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Real Simple Organizing Clutter-Free Home

Real Simple Organizing Clutter-Free Home

Ready, set, go! The Real Simple Team shares its comprehensive, three-part home organizing plan. Start by figuring out your relationship to clutter and learning ways to tailor your organizing to your personality. Next, dig into the decluttering process, letting go of items from every room in your home and putting away everything that remains the best way. Finally, wrap it up with easy maintenance strategies to keep your home tidy—once and for all!

United States
Meredith Corporation

in this issue

1 min
the stuff of life

YOU KNOW WHAT TRULY MATTERS, but sometimes stuff just gets in the way. Although you don’t need to go full-on minimalist and winnow down your possessions to a shirt, a bowl, and a spoon, you do sense that life would be richer if your world were a bit less cluttered. Without so many distractions, you could finally focus your energy, do tasks better, take care of yourself more fully, and give more attention to the people you love. If this vision of a less-cluttered life resonates with you, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve filled this special edition of Real Simple with the best advice, strategies, and tips to help you streamline every space in your home, as well as your car, purse, and schedule. And after you’ve cleansed, we…

1 min
join us online

ORDER IN THE HOUSE This room-by-room guide shares tricks for decluttering each area of your house—as well as strategies for keeping it neat and tidy. Plus, find ideas for storage products to help you store and display essentials. LET IT GO It can be hard to let go of items we feel attached to. Check out tips to get past this common roadblock and feel better about saying goodbye to items that no longer bring you joy. SMART KITCHEN STORAGE Is your cooking space too cluttered for you to do much food prep? Professional organizers share ideas to maximize cabinet space, clear the countertop, and create storage zones. PANTRY UPGRADE Take stock of what’s in your pantry and get it organized once and for all with smart strategies for grouping categories of items and arranging them by…

7 min
what’s your organizing personality?

CLUTTER IS PERSONAL. Those pesky piles that linger around your home are piles that you (or someone in your family) created as you went about the business of working, cooking, playing, and living. And the way you feel when you stumble over shoes dumped by the back door or attempt to work at your messy desk—argh—is just as personal. Although your messes may be personal, they’re not unique. In fact, your habits would likely categorize you as one of four distinct organizing personalities: Tidy, Social, Multitasking, or Visual, says Deborah Cabral, a professional organizer and founder of The DeClutter Coach. “When we first visit new clients’ homes, we’re paying attention to their personalities and preferences as much as their clutter,” Cabral says. She and her team have a wealth of clutter-busting…

6 min
less is more

WHEN CHRISTINE LEFT her job as a lawyer to pursue writing full time in 2015, she started working from home. “For the first time, I was there not to just eat and sleep,” she says. Being at home prompted an awakening: “I always knew I had too much stuff, but I had everything relatively organized,” she says. She realized, though, that even if everything fit in her closets, it could still be an overwhelming amount to maintain. “I couldn’t ignore it anymore.” GOAL: “When I started, I just wanted to be a minimalist,” Christine says with a laugh. “My goal was ‘How can I make my home—and how can I feel—like what I’m looking at in pictures on blogs?’” To her eyes, the minimalists’ homes were super clean, and the people…

4 min
working with a pro

If, despite your best organizing efforts, you still feel defeated by your stuff, you may need to call for reinforcements. Ongoing clutter is a sign of something bigger. It’s telling you that your situation can benefit from a fresh set of eyes, a listening ear, an inspiring voice, and a source of new ideas—all things a professional organizer will bring to your trouble spots. Of course, a professional’s time has a cost, but consider the value of your own time, too. How quickly can you go through your overstuffed closet if you have some expert help, as opposed to going it alone? Will you actually finish organizing your basement if left to your devices? In the end, a professional can help you do more, do it faster, and do it more…

5 min
setting goals

Whether you’re working with a professional organizer to eradicate clutter or doing it on your own, you need to prioritize which spaces you’ll work on and figure out how much time and money you’re willing to invest. Finding Your Focus Professional organizer Laura Leist of Eliminate Chaos often begins with new clients by asking them to give her a descriptive tour of the rooms they want to organize. “I’m listening for those pain points. You can hear it in their voices or see it in their actions,” Leist says. “After I hear it, we then talk about what I heard or saw.” Try identifying pain points on your own by standing in the middle of a room and turning slowly 360 degrees. Narrate what you’re seeing at each moment: “There’s the sofa. There…