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Clear the clutter: 6 tips to organize your life

Jan. 28, 2014 at 5:46 PM ET

Video: Stephanie Sisco from Real Simple says to keep your home organized, you should avoid transferring clutter to another location, get rid of double items taking up space and create an empty space in a cabinet or drawer for overflow items.

Have you noticed when you’re surrounded by clutter on the outside that you feel scattered and stressed on the inside? Stephanie Sisco from Real Simple joined TODAY to share six clutter-busting tips that leave you feeling balanced and calm in your home — and your mind.

Rule #1: One in, one out

When you bring something new into your home, make an effort to dispose of something else. For example, if you buy a new top, get rid of another. Sisco recommends eliminating clothing you haven’t worn for at least a year.

Rule #2: Though shalt not transfer clutter

Don’t make it a habit to clean up one room by messing up another.

“If you’re going to take the time to move it, you might as well spend your time a little more wisely and actually deal with the problem,” Sisco says.

For example, instead of moving paper clutter from one room to the next, take junk mail to the shredder and file away bills, subscription renewals, etc.

Rule #3: Doubles are trouble

You don’t need multiple can openers, tweezers or corkscrews. When you bring home a new one, get rid of the old.

Rule #4: Have a place for nothing

We don’t always have the time and energy to put away our clutter.

“We’re not about perfection, we’re about reality,” Sisco says.

Keep an empty cabinet, shelf or drawer where you can dump clutter temporarily until you can deal with it. When the spot fills up, put the items where they belong.

Rule #5: A to Z (not A.D.D.)

Fix one spot from start to finish rather than jumping around from mess to mess. Start with a small task like organizing the junk drawer and then move toward larger projects.

“It’s much more satisfying to check something off your to-do list than have half completed projects looming,” Sisco says.

Rule #6: Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again

Preventing messes from building up is an ongoing process. Get in the habit of following rules one through five to maintain a clutter-free lifestyle. 

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