The 15 Best Decluttering Products of 2021, According to Experts

Clean your space—and your mind

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Clear Weathertight Totes at containerstore.com

"Keep your closets and storage spaces tidy with these clear storage boxes that are easily stacked and have a watertight seal."

Best for Kitchens: iDesign + The Spruce Crisp Turntable with Handles at Lowe’s

"This rotating turntable gives you access to all you need as you meal prep or dine, whether it's stored in the fridge or pantry."

Best for Food: OXO Good Grips POP 5-Piece Canisters at Amazon

"Stackable and dishwasher safe, they feature airtight seals to help your food stay fresh longer with just the push of a button."

Best for Kids Toys: Crate and Barrel Metal Stacking Storage Bin at crateandbarrel.com

"The boxes are attractive enough to keep out in a child’s room, and their stackable design allows you to sort toys by type."

Best for Bathroom Clutter: Yamazaki Rolling Slim Bathroom Cart with Handle at Pottery Barn

"Complete with space for toiletries, it's designed to be narrow so that it can fit in even the tightest of bathrooms."

Best for Paperwork: Project 62 Hanging File Holder with Folders at Target

"An easy way to organize mail, office files, and other important paperwork, it requires no assembly. "

Best for Under-the-Bed Storage: storageLAB Underbed Storage Containers 2-Pack at Amazon

"Keep out-of-season items or extra sheets out of sight and under the bed with these narrow storage containers."

Best for Cluttered Closets: Rubbermaid Configurations Closet System at Amazon

"Made for walk-in or reach-in closets, it can be adjusted to fit various different space requirements."

Best for Garage Storage: Rubbermaid Commercial Products Brute Tote Storage Container at Amazon

"Durable and temperature-resistant, they store up to 20 gallons while the tight seals prevent any water damage."

Best for Living Room Clutter: Threshold Decorative Coiled Rope Tapered Basket at Target

"These decorative baskets are perfect for storing items you want to keep accessible but out of sight, like remotes and blankets."

Messy homes can be a big source of stress. One study found that women who felt like they lived in cluttered homes had increased levels of cortisol (otherwise known as the stress hormone or “fight-or-flight” hormone). Men who did a lot of cleaning or housework in cluttered homes did, too. 

The problem with clutter is that when you have a lot of belongings, it creates extra work for you—whether that’s cleaning up, finding something, or needing to buy new things when you can’t find what you need. So, according to research, when clutter takes over, procrastination sets in. But when you procrastinate, your never-ending to-do list is always haunting you and making it incredibly difficult to relax or focus. 

But the good news is that decluttering can go a long way. An organized, clean home brings you peace of mind because there are fewer distractions, you know where things are when you need them, and you can focus on what you want to—be that work, spending time with family, or something else. There are also lots of great products to help organize your home, but with so much available, people don’t always know what to buy.

To help narrow down your choices, here are the best decluttering products—according to psychologists and experts.

Best Overall: Clear Weathertight Totes

Clear Weathertight Totes

Courtesy of The Container Store

What We Like
  • Tight latching clear bins

  • Available in 8 sizes and sets of multiples

  • Stack securely

What We Don't Like
  • Brittle in cold temperatures so best for indoor use

  • Can chip or lose latches when dropped

Getting rid of clutter doesn’t mean’t you’re going to throw everything away. But if you’re going to store sentimental items, holiday decor, and other things, you’ll want these durable storage boxes to keep your closets and storage spaces tidy.

They’re made of clear polypropylene, so you’ll be able to see what you’re storing without needing labels, they’re easy to stack, and they come in a variety of different sizes to fit all your needs. These bins have strong latches that create an air- and watertight seal to protect your items from moisture, dirt, bugs, mice and other damage. Plus, they look good on your organized closet shelves.

Dimensions: 8 different sizes, ranging from 6.5-quart (11.5 x 8.5 x 6.5 inches) to 74-quart (23.5 x 17.75 x 14.5 inches) | Material: Clear polypropylene | Room: Closet, Attic, Temperature-controlled indoor storage spaces

Nicholas Hardy, psychotherapist in Houston, Texas.

Good old fashioned storage bins are my go-to favorite. This can help organize items without necessarily throwing them away.

Best for Kitchens: iDesign + The Spruce Crisp Turntable with Handles

iDesign + The Spruce Crisp Turntable with Handles

Courtesy of Lowe's

What We Like
  • Rotating storage perfect for refrigerator or pantry

  • Open design and clear plastic for visibility

  • Raised side to prevent spills

  • Convenient handles

What We Don't Like
  • Clear plastic will show spills

  • Can break if dropped

This rotating turntable makes kitchen organization easier, whether you use it in your refrigerator to store sauces or salad dressings, or in your pantry to organize spices and condiments. It’s made of durable, clear plastic and features an open, modern design so you can always see what you’ve got stored in it. It rotates easily for accessibility and it has a rim to keep any bottles from tipping.

Best of all, while it was designed with kitchens in mind, it can come in handy anywhere you might store bottles, like your laundry room or bathroom.  

Dimensions: 11.41 x 11.41 x 4.41 inches | Material: Clear plastic | Room: Kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, pantry

Best for Food: OXO Good Grips POP 5-Piece Canisters

What We Like
  • Lids with airtight seals to preserve food freshness

  • Stackable shapes

  • Features fill lines

  • Dishwasher safe with lid that comes apart for cleaning

What We Don't Like
  • Can crack and break if dropped

  • Labels sold separately

Nothing creates clutter—and waste—faster in your kitchen pantry than opened bags of chips, rice, and pasta boxes, which is why these food storage containers are so popular. They’re designed to be stackable, they feature airtight seals to help make your food stay fresh longer with just the push of a button, and they’re convenient to use, thanks to their fill lines and rounded corners that make for easy pouring.

These stacking containers are also made of clear, high quality plastic so you can easily see what you have and know when you’re running low. They are dishwasher safe and their lids come apart for easy cleaning. You can also use them to store crafts, hardware, and other non-food related knickknacks too. 

Dimensions: Set of five, containers range in size from 3.75 x 3.75 x 3.75 inches to 3.57 x 3.75 x 12.62 inches | Material: Plastic and silicone | Room: Kitchen

Best for Kids Toys: Crate and Barrel Metal Stacking Storage Bin

Crate and Barrel Metal Stacking Storage Bin

Courtesy of the Container Store

What We Like
  • Made of durable metal

  • Available in multiple colors

  • Attractive stackable design that you can put anywhere

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Metal exterior may show scratches over time

Children rarely like their toys too far out of sight, but parents dislike the instant clutter that a pile of small figurines, blocks, or toy cars can make—with these stackable storage bins, both parties can be satisfied. The boxes are attractive enough to keep out in a child’s room, especially since they come in multiple colors to match the style and decor of the space, and their stackable design allows you to sort toys by type.

In addition, they’re convenient because they allow you to see what’s inside without needing labels, which allows kids to easily find what kind of toy they’re looking for and parents to easily sort the toys while cleaning up. Plus, they’re made of durable metal so you don’t have to worry about them collapsing or needing to be replaced quickly.

Dimensions: 14 x 11.35 x 8 inches | Material: Galvanized iron | Room: Kids room or nursery

Lauren Powell PsyD, licensed clinical psychologist in Georgia.

For kids' toys, I like stackable boxes. Each box gets a certain type of toy (i.e. blocks go in one box, race cars in another, and so on).

Best for Bathroom Clutter: Yamazaki Rolling Slim Bathroom Cart with Handle

Yamazaki Slim Rolling Bathroom Cart with Handle

Courtesy of Pottery Barn

What We Like
  • Slim modern design

  • On wheels for easy access

  • Three shelves to maximize storage

  • Easy to assemble

What We Don't Like
  • Can become top heavy if bottom shelves not stocked

  • Only one handle

  • Shelf height is not adjustable

You can hide your toilet paper, bathroom cleaners, toilet cleaners, plungers, and other bathroom clutter with this sleek, minimalist cart. All you have to do is put your items on the shelves, then spin the cart (it’s on wheels) and place it against a wall so everything is out of sight but easy to access.

The cart is purposely designed to be thin and narrow so that it can fit in even the tightest of bathrooms, though it could also be used in a narrow kitchen. It features a beautiful wood topper and it comes in two colors—white and black—to match the aesthetic of most homes. 

Dimensions: 18.75 x 5 x 27 inches | Material: Steel, wood | Room: Bathroom or kitchen.

Best for Paperwork: Project 62 Hanging File Holder with Folders

Project 62 Hanging File Holder with Folders

Courtesy of Target

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Attractive, modern design

  • Compact

  • Holds a lot of documents

What We Don't Like
  • Hard to read label when full

  • Folders don’t come off rack

This file folder offers an easy way to organize mail, office files, and other important paperwork in your office to minimize paper clutter. The hanging, modern design requires no assembly and it is not only attractive to display on an office shelf, but it’s also very practical.

Your paperwork is always easy to access and each file has a label so you can quickly see what’s what without having to dig through each file. The hanging files are also large enough to hold three full file folders. Best of all, this file holder is one of the most affordably priced ones on the market that doesn’t sacrifice quality at the same time. 

Dimensions: 12.13 x 12.94 x 5.44 inches | Material: Steel and paper | Room: Office

Kathryn Ely, National Certified Counselor in Birmingham, Alabama

I love pretty hanging file folders. They provide easy access to paperwork without causing any distraction and there’s no disorganization of having paper piled up your desk.

Best for Under-the-Bed Storage: storageLAB Underbed Storage Containers 2-Pack

What We Like
  • Firm sides and bottom to maintain shape

  • Durable handles for easy retrieval

  • Large capacity fits over 20 items of clothing

  • Discreet fabric look

What We Don't Like
  • No wheels

  • Fabric structure will wear over time

Bedrooms attract clutter quickly, especially when you have out-of-season clothes, extra blankets and sheets taking up all of your space in the closet. That’s why under-the-bed storage is perfect for these items, allowing you to store things you need (like winter sweaters) out of sight.

These storage containers are easy to pack and remarkably durable for their fabric construction. They are also narrow enough to fit under most beds and their grey color allows them to blend in seamlessly without causing an eyesore. 

Dimensions: 33 x 17 x 5.75 inches | Material: Woven fabric | Room: Bedroom

Best for Cluttered Closets: Rubbermaid Configurations Closet System

What We Like
  • Adaptable to different closet spaces

  • Mounting hardware included

  • Well designed and sturdy

What We Don't Like
  • Requires significant assembly

One of the best ways to clear clutter is pretty straight-forward: clear out those closets and organize them so that you can easily find things—and this customizable Rubbermaid closet kit does just that. It’s made for walk-in or reach-in closets and comes with five shelves of various lengths, two top rails, 10 brackets, four uprights, and two hang rods.

It can be adjusted to fit various different space requirements and you can also get multiple kits (or other Rubbermaid organizers) if you want to add onto this kit. The shelves and hanging rods are durable, but may not be the quickest install, depending on how handy you are. 

Dimensions: 47.56 x 13.06 x 2.63 inches | Material: Metal | Room: Closet

Best for Garage Storage: Rubbermaid Commercial Products Brute Tote Storage Container

What We Like
  • Temperature resistant

  • Water resistant

  • Stackable

  • Reinforced ribbed bottom that allows for dragging without damage

What We Don't Like
  • Lid can be tricky to remove

  • Grooved lid can collect water

If you’re not ready to part with some of your items but don’t want them in the house (or if you only need them part of the year), the garage is an excellent place to store things. But in order to do that, you need durable, temperature-resistant storage tote.

The Brutes store a significant amount (up to 20 gallons), are made of high-density polyurethane (which will protect your items even in cold temperatures), and they are stackable. They’re also reinforced on the bottom so you can drag them without worrying you’ll damage them. The lids fit tightly, keeping everything safe from water damage.

Dimensions: 7.8 x 17.4 x 15.1 inches | Material: High-density polyethylene | Room: Garage, attic, shed, basement

Best for Living Room Clutter: Threshold Decorative Coiled Rope Tapered Basket

Threshold Decorative Coiled Rope Tapered Basket

Courtesy of Target

What We like
  • Neutral color that fits most homes

  • Affordable

  • Durable

  • Nicely sized to be practical

What We Don't Like
  • Handles can come unclasped

  • Can get dirty

These decorative baskets are perfect for storing items you want easy access to but don’t want to see all the time, like remotes, keys, blankets, books, toys, and more. They’re made of a durable coiled rope material that feels more expensive than it is, and while they are soft sided, they do retain their shape.

They feature convenient handles for lifting and at 13 inches in diameter, they are the perfect size to hold what you need and still fit on your bookshelf. Plus, if you want to get more, Target has bigger and smaller sizes too. 

Dimensions: 11 x 13 x 14 inches | Material: Cotton | Room: Living room, bedroom, kids room

Best for Desk Clutter: Container Store Deluxe Monitor Stand with Drawer

Container Store Deluxe Monitor Stand with Drawer

Courtesy of the Container Store

What We Like
  • Sturdy and durable

  • Clear drawers to easily find accessories

  • Multi-purpose

  • UV-resistant to prevent yellowing

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Can only support 20 pounds

Office drawers just invite clutter, so instead, keep everything you need in two little drawers in front of you. Since this stand is made of acrylic, you’ll never lose track of your pens, pencils, notebook, power cords, and other desk essentials—but it will also force you to keep the drawers organized because they aren’t out-of-sight, out-of-mind. This organizer itself is also very sturdy and doubles as a monitor stand, and the acrylic is UV-resistant to prevent yellowing. 

Dimensions: 21.75 x 6.375 x 5.375 inches | Material: Acrylic | Room: Office

Best for Under-the-Sink Clutter: SimpleHouseware Stackable Under Sink Basket Organizer

What We Like
  • Stackable if you buy multiple

  • Features a sliding basket

  • Fits in small spaces

  • Sturdy construction

What We Don't Like
  • Sold individually

  • Will need multiple for bigger kitchens

This SimpleHouseware under sink organizer will help you reclaim your kitchen counter by maximizing your storage under the sink. It’s made of sturdy metal and features a sliding basket that’s perfect for storing sponges, dish brushes, and other similar items.

It’s also narrow enough to fit next to the sink pipe without issue, even in small kitchens. In addition, if you purchase more than one of these organizers, you can stack them on top of each other to create a thoroughly organized space.

Dimensions: 16.75 x 10.8 x 10.25 | Material: Metal | Room: Kitchen

Best for Entryways: Dotted Line Bamboo Entryway 8 Pair Shoe Rack

Dotted Line Bamboo Entryway 8 Pair Shoe Rack

Courtesy of Wayfair

What We Like
  • Attractive

  • Multiple shelves and umbrella holder

  • Naturally moisture resistant

What We Don't Like
  • Requires assembly

  • Wood can splinter

This entryway organizer turns a messy doorway into the tidy space of your dreams. It’s large enough to hold eight pairs of shoes and it has a place to stash an umbrella or yoga mat. It is crafted from bamboo, a wood that is known for being naturally moisture-resistant so you don’t need to worry about the umbrella area getting moldy. The organizer is also small and compact—perfect for small apartments or narrow entryways. 

Dimensions: 25.25 x 28.3 x 11 inches | Material: Bamboo | Room: Entryway, hallway

Best for Clothing Drawers: Dial Industries Dream Drawer Organizers

Dial Industries Dream Drawer Organizers

Courtesy of Container Store

What We Like
  • Expandable

  • Fits any drawer 4+ inches deep

  • No tools required

What We Don't Like
  • Smaller dividers sold separately

These customizable drawer organizers can turn any clothes, underwear, or socks drawer into something neater and tidier. These dividers are sold in convenient sets of two, with the option of adding in smaller compartment dividers for an additional price.

Each divider is spring loaded to fit into almost any drawer at least four inches deep. They also have rubber feet to help keep it in place, which means you won’t need any tools to install them. You can reorganize and redivide your drawer as often as you want without harming your dresser.

Dimensions: 12-18 x 4 inches | Material: Plastic | Room: Bedroom

Best for Donating: ToughBag Clear Trash Bags

What We Like
  • Made of durable plastic

  • Clear, which is ideal for recycling and donation

  • Large capacity

What We Don't Like
  • Very wide bags

  • Don’t come in a dispensing box

Anyone that’s serious about decluttering their home is going to need bags for throwing things out and bags for donating: these work for both. They’re made of high quality plastic that is tough enough to hold all the items you’re throwing away—even the heavy or sharp ones—without breaking while you haul the bag to the curb (or the donation center). The bags are also transparent, which is ideal if you’re using them for clothing donations. 

Dimensions: 17 x 5 x 12 inches (65 gallons) | Material: Plastic | Room: Any

Final Verdict

What products you buy to help yourself declutter depends a little on your needs and what room you’re tackling. However, almost every decluttering project is going to need some storage boxes and Clear Weathertight Totes are the best. They stack nicely and their lids latch tightly to keep critters, dust and dirt out. Plus, they’re available in a myriad of convenient sizes and they’re transparent, so you always know what’s in them without having to open them up.

If you’re also getting rid of things (whether for donation or to toss out) while you declutter, you should use heavy duty, clear ToughBag Trash Bags, too.

What to Look for in a Decluttering Product

There are a lot of decluttering products on the market, which can make it difficult to figure out what you actually need. Here are some things to consider:

Functionality:

When you’re decluttering, the goal isn’t to add a bunch of new things: it’s to organize the things you already have. This seems obvious, but it’s easy to get sidetracked. So, for example, if you don’t use a bunch of pencils, paperclips, tape and sticky notes at your desk, you don’t need an office organizer with a bunch of compartments for those things. Make sure what you buy is practical to your space and what you use it for. 

Whether you’ll actually use it:

With decluttering products, “the overall goal is to increase your motivation and drive excitement to declutter,” says psychotherapist Nicholas Hardy. That means that if the product overwhelms you, or seems like too much work to keep up, it’s not for you. 

For example, if you’re too busy to label a bunch of jars in your kitchen, don’t buy them. They’ll only make your problem worse, not better. 

The size of your space:

Everyone’s home is different, so there isn’t really a one-size-fits-all product for decluttering. Ultimately, what you buy needs to fit nicely in the space you have without making things feel more cramped than they were before. 

Durability:

No matter what you buy, make sure it will last. The last thing you need is a product that will fall apart in a few months and just need to be replaced later. That will only make more work for you.

Durability is especially important if you’re looking at storage boxes for items that you want to keep, but don’t want to see every day. If you plan on keeping the storage boxes outside, make sure they can handle temperature variations and protect your items from water damage, pests, and dirt. 

Room:

If you’re looking for ways to declutter spaces you use everyday, your needs will be different than if you’re just looking to organize a closet, attic, basement or garage. For example, for knick-knacks in your living room, you might want a decorative basket, but for your craft closet, you might just opt for clear or labeled storage bins. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does decluttering improve productivity?

    Research has shown that clutter and disorganization affects our productivity because it affects our focus when the clutter competes for our attention and distracts us. 

    “Clutter is distracting because it’s visual stimuli all around you,” explains licensed clinical psychologist Lauren Powell. And that visual stimuli can make you remember something you’d rather be doing, remind you of something else you need to do, or trigger a memory. In other words, all those items cluttering your workspace are just a constant invitation to let your mind wander. 

    This is especially true if your clutter is a series of unfinished projects (like piles of paperwork on your desk, dishes in the sink, bags of recycling by the door, etc).

    “When we look around us, we think dozens of tiny thoughts about the stuff we see,” explains Risa Williams, psychotherapist, productivity coach and author of ‘The Ultimate Anxiety Toolkit.’ So “it’s easy for our stuff to trigger memories or trigger thoughts like ‘I should move that’ or ‘I should clean that up.’”

    However, she continues, “if you can declutter and remove some of the stuff that triggers these thoughts, you’re giving your mind space to think other thoughts instead.” And when you do that, you also allow your mind to focus on getting one task done at a time, which ultimately improves your productivity. 

  • How do you declutter when you're overwhelmed?

    Clutter can sneak up on you so that by the time you decide to deal with it, it feels overwhelming to fix because you simply don’t know where to start. That’s why it’s important that you make a game plan and prioritize.

    “When I am overwhelmed, I declutter by writing down everything that needs to be organized,” says Hardy. “This allows for several things: first, a list that can be prioritized and second, a sense of accomplishment every time I am able to mark an item off of that list.”

    In addition, Hardy says, it helps to set a date or time for when you’re going to tackle your decluttering project. “When I set a date to declutter, I can anticipate the joy and pain of everything that comes with it,” he says. “Plus it allows me to not think about it until it is actually time.” Setting a date also allows you to buy everything you need to help you declutter before you get started.

    Another thing that can help when you feel overwhelmed is to start small. “Focus on one small space,” says Powell. “For example, go to the junk drawer that just keeps piling up and only focus on that drawer—nothing else—and do your absolute best to perfect the organization of that drawer. Then, take a break [before] trying another small area.”  

    “Small projects really add up over time and even a little progress can significantly improve your mental well-being,” she adds.  

    You can also start by the clutter that’s out in the open, says Dr. Gabrielle Schreyer-Hoffman, like clutter on your desk or your kitchen counter. The advantage of this approach is that you’ll immediately be able to see your results, which can be very motivating. 

    Whatever you start with, try to be systematic in your approach. Make piles or use boxes/garbage bags to sort things into piles: keep, toss, donate and unsure. “Go through the area you’re trying to declutter, take everything out, distribute them into piles, and then when you’re done, begin to put things away,” says Schreyer-Hoffman. 

    It also helps to donate to charity. “When you donate old or unused items, it helps you justify why you are getting rid of something,” says Hardy. “When we understand that others can benefit from it, it makes the process easier,” especially if you try to imagine how much joy another person can receive from your items.  

  • Why is it so hard to let go of stuff?

    There are lots of reasons why someone might hold onto something, even if they know deep down that they don’t need it. 

    A Yale study found that when we’re letting go of objects we feel a personal connection with, the parts of the brain associated with conflict and pain tend to light up. These are the same parts of the brain that also light up when smokers and drug addicts try to quit. Of course, for some people, like those with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the reaction in this part of the brain is stronger.

    The reason we likely feel like this, though, is because “we tend to create emotional attachments to our belongings,” explains Powell. “The items we have tell stories, making them hard to throw away.” For example, a particular sweater might remind someone of their mother, and if that mother has died, the feeling that it is wrong to throw it away might be stronger. 

    In addition, even if someone recognizes that they might not need something right now, it’s sometimes hard to let go of the idea that they might need it if circumstances were to change. This is why you might hold on to cleaning products, office supplies, etc. 

    Our belongings also feel comfortable and familiar so changing them (or getting rid of them) can feel strange. “We are all creatures of habit,” explains Hardy. “So we naturally gravitate towards our own levels of comfort [and] to the extreme, this can cause us to hold on to items well past their expiration.”

Why Trust Verywell Mind?

As an experienced health and science reporter, Simone Scully understands the importance of picking thoroughly researched products to promote wellness and self-care. 

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Article Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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