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The bedroom chair has morphed into the leaning tower of outfit rejects. The junk drawer overfloweth with…God only knows what. Admit it: Clutter is slowly taking over your home—and it’s up to you to put an end to it. We raided Gretchen Rubin’s brilliant new decluttering book, Outer Order, Inner Calm , for eight easy, actionable ways to get the situation under control.

RELATED: 7 Genius Tips to Organize Your Living Room This Spring 

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Use a Photograph to Evaluate Clutter

“...If you’re having trouble getting started, try taking photos of an area and evaluating what you see. Somehow a photograph helps us see a space with fresh eyes...The area may feel very comfortable—but the objective eye of the camera may help a person recognize that it needs to be cleared out.”

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Twenty20

Choose a ‘Flavor of the Month’

“To make clutter-clearing more fun, choose a theme for the month and focus on the objects in that theme...it helps us to see our environment in a new, playful way. Possible themes? Books, clothes, toys, office supplies, kitchen equipment or bathroom products.”

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Twenty20

Follow the ‘One-Minute Rule’

“Do any task that can be finished in less than one minute, without delay. Hang up a coat, read a letter and toss it, put a document in a file, throw away a pen that doesn’t work, put the toothpaste back in the medicine cabinet and close the door.”

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Imagine That You’re Throwing a Party

“Nothing inspires clutter clearing more than the knowledge that a bunch of people will be visiting. Even if you’re not planning a party now, imagine you are. Set a date in your mind and ask yourself, ‘If I’m hosting 12 people next Sunday, what do I really need to do to prepare?'”

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Remember, If You Can’t Retrieve It, You Won’t Use It

“Try to keep things stored within easy reach. In general, it’s more useful to think about accessibility than to think about storage. If you want to store something but don’t care if it’s accessible—well, that’s a clue that you may not need to keep that item at all."

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Create a Tech Sack

“Gather any tech items you use often—such as power cord, wall adapter, headphones, headphone adapter, external power supply—and create a ‘tech sack’ that you can store in a drawer or throw into your briefcase, backpack, purse or luggage.”

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Find a Place for Items That Are Neither Dirty Nor Clean

“Many people struggle to manage clothes that are neither fresh from washing nor ready to be laundered...When people feel uncomfortable mixing not-dirty clothes with clean ones, they tend to accumulate clothes in odd places. If you feel this way, find a method for handling those in-between clothes. Put hooks for them in your bathroom or closet; set aside a special drawer.”

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Consider the X Factor

“If you can’t decide whether to keep an item of clothing, ask yourself, ‘If I ran into my ex on the street, would I be happy if I were wearing this?’ Often, the answer will give you a good clue.”

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RELATED: How to Organize Your Fridge Like Marie Kondo 

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