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23 Practical Ways To Actually Declutter Your Home

Small steps to success.

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1. Find the digital versions of your important owners manuals online, bookmark them all in one folder, then recycle the paper versions.

apartmenttherapy.com

Or download the PDFs to your computer, and file them away together. Or go the extra mile and import the PDFs into iBooks — find out how on Apartment Therapy.

2. Determine how many coffee and tea mugs you actually need using a simple ~mathematical~ formula.

Warner Bros. PIctures

Basically, according to Home Storage Solutions 101, you multiply the number of people in your house by the number of mugs they use in a day. Then multiply that by 1+the number of days you go between running your dishwasher.

So say you have 2 people who use mugs. One person who uses 2 mugs/day, and the other person who uses 1 mug/day = 3 mugs/day, total. Multiply those: 2 people x 3 mugs/day = 6 mugs.

Then say you run your dishwasher every other day. That's 6 mugs x (1+2 days) = 18 mugs.

3. Sort through your reusable plastic containers to find the ones you use most often, then repurpose a shallow plastic bin as a giant drawer in your cabinet and use a shoebox for the lids.

everyday-organizing.com

The ones you don't really use? Well...consider recycling or donating them. From Everyday Organizing.

Get a similar 30-quart box on Amazon for $12.45.

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6. Keep your food fresher longer *and* make your pantry and cabinets look neat AF by storing snacks, pasta, beans, and more in air-tight storage containers.

amazon.com, amazon.com

Plus, once part of your pantry looks a little neater, you might be motivated to go through and toss anything that's expired. Get a 5-piece set on Amazon for $35.97.

7. Secure the cords to the appliances you only use every once in a while with Command strips.

jenthousandwords.com

Specifically, the picture hanging strips. That way, you can store your appliances away in your pantry or a closet without the cords getting in the way. From Jen Thousand Words. Get 4 pairs on Amazon for $3.44.

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8. If you have piles of plastic grocery bags, keep only the ones that'll fit in an empty tissue box or grocery bag dispenser, and recycle the rest.

10. If your bathtub's covered in colorful bath toys, use a Command Hook + a lingerie bag to capture them all when bath time's over.

twotwentyone.net

They'll look nice and neat, *and* they'll drip dry. From Two Twenty One.

Depending on how heavy your bath toys are, you can probably try a regular Command Hook you already have. But if that gives you trouble, they make a towel hook that holds five pounds and uses special water-resistant strips: get it on Amazon for $3.74. And if you need an extra mesh bag, get one on Amazon for $12.99 (12 colors available).

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12. You can also sort out makeup that's *not* expired but that you never wear anymore, or only wore a couple of times — and offer it (sanitized with alcohol wipes, of course) to friends who might be interested.

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Or sell it on r/MakeupExchange and maybe make some money! Just be sure to read all the sidebar rules before posting.

To sanitize your makeup, spritz powders (eyeshadow, blush) with 75-90% isopropyl alcohol, and wipe creams and tools (lipstick, highlighter, eyelash curlers) with alcohol wipes.

Get a box of 200 alcohol wipes on Amazon for $6.49, and you can start cleaning all your makeup regularly. From here.

13. Give your bathroom serious spa vibes by swapping out your branded bottles for matching pumps in a soothing blue.

thechicsite.com

Not sure which is which? Use a label maker and label 'em. (You can get an old-school embossing label maker on Amazon for $6.) From The Chic Site.

Get four eight-ounce blue glass bottles with pumps on Amazon for $10.99. They also come in amber glass, if that's more, y'know, you — again $10.99 for four.

14. While you're at it, pour your dish soap (and after-dishes hand lotion, if you use it) into a pretty glass pump bottle, too.

natalme.com

Branded labels aren't exactly stressful to see, but when you get rid of 'em, everything just looks so much calmer. From Natalie Wright.

Get similar soap pumps from Target (made with recycled glass!) for $9.99.

15. Corral your family's clutter in "crap baskets" so when you find your daughter's shoes under the kitchen table, you actually have somewhere to put them.

sewmanyways.blogspot.com

And don't have to interrupt your day to climb the stairs. From Sew Many Ways.

You can use whatever baskets you like best, or get similar ones from Walmart for $18.88 each.

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16. If you have a DVD collection you'd like to downsize, move 'em to organized binders (using binder inserts) and recycle the cases and covers.

unclutteredlifestyle.blogspot.com

You can make it fancy and cover binders with fabric, or just stick to plain binders (get 'em on Amazon, $9.99 for four) and disc inserts (also on Amazon, $12.10 for 25 sheets, which will hold 200 movies).

From the now-defunct blogger Uncluttered Lifestyle (who I found through I Heart Organizing).

17. Store everything from extra bedding to out-of-season clothes in space bags: whether you store 'em under your bed or in a spare closet, everything will take up less space.

18. If you tend to dump your mail and forget about it, set up a mail filing station so you can sort and file your mail the moment you bring it in.

cleanandscentsible.com

Just don't forget to check the folders again to take care of your to-dos! From Clean & Scentisble. Get a similar wall-mount basket on Amazon for $9.

19. Give every piece of jewelry you own its own designated pocket in a hanging organizer, so you can choose from the ~whole menu~ of jewelry you own.

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And while you're re-organizing, decide which pieces you really love, and which others you can donate or toss. Or make a rule that you can only have one piece of jewelry per pocket, and will donate the rest. Get this zippered hanging organizer on Amazon for $19.99.

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20. Turn all your hangers in your closet backward, then when you wear something, flip its hanger back around. After six months, donate or sell whatever's still on backwards hangers.

Ray and Jen / Via apartmenttherapy.com

Or wait a full year. Or, if you rotate your clothes out for seasons, first do it with your winter clothes, then with your spring clothes, etc. Make the system work for *you*. From here.

21. Speaking of selling, try out an app like Poshmark or Letgo to see if you can make a few bucks.

poshmark.com

Hey, some money's better than nothing! Poshmark's exclusively for clothes and accessories, and ships nationwide; Letgo's for basically anything and everything. And don't forget the classic Craigslist.

22. Or if you'd like to make some money without putting in a lot of work, try sending your castoffs to ThredUp.

thredup.com

ThredUp sends you a bag, you pack the bag, and as your items sell you make a small percentage. They prioritize things in good condition from popular brands, so if your stuff isn't really clean or has a small hole or two, consider selling or donating it elsewhere instead.

23. If you're serious about decluttering for good, learn about different systems to figure out what might work for you.

amazon.com, amazon.com

I like the "spark joy" method from The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (get it on Amazon for $9.89 or through a local bookstore on Indiebound for $16.99), because it's all about surrounding yourself with things that make you happy, and nothing that doesn't. (And it really worked on my closet.)

If "spark joy" seems a little impractical to you, I *also* like the "20/10" method — plus the author's humor and empathy — from Unf*uck Your Habitat (get it on Amazon for $13.25 and Indiebound for $15.99).

Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides here!

Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed