Maybe you missed spring cleaning this year. Perhaps the house is cluttered after extra time spent at home. No matter the reason, fall is a great time to declutter your space before the weather turns frigid.
Go a step further by ridding yourself of a few common habits that cause disarray or frustration in the first place. The key is to start small, so if you identify with a few of these clutter-causing habits, follow these tips to help curb them easily.
1. Desktop Disorganization
- Sort mail immediately, tossing junk and organizing the rest in a drawer. Or try hanging a repurposed wooden shutter by the front door to easily separate the mail you need from the mail you can discard; baskets, buckets, pot-lid holders and letter racks can do the trick, too.
- Conquer paper clutter right away and organize bank statements, receipts and more in a file system. Or go digital and scan documents, save them as PDFs, and keep a searchable directory on your computer.
- Repurpose on-hand items like jars or PVC piping as desk organizers.
- Hang a shelf, pegboard or corkboard above your desk for extra storage and display space.
2. Magazine Hoarding
- Lay all your magazines out on the floor and choose two or three of each title to keep. Recycle, repurpose or donate the rest.
- Store your periodicals on a rustic ladder, in a suitcase or on a tray — if you haven’t read them in six months, recycle.
- Scan for your favorite recipes and projects, clip them out, attach them to index cards and file like you would recipes.
Tip: Get rid of bulky magazines and decorate at the same time! Frame and display your favorite covers or use them to decoupage, create collages, and more.
3. Laundry Overload
- If you or your family members tend to throw dirty clothes on the floor, keep hampers where they pile up.
- Wear clothes like jeans, sweaters, blouses and pajamas more than once. Try misting worn clothes with Febreze FABRIC to keep them smelling fresh.
- Keep a clean, organized laundry room — if it’s an inviting space, you’re more likely to enjoy being in it. Repurpose a tissue box for storing Bounce Dryer Sheets and wicker baskets for Tide PODS, Downy Ultra Fabric Conditioner and other laundry room essentials.
4. House Clean Out
- Begin using a rule: When one new item comes into the home, another one goes out.
- Put rarely used items in a box — if you don’t miss it for six months, donate it.
- Organize a garage or yard sale once a year. Or consider selling items online in neighborhood groups and online marketplaces.
- Clean out closets once a season and donate any unwanted items, or organize a clothing swap with friends and neighbors.
Tip: See something to purchase, but not sure if you need it? Think about it for 24 hours first. You’ll be surprised how often you forget about (or realize you don’t need) the item.
5. Dirty Dish Pileup
- Keep dishwashing supplies near the sink for easy access. Metal baskets, glass jars and ceramic bowls make chic containers for Dawn Ultra Dish Soap, Cascade Complete ActionPacs and other kitchen sink must-haves.
- Hand-wash dishes as you use them, or put them directly in the dishwasher to avoid them piling up in the sink.
- If you can’t clean dishes right away, work in small batches to lessen the load later. Even spending five minutes cleaning a few dishes will make a difference.
- Listen to music, an audiobook or podcast, or hang a TV in your kitchen to stay entertained as you do the dishes.
- Clean and organize cabinets to save frustration when putting away clean dishes. Try organizing items based on how often they’re used, storing baking pans vertically in file holders or hanging items on cabinet door interiors to make the most of your storage space.
6. Car Clutter
- Keep a plastic grocery bag under the seat for trash and replace it once a week. Or use a bag-lined plastic cereal container to keep trash contained. Store extra plastic bags in an empty tissue box.
- Place a small coin purse in your glove box or cup holder to store loose change.
- Line cup holders with cupcake liners to catch crumbs, food wrappers and other small debris.
- Hang a shoe organizer on the back of the front passenger seat to store snacks, toys and miscellaneous items within reach.
- Keep car documents together and tidy with a clip or rubber band.
Have you overcome any bad organization habits? Tell us how in the comments section below!