"Everything in its place" is a great mantra, but it doesn't seem to allow for things like an errant IKEA S-hook that might be useful one day, or for the receipt you're sure you'll need if you change your mind about the shoes. But those things exist and they keep coming into our homes, filing themselves away in junk drawers and on the tops of dressers.
Frankly, it's ok if the surfaces in your bedroom don't look Pinterest perfect; a cool, collected home doesn't happen without the help of a few dump zones. But your dump zones can be neat. Just like you might take a few drawer organizers and countertop catch-alls to task to handle the kitchen junk collection, it's time to tackle the dresser top and shape it into the same sort of clutter-busting machine.
The 3 Things You Need for a Clutter-Free Dresser
It's a unique set of odd items that are known to catch on to the top of the dresser, but a familiar list: oft-worn jewelry, sunglasses, scarves and hats, makeup, nail polish and receipts. Examine your dresser to decide what frequently mars your dresser's surface, then arm yourself with the tools you'll need to corral them.
Jewelry, sunglasses, makeup and nail polish are the perfect candidates to find a transient home inside a catchall tray—something small like you might keep by the front door. Scarves and hats can get stashed inside a basket that sits on the dresser or right beside it. And find a spot on the dresser to keep a small envelope or folder where you can keep clothes receipts until you need them.
How to Keep the Dresser Clean, Forever
Once you've got your three clutter-busters in place, here are two ways to maintain your new normal.
Dress Up Your Dresser
To keep you motivated to keep the space clean, it needs to be, you know, a "space." Decorate the top of the dresser with stacks of books, plants, framed photos or decorative objects—whatever it is you like to look at. Those decorative touches take up space, too, so it'll lessen your instinct to dump clutter on the big, flat, empty surface every time you walk in the room.
Make Tidying a Part of Your Routine
It's easy enough to stash receipts in an envelope one motivated weekend afternoon. The hard part is, of course, keeping everything organized. The answer? Make a dresser clean-off another part of your daily routine. Every night—or maybe each morning when you make the bed—clear off the top of the dresser, picking up errant clutter and dropping it into the tray, basket or envelope where it belongs.
Every few weeks, revisit your catch-alls and restore them for the weeks ahead. Return scarves from the basket back into the closet where they're kept, take jewelry from the tray back into the jewelry box, and revisit the receipt envelope to toss any paper you know now that you won't need.