Declutter Your Home—Fast!
While you may not be able to clear all the clutter in your home in 15 minutes, by taking a little time to focus on specific tasks, you can get organized little by little. These ideas will show you how to conquer the common clutter culprits room by room.
15-Minute Fixes: Kitchen Pantry
Target the pantry staple that's tripping you up. Maybe it's baking supplies or snacks. Use bins and baskets to organize similar items. Label your containers so you know what goes where when you're unloading your next round of groceries.
15-Minute Fixes: The Junk Drawer
Don't forget to declutter all those random items you've been tossing into a drawer. There is such a thing as an organized junk drawer and it can be yours with these simple steps.
15-Minute Fixes: Spices
Label the lids on your spice jars and store them in a drawer or basket. Use a desk tray intended for office supplies to stand everything upright so you can easily read the labels. Use refillable spice jars to avoid the jumbled mess of mismatched spice containers.
15-Minute Fixes: Baking Sheets and Platters
Create a vertical partition in a cabinet with pairs of wooden inserts or spring-loaded curtain rods to keep baking sheets, platters, cutting boards, and trays in line. You can also purchase a cabinet insert to keep items standing at attention. Group items, such as pizza pans, muffin tins, and serving platters, by category so it’s easy to find what you need for the task at hand.
15-Minute Fixes: Entertaining Extras
15-Minute Fixes: Dining Room Clutter
"Undesignated space is the key problem in eating spaces," says professional organizer Lorie Marrero. "Rather than dumping stuff on the table, assign specific places for specific items and create destination stations." If paper is the problem, set up a basket or tray sorting system to organize kid’s papers, mail, and more. If your kitchen or dining room doubles as an office or homework station, wrangle desk supplies into organizers and stash them in a cabinet.
15-Minute Fixes: Living Rooms
Set up a "lost and found" system in your living room or family room. Assign each family member their own basket. Toss their items into their basket as you clean, and set up your own rules as to what needs to be done with the basket. Do family members need to empty it when it's full? Or do you have a once-a-week basket clean out session?
15-Minute Fix: Games and Puzzles
Stacked board games and puzzles are an invitation for crashing piles. Fix the potential storage disaster with a rubber-coated wire pan rack. The slots will keep boxes upright and easy to grab.
15-Minute Fix: Living Rooms
Identify your biggest clutter culprit. Is it magazines and mail? Kid's gear? Spend a few minutes every day, or every few days, tackling the biggest violator.
15-Minute Fixes: First Aid Supplies
Corral bandages, ointments, and first aid supplies in a utensil tray. Clip on file tabs to identify what goes where. Keeping first aid supplies in a tray keeps things tidy in the closet, and makes it easy to carry the whole kit anywhere in the house.
15-Minute Fixes: Bathrooms
You may be surprised by just how many bottles of shampoo you have lurking under your sink. Try professional organizer Lauren Leist's "shop from home strategy": Store your excess products elsewhere and check your inventory before you go shopping.
15-Minute Fixes: Shoes
Streamline your shoe storage and stow away off-season shoes. (You don't really want to look at your espadrilles when there are 12 inches of snow on the ground, anyway.) Pack shoes one layer deep in a labeled under-bed bin. For easiest access, choose a clear container with wheels and a split lid.
15-Minute Fixes: Clothes
Organize the hanging clothes in your closet by item and add hanger tags so you keep like garments together. You can also organize clothes by season or purpose, such as “work” or “casual.” In a kids’ closet, consider organizing and labeling by size since they quickly move from baby to toddler and big kid sizes.
15-Minute Fixes: Jewelry
Can't ever find the exact pair of earrings you want? Implement a system that allows you to see everything you have. Organize small earrings in a divided tray and hang necklaces from a decorative corkboard. Hang bigger earrings on a piece of metal screening placed inside a frame.
15-Minute Fixes: Kid's Clothes
Make it a habit to spend 10 to 15 minutes before the start of each week planning out kid's outfits. A hanging shelf offers space to tuck in accessories and shoes. You could also label hangers with the days of the week and hang up their outfits for the week.
15-Minute Fixes: Laundry Rooms
Laundry rooms seem to be a haven for odds and ends. Set up a series of jars corralled inside a tray and use the jars to collect pocket finds, clothes pins, and mending supplies. Opt for clear glass so you can see what each jar contains. Colorful bins my look nice on a shelf, but they will quickly become overrun with objects making it hard to find anything.
15-Minute Fixes: Offices and Workspaces
What’s the one spot in your office or workspace that drives you stark raving mad? Zone in on that spot. If it’s your main desk drawer, grab a few drawer dividers or trays to organize all those little items that pile up. Or if paper is the problem, do as much sorting as you can in 10 to 15 minutes. Ready to commit more time to the paper pileup? Have a strategy in place before you start sorting so you know what to do with the papers once they’re organized.
15-Minute Fixes: Entryways
Employ mini cubbies near the door with important (but occasionally used) papers, such as gift certificates, coupons, and school forms. This way they are right there and easy to grab as you are walking out the door. You could also personalize cubbies for each family member so they know where to look each day for permission slips and reminders.
15-Minute Fixes: Entryway Apparel
Hang hooks on a wall so every family member has a dedicated spot for jackets, hats, and backpacks. TIP: Don’t install the hooks too high or kids will end up dumping everything on the floor. Dedicate a shelf—or two—for shoe storage. Adding a bench near the entryway also makes it easier for everyone to slip shoes on and off.