How to De-Clutter Your Space Easily

From closets that spill out to desks that haven’t seen the light of day from under stacks of papers, here are some ways to make your space less cluttered.

If you’re like me, there are days when you get out of bed, look around your room and think to yourself, “How on earth did it get like this?” Even when it feels like you spend days getting your room in order, organizing your clothes, and cleaning your makeup counter, it still seems to clutter itself up again.

Here are some ways to get the best of your clutter and keep a cleaner space.

Clean Out Your Closet Every Few Months


No, you’re never going to wear that top you bought two years ago that still has the tags on it. As tough as it may seem, some clothes are not destined to stay in your closet.

I am the queen of holding on to obscure clothes that might not even fit in the hopes that someday a perfect occasion will magically arise. That occasion is never going to come. Get rid of the weird pants.

As a rule of thumb, if you haven’t worn something in 6 months, you don’t need it. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. Maybe a certain dress is perfect for a New Year’s Eve party but not so easy to wear the rest of the year. Sure, I’ll give you that. But, anything that falls outside of such categories should be got rid of.

That doesn’t mean you have to throw your clothes away, however. That would be downright wasteful. Just because something doesn’t work for you doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work for someone else. Organize a clothing swap with your friends, donate to your local Goodwill or check out websites like Vinted that allow you to sell your used clothes easily.

Have a Practical Way to Store Makeup

No matter how you choose to organize your makeup, be consistent with it. If you just want to throw everything in a huge basket and root through it every time you need something, so be it. Just put stuff back into the basket when you’re done; don’t let it lay all over your floor or counter.

My favorite method of makeup storage is to use clear acrylic drawers. Amazon sells a bajillion of them. This lets you put your brushes in one section, your eye shadow in another and whatever else your organized heart desires. It’s handy because you can easily see what’s in each drawer without pulling everything out like a mad woman when you’re late for a date.

Some of the nicer makeup organizers can get a little pricey, but they’re so worth it. They’re sturdy and will last you a lifetime. The more expensive ones also often have slots for lipstick and nail polish. Even if everything else in your life is a mess, if your makeup is organized, it will give you the illusion that you have everything together.

Throw Away Old Papers


When cleaning my room last week, I found a term paper from three years ago for a class I didn’t even remember I took. I don’t need to have that taking up space in my room. Some papers or old assignments are sentimental—I get that. Keep the essay that made you realize you wanted to go into your current field. Keep the test with the inspirational note on it from your favorite professor. Everything else can go.

If you can’t remember working on an assignment, or what any of the answers on the test are, you probably don’t care enough about it to keep it around.

If you want to go one step further in organizing, take the papers you actually care about and organize them in a folder or a scrapbook of some kind. That’s a whole lot better than letting them lay around your desk in piles that do nothing but take up space.

You’ll also be much more likely to revisit these memorable things if they’re easily accessible and not buried seven feet under other documents.

Files are Your Friends

In a similar vein, file everything. Whether it’s in a paper folder, a filing cabinet, a drawer or a standing file holder, FILE IT—especially if you’re a student or deal with a lot of papers for work; this will seriously change your life. For me, 95% of all my stress comes from not knowing where my assignment pages or study guides are.

Files are usually pretty cheap, and you can label them differently for every class or whatever categories you need. It’s such a relief to look for something in the spot where it should be, and it’s actually there.

Get into the habit of filing things as soon as you take them out of your backpack or purse, and make sure you stick with it. This will also allow a sightline to a magical place called “the top of your desk”.

Organization is hard for some of us. I totally understand the appeal of just throwing things on the ground when you walk inside and collapsing into bed at the end of a long day.

I, too, am an expert at pretending not to notice my overflowing closet. But, if you take some of these small steps to de-clutter your space, it’ll be much easier for you to focus on bigger things and stay productive.

Do you have any organization tips you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments!

About the author

Taylor Maple

Taylor is a junior at Ohio University studying journalism & political science. You can almost always find her at a concert, a bookstore, or in bed binge-watching Grey's Anatomy. She is passionate about empowering women and helping them succeed in life, love, & careers.

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