Get Organized Quickly With These Decluttering ‘Sprints’

Health Information Lifestyle


Some parts of my house are neat, others are not — like the cabinet under my kitchen sink. A few months ago, when it was so stuffed that I couldn’t shut the doors, I finally decided to do something about it. That’s when I realized that the sink had sprung a leak and that all of the paper towels, boxes, bottles and rags below had congealed into a large, square-shaped loaf.

This sort of thing happens more often than you’d think, said Melissa Dilkes Pateras, an organizing expert and author of “A Dirty Guide to a Clean Home.” Still, I would have saved myself a lot of grief if I had purged when my cabinets started bulging.

Gearing up to declutter can be daunting, but small jobs can have a major effect, said Amelia Pleasant Kennedy, a decluttering expert in Detroit.

“I call them decluttering sprints,” she said, adding that they can create momentum to tackle bigger messes.

I asked experts for three projects that you can do in under 30 minutes.

Many of us, Pateras said, have a dusty box or bag of mystery cords, chargers, remote controls and reusable batteries. We have no idea what they’re for, but we’re afraid to throw them out.

It’s time to dump out the container, said Pateras, who is known to her 1.6 million TikTok followers as the “Laundry Lesbian.” Separate the chargers, batteries and phones into piles. “Think about all of the things in your house that have cords or chargers, and go through and try them,” she said. If nothing fits, she said, out they go. “You don’t need your Razr flip phone charger,” she said.

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