5-Minute Decluttering Tricks for When You’re Too Damn Busy to Clean

5-Minute Decluttering Tricks for When You’re Too Damn Busy to Clean
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Believe us when we say that some simple decluttering tips can totally change your life.

MORE: 25 Unapologetically Feminine Home Decor Ideas

It’s crazy what a difference a pile of stuff—or the removal of said pile—can make in a space. When a room—no matter how well-designed—is littered with books, clothes, and shoes, it looks way more shabby than chic. On the flip side, decluttering a room, even one that’s 90 percent Ikea-outfitted, can make it a million times more comfortable—or at least somewhere you’re not embarrassed to invite friends.

MORE: Your Everything Guide to Decorating: 10 Foolproof Ways to Improve Your Home Now

Made for busy, lazy, or DGAF-but-still-want-my-place-to-look-like-I-GAF days, these pro clutter-busting shortcuts will help you make your apartment look guest-ready in less time than it takes to play your favorite Beyoncé song.

Originally published May 2016. Updated March 2017.

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Look hard at wall art and photos: Anything you don’t love, take down stat, suggests decluttering guru Erin Rooney Doland in her book Never Too Busy to Cure Clutter: Simplify Your Life One Minute at a Time.

Photo: Sarah Sherman Samuel

If you have more than three decorative pillows on your bed, Doland suggests you edit those down to simplify bed-making, and achieve a more streamlined look.

Photo: Jenny J. Norris Interiors

Empty surfaces make your living room look bigger and cleaner, so clear off that coffee table, says professional organizer Tova Weinstock.

Photo: Design Attractor

Rearrange your desktop so the things you use the most are easiest to reach, and the rest live in containers or drawers or on shelves, says Doland.

Photo: Tessa Neustadt

Your bedroom will feel less cluttered if you keep similar items (jewelry, books, etc.) together, says Weinstock.

Photo: Sarah Sherman Samuel

Inspect your dishes and glassware. Toss or recycle any that are damaged or chipped, says Doland. They're useless, so hanging onto them only creates clutter.

Photo: Remodelista

Hang only one or two bathroom towels at a time—one body towel and one or two hand towels, says Weinstock.

Photo: SF Girl by the Bay

Set your table as you would for a meal [even if you're not eating]. Use it as a reminder not to let random stuff pile up, Doland suggests.

Photo: Design Attractor

Do a quick sweep of your living room shelves every night and put any out-of-place items back where they belong, Doland says.

Photo: Home Adore

Kitchen counters are clutter magnets, so pinpoint the spot where stuff builds up and put a plant or piece of art there as an anti-clutter reminder, says Karen Kingston, author of Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui.

Photo: Ryan White Designs

Overloading hooks in your entryway makes a space look smaller, so return extra coats and bags to the closet, Weinstock says.

Photo: Remodelista

Scan your bookshelf and remove at least one book or movie you’ll never use again; then straighten up any leaning books, says Doland.

Photo: Jessie D. Miller

Minimizing the frames, candles, and decorative items in your bedroom makes it feel clean, so relocate any you don’t love, Weinstock says.

Photo: Home Adore

Check out your hats, scarves, and gloves, and pack up any that are due for a dry-cleaning, Doland suggests.

Photo: Coté Maison Interiors

What you see when you enter your home sets the energy for the space, says Kingston. “Tidying up items dumped there makes a huge difference.”

Photo: Cocon de Decoration

Designate an area or piece of furniture in your bedroom as a “valet” for things you use every day, like your wallet, watch, or pens, says Doland.

Photo: SF Girl by the Bay

Create a “hanger, launder, or fold” rule at the end of each day to keep clothes from piling up on the bedroom floor, suggests Weinstock.

Photo: Avenue Lifestyle

Keep bathroom counters clear by storing products in cabinets and drawers and tossing expired or unused ones monthly, says Weinstock.

Photo: Tessa Neustadt

Remove one piece of clothing you don’t like or haven’t worn for a year from your closet, says Doland, and arrange your shoes by type or color.

Photo: Song of Style

5-Minute Decluttering Tricks for When You're Too Busy to Clean
5-Minute Decluttering Tricks for When You're Too Busy to Clean

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Cheat Sheet: 5-Minute Decluttering Tips for a Clutter-Free Home | How to quickly clean + simplify your space—save this handy list as a reminder | @stylecaster