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4 (Totally Free) Tips To Get Clutter Under Control

Design: Studio McGee

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, you can’t escape it. You know, the stuff that fills drawers, spills onto counters, and gets shoved into corners. Yep, we’re talking about that dirty word: CLUTTER. And since you can only avoid it for so long, now’s the time to develop new habits – and get rid of disorder in your home for good.

 

Keeping clutter at bay might seem like a big ordeal – but it really just requires developing some simple new habits (and we do mean simple). So today, we’re sharing 4 of Bobby’s very best tips for getting started, staying focused, and making organization a part of every day. Plus all these ideas are totally free – and easy to implement.

 

Keep scrolling to see how to bring some order to every room in your home -without spending a thing!

 

Want to see other ideas for getting organized? Check out: Ways To Un-Clutter Your Kitchen Counters and 5 Ways To Make Your Laundry Room Look (And Work) Better.

Photo: Sara Tramp
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Design: Ginny Macdonald

Start With A System

The key to tackling clutter begins long before you even lift a finger. To really get organized, you need a plan. Start by deciding on which areas you want to focus on first (you know, the ones where clutter has really taken over), and then work your way through the room. And no matter what you’re focusing on, use these tips to help you stay on track.

 

  • PLACE LIKE ITEMS TOGETHER
    Keeping objects grouped together means you’ll know exactly where they are (and where to put them back when you’re done). This goes for kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities, and any other space you’re stashing goods.

 

  • TAKE 10 MINUTES A DAY TO TIDY UP
    Marie Kondo is right – tidying up really can work wonders for your space. Have everyone in the household take just ten minutes to sort through any stray items, and you’ll magically see clutter disappear.  

 

  • GIVE NEW ITEMS AN IMMEDIATE HOME
    Lots of clutter comes from items piling up as soon as they enter your door. So as soon as something new makes its way home, whether it’s a piece of mail or a kids toy, designate an area for it to live. Letting things lay around for days or weeks means you’re less likely to actually get them organized, so be pro-active.

 

Check out Bobby’s favorite storage solutions HERE.

 

Photo: Un-Fancy

Out With The Old

We all have stuff.  But there’s a big difference between the stuff that gets used – and the stuff that’s just taking up space. Keeping items around that no longer serve a purpose creates even more clutter. So instead of just sticking with what you’ve got, implement these tips for a new start.

 

  • USE IT OR LOSE IT
    Go through every room once or twice a year to discover what you have and haven’t been using (do you really need those 7 water bottles?) Remove anything that is broken, empty, or just not needed, and you’ll be eliminating a major source of disorder – and making space for the things that really matter.

 

  • DONATE, DONATE, DONATE
    What do you do with all those items you’re ready to part with? There’s plenty of donation options to give them a second life.

    • Recycle What You Can- Empty bottles and any other glass or plastics can be cleaned and tossed in the recycle bin.  Broken electronics can be recycled for free at any Best Buy location.
    • Donate to a Buy Nothing Group – The Buy Nothing Project was started as a way for community members to donate unused items to their neighbors. Today there are groups all over the world, and you can easily list any unwanted items and ensure they don’t end up in a landfill.
    • Give Items To A Charity – Here are 8 organizations that will actually pick up items right from your home. Just schedule a time and have things packed and ready to go.

 

 

See how to maximize the storage space under your bed HERE.

Embrace Efficiency

If you incorporate ideas that actually works – then clutter doesn’t stand a chance! So be sure to think about how you can be more efficient when it comes to keeping things contained. Here are the smarter solutions you should keep in mind when putting things away.

 

  • KEEP EVERYDAY ITEMS CLOSE AT HAND
    Make this your new mantra: the more often you use something, the more easily accessible it should be. So things like dishes, glasses, beauty products, and office supplies should always be kept contained just an arm’s length away.

 

  • RE-PURPOSE FOR RE-INVENTED STORAGE
    Common items can take on a second life when simply reimagined. Takeout containers will work wonders as drawer organizers, empty candle jars make great desktop corrals, and even a sturdy shopping bag can stand in for an under sink organizer. Get creative and you’ll see the storage potential all around your home.

 

  • SWAP OUT ITEMS SEASONALLY
    For items that only get used or worn part of the year, tuck them away until they’re needed. Placing them in under-bed containers is an easy seasonal solution to cutting back on clutter- and you’ll create more valuable closet space.

 

 

Check out our top products for kitchen organization HERE.

Use (ALL) The Space You Have

Whether your space is big or small, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of every inch. That means searching high, low, and everywhere in between when it comes to ways (and places) to contain clutter. So use these tips to expand storage to all the underserved corners and crevices in your space. 

 

  • USE SHELVING TO ITS FULL POTENTIAL
    Built-ins, bookcases, freestanding, or floating. Whatever type of shelving you have, make sure it’s full of smart storage. Open shelving is a great opportunity to place objects you really use in a kitchen or bathroom. But you can also add pretty baskets or boxes to any shelving and create an instant spot to stash everything from toys to electronics to extra toilet paper.

 

  • FILL THE SPACES YOU DON’T SEE
    You’re probably already utilizing all the obvious places for organization. But what about all these additional areas that are out of sight?  Looking high (above a hang bar in closets or the back of a door) or low (under beds or sofas) will reveal additional options for adding containers or shelves – and ways to kiss clutter goodbye!

 

See all our best small space storage ideas HERE.

 

Have your own fool-proof tips for handling clutter? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

  1. Thanks for these great reminders! I’ve been feeling the itch to reorganize everything for the new year and this is super helpful.

    1. I hope you’ve found more than one ways to free your home of clutter this year! Thanks for reading. xx -B

  2. Thanks Bobby!! The list of places for donation is a great resource.

  3. Hi Bobby,

    I’m a person who always cleans up their bedroom, but after an hour, it gets totally cluttered again! Now it is getting to the point where I just gave up cleaning my room… I’m planning on redesigning it and looking on your website for inspiration when I came across this article. Do you have any advice on how to keep my room clutter free when within a day, it gets totally cluttered again? Thanks!

    1. Thanks Bobby, these tips are very useful 🤍

      1. Thanks for your comment! Hope they help you stay organized in your space. xx -B

    2. It sounds like you really need to implement a system and stick to it. Identify exactly what is leading to the clutter and start to change those behaviors. If you leave clothes on the floor, start putting everything in a hamper or back in a drawer as soon as you take it off. Hope that helps you! xx -B

      1. Any tips for getting your significant other on board? My honey says “being organized just isn’t important to me”. I don’t fault him for having different priorities, but I also can’t do all the work myself.

        1. That’s definitely a challenge! I would stress that getting rid of clutter will benefit you BOTH and start with small ways he could contribute, even if it’s just 1 thing to focus on. Good luck to you. xx -B

  4. Love this post so much. I am all about decluttering and getting more organised. With no more Queer Eye episodes to watch, what else is a girl to to in her spare time? 😉. Sending love and light from the UK xXx

    1. Thanks so much for reading! Sending my love out to you in the UK. Stay safe and inspired. xx -B

  5. Thanks, Bobby, for all your ideas. I love your decorating and anti-clutter suggestions, as well as everything else you write about.
    However, I am distracted when I read incorrect spelling and grammar. You spoke of clutter “pilling” up instead of “piling” up. And you mentioned things “laying” around, instead of “lying” around. My grandchild calls me a grammar elitist. I accept the title. Please hear my criticism in the spirit with which I give it.
    Sincerely, Gloria Paull, a fan of your work

    1. Thanks so much for letting me know! Sometimes it’s hard to catch those little mistakes with all the writing 🙂 xx -B