We all have spots we would rather close the door on. Tackle top trouble zones with these easy-to-follow tricks.
Organized garage with table and chairs
Credit: Jonny Valiant

Face Your Fears

Don’t try to make over multiple spaces at one time, but do make a list of all the spots you would like to hit. Then schedule a plan of attack that includes realistic deadlines for each project.

Seek Out Auxiliary Storage

Set yourself up for a successful purge. Closets function better when not filled to the brim with entire wardrobes, so have a clear idea of where to keep off-season pieces: the attic, a dry basement, or an under-bed bin.

Restock Sensibly

Keep items you need most at eye level—bath towels in the linen closet or a bin of go-to tools in the garage. Reserve top-shelf storage for less-used things: an air mattress, paint cans, off-season purses. The bottom shelf is the place for bulky or heavy boxes, or items that tend to get dirty (and can muck up everything underneath them), like shoes or gas cans.

No Time for a Big Project?

Try these three easy tricks for a hit of organizational euphoria: Swap out wonky wire and plastic hangers for slender flocked ones to unify a bedroom closet. Quickly learn the best technique for folding fitted sheets (and improve the appearance of your linen closet). And when it comes to toys and the garage, apply the “one in/one out” rule so you can keep contents in sync with your existing storage setup.

For more ideas, see how Real Simple helped one family conquer clutter, leaving them with a more organized home.