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14 Actually Helpful Tips That'll Help You Manage All The Junk In Your House

You ready to get organized? (Like, for real this time.)

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We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us their best tips for managing clutter. Here are some of the best submissions:

1. Be intentional about the things you buy and what you bring home with you.

"My approach is: just don't bring stuff into your space. Don't buy it unless you need it and don't accept stuff you don't want (I don't mean presents bought for you, I mean the bags, pens, junk given out at events, promotional toys, and stuff given out by charity in exchange for donations). Don't buy food unless you know when you're going to eat it...the less coming in the door, the less junk you have to get rid of later." —artemish3

2. Don't purchase storage products to help with organization unless you're sure you need them.

Catherine Lane / Getty Images

"Okay, this one is from personal experience: do NOT buy storage containers until you have a need for them, even if they’re cute or on sale. If you wait until you find a purpose for them, you’ll be less likely to fill them with junk!" —kyliem4b259a120


3. And ask yourself if you actually have a place for something before buying it.


"Before you buy something ask yourself where you're going to put it. If you can't think of a perfect home for this item you more than likely don't need it." —dreav488838245

4. Store similar items in the same location and if you don't have a set place for it, let it go.


"I had heard the 'everything in your house needs a home' tip and always thought that I could do it with some wiggle room. For any given object I had three or four places it could be, but this only lead to cluttered drawers where NOTHING could be found. Give everything a PROPER home. Spices, medicine, pots and pans — all of it needs a special place all on its own." —katrinas490cf8b1d

5. Remember, most clutter is just a collection of items that can be replaced, so try to limit the amount of things you place sentimental value on.

Paramount Pictures

"Try not to put too much sentimental value on things. It only makes it more difficult to part with something. Instead, if you aren’t using something and really should get rid of it, think of how someone else will benefit from it instead." —angelam487733d39

6. Empty everything from closets, to drawers, to cabinets so you can go through every item and decide where it needs to go.

Kwanchai_khammuean / Getty Images

"1. Take everything out of whatever you are cleaning.

2. Have three piles: keep, donate, toss.

3. You must assign everything to a pile.

4. Clean the cabinet, drawer, closet itself.

5. Put everything back in an organized way. You may add to the toss/donate piles but you may not remove anything from them during this step.

6. Actually toss and donate the items in those piles promptly so you are not tempted to re-evaluate." —bridgetb43d486c8a


7. Sell clothing and household items that you don't use anymore — and are in good condition — so you're incentivized to get rid of things.


"I sell things on the Mercari app, which is basically a thrift store on your phone. I have a box that I keep my posted items in and if the items haven’t sold within three months, I just donate them to Goodwill. I keep the packaging from online purchases in a box under my bed so that when one of my items sells I have packaging to mail it in. Selling stuff on Mercari keeps me motivated to clean out my closet every few months because otherwise I would just keep accumulating clothes every season and never get rid of them." —kathrynl47de471f2

8. Create a system that ensures you're regularly getting rid of things so junk doesn't accumulate over time.

"For every one thing that comes into my house, two things go out." —kschafe

9. For example, you could try this neat hanger trick that keeps track of what you've actually worn throughout the year.

"I love the trick where you put your hangers in backwards and when you wear something you place it back the normal way. At the end of the season you can see what you’ve actually worn and what sat in the closet. You then donate those backward-hanging clothes." —maggiee4db59f8e2

10. Remember what you wore last year during a certain season, as each new season approaches.

Paramount Pictures

"My mom says: 'If the season is passed and you didn't wear it then, you probably won't wear it ever.' If summer passed and you still have the swimsuit that you might one day wear even though you've had it for three years and it's just sat there, it's time to say goodbye to it." —abbielilyc


11. Keep a designated donation bag or box in your closet year-round so you can easily add items to it.

Sirastock / Getty Images

"In the bottom of my closet I have two large shopping bags: one is for donations and one is for the consignment store I shop at. If I put on a piece of clothing and take it off without wearing it — either because it doesn't fit right or I just don't like — twice, it goes in one of those bags. When the bag is full I either donate it or take it the consignment store. We all have those pieces of clothing we either liked at one time or never really liked, and there's no reason to keep them." —Deanna Starnes, Facebook

12. Donate your used and old blankets to an animal shelter instead of just tossing them out.

Debibishop / Getty Images

"I give all of my old blankets to the animal shelter! Since I know it’s going somewhere that needs them, it’s easier to get rid of them!" —annab4e4f2890a

13. Don't stress yourself over getting rid of everything! Some things really are irreplacable, so just set guidelines for the sentimental stuff.

Malerapaso / Getty Images

"Don’t be afraid to keep stuff! Especially keepsakes like cards, photos, and invitations. Just be smart about storing them and have a one box limit. I have one box that is labelled 'important stuff'. In case of a fire, I would grab just that and get the eff out. Certain things you can’t replace but they still shouldn’t take up a lot of space." —lindseyr44600820f

14. And if you're looking for additional tips and tricks, check out this highly rated book on decluttering your home and then actually sticking to it.

"The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a book that gives detailed explanations of how to get rid of things, not only for minimalism but also mental health." —danielleg43d0c3abf

Get it from Amazon for $7.94+.

Some responses have been lightly edited for length or clarity.

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