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5 Easy Steps to Conquer the Clutter in Your Home

Conquer the clutter in your living space in five easy steps from home organization expert and blogger Ginny of Organizing Homelife!

Getting organized at the beginning of a new year is at the top of the to-do list for many of us. We set goals and make plans endeavoring to make our busy lives a little easier.

Unfortunately, lots of people give up on their goals of becoming organized before they accomplish what they set out to do. Why? Because conquering disorganization and clutter seems insurmountable. Defeated before they begin, they don’t know what to concentrate on first. So they give up.

Home organization is a journey, not a destination. It is something that happens over time and changes as family and life situations change. What used to work may need a tweak to become effective for your current life situation.

I used to have a desk in the room that is now our kids’ playroom. My desk became theirs and is now where they use the computer for school work. Since I don’t have a dedicated office, I do most of my work in my dining room.

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To keep myself organized, I put together a “portable desk” with this rolling cart. It’s perfect for keeping my office supplies neat, but can easily be rolled out of the room when we have company for dinner.

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One of my favorite ways to encourage people not to give up on their organizational goals is to start with organizing places that will make you happy. Sure, you might need to organize a huge pile of paperwork, but if your desk is a disaster, you aren’t going to be very motivated.

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Start by bringing order and beauty to an area that will boost your motivation. If the places you use and look at the most are in disorder, you’re not going to feel inspired.

Before you start, set aside time to organize one space at a time, not your whole house. Determine how much time you think you will need and then double it. If you allow more time than you think you’ll need, you won’t become discouraged if it takes longer than expected.

Step 1: Clear the space. Empty the contents of the drawers and surfaces so you have a clean slate. Speaking of clean, this is a great time to dust, vacuum, and wipe down the area.

Step 2: Get some boxes and label them: Relocate, Donate, File, and Trash (or use a trash can).

Step 3: Sort the contents. Only keep what you really use or need, and toss the trash.

  • If things belong in a different place, put them in the “Relocate” box.
  • Look for things you no longer use and put them in the “Donate” box.
  • Paperwork that needs filing should go in the “File” box.

Step 4: Organize your space. Only keep in this space things you will use there. Little bins or baskets can be helpful for keeping smaller items in order.

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To help my teen daughter keep her things from getting messy, we organized an area of interest for her: hair accessories. We found these drawer organizers and fit them into the space to keep things neat. She loves how it looks now and it makes her happy to keep it organized.

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Step 5: You’re almost there. Don’t forget to put away the things in the “Relocate” box and drop off the contents of the “Donation” box.

Once your space is organized and neat, it will be easier to tackle a bigger job like organizing paperwork or cleaning out a closet.

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I keep a bin in the top of my closet for out of season shoes. The other bin just below it is an easy to reach place when I can put clothing that needs to be donated. Once the bin is full, I can take it to the donation drop-off.

Organizing small spaces in your home that bring you happiness will inspire you to tackle bigger jobs. Give yourself grace and remind yourself that it will take time. Celebrate your accomplishments and start new habits of keeping those small places neat before you take on the bigger spaces.

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12 Comments

  1. Reply Beverly C. Wilhelm

    Enjoyed your ‘get organized’ article, very informative. I had just done my bathroom
    have done my pantry, & a couple of cabinets
    In the kitchen. I will keep going one room at a time till eventually I have the whole house
    organized. Thank you for your words
    of wisdom.

  2. Reply Tracey

    I don’t have enough space in this small cottage to store my donations. I shop high end consignment so it’s a habit for me to “catch and release”. Im interested in an efficient way to store fine gauge & cashmere sweaters, short of tissued, individual clear bags. Ideas?

  3. Reply Winona

    Where can I find this rolling organizer for 59.99? Does TM carry it?

    • Tuesday Morning
      Reply Tuesday Morning

      Hi Winona! The rolling cart did come from our store. Because our selection and inventories vary by location, your best bet is to visit or call your local store to make sure the item is available. You can find your nearest location by entering your zip code here: http://www.tuesdaymorning.com/stores.

  4. Reply Gayle Strangmeyer

    I like the aqua blue rolling cart

  5. Reply Susan Albers

    Thanks very much for your suggestions on organizing. The idea of the cart in the dining room that can be moved when company comes is one I will follow.

  6. Reply Donna Pike

    This helpful information empowered me.

  7. Reply Margaret C Brooks

    I love shopping at Tuesday Morning for craft items. I am anxious to get there right away to get Martha Stewart items; they are especially a great savings.

  8. Reply Felice Rood

    We are very sad in Sacramento, California since you abruptly closed our beloved store in the Rush River shopping center. Not many of us are willing to travel to your other stores. We loved this store and visited very often. When I went in to buy Christmas gifts for everyone in November, the sign was on the door announcing you were leaving. The entire neighborhood is devastated and do not understand. Now we have nothing except a Dollar Tree a mile away.
    Thank you for the short time you were here. You were appreciated and supported. A huge shopping center is opening nearby soon with Walmart as the anchor. Hoping you would have considered moving there and not dreadful ‘Natomas’. Bye for now. Just wanted to let you know how much we miss you here.

    • Tuesday Morning
      Reply Tuesday Morning

      Closing a store is never an easy decision, Felice. We take multiple factors into consideration, some of which are out of our control. We’re always searching for new locations, but in the meantime, you can locate your nearest Tuesday Morning store here: http://www.tuesdaymorning.com/stores. We’re so sorry for any inconvenience this has caused you.

  9. Reply Gloria

    Thank you for the rolling cart suggestion. I care for my elderly parents on a daily basis in their home. However, I don’t feel like I have my own ‘office’ space like I do in my own home. I am forever moving things from my car, to the dining room to the den, etc. This might be a good solution to that problem. I will be on the look-out for a similar cart.

    • Reply Karen Zilkie

      That turquoise cart can also be found at IKEA