Clear Clutter in Less Than an Hour with These Quick Organizing Tips

Save time and stress with these speedy organization ideas.

Box shelves with books and storage
Photo: Ann VanderWiel Wilde

When you're short on time (or guests are already on the way), it's important to clear out clutter as quickly and efficiently as possible. These time-saving tips will help you get organized in under an hour. Banish clutter and restore order in record time with our quick organizing tips.

01 of 14

Quick Clutter Cleanse

White desk in living room with wicker baskets
Greg Scheidemann

Decluttering and organizing don't have to happen all at once. For last-minute cleanup, use baskets or laundry bins to quickly gather clutter. If guests are arriving soon, stash the baskets somewhere out of sight (or at least out of the way), and plan to put the items away later.

Total decluttering time: 10 minutes

02 of 14

Clear Out Closet Clutter

Closet with red canvas hanging organizers
Richard Leo Johnson

Keep items within easy reach and clear out clutter by putting the backs of closet doors to use. Mount hanging organizers with multiple slots inside the doors on over-the-door hooks or easily removable plastic ones. Use the sections to stash daily-use items, such as sunglasses and keys, or designate a pocket for each family member.

Total decluttering time: 15 minutes

03 of 14

Focus on One Drawer

Open drawers with organized supplies
Ed Gohlich

Quick decluttering doesn't require clearing out every messy drawer. Instead, focus your time on one frequently used space, such as the silverware drawer or junk drawer. First, empty out the whole drawer, and wipe it down with a cleaning cloth. Position dividers or small containers inside the drawer and group like elements together.

Total decluttering time: 10 minutes

04 of 14

Declutter Your Junk Drawer

If your junk drawer looks like a jumbled mess, don't fear. Introduce organization to this multi-purpose drawer with a few quick fixes. Watch this video for organizing tips that will quickly get your junk drawer under control.

05 of 14

Divide Stuff by Purpose

White cubbies filled with items
David A Land

Are you constantly misplacing your gym gear? Or do your children do a mad dash searching for lesson books in the morning? Help the entire family get rid of clutter with a simple label system. Affix luggage tags or small signs to designated bags and baskets for different activities. Assign hooks or cubbies inside your entry or mudroom for each one.

Total decluttering time: About 30 minutes, including label making

06 of 14

Reduce Visual Clutter

vintage contemporary kitchen white open shelving dishes
residential interior

Decluttering isn't just about getting rid of extra stuff; it's also about simplifying your space's aesthetic. For open storage, such as these kitchen shelves, take stock of what's stored there and use quick decluttering strategies to update it. Start by removing everything and cleaning the shelves. Then restock the shelves with about half as many items, grouping by color (all white dishware, for example) or style (all plates). Make sure items have plenty of space on all sides.

Total decluttering time: About 15 minutes

07 of 14

Purge While You Declutter

Bags with Garage Sale and To Donate items
Marty Baldwin

To streamline your decluttering strategy and get it done faster, focus on one room and purge while you clean. Have two boxes at the ready: one for stuff to sell at a garage sale and another for items to donate. Aim to fill both boxes in one room. You can also set a timer and ask your kids to sort through toys and fill up the boxes.

Total decluttering time: 30 minutes or less

08 of 14

Stash Art and Office Supplies in a Moveable Caddy

Small container with pens and other supplies
Edmund Barr

Pens, pencils, crayons, scissors: Office and art supplies can quickly get out of control and cause cluttered tabletops. Use a small caddy to corral them all, using dividers to separate similar items. Bonus: You can easily move the caddy from room to room or quickly store it in a pantry or closet.

Total decluttering time: 10 minutes

09 of 14

Quick Closet Clutter Fix

Hanging jewelry organizer in closet
Adam Albright

Designate a space for the week's clothing choices to help manage closet clutter and minimize daily to-dos. This strategy also works well with kids. Simply pick out an outfit (or just a top) to wear for each day of the week. Then stash coordinating accessories, such as socks and jewelry, in a plastic or fabric organizer with see-through pockets to cut dresser clutter.

Total decluttering time: 15 minutes

10 of 14

Dress Up Out-in-the-Open Clutter

Wicker tray with items
John Bessler

Not everything can (or should) be put away out of sight. Some things, such as keys or frequently used office supplies, are best left where they can be quickly accessed. To declutter a small stretch of space, use a decorative tray to corral clutter and give small everyday items a home.

Total decluttering time: 5 minutes

11 of 14

Streamline Tech Items

Green shelf with iPad plugged into outlet
Greg Scheidemann

Gadgets are great for streamlining our daily lives, but all those cords and chargers can contribute to clutter. To keep all your electronics in one spot, create a charging station near an outlet in an easily accessed area like the kitchen or entry. Consider using a charging dock or a desktop organizer to store electronics vertically in individual slots.

Total decluttering time: 5 minutes

12 of 14

Dress Up Your Decluttering

diy blue bathroom vanity with extra open shelving

Bathroom storage can quickly become an overwhelming mishmash of oddly sized items. Conquer the clutter by gathering bath products and grooming essentials into an uncovered, easily accessible containers. Group items either by function (like soaps and cleaning supplies) or by person, and label the bins or baskets appropriately.

Total decluttering time: 15 to 30 minutes

13 of 14

Tackle the Fridge Clutter

inside fridge view food organization shelving
Cameron Sadeghpour

One thing used by everyone in the house, including the people who live there and the people visiting: the fridge and freezer. Quickly organize your refrigerator before guests arrive, or simply to boost your kitchen's efficiency. Start by emptying shelves and drawers; do a quick clean with some multipurpose cleaner and cloths. Toss anything expired or never used. Next, group similar items together and place on shelves or in drawers according to height.

Total decluttering time: About 30 minutes for just the fridge or just the freezer

14 of 14

Utilize Closed Storage

Box shelves with books and storage
Ann VanderWiel Wilde

Open baskets and bins have their place, but containers with lids are great for adding function as well as beauty. Use them for long-term storage of items like small mementos or printed photos. Pick pretty colors or patterns that accent the rest of your decor.

Total decluttering time: 10 minutes

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