Many people are so overwhelmed by the idea of "decluttering" their homes that they avoid it until it seems impossible. We've been there, and it's not fun. Organizing requires dealing with both physical and emotional stuff that's been building up, and it can be stressful. The bright side is that one very small start can clear the space you need to unstick yourself...
- Drawers are compact and contained, which makes them fairly easy to deal with. They're also hidden, which makes them ideal spots for clutter to gather out of sight. Remove everything from the drawer, clean out the inside, sort through what to toss versus keep (get rid of anything you don't use), and organize the "keep" pile using drawer dividers or a similar system. Click here to learn how to organize a junk drawer, here for tips on sorting through file drawers, and here to tackle a dresser drawer.
- Medicine cabinets are clutter hotspots. Like drawers, they hide clutter, making it easy for junk to build up. People tend to collect a lot of products that age and spoil on the shelf, but instead of tossing them, we think, "I paid for that, so I'll hang on to it." What we don't think about is the cost of keeping something: the space it takes up and the bother of a messy medicine cabinet with sticky surfaces and no room to add anything new. For step-by-step instructions on clearing space in your bathroom cabinet, click here.
- Tabletops are less likely to become as cluttered as cabinets or drawers, since they're in plain view. Still, we all have at least one surface in our home where things are always piling up. Common clutter-collecting surfaces include desks full of paperwork, entryway tables full of backed-up mail and loose change, or bedside tables with stacks of reading material. For a Zen approach to clearing surface space, click here.
Photo: California Closets