Peter Walsh kicks off the Oprah's Clean Up Your Messy House Tour in New York City with the Rockettes.

Is your bedroom a pigsty? Your living room disorganized? Are there piles of stuff as far as the eye can see? Never fear, organizational master Peter Walsh is leading the charge to clean up your messy house!

Peter is in New York City, where he and his clutter crew are kicking off Oprah's Clean Up Your Messy House Tour. "For the next several months, I'll be traveling from coast to coast to towns across America, showing you how to kick that clutter out of your homes and your lives," he says. "I know the world outside your front door feels uncertain and unpredictable right now, but that's why it's more important than ever to transform your messy space into a comfortable and safe place that you can call home."

Watch Peter's kickoff video! Watch

No mess is too big and no task is too tall, but Peter knows change takes time. "Clutter robs you of so many things—of peace and harmony and focus and motivation," he says. "If you stick with us for six months, I guarantee that you will have a clutter-free, organized home that is the sanctuary and haven that you deserve."
Peter Walsh organizes Babette's kitchen cabinets.

Peter starts off in Harlem, where he's all set to do some ambush decluttering. Since five is Peter's lucky number, he heads to the fifth floor of an apartment building and starts knocking on doors. It's not easy to get people to open their homes to a stranger, but Peter finally meets Babette, a mother of two whose home could use some expert help.

"You don't want to see my apartment," Babette warns. "I'm in my pajamas!"

Babette lets Peter in and shows him her kitchen. "Why don't we try [decluttering] the cabinets? " she says.

The cabinets are disorganized, but Peter's not daunted. "This is easy," he says. "I'm going to show you what we can do in 10 minutes."
Organized glasses in a kitchen cabinet.

Peter has two rules for organizing cabinet space. "Anything you have not used in 12 months can go," he says. "The big thing here is putting like things together." Only 6 minutes and 51 seconds later, Babette's cabinets are neat and tidy.

"That looks great," Babette says.

"Start with one space," Peter says. "That's all you need to do. Dedicate 10 minutes a day, and this is what you can get."
Babette's cluttered toy space

Babette's two young boys have her home filled with kid clutter. Peter has invited Candice Olson from HGTV's Divine Design to whip up a simple solution.

In only 90 minutes, Candice is ready to show Babette and her husband, Bruce, a new and improved toy space.
Babette's reorganized toy space.

Candice added wheels to storage boxes to contain the kids' clutter. "We put it on wheels so that the kids can move it around as a table surface, or they can use it for additional seating—multipurpose, multitasking, multifunctional furniture," Candice says.

Babette's children had plenty of art on the walls, so Candice used carpet tiles as corkboard to hang pictures and create a mini art gallery. "Each square makes the pieces you choose as special even more special by doing these little frames," she says. "It's really an extension of the décor of the entire room and a great way to display art."

Candice recommends adhering the carpet tiles to the wall with double-sided tape so that they can be easily removed. You can find them at any home improvement store, she says, and they come in every color, so they're easy to coordinate with the rest of the room.

Babette and Bruce can't believe how quickly their messy toy space has been transformed into a work of art. "How adorable," Babette says.

In this room: Open Solid Mahogany Cube, The Container StorePottery Barn pillows; Two-Drawer Solid Mahogany Cubes, The Container Store; EVA Tread boxes, The Container Store; floor tiles, available at any home improvement store.
Babette, Bruce, Bennett and Brent

Babette, Bruce, and their sons, Bennett and Brent, are Skyping in to The Oprah Show from their newly decorated art gallery. Babette says she had been expecting a package on the day Peter arrived. "I realized it wasn't the postman [at the door], and Peter was just lovely," she says. "He was so sweet."

Babette says she organized her kids' closets after Peter left her apartment. "I found a couple of containers to put like puzzles together ... so the kids now know where they're at," she says. "What stuck with me was when [Peter] said, 'If you hadn't touched it in 12 months, get rid of it.' That sort of removed the emotional attachment to anything."

Bruce says the results have been fantastic. "Every time I come home, there's something different," he says. "It's been quite an adventure."

Bennett and Brent have been chipping in as well. "They love the drawers, and they love the bins," Babette says. "They've been working really hard to keep things in their place."
Peter Walsh holds up a Snapfish bound book of kids' art projects.

Overwhelmed by what to do with growing piles of your child's art projects? Peter has a great solution! "Take digital photos of their artwork, upload them to, and they will send you back a beautiful, bound book of the kids' artwork. So, over time, you can build a library of your children's artwork—let the pieces go, but keep them in this form forever."

Learn more about custom photo books at

Messy bedroom with clothes strewn on the bed.

Three floors above Babette's apartment, Peter meets Patty. It quickly becomes clear that her apartment will be the next stop on the tour. "I definitely need help," she says. "You can come check [my apartment] out...with much forgiveness."

Patty's main mess is in her bedroom. "My biggest issue by far is probably my clothes," she says. "In here, we have this lovely armoire, which really just hides the mess within."
Peter Walsh organizes Patty's bedroom closet.

Patty's closet is overflowing with clothes, many of which look the same. "We tend to buy the same things over and over," Peter says. For Patty, that means black pants and black turtlenecks. "If you don't hang similar things together, you end up buying the same stuff over and over."

Peter and Patty get started by sorting through her clothes and separating them into "keep" and "donate" piles. At the end of one hour, Patty has seven bags of clothes for donation!

"I feel good," Patty says. "I think this is much-needed help. If you are clutter-prone, it all seems incredibly overwhelming to get started."

An organized bedroom closet.

Now that Peter and Patty have gotten rid of clothes, the closet feels spacious and organized rather than cluttered. To help identify other pieces to clear out, Peter hung Patty's clothes with the hangers in the reverse direction. "You wear 20 percent of your clothes 80 percent of the time," he says. "For the next six months, whenever you wear an article of clothing and hang it back in the closet, I want you to hang it the correct way. ... If you have stuff after six months that's still hanging back to the front, you have to ask yourself, 'Are you ever going to wear it again?'"

After Peter and the clutter crew have finished working on Patty's closet, she can't believe what she sees. "It's amazing!"

Patty says her new and improved closet sends the right message to her kids. "[It says] that we care about our things," she says, "which is an incredibly important lesson that we have yet to teach them."

In this room: large cocoa Tribeca box, The Container Store; large olive Tribeca box, The Container Store; walnut hangers, The Container Store.
Patty's redecorated master bedroom

Before, Patty's bed was a magnet for clutter. Now, the piles of clothes are just a bad dream—they're neatly folded and put away. "The single most important room in the house is this room. This room drives the house," Peter says. "And a room like this says to your children, 'Mom and Dad value their relationship.'"

Patty can't get enough of her peaceful retreat and promises Peter that she'll keep it neat. "It's fabulous," Patty says. "Thank you so much. It's amazing."
Patty checks in from her new bedroom.

Patty checks in via Skype™ with Peter and Oprah from her spotless master bedroom. She says Peter's knock on her door has changed the way her family sees their home. "Before, I thought uncluttering was just about cleaning your house, but it's so much more than cleaning," she says. "Raising my children with the right values and teaching them to care about the things that we have—that's important to me. And so now I look forward to making my bed every day because it's just another lesson that I'm teaching them."

Patty says her sons had asked her to do laundry the morning of the makeover because they could no longer close their hampers. "When my son came home after the makeover, he thought the place looked like a hotel, and he was so proud of it [he] wanted to sleep in our room," she says. "[My sons] wanted to make their own beds."

With Peter's help, Patty says her house has truly become a home. "Before, it was a collection of stuff in a box. Now, it is a place where we live together and enjoy each other and we have peace together," she says. "We're sleeping better. We're getting more time to spend together. It's just a much more pleasant, calming, peaceful, sweet place to be that embodies the soul of our family, our marriage and our relationship with each other."

Peter says anyone can create a home like Patty's. "We dressed that room, with almost no exception, with things that were already in the house," he says. "Your house has things that you love, but they are covered in all the clutter. Remove the clutter and then honor and respect those things that make your heart sing."
Peter Walsh opens a refrigerator with rotting food inside.

With Patty's apartment under control, Peter and Candice head to the East Village after getting a tip about a single city girl named Marin.

Clutter convoy in tow, Peter and Candice ring the bell—and they can tell Marin and her dog, Perry, need help right away. "We have our work cut out for us," Peter says.

The first room to tackle is the kitchen, where empty shopping bags, mail and takeout containers cover every inch of available counter space. When Peter opens the fridge, a powerful smell from uncovered, rotting food overwhelms the room.

"What does this kitchen say to you about the person who lives here?" Peter asks.

"It says that they've lost their mind," Marin says.

Armed with garbage bags for trash and recycling, Peter and Marin get to work sorting through the piles. One of Marin's major organizational weaknesses is her mail. "We have to set up a mail zone so that when the mail comes into the house, it goes to that one single place," Peter says.

In less than five minutes, Peter and Marin have the counters clear!
Messy apartment.

Marin's main living space is the definition of cramped quarters. In a small amount of square footage, Marin squeezes in a couch, entertainment center, office area and bed. Piles of clothes, papers and other items have taken over what little space Marin has left. "I feel like my apartment's a reflection of the fact that I'm all over the place," she says.

Peter says a person's home is a metaphor for her life—and that cluttered homes like Marin's are fairly common. "I think very few people make the connection between what their house is like and what their life is like," he says. "If you're struggling with focus and motivation and calm and harmony—if you don't have those things in your life—look at your house."

So Peter asks Marin the defining question for any home. "What is it that you want from this apartment?" he says. "That's why we're here. To get you from this to the apartment that reflects the life you want."

Marin says she wants a stylish, eclectic and bold home that will inspire her, and Peter's more than willing to help. Together, they grab garbage bags for trash and donations and get to work.

One of the major trouble spots of the room is Marin's desk area, which is extremely important because she works from home. "One of the big things with a desk and an office area is to set a limit and keep it to that limit," Peter says. "If you don't set a limit, you are going to end up with an apartment filled with so much stuff that you won't be able to live your life."

In minutes, Peter and Marin have cleared the space, and they're ready to tackle the area that's most likely to become a black hole in any home—the closet.
A messy clothes closet

Marin loves clothing and shoes, but Peter says that's not the message her closet is sending. "There is a message here that says, 'I do not value what I own,'" he says.

Peter helps Marin start clearing some room by showing her how to set limits. As they go through the closet, Peter asks Marin to separate each item into one of three piles—"keep," "donate" and "clutter to cash." Peter says Marin can sell the items that are stylish and in good condition. "Clutter to cash, that's your homework," Peter says.

Learn how to donate—and how to sell—your unwanted stuff.

In only three hours, Marin says goodbye to the shoes, jeans and accessories she doesn't need. Now that the surface clutter is gone, it's time for Marin and Perry to clear out so Peter and Candice can complete the transformation!
Marin's new kitchen

Marin's space needed a little more help than just decluttering. Only 24 hours after Peter and Candice knocked on her door, Marin's apartment has been completely revamped.

Peter and Candice have Marin close her eyes as they lead her to their first reveal—the kitchen. "Yesterday when we arrived and first walked into this kitchen, I was kind of blown away. We haven't done a ton of work in here, but I'd just like you to open your eyes and just check out the kitchen," Peter says.

Marin is shocked. "Oh my God, I can't take it," she says.

Her counters are clear, and her kitchen table sports beautiful candleholders instead of empty bags. Decorative mail sorters dress up the counter—and keep the paperwork from piling up again.

But there's one more task Peter left for Marin to tackle on her own—cleaning out that funky fridge!

In this room: chandelier decal, Blik; lace shopping baskets, The Container Store.
Redesigned studio apartment

To make the best use of Marin's small space, Candice decided to completely flip Marin's old layout. Her old living area has been transformed into a beautiful new bedroom! "Complete genius," Marin says.

With a new light fixture, a headboard, bedding and a fresh coat of paint, Marin's bedroom is a peaceful retreat. "The first thing you need to do every day is make your bed," Peter says.

Candice also used a simple solution to create more space. Instead having her bed extend lengthwise from the wall, Candice placed the longest part of the bed against the wall. "It seems so spacious in this tiny room," Candice says.

In the bedroom: feather decal, Blik; Edison Chandelier, Pottery Barn; Mirror Framed Mirrors, West Elm; velvet drapery panels, Pottery Barn; linen sheer drapery panels, Pottery Barn; Random Cutout headboard, West Elm; bronze Square Swing Arm Sconces, Pottery Barn.

On the workstation: walnut and platinum elfa freestanding home office, The Container Store; Faux Bois silver table lamp, West Elm; Kenilworth Smart Table Lamp, Pottery Barn; Overlapping Squares Chair and Cushion, West Elm.
Marin's new living room

One "wall" of Marin's bedroom is a curtain. When Marin steps through it, she's overwhelmed by her new living area. "Are you joking me?" she says. "Stop the cameras. I can't deal."

Peter helps Marin take everything in and points out her new, organized work area. "We have a place for files, research, storage. Everything about this says, 'I want to be inspired,'" Peter says.

"It looks like the space doubled," Marin says.

In the living area, Candice chose a streamlines sectional for seating. "I think a lot of times people think of a large piece of furniture [like] this sectional as something that would overwhelm a small space like this, but it really is one long, continuous piece, and it doesn't look cluttered," Candice says.

Helping to light the way—without spending a lot of money—is a new Pottery Barn chandelier. Candice also added track lighting, which can be purchased at any home improvement store for about $100. "Anybody can do this. Every room has some kind of a light fixture in the ceiling, and the problem with one light fixture is it just sort of floods the space with light," she says. "When you light everything, you really light nothing.

Marin's favorite part of the room? The display case of shoes. "Now they're finally where they rightfully belong—which is on display for all to worship and see," she says.

In this room: Honeycomb Mirror, Pottery Barn; Hazel floral rug, Pottery Barn; Walton Sectional Sofa in Nautral, West Elm; Resin tree-stump side table in gold, West Elm; Sliding Door media stand, West Elm; linen drapery panels, West Elm; Bijoux chandelier, Pottery Barn; wallpaper, York Wallcoverings
Marin's closet

Peter and Candice save the best for last—Marin's closet. With wall units, neatly hung clothes and a moveable shoe rack, Marin is overjoyed. "Oh my God, I love it," she says.

With the help of pieces from the elfa® system from The Container Store®, nothing's on the floor. "[The closet] says, 'When I spend money on something, I treat it well,'" Peter says.

The elfa system allows you to mix and match to meet your storage needs. "You can completely personalize it," Candice says. "This is every woman's dream."

Marin says she's learned an important lesson from this experience. "That I can do it," she says. "It's just crazy to meet people that believe in you before you believe in yourself. I'm just glad that you guys saw that in me."

In this room: walnut and platinum elfa décor walk-in closet, The Container Store
Marin and Perry

Marin and Perry are Skyping in from her new digs with an update on that rank refrigerator. "I threw a party actually the next day, so I spent three hours cleaning it," she says. "I'm also making my bed, too, by the way."

Marin says she's more motivated than ever after her clutter intervention. "I didn't really realize that being messy hindered me," she says. "I was always kind of like waiting until I owned my own apartment or moved to a house, but now is the time to be neat and decorate, and now is the time to pursue my goals. This really just lit a fire for me."

"Your life can't be together and focused, targeted, if you're living in a messy, cluttered, disorganized space," Peter says. "It just doesn't happen."
The Container Store

Decluttering and redesigning your home doesn't have to break the bank. "When we talk about saving money, the best way to save it is not to waste it," Candice says. "And it doesn't matter how much time or energy or money you put into a room, if you haven't edited and organized and decluttered and gotten it into a beautiful, functional state first, you've wasted the money."

How To Clean Up Your Messy Living Room 

Tips for Decluttering Your Kitchen 

Declutter Your Home and Diet

Want to join Oprah's Clean Up Your Messy House Tour? Register to be a part of Peter's Clutter Crew! Sign up for Peter's newsletter today. From now until May, you'll receive monthly assignments from Peter that will help you declutter your home, room by room and step by step. Here's your first assignment:

1. Sign the pledge. Peter says, "Get on board because in six months, friends, you'll be so far ahead of the game."

Download your clutter pledge and vision statement. PDF

2. Define your vision for your life and space. "Here's the deal. The vision—what is it that you want from your space? I want peace. I want focus. I want a place where my family can gather," Peter says. "That then has to be the criteria for deciding whether something stays or goes. [Ask yourself,] 'Does this item help me create that vision?' If it does, keep it. If not, it doesn't belong in your home."

3. Commit to 10 minutes a day. Start small and start today with the Trash Bag Tango. "Everyone in the house gets two trash bags. Fill one with trash and one with stuff that's going to [charity] or garage sale. ... Do that for 10 minutes a day," he says. "It doesn't matter how big or how small the bag is, it's just small steps."

Watch the Trash Bag Tango in action! Watch

Also, make sure to find your digital cameras—you'll need them for every assignment!

Declutter your home with more expert advice from Peter Walsh