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Do you want to know a secret? One of the best improvements you can make in your home doesn’t require buying anything. In fact, it’s the exact opposite, say organizing experts. “It’s a competition between stuff and space, and you have to decide what’s more important,” advises Anna Napier, professional organizer. Letting go of our things is a psychological hurdle we’re hardwired to resist, but the sweat is more than worth the payoff. So clean up and clear out, then follow these tips for breathing new life into your space — one room at a time.

1 | Entryway

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Gautreaux recommends placing a rounded-frame mirror near your door. The circular shape adds balance, especially if the furniture piece below is more boxy.

Welcome home: Create an entryway that exudes warmth and stops clutter in its tracks.

First impressions are important, but an entryway is also your primary line of defense against clutter. Set yourself up for success by designating a separate family entrance, says professional organizer Jenny Gautreaux ( Whether it’s a back or side door, she recommends outfitting this high-traffic space with plenty of hooks and a bench to remove shoes or temporarily house oversized items.


Whether you go with something custom, antique or out-of-the-box, a multitasking piece of furniture is crucial to keep each entry point organized. “For the front entrance, you want it to be way more clutter-free and inviting,” says Gautreaux. Her go-to for this area is a chest of drawers, but she says a table or narrow desk can work in a pinch (bonus if it has at least one drawer). Hall trees, lockers or wall-mounted hooks are better suited for your family entrance. Read on to find the best fit for your needs.

Chest of Drawers
Opt for a chest of drawers with a cabinet below, which Gautreaux says is ideal for hiding a basket full of larger items, such as hats, scarves or shoes. The upper drawers can be used to stash keys, mail or pens, so your foyer stays tidy and ready for unexpected visitors.

Hall Tree
Gautreaux’s says hall trees are a great fit for your back or side entrance. Choose one that matches your vibe: Antique stores and online retailers have a variety of styles. Or, if you want something more versatile, create your own “tree” with a bench and wall-mounted hooks.

Built Ins
Even if you don’t have a huge mudroom, locker-style custom cubbies can be a game changer for kid accoutrements. When each person in the family has their own space, it gives everyone ownership and help promotes a unified organizational mission. Add bins and baskets as needed to contain miscellaneous items, says Gautreaux.

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Gautreaux recommends placing a rounded-frame mirror near your door. The circular shape adds balance, especially if the furniture piece below is more boxy.

Ready to make an entrance?

Hang a mirror to brighten and open up the space. This classic accent can instantly make your foyer feel more inviting.

Add a touch of green, something as simple as a succulent, says Gautreaux, or make a bold statement with a large-scale plant.

A traditional timepiece adds flair, while keeping you and your guests running on time. Opt for one with an interesting shape.

Layer in some soft lighting by incorporating a table lamp or candle into this zone, suggests Gautreaux.

Homeorganization Jennygautreaux

EXPERT Jenny Gautreaux, professional organizer and owner of Complete Organization  //  Instagram: @completeorganization


2 | Kitchen

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Napier insists it’s worth the extra effort to decant your most used seasonings from their packaging into a set of uniform, labeled containers. Bonus points for organizing them in alphabetical order. Store any back stock in the original canisters in your pantry or an out-of-the-way cabinet.

Streamline your meal prep with smart planning.

Everyone’s favorite gathering spot can all too easily turn into a clutter magnet without the proper systems in place. Add a revolving door of groceries, and it’s a recipe for disaster. When it comes to organizing in the kitchen, less is more, says Anna Napier, professional organizer ( 

Take Stock
“Kitchens sometimes accumulate a lot of the same things, when you’re only using one or two of them,” says Napier. Store the excess and reclaim that space for the items you reach for the most.

Zoning Rules
Starting with the pantry, designate separate sections for snacks, baking, dinner, canned goods, etc. Follow the same method for cookware and dishes, but keep function top of mind. “It’s placing it in a spot that’s more conducive to how you live your life,” says Napier.

Go for Drawers
Napier says deep lower cabinets can often become a black hole. Instead, put your most used pots and pans in a deep drawer. If that’s not an option, try adding a slide-out shelf or pot rack.

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Bring order to your pantry.

It’s a cinch to find what you need and evaluate inventory with clear glass or plastic containers. Napier loves these for baking supplies, or kids’ snacks, like granola bars. Nothing is worse than reaching for your favorite treat, only to find an empty box.

These work great for larger, sturdy grocery items you’ll likely have with a meal, says Napier. Think: chips, breads or rice. They can also be used to stow gear that might free up your drawers, such as potholders or napkins.

We all eat, so this is a space where it’s especially crucial to have buy-in from everyone in the house. Napier’s secret? “Labels are a way for you to boss people around without them knowing you’re bossing them around,” she says.

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Reserve your upper cabinets for everyday dishes. Find an alternative home for anything sentimental, seasonal or special-occasion. You shouldn’t have to grab a ladder to reach your favorite dish, says Napier.

Curate your coffee station.

Location, location, location. Anchor your coffee maker above a drawer or near a cabinet, where you can conveniently tuck away your cups and accessories—without taking up any more counter real estate. “The key to maintenance is to make it easy for yourself,” says Napier.

Homeorganization Annanapier

EXPERT Anna Napier, professional organizer and owner of In line Organizing  //  Instagram: @inlineorganizing


3 | Living Room

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Highlight your collections by giving them space to shine.

One added perk of deep cleaning? You never know what treasures could be lurking in storage. “I think a lot of people have art and objects in their house that are scattered in closets and get put to the side,” says Nicole LeBlanc, designer and builder ( A well-curated display can add personality to your walls and shelves. Strike the right chord by prioritizing quality over quantity.

Media Management
Vintage media, like vinyl (and, yes, even cassettes) are making a comeback. But those dusty boxes of CDs aren’t doing you any good if you don’t have anything to play them on. Turn your living room into a listening room with a sideboard or freestanding media cabinet. Reserve the top for a player or two and sort albums behind closed doors.

Gallery Wall
Turn any blank wall into a museum-worthy gallery with a few simple steps. LeBlanc recommends choosing pieces that speak to you, and then laying them out on the floor about the dimension of the wall space. She says they don’t all have to match, but you should aim for a reappearing color that can unite the objects. A mask or plate can add depth and texture.

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Infuse your bar cart with local libations. LeBlanc recommends JT Meleck vodka or Wildcat Brothers rum. “It’s a conversation starter,” she says. Alcohol free? Use this spot to showcase houseplants and flowers.

Think like a pro: Upgrade your bookshelf.

Sift through your books and weed out anything that doesn’t fit your current needs. Use the opportunity to stock up a nearby Little Free Library.

Don’t worry if your memories of the Dewey Decimal System have faded. Try sorting by topic or author, depending on what makes more sense for your collection.

Color Code
You may not want to judge a book by its cover, but ROYGBIV-style sections can make it surprisingly easy to find what you’re looking for.

Add Flair
Give your tomes some room to breathe. Alternate vertical and horizontal stacks, and mix in a few sentimental items.

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Lamps bring character, just pay attention to scale. LeBlanc loves layering sculptural floor lamps. Go for table lamps or sconces to glow-up smaller spaces.

Homeorganization Nicoleleblanc

EXPERT Nicole LeBlanc designer, builder and owner of NLB Designs  //  Instagram: @nicolelbdesign


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