10 Ways to Declutter Your Home

An uncluttered home makes for an uncluttered mind—don't your think? Here are some ways to find your domestic Zen.

Keeping House

Free your house from unnecessary stuff and free your mind. Read on—mental salvation is right around the corner.

Schedule a date with your space. Decluttering your home in a calm way takes a little time. Block off a morning. If one morning session won't cut it, set up two appointments with yourself—or more.

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Make a plan of attack. Do toiletries fall out of your medicine cabinet? Is your pantry cluttered with tea boxes? Begin with the most frustrating place in your home and start there. And repeat the mantra: You can do it.

Arm yourself. Before you get started, you're going to need a garbage bag for trash, a box for charitable donations, a bag for recyclable items, and a box for things that don't belong in the space you're de-cluttering (Example: a plastic toy Batman in the pantry).

Be honest with yourself. If you haven't worn it or used it in a year, give it away—even if was a gift. If you're not using it, give it to someone who will. (We're brutal, we know.)

Group like items together. Do you have 10 pairs of sneakers but only wear three of them? Do you have multiple pairs of black jeans that you spent too much money on, but still kind of hate? Give them to Goodwill and breathe.

Elevate things off the floor. Plan on attacking a messy garage? Think about installing shelves or hanging a pegboard for those rakes, power cords, and tools that don't have a proper home. That way, you can walk into your space without tripping (always a plus).

Save your real estate. Regard your kitchen and closet space as valuable. If you only use your blender twice a year, it doesn't belong on the counter.

Organizing the linen closet. How about keeping towels and sheets in their respective rooms (kids sheets go in kids' rooms, towels go in a bathroom towel bin, etc). This way, you can free up your linen closet for items like small overnight bags, heating pads, and humidifiers.

Clean out every season. Put your winter clothes in moth-resistant garment bags during the warmer months and store in the basement or attic. And at the end of the summer, take a hard look at your T-shirts and shorts. Toss anything with an ice cream or sweat stain.

Keep baskets and bins handy. Toss junk mail into recycling as soon as it enters your house, and throw other mail into a basket (until you're ready to read it). Ditto for magazines, catalogs and newspapers. Another good idea: Keep a bin at the bottom of the stairs for items that belong on the second floor—you can put them in their proper place when the bin gets full.

Ryan Homes Tip: Don't buy containers before you organize. Clean out unwanted items first, then think about how to best maximize the space.