I recommend tackling the entryway first. Whether your entry is large, small or practically nonexistent, it can easily become cluttered if it’s not set up in a functional manner. A tidy entryway promotes a positive first impression of your home — for you and your guests.
Getting started: Consider paring down the items stored in your entryway. I suggest limiting what you store here to one or two seasonally appropriate jackets and one or two pairs of shoes per family member. Select a few accessories and consider stashing off-season items elsewhere. Think about winnowing down purses, tote bags and backpacks to those used on a daily basis.
As the heart of the home, the kitchen is often the hardest-working room. Establishing a system that works for you will help keep your kitchen organized and efficient and prevent it from reaching a state of disarray.
Getting started: Start by putting away any seasonal or specialty tableware. These items are best stored in the upper cabinets, away from your main storage areas.
Next, take a look at the excess food you may have accumulated over the holidays. I recommend donating unopened packages to a local food bank. Consider tossing anything you can’t give away so it doesn’t linger in your pantry.
The living room often serves as a spot for entertaining guests, playing games, relaxing with a good book, watching a movie or hanging out with family. Yours also may function as your children’s homework or play area. With so many uses, this room can easily become untidy.
Getting started: First, I recommend removing anything that belongs in another part of the house. Next, think about the activities you do most often in this room and prioritize the most-used items, taking into account the room’s size and available storage.
For example, if your family frequently enjoys snuggling under cozy blankets while watching a movie, find a permanent home for a few throws. Conversely, if you play board games only a few times a year, consider stashing games in a more out-of-the-way place.
The bathroom might be another great room to start your decluttering process since you’re less likely to have a sentimental attachment to items stored here.
Getting started: Review your beauty products. Skin and hair care products have a limited shelf life. Products such as sunscreen generally have an expiration date on the package. Other products might indicate the number of months you can use them once opened.
Release the guilt over getting rid of makeup or other beauty products that didn’t work out for you. Unused products just take up valuable real estate.
Decluttering your laundry room may not be high on your priority list, but it could be the easiest room in your house to organize. The sense of accomplishment you’ll gain from completing this task might also encourage you to continue your home organizing journey.
Getting started: Remove the laundry detergent and other products from your storage to see what you still use. If a product no longer serves your needs or you dislike it for any reason, give yourself permission to let it go.
Consider storing bulky refill containers in another part of the house. I also recommend consolidating duplicate products. Be realistic about the quantity of cleaning rags you need and consider tossing the excess.
My goal when organizing a bedroom is to create a tranquil environment that promotes restful sleep, and that involves removing excess items.
Getting started: Remove anything from the bedroom that belongs in another part of the house, such as cold medicine, water bottles, old receipts and mail.
I also recommend clearing everything off flat surfaces and leaving only a few small decorative items. Winnow down excess decorative pillows and blankets. Eliminate anything causing visual clutter.
Even if you don’t have the luxury of a spare room, having a dedicated home workstation is a great way to stay organized. Resist the temptation to use a corner of the kitchen table as your office area. Unless you’re extremely diligent about putting things away, clutter can build up quickly.
Getting started: The space doesn’t have to be large, but you should have enough room for a desk or table, a chair, one file box or a small file cabinet. Make it clear to other household members that your workstation and office supplies are off-limits. Having your own space is an important first step in keeping office supplies and household business organized.
Since closets are behind closed doors, the clutter can easily pile up. Perhaps yours is crowded with clothes you no longer wear. This may be the perfect time to give your closet some attention.
Getting started: I recommend winnowing down your clothes and accessories at least twice a year. Remove items by category so as not to become overwhelmed. For example, review all your jeans at the same time. Consider getting rid of any that don’t fit comfortably, are overly worn or are out of style. Continue decluttering by category. With less in your closet, it will be easier to keep the space tidy.
Many of my clients stash unused items in their garage because they can’t decide what else to do with them. Since garages are often fairly large, the mess and clutter can feel overwhelming.
Getting started: Pare down unused items. Take old paint, motor oil and other toxic substances to your local hazardous waste drop-off location. Donate used sports equipment, old furniture and unnecessary household items.
It’s best to declutter and downsize your belongings before you purchase any storage solutions. With so many options available, you’ll want to invest in something that meets your current needs.