Controlling the Clutter in 2015

Controlling clutter around the home

This time of year, it’s only natural to want to simplify. After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, many of us just want to relax in a clean, uncomplicated, and organized home! But tackling your entire house can be intimidating. There’s so much to do, so little time to do it!

But never fear, take a look at our game plan, and we’ll have your messiest spots in the house in tip top shape in no time.

1. Identify the Problem Area

When you’re home, what are the problem areas that bug you the most? By simply zeroing in on which spaces cause you the most anxiety, you can focus your efforts to get the most payoff for your time spent.

For our editor Caroline, this area is her entry and living room. Before she can relax, she has to tidy up any stray pieces of paper, junk mail, or doo dads that have accumulated in her main living area.

To solve this problem, she used three hardworking storage pieces — a file storage ottoman, a large message board, and a desk organizer!

Clutter solutions for an entryway


The main source of clutter for an entryway is usually bills, mail, and random items that come in the door. With these three pieces, Caroline can immediately put everything in their proper place and move on with relaxing!

Any paid bills, notifications, or statements go straight into a the file storage ottoman which has clear folders for each piece of mail. But be sure to keep this ottoman right near your entry, otherwise you’ll never end up sorting things!

Any invitations, outstanding bills, sweet notes, or reminders get pinned onto the bulletin board immediately, and any random knick knacks that come in the door or end up landing in the living room, get put back in there proper place, the desk organizer (like scissors, paper clips, random batteries, phone chargers, stamps, stationary, flashlights, and pens). Everything has its rightful home, and there’s no need to traipse all around the house putting things away. Everything is right there and can easily be sorted and stashed!

2. Purge When Possible

Another area that always seems to have trouble is the closet. We all have growing wardrobes, and it’s difficult to find a place for all the shoes, sweaters, accessories, and everything in between. The very first thing you should do when reorganizing your closet is to take everything out and purge! This is obviously something we’re all familiar with, but it’s especially easy to forget about things hidden in the very back of a dark closet. Get rid of anything you no longer wear to make way for plenty of space for the things that you use often.

Organizing a closet


Once you’ve gotten rid of any extraneous clothing or accessories, it immediately becomes that much more clear what you do have and wear often. And once you know what you have and need to store, it’s that much easier to come up with a storage solution!

Accessories often pose the largest threat to a neat and tidy closet. With so many small items, not enough drawers, and the risk of tangling, a jewelry armoire is a great solution. Plus, you can use it to store other small items too like scarves, belts, or delicates. All you need is a foot and a half of space to squeeze this armoire into your closet or bedroom.

Shoes are another tricky thing to organize, as they always end up in a large pile on the floor. Some simple cubbies are a great solution. Our Sarah Storage Collection has a Petite Shoe Tower which is just the ticket for keeping flats, heels, and tennis shoes organized.

Lastly, we love hooks in the closet because they’re great for all sorts of things — hanging up your bathrobe or a towel, organizing jewelry, hanging hats or scarves, and even offering a place to hang up tomorrow’s outfit. Every closet needs at least a couple of hooks to keep stray items from landing on the ground.

3. Find Storage Tools

Once you’ve decided what needs to stay and what needs to go, go about finding tools that can help you solve these problems! Clever storage tools can be your best friend if you’re fighting clutter in a small space or a busy thoroughfare in the house.

Reducing clutter in random areas around the house


Storage baskets are a tried and true tip for corralling clutter, but instead of opaque bins, we like ones that you can see through. It’s way easier to find something you’re looking for, and we’ve all tried to dig our way through a dark drawer or basket with no avail. Clear is good!

In random spots around the house, especially where you may not have a ton of space, take advantage of walls. Vertical wall pockets, hooks, hanging rods, or shelves are a great way to squeeze extra storage into a small home.

When in doubt, make it pretty! There’s probably one or two spots in the home that just won’t stay organized no matter what you do. In these situations, we suggest taking an eyesore and turning it into a gem. Things like dog food or pet toys look prettier and tidier when they have nice containers. That space on your kitchen counter where you charge all of your devices will look way tidier if they’re all atop a beautiful leather charging station. If there’s a problem that seems unfixable, try the old ‘lipstick on a pig’ trick!

For more storage and organization, visit our Pinterest Boards, or find more gorgeous rooms in our Photo Gallery

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.