Professional Organizers Say You Can Declutter So Much Crap With Any Of These Genius Tricks

Cut that clutter out.

Originally Published: 
 Professional Organizers Say You Can Declutter So Much Crap With Any Of These Genius Tricks
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If your home constantly feels like a disorganized mess, you’ve come to the right place. We asked professional organizers and declutterers to give us their top tips and tricks for organizing the crap around your house and, lucky for you, we’re sharing the scoop. Whether you’re a self-proclaimed Monica Geller or you’ve never dreamed of owning a label maker (yet!), these genius tricks will help you declutter, clean, and organize your home in no time.


Create A Storage System Inside Any Drawer

Want to know organizer Jane Stoller’s key tip for keeping your kitchen organized? Here goes: “Don’t keep a junk drawer. I repeat: DO NOT keep a drawer full of junk in your kitchen.” One way to follow through on that is to compartmentalize items within the drawer in these clear plastic bins that come in a set of 25 and four sizes. Stoller also suggests limiting the number of things in each drawer, explaining, “Having a neat drawer for essential lighter items such as cellophane, aluminum foil, napkins, tape, scissors, and labels is important, but you shouldn’t have many more items in the drawer beyond these basics.”


Organize Your Fridge & Save Money Using These Clear Bins

If your fridge is such a cluttered mess that it’s easier to just order takeout, get organized with the help of these clear plastic bins. Professional organizer Kirsten Horton says, “The average American spends $1,843 on takeout each year (about $37 a week). Ask yourself how much money you could save if you just have your food and meal planning organized!” Take her advice and not only will your fridge look like it was organized by a pro, but you’ll be eating better and save a ton of money.


Eliminate Clutter In Drawers With A Handy Organizer Tray

Eliminate clutter and create a lasting organizational system in your drawers by incorporating an organizer tray. Professional home organizer Michelle Urban says, “When organizing drawers, avoid unwanted clutter by creating boundaries and containment for your items. Containing your items in designated compartments will prevent things from free-floating and piling up in the drawers.” This inexpensive tray features nine adjustable compartments where you can store anything from paper clips and pens, to batteries and post-it notes so they’re neatly stored away but always on hand when needed.


Label Everything So You Never Lose Anything

Channel your inner Monica Geller and get yourself a label maker to create an efficient and lasting organizational system. Danielle Levenfus, owner of Organize Wizely, stresses that labeling is key if you want a system to last, and explains, “If there are multiple people accessing a space, room for error grows exponentially. Labeling removes ambiguity and helps everyone find what they need and helps them return things to the right place.” This portable label maker is easy to use and has tons of customization options when it comes to text formatting and personalization.


Divide The Space On Closet Shelves

Closet shelves holding smaller items such as accessories can easily get become cluttered, which is why organizer Shannon Krause loves using shelf dividers. “We tend to see clutches, small purses and wallets leaning up against each other on open shelves which looks messy and makes it hard to see your inventory. An easy way to create some order on those shelves is to incorporate clutch dividers to keep everything upright”, Krause says. This four-pack of acrylic dividers doesn’t add visual clutter and doesn’t require any tools — just slide it onto your shelf.


Make Decluttering Fun (Yep, It’s Possible) & Manage Your Time With The Help Of A Portable Speaker

If cleaning and decluttering is not exactly your favorite thing to do and you always find yourself distracted and linger in one room for way too long, follow the advice of Kirsten Horton, a Memphis-based professional organizer who specializes in toy organization and family productivity. She suggests getting a portable speaker and says, "Another tip I love for decluttering is using a portable speaker and working through one room at a time. A way to “gamify” decluttering here is to declutter/tidy each room for one song. When the song is over, no matter how much is still left to do, move on to the next room!”


Hide Ugly Wires Inside A Sleek Cable Management Box

Want a genius trick to hide all those wires and cables cluttering every surface in your home? Get a cable management box and keep them contained and out of sight. Professional organizer Kirsten Horton recommends this easy decluttering hack, saying, “There are all sorts of amazing storage containers on Amazon that can keep your drawers, cabinets, and desk organized and under control! Personally, I love anything that hides unsightly wires, cutting down on visual clutter!” That’s exactly what this sleek $20 box does — it’s a winner.


Update Your Food Storage Container Collection With This Leakproof Set

Meal prepping is one of the best ways to stay on budget and manage your time, and organizer Kirsten Horton suggests using a set of food storage containers to help you out. She says, “Use cute and easy-to-pack containers to pre-make lunches for you and/or your kids!” This 40-piece set includes 20 containers and 20 lids of different sizes, all of which are leakproof and microwave-, freezer-, and dishwasher-safe for convenience. They’re also stackable so they won’t clutter your fridge or countertops if you’re short on storage space.


Use An Insulated Lunchbox Tote To Streamline Lunch

We all have that one kitchen cabinet filled with tons of old food containers, half of which are missing lids — declutter the scary cabinet and upgrade your lunchbox with this insulated and leakproof gray tote bag. You’ll have nice and neat cabinets and you’ll be motivated to pack a homemade lunch as opposed to spending money on eating out. Memphis-based organizer Kirsten Horton agrees and says, “Have a water bottle ready to go each day and of course a lunchbox you’ll be excited to store it all in!”


Streamline Your Pantry Using Space-Saving Storage Containers

Instead of half-empty boxes and bags cluttering your pantry, professional organizer and owner of Living. Simplified., Lauren Saltman, recommends using food storage containers. She says, “When organizing your pantry, decant frequently-used items and be sure to label them.” This will save a bunch of space, help you to get rid of pantry items that may be expired, and your shelves will have a neat, uniform look with everything nicely labeled and sitting in its designated spot.


Create A Spice Drawer & Alphabetize Your Collection

Spice bottles and bags can quickly begin to take over drawers, cabinets, and shelves, which is why finding an effective way to organize them is key. An expandable drawer insert that has multiple tiers provides plenty of space and prevents clutter and spills. Professional organizer Lauren Saltman adds, “Use specially made drawer inserts to hold your spices. You can take this to the next level and decant your spices into uniform jars and labels. Once they are alphabetized it will be easy to find exactly what you need while you’re cooking.”


Double Storage Space & Keep Pantry Items Visible

Organizer Lauren Saltman says, “Use shelf risers in your pantry for canned goods. It will make it easier for you to see what you have and you’ll take advantage of the vertical space between shelves.” These stackable shelf risers are made from wood and metal in a chic design that’ll increase the storage space of your pantry or kitchen.


Create More Closet Space By Switching To Ultra-Slim Hangers

When it comes to improving and decluttering your closet, professional organizer Lauren Saltman shares her tip to use non-slip hangers, such as these rubber-coated slim hangers. They have a 360-degree swivel hook and look sleek and modern. Saltman adds, “Not only will they prevent items from falling to the floor but they tend to be slimmer than plastic hangers, which means there is more room for your clothing.”


Clear Your Counters & Trade A Knife Block For An In-Drawer Organizer

A good way to declutter your kitchen countertops and gain valuable surface space, according to organizer Lauren Saltman, is to use an in-drawer knife organizer. Instead of using a bulky knife block that takes up way too much real estate, this keeps knives safely tucked away, yet easily accessible. It can accommodate multiple knives of different sizes and the bamboo construction adds a stylish touch as well as durability.


Get Junk Drawers Under Control With The Help Of Extendable Drawer Dividers

Juliana Meidl, owner and co-founder of Serenity at Home shares her favorite product to tackle the junk drawer clutter: drawer dividers. She explains, “They are a perfect solution to keeping those junk drawers organized. You can adjust the sections based on what you are storing in the drawer allowing for maximization of space.” These bamboo drawer dividers are available in three colors and the ends have protective non-slip rubber pads so they stay in place and don’t scratch the interiors of your drawers.


Utilize Baskets To Sort & Organize Off-Season Clothes In Closets

Off-season clothes can take up a lot of space on shelves and hangers, so to make room for clothing you’re wearing this season, use storage baskets and bins, such as this large woven cotton one that has handles for easy carrying. Professional organizer Juliana Meidl says she loves this method to keep closets sorted and organized. She emphasizes their practicality and shares an additional tip, saying, “They are great for storing those off-season items you are not accessing daily. Whenever you use baskets/bins it is important to always label them so you know what is in there.”


Give Items A Home In Your Entryway With A Coat Rack

Jane Stoller, speaker and author of Decluttering for Dummies, calls entryways and mudrooms “major clutter traps” and says, “The entryway is usually the spot where we first enter the house and typically leave items, sometimes never giving them a home.” Change that and give jackets and seasonal accessories a designated spot on a coat rack that uses vertical space rather than taking up lots of square footage. This wooden stand has multiple sturdy coat hooks and its size can be adjusted to three different heights.


Eliminate Shoe Piles By The Front Door Using A Shoe Bench That Doubles As A Seat

Instead of shoes turning into a tripping hazard by the front door, organize them in a tiered shoe bench that also provides a seat while you tie your laces. Each shelf can accommodate up to four pairs of shoes and the bench is available in black, brown, and a natural bamboo color. Professional organizer Jane Stoller aka Organized Jane says it’s essential to have a spot for everything, inluding everybody’s shoes. She explains, “The key to keeping your entryway and mudroom clutter-free is to ensure that everything and everyone has a designated space.”


Keep Keys & Other Essentials In A Wall-Mounted Organizer

Maintain a clutter-free entryway by hanging an organizer with hooks on the wall to keep keys and other important items on hand and easy to find. Organizer Jane Stoller suggests keeping the space tidy by having a place to house everything from keys and backpacks to jackets. She says, “Determine what everyone needs and then create specific spots for those items.” This minimalist wall-mounted organizer serves double-duty thanks to the rounded wood knobs where you can hang keys or a dog leash and the metal bin you can drop bills or your wallet in.


Boost WFH Productivity & Declutter Your Home Office With This Versatile Pegboard

Prevent your desk from turning into a cluttered mess — that only leads to a cluttered mind — by organizing your WFH essentials on a wall-mounted pegboard. Oregon-based organizer and founder of The Organized House, Michelle Urban, encourages incorporating this inexpensive accessory into your space and says, “Hang a pegboard above your desk or work surface to keep smaller office supplies from getting cluttered. With the pegboard, you can incorporate trays and containers for storing markets, pens, scissors, and elastic cords for displaying decorative items like photos, cards, keepsakes, and other decor items.”


Use Vertical Space & Create Extra Storage Using An Over-The-Door Organizer

If you’re working with minimal storage closet space, organizer Michelle Urban recommends utilizing doors and says, “When space is limited, tap into your vertical space. For example, use an over-the-door shoe organizer to store a wide range of items -- not just shoes!” Besides shoes, you can use this 24-pocket organizer for anything from hats and gloves, to extra toiletries or office supplies. Urban emphasizes its practicality and adds, “I like using clear shoe organizers because you can quickly see what you have and locate exactly what you need without searching all the compartments.”


Adhere Charging Cables In An Out-Of-Sight Yet Accessible Spot

Organizer Michelle Urban suggests tackling the visual clutter that are cables and cords covering every surface in your home using a cord management system. She explains, “Cables and cords are visual clutter, which can be unpleasant to look at and a big distraction. Unfortunately, offices are notorious for having numerous cables, cords, plugs, and chargers.” These discreet cable clips are an excellent way to keep cables in place — they’re easy to attach to any surface using their strong adhesive backing and the 16-pack includes four different types of clips to accommodate various cords and devices.


Use a Timer To Stay On Task While Decluttering

When it comes to decluttering advice, professional declutterer and owner of The Simplicity Habit, Julianna Poplin says, “One of the very best decluttering tips I have is to set a timer and get to work on one cabinet, drawer, or shelf in your home.” To follow her advice, get this stylish cube timer that you can set by simply placing your chosen time face up. Poplin explains more about the benefits of using this method, adding, “Using a timer will help to gamify the process and motivate you to stay focused on the task at hand. If you finish that area and want to keep going, reset the timer and work on a different defined area.”


Incorporate What One Professional Organizer Calls A “Trial Separation” Into Your Decluttering Method

One aspect of decluttering is deciding what you can and cannot part with. Professional organizer Shannon Krause of Tidy Nest suggests what she calls a “trial separation” and advises, “If you're not ready to part with items, store them elsewhere for a while, set a calendar reminder and see if you’ve missed it after a few weeks/months.” A great place to store these items is in a large cotton rope basket that has a sturdy construction and two handles for easy carrying. If you find you didn’t miss the items after the chosen trial period, Krause suggests donating them.


Prevent Paper Piles From Taking Over Your Desk Thanks To A Tiered Tray

We all know that moving a pile of papers from one side of the desk to the other doesn’t do anything, but for some reason we do it anyway. Organizer Shannon Krause has a space-saving solution for decluttering your desk in the form of a one-stop station such as a tiered tray. Krause says, “It’s very easy to shuffle papers from one side of the desk to the other. Deal with it one time, or have an action station for incoming mail, outgoing mail, shred, file, etc.” This mesh paper tray offers vertical storage and allows you to sort papers and documents into three categories without piles taking over your desk.


Store Board Games In Tidier Boxes With Snap-On Lids

Everyone loves a good game night, but trying to store bulky boxes quickly turns into a challenging game in and of itself. Michelle Hansen, owner of Practical Perfection and organizing expert, agrees and says, “The boxes are never the same size, so sorting your games and puzzles is similar to a game of Tetris”. Hansen’s solution? Use a project storage case like this one with snap-on compartments to save space and are easily take the games anywhere, even on vacation. Hansen instructs, “Simply empty the puzzle pieces or game pieces into the plastic containers and they stack beautifully in a cupboard or closet. Add a simple label to the outside of the box and it's super simple to find the game or puzzle you are looking for!”


Organize Card Games & Make Them Travel-Friendly By Organizing Them In A Photo Keeper

A photo keeper isn’t just a good way to store your memories; organizer Michelle Hansen also suggests using this method to store card games and make them travel-ready whenever you decide to hit the road. Hansen says, “This makes it really easy to take your games with you on the go for a vacation, or just to a family game night!” This colorful photo keeper includes 16 boxes that perfectly fit into an easily portable carrying case with a snap-on lid.


Hide Clutter In A Stylish Way Using A Faux Leather Ottoman

Judy Granlee-Gates, author and decluttering expert, suggests tackling clutter with furniture pieces that double as storage. Granlee-Gates says, “Toys, books and more can clutter up your family room quickly. Storage furniture helps solve this.” A velvet storage ottoman is a great option — it’s affordable, stylish with its vintage look, and has storage for toys, magazines, and other odds and ends. Granlee-Gates agrees, adding, “Coffee tables or storage ottomans like this give you lots of space to put things where they belong.”


Stash Away Remotes & Other Small Items In A Decorative Box

Your coffee table can quickly become a breeding ground for clutter — from remotes to glasses and other small objects, one way to corral them in a stylish way is inside a decorative box such as this beautiful wood keepsake box. Professional declutterer Judy Granlee-Gates says, “I love a desktop organizer like this to hold remotes, small items like inhalers or glasses, and magazines and papers. They take up a little space on an end table but clear up LOTS of clutter.” Plus, you’ll always know exactly where the remote is.


Create A Charging Station For All Devices

Instead of cables cluttering every room in your home, use a USB charging station and have a designated spot where you can charge all your devices. Judy Granlee-Gates says it’s a great cord management system and explains, “Set up a charging station for all the families devices. This manages cords as well and keeps the “where’s my device” questions to a minimum.” This particular charging station allows you to charge up to six devices at the same time and has movable dividers to accomodate various sized devices.


Add Function To An Empty Corner With A Decorative Shelf

A corner can easily become wasted space, so instead of leaving it empty, add function to it with a corner shelf that’ll get stuff off the ground and help keep your home tidy. This five-tier shelf has a simple yet stylish design to make it suitable for any room in your home and author and declutterer Judy Granlee-Gates suggests placing a floor-to-ceiling bookcase such as this one on a fireplace wall for a storage option for books, games and bigger toys so they’re neatly put away, yet still within easy reach.


Store Batteries In A Dedicated Case So You Can Always Find Them

Why does it seem like every junk drawer has multiple dead batteries? End that once and for all by storing them in this nifty battery organizer that doubles as a tester. Ben Soreff, professional organizer at House to Home Organizing points out that when your home is cluttered and disorganized, you end up repurchasing items (such as batteries) multiple times because you can’t find them, therefore wasting a ton of money every year. This case holds up to 93 batteries and can be stored in a drawer or mounted on the wall.


Keep Your Purse Organized & Make Switching Bags Easier With The Help Of This Multi-Pocket Insert

Your home is not the only place that needs a good organizational system to avoid clutter, your purse needs it just as much. The good thing is you can get this lightweight purse organizer with 13 pockets to hold everything in place. Professional organizer Danielle Levenfus suggests using this helpful organizing tool if you’re someone who regularly switches bags and says, “Keep everything in this purse organizer and easily lift it out and switch bags! It comes in a ton of colors and multiple sizes.”


Save Space & Store Items Vertically Using A Kitchen Organizer

When it comes to saving space in your kitchen, professional organizer Danielle Levenfus offers a genius tip: storing items vertically. This wire organizer has eight storage slots and a sleek design that won’t clutter your countertop or cabinet. Levenfus adds, “Storing trays and serving dishes in piles makes it difficult and annoying to access things!” This solves that problem, too, making items easily accessible.


Use A Trunk Organizer To Free Up Room In Your Car

Similar to your home, the piles of clutter can quickly build up in your car. Use a sturdy car trunk organizer to keep items contained and in place, especially when it comes to things you want to recycle or donate as Danielle Levenfus, a professional organizer, recommends. This large container has two compartments that can be sectioned off into three and comes with adjustable straps so you can secure it to prevent it from sliding around. It also works well for holding groceries or toys for road trips among other things.

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