If you’ve ever wondered how to declutter your home, you know that cleaning out junk can be a real bust. Where to begin? And how much to do? You may think that deep cleaning everything from the hidden space behind the blinds to reorganizing every single closet in the house is in your near future. But in reality, there are key areas to focus on to make a tidier space overall as opposed to clearing out every nook and cranny—because that can wait until official spring cleaning routines kick in.
To declutter your home room-by-room, zero in on the important problem areas. Doing so can make a major difference and render a breezier vibe in your home. For all the best advice, AD reached out to professional organizer and organizational designer Lisa Eckerle of Sort Support in Indianapolis, organizing expert Ashley Jones in Houston, Texas, and certified professional organizer Shannon Tamme of Life Synchronized in St Louis, Missouri. With their help, you can crack down (and then tackle) the worst clutter zones in each room.
Solution: Create a designated drop zone
While magazines and “coffee-table” books tend to stack here, other items around the house can land on the coffee table as well, causing clutter. “The biggest way around this is to make sure you have a system in place,” Jones says . But it doesn’t have to be a complicated one. “It could be as simple as purchasing a magazine rack to collect magazines into one area or setting up a mail collection drop zone.” If possible, choose a storage ottoman to place bigger items inside like throw blankets.
At the same time, place intentional decor on the coffee table to discourage everyday items from collecting. “Choose items that are bigger in scale and take up roughly 80% of the surface, rather than smaller trinkets to cover the entire surface of the table,” Eckerle recommends. “You shouldn’t use more than three or four items in total.” Stick to sizable pillar candles (like these fun Hay color-blocked candles), a bowl with decorative fillers, or even some nice tchotchkes.
The Solution: Opt for a decorative crock and dividers
The proverbial stuffed kitchen drawer. Sigh. It seems everyone has a drawer brimming with cooking and baking utensils that clink and clank whenever someone tries to open it. The solution? A decorative crock filled with utensils, cut in rustic wood tones to echo cottagecore and modern farmhouse vibes, is a great piece to have in the kitchen. It adds warmth and function to the heart of the home, Eckerle says.
Turning back to the packed drawer, you can create a simple way to tidy this up too by employing kitchen organization techniques. “I love to use drawer inserts or dividers to keep the contents of drawers and cabinets organized,” Tamme says. In fact, storage bins and other tools can help you create neat sections. “Categories are key to keeping order,” Tamme says. “Baking, snacks, pastas, canned goods—place these items together and try to keep the most used items at a reachable level.”
Solution: An accessible closet
Sometimes rehanging clothes feels like too much work. That’s why it is much easier to place them on the bedroom’s armchair than venture into the wardrobe war zone. Get to the root of the problem: Make your closet a cinch to get to (and keep it that way), experts say. “Place a basket on the floor of your closet to throw in ‘not dirty, not clean’ clothes, such as sweatshirts, jeans, and the like,” Eckerle says. However, remember this important tip. “Ensure the basket isn’t too deep or large that you have to rifle through it or forget what’s in there,” she adds.