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Toss & Keep, Garage Edition: How to Clean Up the Messiest Place in the House
Your garage is guaranteed to be the messiest place in the house —a place to ferret away junk and keep closed and off-limits when company comes over. It’s a holding vault for the kids’ old toys and items you borrow from neighbors and plan to return…eventually. What do you toss*, and what do you keep? How do you organize it all so the clutter never takes over again? Here’s a handy guide to see you through the decluttering process.
Feb 17, 2017
Rank Them: The 5 Little (But Life-Changing) Cleaning Commandments
Cleaning isn’t really all that fun, especially when you have to do a total overhaul of your home all at once. To keep dirt and clutter from building up over time, it’s a good idea to follow a few simple cleaning and organizing rules on a daily basis. That way, you do a little bit of picking up each day and avoid doing a whole lot of cleaning later on.
Feb 15, 2017
Smarter Shopping: A Process Guaranteed to Save Money, Limit Spending & Reduce Clutter
Signing up for your favorite store’s email list sounds like a great idea at the time—it means that you’ll never miss out on great coupons and discounts, right?
Jan 13, 2017
Selling Your Home: The 11 Most Important Spots to Declutter Before the Open House
Make no mistake about it: when you’re selling your house, potential buyers want to see everything. That means no area of your home (not even your utility closet) is safe from the gaze of a serious house hunter. That’s why it’s crucial to maximize every square inch of your place—backyard shed included—by minimizing your overall clutter.
Jan 9, 2017
5 Ways You Can Organize with Toilet Paper Rolls (Really!)
Stop right there! Before you throw away your next empty toilet paper roll, consider this: with a little effort, you can probably get so much more use out of it (and keep it out of a landfill). From keeping unruly cords at bay to organizing your favorite makeup tools and jewelry, those cardboard tubes can come in incredibly handy. So, sure, you could toss it in the trash, or, you could use it to make your home a more beautiful, organized place with these projects—you decide.
Jan 7, 2017
15 Home Organizing Mini-Tasks You Can Tackle in 15 Minutes
Okay, so you’ve got a few minutes before the newest episode of your favorite show comes on—how do you spend it? You could flip through the channels to find something random to watch until it starts, or, you could work towards making your home a more beautiful, organized place (and make your life a little bit easier). Need inspiration? Try one of these quick tasks… Are your books actually organized, or do you just place them wherever you have room on a shelf?
Jan 2, 2017
Editing Your Home to Happiness: Our Best Decluttering Strategies
Clutter, probably more than cleanliness, affects our sense of well-being at home. And in a place where we should feel relaxed, refreshed, and most like ourselves, it’s imperative to shed anything that makes us feel otherwise. Here are our top tips for sorting through and shedding the clutter energy-zappers that drag us down. Cheers to a clutter-less fresh start! Decluttering begets decluttering.
Dec 31, 2016
The Ultimate Decluttering Guide: 130 Things to Get Rid of in the New Year
If the prospect of a shiny new year has you wanting to jump back onboard the KonMari-method decluttering train (à la Emily Gilmore in the Netflix “Gilmore Girls” revival), you’re in good company. The start of 2017 has us reimagining our homes as minimalist sanctuaries, filled only with joy-sparking essentials.
Dec 28, 2016
8 Hidden Things to Clean Off (and Speed Up) Your Computer
Just like dust and clutter can accumulate in hidden places in your home (you know… out of sight, out of mind) the same can be said for your computer. Hidden files and programs can accumulate over time that aren’t necessary to hold onto, and can seriously slow things down. To free up space on—and hopefully speed up—your Mac or PC, try decluttering these often forgotten files and folders.
Dec 18, 2016
5 Bathroom Cabinet Storage Hacks You Need to Try
When you have a tiny bathroom in your home, you know that how you use your space is of the utmost importance. Unless you’re clever about how you arrange things and where you store your products, your bathroom can quickly become an out-of-hand mess. And even the nicest, sleekest, most-organized bathrooms can have a dirty little secret—a messy cabinet under the sink.
Dec 6, 2016
Techniques for Decluttering Without Emotion (When You’re an Emotional Person)
So, you’re a “stuff” person. It’s okay—a lot of people get emotionally attached to their things (myself included!) to a point where it’s hard to get rid of anything that has any sort of meaning to it. But you probably know, on some level, that collecting things you don’t need and don’t use can lead to a ton of clutter, especially if you live in a small space or lack an abundance of storage.
Nov 9, 2016
Quiz: What’s Your Organizing Style?
Cleaning and organizing are polarizing tasks—you can hate doing it, you can do it regularly but reluctantly, or you can love it to a point where you actually get excited just thinking about storage supplies and solutions—but at the end of the day, it still needs to get done. Some people wait until the last possible minute and then sweep their messes under the rug (or hide them in the closet), while others color-code and alphabetize everything they own.
Nov 5, 2016
Do You Want to Love Getting Dressed in the Morning?
If getting dressed in the morning is the most stressful part of your day, it’s time for an overhaul—of your closet, and your mindset. Sure, what you wear helps you present your personality to the world, but sometimes it feels like we put way too much pressure on ourselves to get that look just right, making it more complicated and frustrating than it has to be.
Nov 3, 2016
I Got Rid of All My Clothes That Didn’t Fit… Here’s How it Changed My Attitude
Confession time: My body and I have a long, sordid love-hate relationship. I’ve dealt with chronic illness and body image issues for as long as I can remember—I was always somehow too sick or too big or too small in my mind, and I was never forgiving or kind enough to myself when I needed it most. And over the years, my struggles with my body became very much personified in my wardrobe.
Oct 24, 2016
6 Easy & Clever Ways to Organize Your Hair Styling Tools
You wouldn’t trade your favorite curling iron for anything, and yet, you probably don’t even have a designated storage space for it. Keeping your heat styling tools clean and organized is important for more than just aesthetic reasons—having a safe place to store them will help them last longer, since easy organization means no more destroyed cords and damaging falls from the countertop.
Oct 22, 2016
How to Actually Rid Your Apartment of The Things You’ve Decided to Donate
Marathon runners will tell you that the last mile is the toughest. And so it goes (in, admittedly, a lesser way) for organizing your apartment. The journey from kitchen or closet to a box by the front door might feel like a mission in itself, but getting that box out to a donation center, resale shop or just to the recycling—that might be even harder.
Oct 7, 2016
Work Through Your Wardrobe by (At Last!) Tackling This To-Do List
Cleaning out your closet is a really big task. There’s a lot to unpack, pun slightly intended, when you determine your wardrobe needs sorting—just deciding to get rid of a few pairs of jeans might send you on a tailspin through everything from sentimental memories to body image issues.
Oct 6, 2016
A Plan (and a Flowchart) for Clearing Out Your Bath and Beauty Products
Your bathroom may possibly be the only division of your small space with four walls and a door, so it’s not totally surprising that a lot of clutter ends up settling inside the bathroom to hide. Couple that with the fact that your bath and beauty kit is likely the last thing that gets refreshed (Do you know when your mascara expires? Do you?), and you’re looking at a bonafide problem area. Today, we clean it out for good.
Oct 5, 2016
A Flowchart to Help You Cull Your Kitchen Cabinets and Pantry
When trying to fit all the comforts of a home into, say, a studio apartment, the kitchen is a “room” where builders make a lot of sacrifices. Your small space is likely fitted with smaller versions of kitchen appliances (hello tiny fridge!) and is almost certainly slim on drawers and cabinet space. If you use your kitchen frequently to cook, your limited storage space is probably filled to the brim with a mess of ingredients and tools.
Oct 4, 2016
A Foolproof Method for Finally Slaying Your Paper Clutter Monster
Living small has its disadvantages—and the biggest one just might be how a tiny apartment seems to magnify your mess. If you’re going to be a small-space dweller, you have to be ruthless: sorting through your things on a daily basis, deciding with a swift hand what stays and what goes (and most of it should go). If that daily practice has escaped you for, say, the last several months—It’s OK.
Oct 3, 2016
Code Red: The Warning Signs That Your Home is About to Get Out of Control
It’s a vicious cycle, this whole “being an adult and keeping a tidy home” thing. One day your home is spotless—like maybe the night before friends or family visit—and worthy of a shelter magazine, then the next, it feels like life has taken hold of your space again. So… things are messy. And you’re busy. And you feel a little overwhelmed, so you don’t tackle anything at all. Which is fine—you should take a break when you need it.
Sep 21, 2016
Clever Ways to Store Your Hair Elastics (So You Never Lose One Again)
Quick: Name one thing you buy all the time but never have when you need it. You’re thinking about hair elastics, aren’t you? If you have long hair, hair elastics can be the bane of your existence. They’re so helpful, and yet, so hard to keep track of. It feels like no matter what you do, your hair ties are always disappearing.
Sep 15, 2016
The Space-Hogging Mess You Always Forget About: How To Declutter Your iPhone
You put in a lot of effort to keep your home beautiful and organized, but what about your phone? If you've got pages of apps you can't keep up with, here's how to declutter.
Sep 12, 2016
This Weekend: Even If You’re Busy, It’s Time To Pile It On
Okay, so it’s the weekend and you’ve been busy — probably the last thing you feel like doing is cleaning and bringing in heavier bedding. We totally get it — but a clean bedroom and freshly layered bed create a domino effect whose benefits multiply. You’ll sleep better, and feel better getting up in the morning. All it takes is a little effort this weekend and you’ll be ready to reap the rewards. Go Clean Your Room!
Sep 9, 2016
7 Ways Your Phone Can Help You Declutter
In the post-Marie Kondo era, clutter has become the enemy. Excessive documents, old T-shirts, and unread books are some of the offending items we see everyday that definitely don’t spark joy. While I’m the first to agree that Kondo’s folding techniques and organizational tricks are genius, there are other ways (besides purging all your worldly belongings) to get your home—and your life—feeling orderly once again.
Sep 1, 2016
3 Ways to Make Sure Your Dining Room Table is Always Clear for Meals
Growing up in Miami, my friend’s mother had a sofa in the living room that was just for looking at. Never for sitting on. It was embalmed in a plastic slipcover to prevent it from being ruined with a spill—something that would have dealt a death blow to its primary utility. I don’t believe a home should work that way. Sofas should be sat upon. And dining room tables, should you be lucky enough to have the space for either a proper one or a not-so-proper one, should be sat at.
Aug 28, 2016
11 Ways IKEA Can Rescue Your Cluttered Entryway
No matter if you have a non-existent entryway or a spacious foyer, this is one of those spots where clutter seems to pile up before anyone notices. Lucky for us, we can always count on IKEA as an endless source of inspiration for team clutter control. Add one of these hacks or upgrades to your entryway and you’ll gain some extra storage space that also makes a great first impression. When in doubt, wall mount.
Aug 19, 2016
The Daily Routines You Need to Survive Studio Living
Here’s a survival tip akin to the tagline of “Alien”: In a studio, there’s nowhere to hide your mess. While one-room living demands that you keep a clean home, there is less to clean, generally. That means you can make tidiness just another part of your daily routine and be one of those people who never has to clean because they’re cleaning all the time. While you’re brushing your teeth and getting ready for the day, add these two tasks to your morning flow.
Aug 11, 2016
Up Your Energy: Simple Workspace Feng Shui Principles to Try Today
When you’re busy working, it can be easy to let your workspace fall into a rut—I mean, who has time to redecorate their desk when they’re preparing for next week’s presentation? But because your work environment affects how energized you feel, taking a few minutes right now to optimize your workspace may just make your whole week more productive. Want to try it? Read through these five ways to improve and organize your desk according to feng shui—then get to work!
Aug 9, 2016
Tough Love: 3 Hard-and-Fast Rules for a Cleaner Kitchen, All the Time
They say that the kitchen is the heart and soul of a home. And, that things are drawn to gathering there—people, objects, pizza boxes, your partner’s dirty dishes. For that reason, the kitchen is usually the room in your house that is most in need of a rigid plan to keep it spotless around the clock. So here’s a little tough love, in three parts.
Aug 4, 2016
One Simple Rule Will Keep Incoming Mail from Taking Over Your Home
Imagine for a second that you’re a superhero—Professor Neat Freak. Your archenemy? The Clutter Coalition and its most powerful agent, Mail. But fear not! You have a secret weapon in your arsenal to defeat your tidy home’s biggest nemesis. One rule… It’s that simple. Incoming mail takes over your home by spreading across tables and countertops when you’re not yet ready to deal with it. But the thing is, you never deal with it.
Aug 1, 2016
Summer Makeup Capsule: The Only 9 Products You’ll Need All Season
It’s time to clear out our makeup bags and declutter our cosmetics drawers—as a summer challenge, I dare you to pare down your morning routine to ten products or less. For au natural beauties out there, this is easy, but for product junkies, it may be difficult to part with all the options. Either way, less products will mean less time spent getting ready, a lighter bag, and a cleaner cabinet.
Jul 20, 2016
Declutter (In a Big Way!) by Asking Yourself One Simple Question
I recently moved to a new place, and most of my things came with me. The moving process gave me a much-needed opportunity to survey the things I own and decide if I wanted to keep them and bring them to the new place, or find a new home for them (which, yeah, includes the trash can in a few instances). It was tough to decide what would stay and what would go, but one question helped me along the way: Imagine you’re in a store, holding the object in your hand.
Jul 13, 2016
This Weekend: Eliminate This One Big Thing From Your Home Right Now
It’s pretty easy to throw some clothes in a bag and drop them off at a thrift store. It’s the hernia-inducing hauls that I put off. But this weekend, instead of focusing on unwanted dishes or shoes, think of that one large thing you don’t need that’s just taking up space — like a piece of furniture, the grand piano that you never play, bulky sports equipment, or even a large collection of books — and either donate it, sell it, or give it to a friend.
Jul 2, 2016
Decluttering Emotional Attachments: Should I Keep My Mother’s Paintings?
Q: I was wondering whether you would kindly give me some advice. I’m sure my problem is common to many people, and yet it is not really addressed on the internet anywhere. My problem is that after my mum died two years ago, I, as only child, had to deal with all her stuff (most of it I have donated). However I am confused emotionally about her framed finished paintings she did – I haven’t been able to get rid of them although I don’t think I want them.
Jul 1, 2016
The “Must Clean” Daily Routine: 5 Quick To-Dos to Keep Your Home Consistently Spic & Span
There’s no big secret to keeping an impeccable home. It just requires diligence. So we put together a five-part plan that targets the areas of your home most likely to collect dirt, grime and clutter. If this list is all you get to do in the day, consider it a major win, and know that you’re making the best of your homekeeping time. Nothing will take over your home faster. Nothing. First, go through today’s mail and shred or toss unneeded mail into trash or recyling bins.
Jun 23, 2016
The Top Clutter Hotspots in Every Home (and How To Conquer Them Quickly)
A friend you haven’t seen in a while calls to let you know she’s in the area and would love to stop by. You say: “Of course—come over!” You think: “Just give me three hours to clean up, please!” Ideally, we’d follow the “tidy up a little every day” routine, but despite our best efforts, there are certain spots in our homes where the chaos just tends to build.
Jun 17, 2016
Cluttered is the New Clean: 10 Truths All Messy People Know
“You’re born messy and you die messy, but someplace in between you get bullied into believing that you should be neat and organized,” says writer Jennifer McCartney in her hilarious book, The Joy of Leaving Your Sh*t All Over the Place. Bravely rejecting the KonMari method and other trendy tidy-up plans, McCartney proposes a revolutionary (albeit tongue-in-cheek) system for accepting your own clutter.
Jun 14, 2016
Confessions of a Clutter Addict
My name is Nancy Mitchell, and I’m a clutter addict. I’ll admit that I am a huge hypocrite. Because the truth is that while I make my living writing articles about things like the 10 commandments of a clutter-free home and how to bust clutter by adding a basket to your entryway, I still don’t feel quite comfortable in a home that doesn’t have a little bit of well, stuff. I think it all goes back to my childhood.
Mar 9, 2016
13 Space-Hogging Items You Can Get Rid of Right Now
What’s even better than getting rid of things you don’t need anymore? Getting rid of big, bulky things you don’t need anymore, and realizing how much more glorious free space you have in your home. Here’s a list of blah space-hogging items you can toss or donate right away. Go ahead. You have our permission. Stacks of old magazines Save your favorites, toss the rest. Threadbare towels Donate ’em to an animal shelter.
Mar 1, 2016
One Simple Shortcut to Cut the Clutter
If you find yourself surrounded by seemingly endless piles of clutter all the time — from old magazines, to empty envelopes to the recycling and more — you might be in need of a shortcut to help you cut the clutter out of your life. This simple solution might not seem like much, but it could be the trick you’ve needed to fit your lifestyle. That might seem like a lot of trashcans, perhaps even unnecessarily so, but hear me out.
Feb 10, 2016
3 Secret Weapons for a Clutter-Free Home
We all know someone whose home is always mysteriously, maddeningly clutter-free. How do they do it? Maybe they just don’t have any stuff. Maybe they incinerate everything right before anyone comes over. Or maybe they have a few secret weapons. Here are three of your most important allies in the fight against clutter. If you are trying to get rid of clutter, drawers are almost magical.
Nov 11, 2015
The Guilty Art of Stealth Purging
I have a pair of beloved sweatpants that has a hole in them. I would still continue wear them — in spite of said hole — IF I could find them, but I have a sneaking suspicion that my partner boxed them up and toted them off to Goodwill. She is curiously mum on the subject, feigning perfect innocence in the face of my pointed questioning and unblinking stares, but it’s been months since I saw them last. I am quickly losing all hope of ever seeing, let alone wearing, them again.
Oct 28, 2015
Here Are 10 Things You Could Get Rid of Today (and Never Miss)
After a while, you get so accustomed to seeing the things in your home that you tend to gloss over cluttered spaces because they seem normal. So we’re getting really, really specific. Are you guilty of storing any of these things that you don’t want or need? The groceries are long gone; their day is done. Is your linen closet keeping up with your furniture? Why are you still storing that frizz-inducing shampoo?
Sep 11, 2015
Why Does Getting Rid of Stuff Feel So Good?
Many of us strive for a more simplified life, in which what surrounds us are things we either truly love or truly need, preferably both. To arrive at — and to maintain — such a lifestyle, we have to get rid of things, whether it’s in one fell swoop or in small doses. While it feels like a big mountain to climb, getting rid of things ultimately feels sooo good. Here’s why. Physical space and mental space go hand-in-hand.
Sep 10, 2015
The Ten Minute Bathroom Clutter Cleanout
Storage space in the bathroom is always at a premium, and if you’re like most people, your bathroom is probably full of things you don’t really use. The good news is that cleaning all that stuff out doesn’t have to be time-consuming or involve a lot of agonizing decisions. Just take ten minutes and follow this handy guide. Here are a few things that have no place in your bathroom: 1. Towels that have seen better days.
Sep 8, 2015
3 Ways to Save Your Memories (So You Can Let Go of the Actual Things)
One of the our biggest emotional blocks against reducing clutter is nostalgia! We want to keep remembering the great things that happened to us while wearing that sweater or the time in our lives when we loved those plates, so we hang on to stuff that we no longer need. But guess what? You don’t need the actual items to keep those great memories at the front of your mind. Try these ideas.
Aug 30, 2015
Let Your Bedroom Breathe: 5 Things to Consider Getting Rid Of
I had the most transforming (literally) moment not too long ago when I took a bench out of my bedroom. While I had styled it lovingly with a comforting and cozy vignette and it technically fit in the spot it was in, it made my room feel cramped. Or at least, I didn’t realize it felt cramped until I moved it to another room in my home and breathed in the fresh air of a roomier, more wonderful bedroom!
Aug 25, 2015
Closet & Foyer Soul Mates: The Best Shoe Storage Options
Consider this your first step towards a clutter-free closet and foyer.
Aug 12, 2015
Using Your Phone to Stay Clutter-Free
For better or worse, one thing the digital revolution has done is enable us to have fewer things. Of course, our phones alone have eclipsed the need for many other electronic tools (cameras, CD players, etc.). It’s amazing! But what about the things in our world that persist in physical form, things that don’t give us joy in our space and can easily a growing mass of clutter if we’re not meticulously organized?
Jun 8, 2015
The 5 Things Everyone Has at Home (but No One Really Needs)
Have you ever moved and just been completely baffled by all the stuff that you have? Save yourself a little pain by purging these 5 things that everyone seems to have around the house — but no one really needs. Florist vases. I have not looked in the cabinets of every house in America, but I feel fairly confident that if I did I would find a collection of fake cut glass vases that came with various floral deliveries long ago. If you’re actually using these, good for you!
May 31, 2015
6 Things You Can Eliminate from Your Closet Right Now
Making a little extra space in your closet doesn't have to involve a lot of hand-wringing and soul-searching.
May 20, 2015
Demystifying Decluttering: 4 Tips to Make It Easier to Lighten Up
I’m not here to give you the hard sell on why you should declutter — we do plenty of that ’round here — but if you’re ready to start spring a little lighter, here’s what to do. Before you even begin, recognize that, while we often have emotional ties to physical things, memories and emotions will still remain once that thing is gone. If emotion is a big roadblock for you, try to find a way to keep a record of the things without keeping the things themselves.
Mar 13, 2015
Enough Excuses: Stop Lying to Yourself About These Things at Home
Everyone has certain problem places in their homes. You know, the spots where it’s just easier to look the other way than to actually deal with the thing? C’mon, you know we’re not gonna let you get away with that! Are any of these the areas where you could use a little tough love? We’ll help you ID the problem and fix it the right way. This is so silly. Not only are you wasting your storage space but you’re keeping these things that can be an emotional minefield.
Feb 27, 2015
Set Your Small Space Free: 5 ‘Necessities’ You May Not Really Need After All
So you’ve just moved to a small space, and of course the king-sized bed and the giant sectional sofa had to go, but you’re still left wondering how in the world you’re going to fit all the things you need into this little bitty footprint. But it may not be as hard of a job as you think. One of the beautiful things about living in a small space is that it forces you to evaluate what you really need.
Feb 20, 2015
Worry-Free Decluttering: 8 Things to Get Rid of that You’ll Never Even Know Are Gone
It’s one thing to get rid of items that have a lot of sentimental value. It’s easier to ditch stuff that you don’t care about, have duplicates of, or just don’t really need. If you are starting a long-overdue purging process, start with this list. Trust me: you won’t miss a thing once they are gone. Coffee Mugs: Many people mindlessly collect mugs, much like business cards or matchbooks.
Nov 12, 2014
The 10 Commandments of a Clutter-Free Life
Maybe you see beautiful, clutter-free spaces in magazines or on the web, and think: my home could never look like that. But it can! Freeing your space — and your life — from overwhelmingly huge amounts of stuff doesn’t take superhuman effort. All you need is a little commitment to some basic principles. This isn’t a new idea, but I think it’s a wonderful place to start if you’re aiming for a simpler, less cluttered life.
Oct 20, 2014
9 Simple Ways to Start Living a More Minimal Lifestyle
We've got the beginner's road map for getting on a path to living a more simple, minimal lifestyle at home (and in life).
Oct 5, 2014
The Shopping Bag Method for Staying Clutter-Free
My closet is a mess. I’ve gone on ignoring it long enough, but now my clothes problem is seeping into the bedroom pile by pile. It’s time for an autointervention. Absolute and sovereign rules about what to clear out, like the backwards clothes hanger thing, are easy to digest, and help slow-starters like myself to actually dive in and get clutter-free — but only for a little while.
May 9, 2014
12 (Okay 13) More Items You Probably Own Too Many Of
There’s something about the new year that puts me into declutter mode. So, it’s not surprising that Thursday morning, the New Year’s Eve hangover now thankfully a memory, there I was, donation box in hand, tossing, tossing, tossing, starting with my favorite gotta-goes, the multiple multiples.
Jan 7, 2014
Closet Tour: Rory's Zesty, Creative Wardrobe
Closet Tour: Rory's Zesty, Creative Wardrobe
Oct 15, 2016