How to Control Your Clutter

Interior designer Ryan Korban has a painless, five-minute plan for controlling chaos in your home

Updated 06/01/10

This story originally appeared as A Cheater's Guide to a Tidy Home in Domino magazine.

Korban, a reformed slob, knows how to clean up quick without, you know, cleaning.

Make Stacks Purposeful

Topped with an objet, orderly piles of orphaned books and magazines look deliberate even when resting against the wall—and not like you desperately need shelves. Korban likes to dress his with plants or figurines

Contain Your Smalls

Scoop odds and ends into a nice ashtray (it doesn't know it's for cigarettes) or a bowl when you have to clear the decks fast. Place one on your nightstand and another in the entryway for dropping in keys, coins or lip balm.

  • Porcelain "Balcon du Guadalquivir" dish $570 hermes.com*

Disguise With Fluff

Raise your hand if you're a grown-up and never make your bed. A plush, oversize throw instantly hides rumpled blankets or missing top sheets. Korban's favorite is gorgeously textured thick-pile Mongolian lambskin.

  • 6' x 8' throw $1,950 and Pillows $225 each, Area ID (212) 219-9903*

Realize the Power of Trays

Instead of crowding your sink with creams, put your products on display. Korban creates a back-of-toilet tableau by grouping his on Venetian glass, arranging jars up front and tall bottles in the rear for easy access—and decorates them with a framed photo and fresh flowers.

(Similar to shown) "Can Can Girl" mirror tray $34 urbanoutfitters.com

Boxes! Boxes! Boxes!

Think of them as makeshift cabinets that fit perfectly into closets and shelves (Korban prefers ebony Azzedine Alaïa boxes). Boot boxes are genius for stashing two rows of CDs; smaller sizes can hold bills, photos, receiptsand anything else that needs a home.

Smells like you cleaned!

When there's no time for lemon Pine-Sol, mist upholstery and curtains with room or sheet spray (Korban loves lavender) for a crisp, fresh scent.

Diptyque room spray $60 aedes.com

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