Dec 15, 2022

10 Items A Professional Organizer Would Toss Out Today

At one time or another, everyone gets the urge to declutter their space. Having things tidy, everything in its place, feels pretty good.

At least it does until we fall off the wagon, only to find ourselves drowning in clutter once again.

If you’re ready to tackle that issue again but need a place to start, here are 10 things professional organizers get rid of all the time.

10. A place for everything.

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There are things we use every day, like our keys, wallet, sunglasses, etc, and they need a spot.

Certified professional organizer and author Kathy Vines, says so, too.

“It can be so easy with running around and disrupted routines to lose sight of our most critical items.

She suggests things like a lidless basket on the wall, or one for everyone if you live with other people.

Make sure the baskets themselves don’t get cluttered, though; toss the trash, etc, on a daily basis.

9. Put all of your laundry away.

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We can all agree that the absolute worst and hardest part of doing laundry is the putting away of the clothes after they have been washed and folded.

Janine Adams, a certified professional organizer in St. Louis, MO, says the laundry isn’t done until the task is complete.

She suggests dealing with clothing items left laying around every day, whether they need to go into the hamper or back into the closet. If the task is too daunting, it might be time to donate.

She also says that keeping empty hangers on an organizer and not hanging up where they can become tangled is a hack that sometimes works.

8. The dumping ground.

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We all have that spot, right? It might be a counter, the table by the door, the nightstand on your side of the bed…but it’s always covered in crap that gets dumped when we walk in the door.

Professional organizer Ellen Delap suggests trying something like peel-and-stick hooks near the door, one for each person with coats and bags.

7. Eat up your leftovers.

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If you’re like me, your fridge is way too full pretty much all the time. Delap says the obvious way to fix this is by eating your leftovers within a few days.

She says keeping it in front or on a dedicated shelf could help remind you it’s there.

6. Countertop clutter.

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Kitchen counter space is always at a premium, so make sure to keep your dishwasher empty so you can immediately fill it with dirty dishes.

An easy hack for this one is to empty it every morning and run it every night before bed, regardless of whether or not it’s all the way full.

5. Have a spot for your shoes.

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Shoes are the bane of our existence around here. You don’t want to wear them in the house because of the germs, but you don’t want to pile them by the door, either.

A basket for each shoe-wearer is ideal, as long as you go through them a couple of times a week and return the shoes to the closet if they’re not being worn. If you’re feeling fancy, you can invest in a bench or storage tower to house the baskets.

4. Make a to-do list.

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Delap suggests that instead of using a massive list of everything that needs to be done, make a smaller one that’s more manageable for the day directly in front of you.

Focus and prioritizing can give you better direction; you can also try pen and paper instead of digital if your brain needs a little extra help.

3. Don’t leave things in your car that don’t belong there.

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Cars are super hard to keep tidy, especially if you have kids. The best advice Vines has is that it’s easier to keep up than to find the energy to do a big clean.

“It’s a lot easier to keep your car maintained and clean if you’re regularly getting rid of the trash.”

She does think it’s good to have a small trash can in there, but make sure to take everything in with you at the end of each day.

2. All the rest.

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You know those things you end up with after you finish a tidy? The things that don’t have a place, and therefore always end up cluttering one of those drop zones?

Find a place for them, says Vines.

“At the end of every day, I make sure the stuff gets where it was going.”

1. Deal with the mail ASAP.

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Delap suggests a five-minute triage while the mail is still in your hand.

It either goes in the shredder, the recycling, or in a folder of things that need to be addressed.

I’m off to tidy up around here…

What else do you target when it’s time for a reset? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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