Room-by-Room Organizing

9 Decluttering Secrets From Professional Organizers

Nine smart strategies spotted in (and stolen from) the houses of expert clutter-busters. Chalk it up to experience—they really work.

Numbered plywood boxes in a grid shelf
David Prince  
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Strength in Numbers

New York City prop stylist Rebecca Omweg uses a uniform-on-the-outside, eclectic-on-the-inside system to bring crisp order to odds and ends. This approach gives a unified front to holiday decorations, art projects, rarely used small appliances—anything you want to hold on to but would rather not see. Keep a list on your computer indicating what’s in each box, and when you need something, do a quick search of the file. Don’t stress about perfection when stenciling; the hand-done quality is part of the charm. A lighter take: standard white cardboard banker’s boxes with stick-on numbers.

To buy: Prant plywood boxes with lids (13 inches high, 13 inches wide, 15 inches deep; assembly required), $13 each, ikea.com for stores. Painting stencil set of three-inch capital letters and numbers, $9.50, staples.com (paint the numbers before you assemble the boxes). Paint: Orange Burst No. 2015-20, from $25 a gallon, benjaminmoore.com for stores.

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