You think you’re a clean person. You don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink—well, at least not often. You sweep occasionally. Heck, sometimes you even make your bed. But still the clutter piles up—whether it’s mail, books, or clothes. And it quickly becomes so overwhelming that it’s hard to know where to start.
We asked professional organizers for their top tips to get rid of clutter for good! They’re all super simple and won’t leave you picking up for hours on end.
1. Nip procrastination in the bud.
“Procrastination is what causes clutter. Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions. Set a modest goal to deal with the clutter in your life, and congratulate yourself on your success. Success will breed success. And if you keep making decisions, this time next year, getting organized won’t be one of your resolutions.” — Laurie Martin, Simplicity Organizers
2. Start small.
“Many people get discouraged because the job is just too big. Choose one drawer, take everything out, look at each item with a critical eye, and ask yourself: ‘What is this doing here?’ If you know the answer (and it’s a good one), the item gets to stay. If you don’t, the item needs a new home. Put back only what actually belongs. Every time you open that drawer, you’ll feel proud of your work, which is great motivation to tackle another drawer and then maybe a whole closet!” — Rachel Siegel, Spruce Girls
3. Ask: Would you buy this today?
“If the answer is no, throw it in the toss or donate pile. If you’re upset about the money that you paid for something that you never wear, deciding to keep it in your closet won’t put money back in your pocket. It will only frustrate you and clog up the works!” — Jeni Aron, Clutter Cowgirl