Clutter-Busting Secrets of the Pros
To get an idea of what you own, group like things together. Use your utensil drawer as a model. In it you have forks, knives, and spoons, all in their own slots, and you know there are 12 of each. Can the same be said of your cooking tools? How many wooden spoons do you have? Put all your slotted spoons, spatulas, and pizza cutters in separate piles and toss the ones you don't need. Then group related items and give them their own labeled drawers: "Stovetop Supplies," "Baking Supplies," "Specialty Items." "Every shelf and drawer in your home should have a specific theme, just like the typical sock or utensil drawer," says Kim Cosentino, owner of the De-Clutter Box, an organizing company in Westmont, Illinois.
- Don't limit your search for similar items to just one room. Look all over the house for things like scissors, stamps, and batteries, and put them in one place.
- If you have two things that serve the same function, keep the newer or better one and chuck the other.
- Start with a clean surface or drawer, then put back only the things you use.
Why It Works
- Once you get everything in one category together, you can quickly assess what you own―and what you own too much of.
- If you know what you have and where it is, you won't waste money buying duplicates (think hair elastics).
- If an item resists classification, it is easier to deem it unworthy.