Editors' Picks: Things That Keep Us Clutter-Free
Now's your chance to stay organized with our favorite clutter-busting organizers and tips.
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"My #1 organization rule for the kitchen: simplify. I buy the best-quality tools I can afford and I only buy tools that multi-task. My current favorite? Oxo's i-Series Serrated Peeler. As advertised, it peels fruits and veggies, but the serrated edge makes pretty carrot or chocolate curls and grates nutmeg into a fine sprinkle. I also use the concave tip to pit small fruits like olives and cherries."
— Kelley, Editor, Kitchens and Baths
"My husband and I have a knack for accumulating mounds of junk mail and paper, so we try to do as much online as possible. I've converted most of my paper catalogs by registering for e-newsletters and online catalogs, and do most of our bill-paying through a secure server. As new parents, we've just started to utilize online family organizers like this one from Cozi.com to keep us on track."
— Stephanie, Editor, Newsletters
"I love the Flylady.net website's 27-Fling Boogie. First throw away 27 items (papers, magazines, junk mail, etc.) from all over the house (or even one room). Second, take a box and collect 27 items to give away. It works! I just need to do it more frequently, but it's great. Flylady's rule is to de-clutter with the 27-Fling Boogie in 15-minute segments (or broken down into five-minute increments). Easy enough!
— Rita, Assistant Editor, HGTV.com, DIYNetwork.com and FineLiving.com
"I couldn't live without portable files. They're an absolute must for organizing all my important papers and finances. Since I don't have a home office, I can easily carry them to any room to balance my checkbook and pay my bills."
— Chelsey, Assistant Editor, TV Content, HGTV.com
"When I buy sheets, I save the plastic, zippered case they come in. It's the perfect size to keep all of my toiletries when I travel. It fits into my suitcase and I don't have to worry about anything leaking onto my clothes. (We found a similar alternative at The Container Store if you're not in the market for new sheets.)
"If the sheets are cotton jersey, I save the cotton bag they come in and use it as a laundry bag when traveling. It keeps your dirty clothes separate from the clean ones."
— Wendy, Editor, GACTV.com
"I use decorative hatboxes to store everything, not just hats. If you find nesting sets, you can easily nest and store them in plain sight until they're called into service to store papers, socks, scarves, whatever. They look beautiful on top of bookcases and armoires! I recently found a set of cream-and-black toile ones that look fantastic in my bedroom."
— Nan, Editor, DIYNetwork.com
"The biggest organizing lesson I've learned is to use whatever block of time you have to work on an organizing task. I just finished labeling all of our pictures and it took six months! Not my original plan, but I worked on them when I could and now that they're done, it feels great. Tip: If you do nothing else, at least write the date on the back of unlabeled pictures. I will never put another one away without labeling it first!
"I also control clutter on a continual basis. I have a donation box going and take a critical look at our stuff all the time. If we don't treasure or need something and/or haven't used it in a long time, we pass it on."
— Kristen, Senior Editor, TV Content, HGTV.com
"I don't like wasting things, so it's hard for me to part with plastic bags, even when I don't need them. After years of having surplus bags cluttering up a closet, I bought a simplehuman plastic bag holder that can hold 30 at one time. Once it has reached capacity, I make myself put any remaining bags directly in the recycling can."
— Lia, Senior Editor, FoodNetwork.com
"In order to keep all of our electronics and appliance manuals handy and easy to find, I bought a couple of big, three-ring binders and plastic pocket sleeves. I place each manual in a pocket (because they're usually too thick to punch holes in). Now, whenever my husband or I have a question about an electronic item or an appliance's functions, we just go to the binder, and not a junk drawer."
— Pattie, Copy Editor