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Real Women Approved: Your 15 Best Decluttering and Organizing Tips

Your 15 Best Decluttering and Organizing Tips

It’s Friday! We did it!

If tackling clutter somewhere in your home is on the agenda this weekend–today’s blog post is for you.

Is everyone still trying to get their lives together in the New Year, because same! Is it even the start of a new year if you don’t feel a sudden urge to go through every cabinet and drawer in your house?!

I’ve recieved a lot of requests for decluttering and organizing tips, so I called in the experts on Instagram — all of you! (Because…I am not a very organized person so I’m not very qualified to give advice on this topic. Don’t be fooled by the above photo. My closet doesn’t look like that normally! It was just styled perfectly for my big closet re-do reveal!)

Per usual, you all delivered on so many great ideas! There were a lot of commonalities, too, so I rounded up the most suggested themes so we can all get inspired to clear out what is no longer serving us and be smarter and more strategic about bringing in purchases throughout the year.

Let’s get to it!

Real Women Approved: Your 15 Best Decluttering and Organizing Tips

Be strategic

There’s nothing worse than pulling everything you own out into the middle of your space, only to get completely overwhelmed halfway through and lose all momentum. In the midst of a purge/organization marathon, it’s key to stay focused! GG readers swear by starting from one corner of the room and working to the left or right in a clockwise motion until you’re back to where you started!

Replace with purpose

When you need to replace an item, one GG reader sent in a great tip — look for a multi-use item to replace it with! For example, opt for Turkish towels to replace your old bathroom towels, because they can be used for so many other things, such as yoga mat cover, picnic blanket and decorative throw.

Make smarter purchases

The key to having less stuff in the future? Buying smarter. One GG reader had a great tip to keep spending in check — have a running list on your phone of things you love, hope to buy, have been thinking about to help you make informed purchases and not get sucked into sales and impulse buys!

Get inspired

So many of you sent in accounts and businesses that provide organizational tips, content and inspiration because let’s face it, you really need to be motivated to tackle a major organization project! Here are GG readers top organizational inspo:

  • Apartment Therapy’s January Cure– a free 20-day program about loving your home and preparing yourself and space for a new year.
  • The HomeEdit– the most aesthetically-pleasing organizing system is on Netflix and shares great tips on their blog.
  • @neatmethod- a luxury home organizing service that shares tips and inspiration on Instagram.

Join your neighborhood Buy Nothing group

Have you heard of Buy Nothing Facebook groups? They help you swap, give and receive items with your neighbors for no cost! It’s a great eco-friendly way to buy less! Check out your neighborhood group to share unwanted items and find new pieces you need in the future.

Start small

There’s nothing more daunting than tackling your whole space at once when it comes to really purging/cleaning/organizing. GG readers’ #1 tip is to start small — tackle one drawer, one closet, one room at a time.

Stay consistent 

When you consistently purge throughout the year, it’s a lot less overwhelming. So many readers swear by getting rid of things on a weekly basis.

Try the One Day Rule

On a similar note, many of you are fans of the One Day Rule — getting rid of something (no matter how small) every single day. Go through your paperwork, put one shirt in the donate pile, toss expired food, etc. By the end of the week, you’ll have accomplished quite a bit!

Try the One Thing in, One Thing Out Rule

There are a lot of rules in organizing land. This one makes a lot of sense: every time you bring something new into your space, something has to go. This helps you make thoughtful purchases and keeps clutter at bay. Some extreme readers abide by the one thing in, two things out rule — you guys are goals!

Give everything a place and always put everything back in its place

If only keeping your house organized was this easy?! It’s a great motto though — when things don’t have a home, clutter inevitably follows!

Don’t keep gifts you hate

Many of you shared this tip! Oftentimes we can feel like we’re stuck with unwanted gifts for eternity. But if something doesn’t give you joy or serve your life, it’s time to clear it out (even if it was a gift!)

Bins should be your final step

Have you ever gotten carried away with organizing and bought a bunch of products you didn’t really need — or didn’t get the correct sizes and quantity? Same. That’s why GG readers say buying bins (and any organizational equipment) should be your final step, not your first.

Keep a donate bag in your closet

Make consistent purging easier by keeping a trash bag in your closet for donations. Every few months or when it’s full, donate it. GG readers love this tip because it allows you to get pieces out of sight, but they are still around should you need them in the near future. This is an especially helpful tip for those who have a hard time being ruthless and getting rid of pieces they seldom wear.

Use the hanger trick

A lot of you use the hanger trick to keep your closet full of pieces you actually love and use regularly! Here’s how to do it: face all of the hangers in your closet in the same direction. Once you wear something, turn the hanger in the other direction. At the end of each season, evaluate which items you didn’t use and donate them (bonus: put them in the donate bag you have hanging in your closet a la the tip above!)

Turn piles into a basket

We all have those places that accumulate small piles throughout the week (mail on the table, cold-weather gear at the backdoor, etc. One GG reader suggested taming the chaos with an aesthetically pleasing basket! This helps keep the piles contained to the size of a basket, and not snowball through the rest of the house.

Thanks to everyone who submitted their organizational tips!

You might also like:

How we maximized space in our small city closet (big reveal- before & after)

My favorite organizing racks ever

My 3 step method for organizing your kitchen + feeling like a new woman