Better at Organizing: 4 simple ways to declutter and streamline your home

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For many families, boxes of old magazines, out of control cupboards and days when you can’t find your car keys amidst the mess are a part of their everyday routine.

Anecdotally we all know that having clutter around us can influence our mood. Science has confirmed that feeling, showing a link between clutter and an increase in the stress hormone cortisol. One study from UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families even found that clutter has an effect on not only our mood, but self-esteem as well.

Living in clutter can be stressful, so if you’re on the hunt for ways to tackle it for good, we have gathered the tips and products to make your home a little more organized.

Start small

It’s important to declutter and be organized, but getting started is often the hardest part of the battle. In order to make the process seem less overwhelming, experts suggest starting with the one room that gives you the most stress.

For example, if the bathroom feels like it’s bursting at the seams, using a lazy susan under your counter for everyday products is a great way to avoid digging into the back of the cupboard to find what you need. Pair that with a door caddy and you will always have a place to put your everyday essentials.

Streamline your kitchen

Open Refrigerator Filled With Fresh Fruits And Vegetable
Keeping your fridge organized is easer than it seems. (Getty Images)

The fridge is another area of the home that can easily get out of hand when overrun with leftovers and miscellaneous condiments. Keeping it organized is all about temperature: since the bottom of your fridge is typically the coldest, you’ll want to keep condiments on the door, dairy on the middle and lower shelves and fruits and vegetables in the crisper. This will make everything last longer.

For that, having a dedicated organization system is key. If it’s not possible to put meat at the very bottom, put it in a small plastic bin to ensure that if there is a leak, it won't spill onto your other food. And if you have a newer fridge, fruit and veggie bins will be labeled and calibrated in terms of humidity specifically for their contents.

Another place that can get out of control fast is your pots and pans cupboard. A simple hack is to use Command hooks on the door so you always know where to find the lid for every pot and pan.

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Declutter for a boost in productivity

A Princeton University study found that clutter can actually affect our productivity as our brain likes organization. As anyone who has tried to work from a cluttered desk will know, having a bunch of stuff around us can visually compete for our focus.

Implementing a dedicated inbox/outbox system can significantly cut down on loose papers scattered about your office. A hanging wall folder lets you clearly see the different categories of papers, and if you have kids, it’s an easy way to keep track of school slips that constantly need signing.

Keep memories, not clutter

For many people, donating items is an easy way to cut down on excess clutter. While effective, some sentimental items can be hard to part with.

If you struggle to put things in a donate pile and find that even the smallest items have sentimental value, try taking a picture of them instead. A Penn State study found that taking pictures of sentimental objects can help you toss it.

So what are you waiting for? Start sorting through your bathroom, get your fridge in order, and get better at organizing.

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