1. Your Amazon Addiction
Over the past few years, California-based organizer Nonnahs Driskill has noticed one new addition to just about every entryway she’s visited: a stack of brown cardboard boxes by the door. In the era of Amazon Prime, everything you want is just a two-day-shipping shopping spree away, and those boxes tend to pile up just as fast. “Treat them like mail: As soon as they come in, open them and do something with them,” the Get Organized Already founder says. “Think of the time you saved by not having to go to the store and put a fraction of that time toward breaking down the boxes and getting them out of the way. You’ll still come out ahead.”
2. THAT CRAMMED COAT CLOSET
Most people regularly wear one or two winter coats—yet they own closer to ten, Socci says. “One of the first things we do is pull out every coat,” she explains. The ones that are rarely worn (but still spark joy) should get moved to a closet that doesn’t get as much traffic. “People worry they’ll forget about those coats, but if it’s special to you, you won’t.” (And if you don’t wear those coats all winter, it’s a pretty good sign that it’s time to donate or sell them.)
3. TRASH CAN PLACEMENT
This might sound obvious, but your garbage bins should be positioned where they’re needed the most. In particular, Socci recommends keeping one where you’re likely to set down mail. That way, instead of letting those stacks form, you can take immediate action and toss what you don’t need right away. If you have to walk across the house to get to the nearest trash bin, you’re less likely to throw something away…even if you live in a 300-square-foot apartment.
4. THE SOFA DUMP
Take a seat on your couch and look around. What do you see? “There’s usually a mystery pile on the floor,” Driskill notes. Whether it’s work papers, old New Yorker issues or the latest Reese’s Book Club pick, it’s usually a collection of things you kick back with and then hastily set aside when the doorbell rings. Driskill challenges clients to set a five-minute timer to sort through the pile, putting everything in its proper place. Often, they finish before the buzzer and feel energized enough to tackle other messes around the house, like the Disaster Formerly Known As the Dining Room Table (a clutter bomb so obvious it doesn’t even need its own paragraph)