We’re not saying that decluttering isn’t an overwhelming task — but the best way to create a set-it-and-forget-it organizing system starts with small, bite-sized ideas. Cut clutter off at the pass (and skip the marathon sorting sessions) with these quick and easy solutions for every spot in your home.
1. Corral bathroom clutter with a simple spin move.
You already know a lazy Susan makes for a handy spice rack (or fridge caddy), but its helpful spin is great for making the depths of a bathroom cabinet or closet more accessible.
“I have a very tall and wide bathroom closet and things were always disappearing out of sight. Once I put a lazy Susan on the top shelves, I could finally reach everything without a step stool and knew what was there.” — Donna Smallin Kuper, author of Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness
2. Employ a cleanup bin.
“When you’re quickly straightening up the house, put an empty basket near the base of the steps. Everything that needs to go upstairs goes into the basket, and when the downstairs is straightened, take the whole basket upstairs and put everything away. This prevents extra trips up and down the stairs with armfuls of stuff.” — Erin Souder, founder of Earnest Home Co.
3. Never lose (or sort!) socks again.
“Get each family member a mesh lingerie bag and ask them to fill it with their dirty socks. Run the bag through washer and dryer then place each family member’s lingerie bag in their clothing pile to put away. With this trick, you can forget sorting, folding, or leaving a stray sock in the dryer.” — MaryJo Monroe, professional organizer at reSPACEd in Portland, Oregon.
4. Simplify linen storage.
“Store folded sheet sets inside a pillowcase and you’ll never have to guess if that fitted sheet works on the queen- or king-sized bed again.” — Julia Buckingham, Chicago-based interior designer
5. Create extra space with hooks.
“Put hooks on the inside of low level cabinet doors for extra storage. This is especially good under the sink where you can hang wet wash gloves and wands to dry.” — Judy Joo, chef and host of Korean Food Made Simple on The Cooking Channel
6. Sort shelves by size.
Sometimes sorting products or containers by type or category just doesn’t make as much as sense as it seems. For minimal digging and searching, keeping items in plain sight should be your priority.
“If you have shelves in your bathroom vanity, quickly reorganize it so top shelf holds large items and the bottom shelf stores smaller items, which is closer to eye-level.” — Eileen Roth, author of Organizing For Dummies
7. Minimize cleanup before playtime begins.
“When your little ones play with Legos, figurines, or other multi-piece toys, start by laying out a large blanket or bed sheet first. That way, when it’s time to clean up, you can bring the ends of the blanket together and quickly dump the toys back into their storage bucket. It also helps to give your kids a more defined play area to try and keep the toys within.” — Joy Cho, founder of Oh Joy!
8. Make your car’s storage space work harder.
“Keep a cooler and a crate or bin in the trunk of your car. The crate can corral things like cleaning supplies and bungee cords, and the cooler can keep groceries chilled while you run errands.” — Andrew Mellen, a professional organizer and author of Unstuff Your Life
9. When in doubt, try a tray.Sometimes it only takes the power of suggestion to make you a bit neater. A well-placed tray might be just the hint you need to keep things in order, and appears tidy even if its contents are in disarray. We love this DIY chevron tray from Lovely Scrolling.
“Keep a serving tray in your home office to collect papers and keep supplies organized. It’s perfect for clearing extra space quickly and adds a pretty touch to what can be a dull spot.” — Jason Grant, Australian-based interior designer and author of A Place Called Home
10. Control sports gear quickly.
“A perfect storage solution for families with kids who play sports — a child’s playpen. Tuck the playpen in the corner of the garage and kids will have one spot to drop their gear. You’ll never hear, ‘Mom, have you seen my…’ and the equipment won’t clutter your home. Didn’t save a playpen from your kids’ toddler years? Pick one up for cheap at a local garage sale.” — Andrew Mellen, a professional organizer and author of Unstuff Your Life
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