Clutter Busters


jenni J







With children, pets, guests, errand running and a career, my rooms start to look a bit shabby by week’s end. But I have found ways to keep clutter at bay. Here are my top five tips to bust clutter and capture serenity and beauty in every room.


  • Pretty landing

Whether it’s in the entry, the kitchen or a home office, the landing space for mail, newspapers and keys is usually the messiest spot. Get some decorative baskets, pretty boxes and/or metal containers that suit your décor and make it a habit to place these types of items inside. I make or buy labels that stick, hang or otherwise attach to the container so everyone knows exactly what’s in there. Sometimes you can buy pieces that fit your space and add molding for a built-in look. Other times it’s smart to create a long-term solution and have a piece made for your space.


  • Shelve it

Shelves are the easiest way to organize. A wall shelf in the entry, although it may be visible, is a catch-all space that provides a place to hang coats, backpacks, dog leashes and the like — looking organized and purposeful. I often add baskets or bins to the shelves for things that don’t get used every day. I have shelves inside the doors of cabinets to quickly drop in cleaners, storage bags and other items. 

  • Well centered

If you have a central place for items that you need, then you can catch up with your clutter in just a few minutes. For me, that’s a center in the kitchen where all of the cell-phone chargers, extra sets of keys, markers, pens, tape and other necessities go. Even the insides of your cabinets need organization. If you have lots of plastic food-storage containers with no specific place to put them, then frustration will set in when they all tumble out as you’re reaching for a pan. I use wire racks, divided liners, inserts and even small bamboo boxes.


  • Tray bay

If you have a tray on the counter, console or cocktail table then magazines, TV and audiovisual remotes, coasters and more look organized and neat. I purchase decorative trays for the bathroom and kitchen that work with my decor. 


  • Here, there and everywhere

Can you fit a bench or console in the entry or in a hallway? I have large baskets under the console where we throw shoes, dog toys and school stuff. A great wooden box under the kitchen table stores my husband’s wallet, keys, business cards and more. A tray on one chair corrals mail and newspapers until they get read or sorted. Even my kitchen cabinets look nice when I purchase inexpensive glass containers for pasta, rice, flour and other staples. Chalk labels work perfectly, so I can erase when I change the contents.  In the “junk” drawer, boxes hold paper clips, tacks, picture hangers, screws and more.

In the living room, our cocktail table has lidded containers for remotes, batteries, coasters, lighters for the fireplace and cat toys that somehow find their way here. 


— Jen Anissi, design assistant, A Touch of Tradition Home & Garden Shoppe, 7313 Carroll Road, Suite D, San Diego, 619-669-8871,

Categories: Home Design