9 Expert-Endorsed Decluttering Buys That Will Change Your Life for the Better, Guaranteed

January is a great time to get rid of everything you don't want to bring into the new year. And with these expert tips and tricks, it's never been easier to organize your life

storage bin, hangers, lazy susan
(Image credit: CB2, Amazon)

With 2023 in the rearview, it's high time for a fresh start — both literally and figuratively. Regarding the latter, I'm just going to go ahead and assume you left your ex back in December (you know the one), but regarding the former, I'm not as confident you've taken the steps to truly refresh your life on account of the year change (lord knows I haven't).

As we've seen with pro favorite strategies like the 80/20 decluttering rule, one of the easiest and most tangible ways to do this is to toss away trinkets, toys, and tools you haven't touched in years. And put what's left back with a new sense of order.

If you're considering how to start decluttering, Livingetc, of course, already has quite the handy guide. But in the spirit of new beginnings, I spoke to a few professional organization experts about what practices and products they're using to tidy up their and their clients' lives in the new year, then transformed those recommendations into a brand new, easy-peasy shopping edit. Think of it as a belated holiday present from yours truly (and one you'll use, unlike that one from the aforementioned ex. Onto bigger and better!).

Best Decluttering Tips for 2024

Starting off strong, I secured some incredible organizational advice from Lauren Saltman, professional organizer and owner of Living. Simplified. 'One of the best productivity hacks for 2024 is to 'touch it once,'' she told me. 'When you have something in your hands and you're done using it, don't just put it down. Put it away where it belongs!' The benefit? 'You'll find that you have to spend less time straightening up at the end of each day when you're actually putting items where they belong throughout the entire day.'

Lauren also recommends following the 'one in, one out rule,' according to which you should discard or donate one item each time a new item enters your home.  'Someone gave you a new book to read, then an old book needs to be removed from your shelves,' Lauren said. 'Someone has given you something from their home that you want to keep? Then something from your home needs to leave the premises.'

Shantae Duckworth, another professional organizer and founder of Shantaeize Your Space, also swears by the 'one in, one out' rule, which she says is a 'great way to refresh your wardrobe without taking up additional space.' And meanwhile, Angela O'Brien, founder of Your Space Reclaimed, said she likes to declutter her paper files around this time of year — things like 'utility bills, miscellaneous receipts, and other non-important papers.'

'Paper clutter is usually a non-emotional category with parameters we can follow so if you tend to have an emotional attachment to your items and struggle to let go, decluttering your files might be a good place to start,' Angela went on. 'Not to mention, it will give you momentum to tackle other categories.'

Best Decluttering Products for 2024

As part of her recommendations, Lauren shared a few fabulous buys for anyone in need of some decluttering help. Rather than take up added, unnecessary space, these purchases will assist in the organizational process, so you needn't feel bad about keeping them around.

First and foremost, Lauren said she is loving slimline hangers: thin, durable, and typically velvet-lined hangers that keep your garments secure while hanging. 'Have you ever looked in your closet and realized how much space your empty hangers take up?' she told me. If so, grab a set of slimlines and switch things up. 'You'll be amazed at how much additional space you actually have in your closet!' For a more uniform touch, use matching colors.

Expert-approved hangers

Lazy Susans

Another fabulous organizational buy? A lazy Susan, which is perfect for 'those hard-to-reach corners in your pantry,' Lauren said. You'll easily know what you have on hand and what you don't without crowding up precious cabinet space with unnecessary purchases. 'These can also be used in the back of a deep refrigerator so you don't have to pull out the items in front to reach what you are ready to use,' Lauren added.

And of course, when you go to purchase functional decor or helpful bins or baskets, Lauren suggests looking for those made out of sustainable materials, like glass, bamboo, or something woven. 'Just be sure that they are safe to hold the items you want to store inside,' she clarified. 'For example, if storing cleaning chemicals, you'll want to use a storage bin that is easy to clean in case of a spill.'

An 'attractive bin in your closet or near the front door' is perfect for collecting 'donations from all your family members throughout the year,' Lauren advised. 'When the bin gets full, put it in your car and take it to your local donation center. When you return, put the bin back where it belongs in your home.'

Bins and baskets

Style Editor

Brigid Kennedy is a Style Editor at Livingetc.com, where she is responsible for obsessively combing the internet for the best and most stylish deals on home decor and more. She was previously a story editor at TheWeek.com, where she covered both U.S. politics and culture. She describes her design style as colorful and clean, and in her free time enjoys reading, watching movies, and curating impossibly niche playlists on Spotify. She lives in New York.