We all know them. They are The Clean People. Every time you go to their house, is is pristine, and when they apologize for that one stray sock on the floor, you feel a murderous rage bubbling deep inside you. You may think the Clean People come from another race, but the truth is that Clean People are not superhuman. They just happen to know a fundamental secret of decluttering: to keep your house from feeling crowded, leave out a few things that you really love and stash the rest.
But! You might say. I really hate straightening up. So do I, so do I. But that's only because when I'm straightening up, what I'm really doing is agonizing over where things should go. Putting something up that has a specific place — that's strangely satisfying. I feel like a toddler shoving shapes into one of these things.
And that's the secret: getting rid of all the clutter, putting all the things away, becoming a Clean Person, is as easy as designating places for all the stuff to go, so that when cleanup time comes, you can just put it there and be done. From our video archives, here are a few of our favorite ideas — ways to store all your stuff so that it's easily accessible, but you don't have to look at it all the time.
To be safe, you should probably designate a spot for the stuff that doesn't have anywhere to go to go — aka, a junk drawer. In this quick video, professional organizer Jeni Aron offers her best tips for making your junk drawer work for you.
Toys are a formidable foe in the battle against clutter. There are tons of them, and they are everywhere. Here's a fun idea from interior designer Rebecca Robertson for storing toys out of the way, while still keeping them accessible when you need them.
Another tricky spot when you're trying to put things away is the bathroom — especially if your bathroom is older, and doesn't happen to have a lot of storage. Getting rid of visual clutter in the bathroom is tricky, because usually stuff that is in the bathroom gets used every day, and really needs to be close by. Here's a simple idea for adding space to stash your stuff in the bathroom — one that will work even for renters.
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(Image credits: Adrienne Breaux)