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We love home shows where the expert comes in and gets rid of all the clutter! We know that we can do it ourself, of course. Remember those 40 brilliant organization hacks? The de-cluttering part is the critical factor, and it doesn’t have to be painful. Whether we are organizing a closet, a desk, a kitchen pantry, bathroom medicine cabinet or even a jewelry box, the principles of organization remain the same: There is a place for every thing and every thing is in its place. We can get there painlessly by taking these four steps.

Step 1: Sort. Pull out everything that will be living in this place and create piles of “like” items – we’ll call these “collections”. In a closet this might be all skirts or all hanging pants. In a jewelry box it might be all necklaces or all bracelets. On a desk it might be all post-its or all pens. You get the idea.

  • Throw away anything broken. If it’s been broken for more than a year and you haven’t fixed it yet, chances are you never will. If you really must keep it, fix it now.
  • Give away anything that’s not broken but is never used. If you haven’t used it in a year, chances are you never will.
  • Find a new home for anything that doesn’t belong. For example, if you are storing a portable fan in your clothing closet, move it to a utility closet. This closet is for clothing.

Step 2: Create a “home” for each collection. Here’s where you get creative by repurposing boxes, bins, decorative tins and other receptacles and using them to hold collections. These organization tips from our favorite bloggers will provide inspiration for every room of your house. (We notice that our organization mavens have a place for everything!)

Step 3: Put everything in its place. Now that you have thrown away or given away things you don’t use and have created a home for everything you need, your items are pared down. Now carefully fold and store each item in its place.

Step 4: Keep everything in its place. Organization doesn’t end here. This is just the beginning. We now need to maintain our organization and it’s not difficult. The key is to get into the habit of restoring everything to its place after use. After you complete a work project, tidy up your desk. When you come home at night and take off your jewelry, put everything in its place. When you are getting ready to leave in the morning, put makeup, hair products and tools away. When you’ve completed a craft, sort and tuck away. Do a little dance. It’s a celebration — you have restored order from chaos.

Do you have an organization hack of your own to share? Tag us on Instagram @britandco. Come on — share the love!

(Photo via Getty)