Decluttering took on a whole new meaning in 2020: faced with months of pandemic-related social isolation, many of us took the opportunity to address all of our long-accumulated stuff. We tidied, organized, and purged our way to some sense of normalcy during uncertain times, and it felt good.

Fast forward a couple of years later, and you may have noticed that the clutter has returned with a vengeance! If that’s the case, you’re not alone. But knowing that you may not have as much time on your hands to tackle the mess, we came up with three easy strategies to win your clutter battle one step at a time; better yet, each takes just 10 minutes or less.

Put a donation bag or basket in every space that needs an “edit”

Rather than facing the overwhelming task of making lots of choices at once, this strategy helps you pare down your stuff over time. Now, when you come across that ill-fitting sweater or uncover your collection of CDs from high school, you can simply toss them in the nearest donation pile.

Find a “home” for five things at a time

We often accumulate clutter because we don’t have designated places to store various items. Choose a problem area – e.g. your nightstand, kitchen surface, or entryway – and pick up five things. Rather than simply moving these items, think about where they can live permanently–and put them there. If you complete this exercise every day for a week, you might be surprised at the progress you can make in just a few minutes.

Create a basic filing system for papers.

It can be overwhelming and time consuming to sort through mail, mementos, and other documents. Instead of organizing your papers all at once, commit instead to three piles: trash, action, and save. The “action” pile is for papers like bills and RSVPs; the “save” pile is for things that need to be organized later, such as photos or letters you want to keep.

Finally, remember that it’s okay to ask for (or hire) help! Organizing and junk-hauling services are available virtually everywhere. And if you need a hand with some heavy lifting, Bellhop has you covered––check out our labor only service offering.