Nate Berkus' Home Organization Advice Might be Rudimentary, But he Swears it Helps Your Space Run Smoothly

This simplified approach to organizing your home will help you streamline your stuff for a space that's as efficient as Nate's

nate berkus in front of a desk with interior design materials
(Image credit: mDesign)

When seeking organizing advice, it makes sense to turn to friends with impeccably tidy and efficient homes. In our case, that's Nate Berkus. He and partner Jeremiah might be better known for their design royalty status, but a quick peek inside their homes reveals the intentionality behind their design choices and just how streamlined their spaces are as a result, right down to the very minutiae.

Besides Nate's qualities as a triple Virgo star sign, then, what's the secret? Well, after sharing one of his recent Instagram reels, we found out - and the advice is far easier than we ever imagined.

According to Nate, the trick is to start small and set realistic goals if you want to organize your home successfully. Once you restore order and find a system that works for you, however, the next battle is maintaining it, and while it might take a bit of extra time and effort, Nate says it's the best thing you can do to ensure the smooth running of your home. What to learn more about Nate's approach? Here's the tip to add to your arsenal of best decluttering tips.

Nate Berkus' simplified approach to a more organized space

Office space with taupe walls and bookshelves

(Image credit: Design by K Interiors / Photo by John Merkl)

Never one to gatekeep a good home organizing tip, Nate shared his latest advice via an Instagram reel. 'My top tip for keeping my home and any home organized? You have to develop a system and stick with it,' he says in the video. 'I don't think you can organize the entire house, it's too overwhelming in one shot, but you can pick even a drawer out of the cabinet or a linen closet and just make that your goal for the weekend.'

If you're the type to agonize over how to organize your home efficiently, it turns out you might be overthinking it. As Nate notes, sometimes it really is as simple as finding a technique that works for you and just committing to it. While the method you use might be different from someone else, the point is that it works for you and your individual needs.

A headshot of a woman with dark hair sitting and smiling
Di Ter Avest

Di Ter Avest is a professional home and lifestyle organizer and the owner of Di is Organized. Her in-person services, virtual projects, workshops, and book, Organize Yourself Healthy, help women create sustainable organizational systems for their homes and lives. Her expertise has been featured on Forbes, Today, ApartmentTherapy, Real Homes, and Kitchn; she has also given workshops at IKEA, West Elm, and Williams-Sonoma.

An entryway with shoes organized neatly

(Image credit: Barker Architecture Associates)

Experts are fans of this back-to-basics approach, too. 'Nate Berkus's tips are on point, especially if you are tackling purging and organizing on your own,' says Di Ter Avest, owner of Di is Organized and author of Organize Yourself Healthy (available at Amazon). 'Many times, people feel stuck because they don't know where to start, or they feel overwhelmed by the number of things they need to deal with, and they get decision fatigue. Minimizing belongings and settling on a system that works for them will make managing the space easier.'

Whether it's employing the 'one touch' decluttering tip (putting something away as soon as you touch it) or just investing in some inserts to organize your drawers once and for all, the technique itself isn't what's important - it's finding one that you find helpful. Di offers dreaded closet organization as an example. 'If you don't like folding your clothes, it's okay to hang them all or dedicate a basket for them where you can keep one category per basket,' she says. 'Finding what works for you and your lifestyle is key to maintaining the system.'

'Another subset of this advice that I like to give is to set a timer,' suggests California-based organizer Melissa Gugni. 'If working on a shelf feels too overwhelming, set a timer for 30 (or 20 or 5) minutes and see how far you get. By splitting organizing projects up into smaller parts, it avoids the dreaded torn-apart room that stays that way indefinitely.'

A post shared by Nate Berkus

A photo posted by nateberkus on

Once you've found a new system or rule that works for you, the next challenge is sticking to your guns. 'What's most important once you've managed to accomplish one section of the house is to maintain it,' says Nate in his video. 'If you have a system, just take that extra 30 seconds to put things back the way you've decided you want them to go and your house will run so much more smoothly than it ever has before.'

It's this commitment that many of us find so tricky, and that's why starting small is key. 'I've learned as a pro organizer that overwhelm and busyness are two of the biggest obstacles to folks' desire to get - and stay - organized,' explains Melissa. 'When I can see that a client is struggling with dealing with "the whole shebang," I encourage them to pick a small area to focus on, just like Nate suggests. If the bedroom is too much, let's try the closet. If the closet is making your palms sweat, let's start with just one shelf. Small wins can lead to more wins and it's always my hope that it becomes infectious.'

Of course, some expert-approved organizer buys can also make the job far easier. Nate suggests baskets for shelves or clear bins for your drawers to make it easy to coral your stuff and find exactly what you want when you need it. The right one will shortcut the organization process while keeping everything contained. To decide what's right for you, assess the area you're working on and think carefully about what specific tool or storage item would streamline that space. And make sure it scores points for style, too.

Stick to these rudimentary principles and your home organization ambitions are sure to be a success. If it works for Nate, it can work for us.

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Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.