And you don’t need all weekend to make some progress.
“Mini tasks make a big difference—like the ones you can accomplish during a TV commercial break,” points out Jamie Novak, author of “Keep This Toss That.”
Feeling inspired to stress less by reducing your mess? Here are 10 organizing hacks for the clutter magnets in your home. Tackle just one today, and we promise you’ll feel better!
1. Toss your expired makeup
Make-up has expiration dates, so be sure to toss what’s old. Do you really need six different moisturizers and 20 lipsticks? Take five minutes to go through the medicine cabinet, keeping only the makeup you love. Why risk an infection from concealer that’s funky?
“Makeup goes bad within three to 24 months, so if it looks funny, crumbles when you open it, or smells bad, then it is bad,” says Julie Coraccio, the organizing mind at Reawaken Your Brilliance.
2. Pare down mugs
Darla DeMorrow of HeartWork Organizing recommends letting extra mugs go—even if they came with a dish set, were picked up as a vacation souvenir, or were a gift.
“Once you’ve enjoyed them, you’re under no obligation to keep them,” she says.
3. Ditch some cooking utensils
Darla DeMorrow suggest an 80/20 scenario here. “You probably use 20% of your spoons and spatulas 80% of the time, so put aside the ones you always reach for, and then see how you feel about the rest,” she says.
4. Recycle plastic containers
This spot is white-hot for most people. Assess your drawer, and determine what you really use all these containers for.
If you take leftovers to work for lunch every day, keep several; but if you barely cook, donate them to a shelter or recycle them. When you have your ideal number, pair lids with bottoms for a streamlined look.
5. Rename the junk drawer
If you call it the “messy drawer”, you’ll live down to these expectations. Instead, blast it wide open and toss every old pen, outdated appliance manual, and leaky battery.
Once it’s pristine, it’s no longer the junk drawer—it’ll simply be a drawer in your kitchen.
6. Refresh your clothes closet
If you don’t wear it, it goes—period.
“Be intentional with your closet, because it’s the best way to prevent clutter,” notes Mary Basher, an organization expert with Modular Closets.
No time to clean it out completely? Even if you remove just a couple of things that don’t fit or that you no longer love, you’ll be working toward a more organized space.
7. Clean out the car
“When was the last time your car was tidy and clean?” asks Mary Basher.
Take 10 minutes and bag up trash, then clear out items like books and CDs that won’t be needed during the next ride. Next, get in the habit of emptying the car of trash each time you return home.
8. Sort old socks
Spend a few minutes piling up unworn T-shirts, ragged dish towels, and socks with no match, and then give them the recycle treatment – great for dusting or rags in the garage.
But don’t let your rag bag grow out of control.
“Designate a container or drawer to hold the exact number of rags you have and no more—one in, one out,” says Darla DeMorrow.
Author: Jennifer Kelly Geddes creates content for Livestrong.com, the National Sleep Foundation, American Airlines Vacations, Oxo, and Mastercard.