12 Quick Decluttering Strategies Under 1 Hour

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Is company on the way? Or do you just need a power-decluttering session to rid your home of bits and baubles? Try these 12 quick decluttering strategies to restore order and freshen your home's spaces.

Clear Out Closet Clutter

Putting the backs of closet doors to use is an effective, efficient way of keeping things in easy reach and clearing out clutter, too. Use cloth or plastic dividers with multiple slots and simple (easily removable) plastic hooks. Stash daily-use items -- sunglasses, keys, etc. -- or designate a pocket for each family member.

Decluttering time: 15 minutes

Focus on One Drawer

Quick decluttering doesn't require a wholesale clean-out of every messy drawer. Instead, focus your time on one oft-used space -- say, the silverware drawer or the junk drawer. Invest in a few wire or plastic dividers. Empty out the whole drawer, and wipe it down with a cleaning cloth. Position the dividers and group like elements together.

Decluttering time: 10 minutes

Just because a junk drawer stores a little bit of everything doesn't mean it has to be void of organization. Learn how to declutter a junk drawer with these tips and tricks.

Declutter Your Junk Drawer

Even your junk drawer can be organized -- here's how!

Divide Stuff by Purpose

Are you forever losing your gym gear? Or do your children do the mad dash searching for music or lesson books in the morning? Help them (or yourself) and get rid of clutter in the process with some simple bags and labels. Use luggage tags or make your own and affix to different colored or patterned bags. Provide each with a hook inside your entry or mudroom.

Decluttering time: about 30 minutes, including label making

Reduce Visual Clutter

Decluttering isn't just about getting rid of extra stuff; it's also about giving the eye (and the mind) a break from the hubbub of daily life. 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 return just 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.

Decluttering time: about 15 minutes

Purge While You Declutter

One of the dangers of decluttering is how quickly spaces can go from straightened up to messy. To stem the never-ending tide of clutter-bound stuff, pick one room and purge while you clean. Have two boxes at the ready -- "garage sale" and "to donate" -- focus on one room, and aim to fill both boxes in one room. Or set a timer and ask your kids to go through toys and fill the same bins.

Decluttering time: 30 minutes or less

Stash Art and Office Supplies in a Moveable Caddy

Pens, pencils, crayons, scissors: Office and art supplies can quickly get out of control, causing cluttered tabletops. Use a small caddy to corral them all, with dividers separating like items. Bonus: A caddy can move from room to room and be quickly stored in a pantry or closet.

Decluttering time: 10 minutes

Quick Closet Clutter Fix

Here's a strategy to help you manage closet clutter and minimize daily to-dos. In your child's closet, designate a space for the week's clothing choices. Have your child pick out an outfit (or just a top) to wear for each day of the week. Remove dresser clutter by stashing some accessories -- such as socks, jewelry, and hair baubles -- in a plastic or fabric organizer with see-through pockets.

Decluttering time: 15 minutes

Dress Up Out-in-the-Open Clutter

Not everything can -- or should -- be put away out of sight. Some things -- keys, small office essentials -- are best left where they can be quickly used or stashed. To declutter a small stretch of counter space, find a decorative container with several compartments, such as this pretty ceramic egg holder, which adds color and character.

Decluttering time: 5 minutes

Streamline Tech Items

All those gadgets are great for streamlining our daily lives, but all those cords and components aren't great for our clutter. One quick fix is to get those pieces off a horizontal surface and store them vertically. Consider a specially made holder or a letter holder (available at office supply stores).

Decluttering time: 5 minutes

Dress Up Your Decluttering

Bathroom storage can quickly become an overwhelming mish-mash of odd-size items. One way to get rid of the clutter is to gather all those bits and pieces into an uncovered, easily accessible container that looks and works better. Group either by function -- soaps, cleaning supplies -- or person, and label appropriately.

Decluttering time: 15-30 minutes

Tackle the Fridge/Freezer Clutter

There may be separate bedrooms and bathrooms for guests, but one thing used by everyone in the house -- including the people who live there and the people visiting -- is the fridge and freezer. All that traffic can quickly add up to a clutter nightmare. Before visitors arrive, or just to boost your kitchen's efficiency, tackle one, the other, or both. 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 -- veggies, frozen canisters -- and place on shelves or in drawers according to height.

Decluttering time: about 30 minutes for just the fridge or just the freezer

Utilize Closed Storage

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 -- small mementos, for example, or printed photos -- and pick pretty colors or patterns that accent the rest of your decor.

Decluttering time: 10 minutes

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