Conquer Your Clutter! How to Tidy These 7 Common “Mess Zones”

    Conquer Clutter Zones in your home

    No matter who you are, you’ve likely got those areas in your home that tend to accumulate clutter. Instead of fighting an endless “clutter war” all the time, conquer your clutter once and for all! These are the seven most common areas that homeowners complain tend to pile up with stuff – it’s time to take back your favorite spaces.


    Conquer Clutter - EntrywayWhen you get home, let’s be honest, you don’t want to be walking into a mess. Unfortunately, entryways tend to get out of control quickly.

    To shape your entryway into the functional, happy place you want it to be, start by asking yourself, “What’s causing the clutter?”

    Create “zones” for each of the clutter categories you see. Wall-mounted hooks or a standing coatrack can help to organize jackets, sweaters, backpacks, purses, and bags. Corral your shoes into order with a shelving unit, shoe rack, basket, or other container. Mail piling up? A wall-mounted mail organizer gets your pile off the table. Even a simple “inbox” or basket on the table can help to keep it all together.

    Consider adding a small trashcan to your entry to help you throw away the junk mail, empty takeout coffee cups, and other garbage you tend to carry with you into the house.


    Under the Sink

    Conquer Clutter - Under the sinkWithout a clear plan in place, the area underneath your sink can quickly become clutter-central. Clear the mess and make it easy to find what you need. In the kitchen, decide what you absolutely need to keep under the sink – trashcan, recycling bin, cleaning supplies, dishwashing supplies, all those empty plastic shopping bags… What do you really need to store in that area, and what can be relocated?

    Once you know what you need, create defined space and containers for each function. For example, a container with all of the dish-cleaning supplies (dish soap, sponges, scrub brush, etc) can be separate from a container of household cleaning supplies.

    Limit the number of plastic shopping bags you keep – and get a container to hold these, as well. There are lots of great ideas for how to contain these plastic bags – from an old tissue box to specially-designed holders that mount to the back of a cabinet door. Whatever will work for you.


    Coffee Table

    Conquer Clutter - Coffee TableIs your table full of old magazines, countless remote controls, chargers, electronics, and an old coffee cup or two?

    You’re not alone.

    Create a plan for keeping the clutter off of the table – by having a place for everything to go.

    A charging station on an end table makes it easy to charge and store your phone, tablet, and other devices. A beautiful box or basket can corral your remotes, so that you always know where they are when you need them.

    Recycle any magazines that are more than two months old. If there is anything you want to save from them (hello, new recipe), consider taking a picture of the page with your phone instead.


    The Top of the Fridge

    Conquer Clutter - Top of the FridgeIf you haven’t tackled the top of your fridge in a while, there’s no time like the present!

    Remove anything that doesn’t belong in the kitchen (and put it away where it does belong).

    Give everything a good dusting, and organize this space in terms of what you reach for the most.

    Keep the items you frequently look for near the front.

    Consider low, wide storage bins to keep like items grouped together (and in easier reach).






    Conquer Clutter - bookshelvesUnlike some of the other areas that are cluttered with stuff you need on a regular basis, bookshelves tend to collect other stuff.

    Start by clearing your shelves entirely, and giving them a good cleaning.

    Then start putting back your books – organize these in a way that is meaningful to you.

    If your shelves are holding a lot of old knickknacks, maps, cards, or anything else that is not intentional décor, throw it away, put it into a storage box, or find it a new, meaningful place in your home.

    Now add your favorite décor pieces to your shelves. A mix of your favorite books and favorite items (and maybe even a framed picture or two) will give your shelves personality – and make you happy every time you reach for a book to read.


    Inside Drawers

    Conquer Clutter - Inside DrawersThere’s usually a “junk drawer” in every home. But that doesn’t mean that your junk drawer has to be a mess. Take a look at your junk drawer, and note what types of similar items you have.

    Use common household items as organizers (ice cube trays work great for holding small items, ziplock bags and rubber bands are also helpful) – or use a drawer organizer if you want to get fancy with it.

    The goal here is partially to reduce the visual clutter, but also make it easy for you to find what you need, when you need it.

    If you can see all of your batteries at a glance, for example, you can quickly replace the ones in your remote when they need it – or you can tell when it’s time to grab another pack of AAs the next time you’re at the store.



    Conquer Clutter - nightstandsIt’s all too easy to let your nightstand get out of control. You put down that book you were reading before bed, you take off your jewelry for the night, you empty your pockets before throwing your jeans in the wash – and then the clutter just stays there.

    Have a designated place for the things you tend to collect on your nightstand.

    Some bookends can make your book collection feel intentional, and a pretty dish can keep your jewelry contained.

    If your nightstand has a drawer, consider adding a drawer organizer to keep your necessities (chapstick, cough drops, etc) within easy reach.


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