Do you have a closet, a corner of the basement, a room or
some other space you dread looking at because of the junk
you know is there? The time has come to start uncluttering
By simplifying and organizing space, you will actually
spend less time looking for things - or looking for places
to put things -and have more time to concentrate on
enjoying life. A clutter-free environment also means you
may spend less money shopping for things you don't need
...and may already own but can't find.
Here are a few tips to get you started in uncluttering
Make a list of ways to cut down on clutter. What can you
get rid of? What can you put away in boxes or bins. For
example, if you keep tripping over your children's toys,
try putting half of them away in bins and out of sight for
six months; chances are your children won't miss those
toys and when you bring them out six months later they
will seem brand new.
After your list is complete, made a schedule and commit to
tackling one de-cluttering project a month. For instance,
June could be your month to cull winter clothing and send
unworn garments to Goodwill or the Salvation Army; July
might be the time to clear out old newspapers, magazines
and catalogs and August the time to clean out the garage.
Once you have de-cluttered your home, keeping it
clutter-free can be a major challenge, especially for
growing families. Disorganized clutter has a way of
surfacing regardless of how often you put it away.
Bathrooms, kitchens and closets of older homes in
particular provide little storage space, and without
enough space to put things in or on, those areas can get
disorderly very quickly.
Most homes are filled with overlooked storage spaces; all
you need is a sharp eye to find them. A closet, for
example, can be built in a free corner of any room
-bedroom, bathroom, den, etc. Other, less obvious spaces
include window wells, the area behind attic knee walls.
The backs of doors, under the beds, hanging shelves in the
garage over the car hook, along walls, under stairs and in
Adjustable shelves and modular storage units are your best
bet to add and reorganize storage space. These can be
regrouped, added to or used separately as storage needs
change. To avoid piling things up, use many small shelves
and compartments. They look neater and make it easier to
put things back in place.
In the bathroom
With all the toiletries, cosmetics, medications, soaps and
towels, this can be a very disorderly area. Here are some
tips to make the area safer and clutter-free:
Mount a wall cabinet about a foot above the toilet. To
avoid hitting it, ensure it is no more than eight inches
Place a shelf just above the sink to place all the things
that now sit on the counter area.
Combine wall shelving with towel bars.
Below the sink or counter, install pull-out shelving to
make better use of wasted space.
Add a magazine or book rack to the wall.
Use storage gadgets such as shower caddies, soap dishes,
trays and other containers.
In the kitchen
Kitchens are also notorious for collecting clutter. Try
some of these tips:
Add shelving to the backs of doors, pullout shelving to
cupboards and freestanding shelving to empty corners.
Pull-down under-cabinet racks and handy flip-down plastic
trays put storage right at your fingertips. Put the walls
to work by adding shelving and other clutter savers such
as vinyl-coated inch-deep wire wall grids that you can add
hooks and baskets to.
Most closets are full, but mostly of wasted space. A
typical closet consists of a rod, a shelf and a floor a
combination that does little to maximize space.
The best way to get the most use out of a closet is to
install a closet system there are many to choose from or
make your own. Most ready-to-assemble closet systems have
three basic components: wardrobe shelving, linen/shoe
racks and baskets to work with the framing system.
Closet systems, whether built-in or modular, multiply your
closet capacity. They are also useful in organizing
walk-in closets, which can also get very disorganized.
Where to store things
Try to store objects where you use them the most.
Keep frequently-used items between knee level and no more
than 10 inches above your head. .Put items you use less
often on higher or lower shelves.
For safety and convenience, store heavier items below
To gain more space for the things you use every day, put
rarely-needed and out-of-season items in clearly labeled
boxes or bags and keep them in your home's less accessible