Decluttering Cure

Everyone Has a Clutter Problem Area — Here’s How to Find and Organize Yours

published Sep 28, 2022
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Apartment Therapy’s Decluttering Cure is a free two-week decluttering program that’ll help you achieve a tidier home. Sign up here and get all 14 assignments delivered to your inbox.

Clutter can sneak up on you. It could be the excessive amount of cords hiding beneath your desk, the growing stack of boxes and bins hiding in your closet, or that random collection of knick-knacks you’re storing on your shelves.

Many people have a pesky clutter area where they stick the things that have no other home or haven’t yet gotten around to decluttering. But today, we’re going to find and reclaim that space.

Day 10: Identify a problem area

First, identify your sneaky problem area — whether it’s in plain sight or hidden away somewhere you’d rather not go. Where should you look? Check behind TV stands, on top of dressers and tables, on or below your desk, or around chairs and ottomans. Look at where your overflow is, whether that’s bins, hooks, or shelves that no matter what you do always appear to be cluttered and busier than usual. You’ll know this problem area when you see it, promise.

Now that you know where your problem area is, it’s time to make a dent in the clutter by removing at least three major items from that space. Once you find these pieces, decide if you need to discard, donate, or sell them. (Remember your three outboxes!) If not, you’re going to need to find a new home for them to live that won’t look cluttered or out of place.

Since this little cluttered spot snuck up on you before, you’ll want to make it a point to ensure that clutter won’t build up there again in the near future. Set an event or reminder on your calendar to clear three more things from this area — and repeat as needed — so that you’re slowly but surely chipping away at this clutter for good. This can be a daily, weekly, or bi-weekly reminder — whatever works best for you.

PRO TIP: Find the fix. There’s a reason the clutter in your trouble area snuck up on you. You’re missing something to better organize and store items around your home. Along with putting aside time to clear clutter regularly, consider setting up some storage solutions. This cable management box is excellent at reigning in tangled cords, for instance.

Where’s your clutter problem area? Share it in the comments.

More ways to participate in the Decluttering Cure:

The Cure Program is a tradition here at Apartment Therapy — it happens every January, April, and September. Click here to learn more about the year-round program and when to sign up.