away from the clutter magnet. Once you’re left with remotes and coffee table books, choose a clicker control system. Then, stick with it.
If your bookshelf is home to more than the Brontë sisters and J.K. Rowling, the answer isn’t necessarily purging the non-book items – just rearrange them. We love to break design rules, and that bookshelf is a great place to start. If your shelf is full of papers, buy an organizer and let it live on the shelf. If it’s knick-knacked up, arrange them in a way that’s visually pleasing. Records, globes, magazines and more all look great on a bookshelf. The secret is to intersperse books between the random objects to give the chaos some orderly undertones.