Be Wise and Organize!

Is your home utter clutter? Stacks of bills, papers and an accumulation of "stuff" — some of it necessary, most of it probably not. Things do have a way of piling up, unless you make a promise to yourself to use an item, then put it back or throw it away — right now. If not, clutter can usurp space and actually make your home seem smaller. Here's how to reclaim more space in your place:

Imagine your things organized into various categories. Get tough and classify, starting with trash to be thrown away. Then sort "everyday items," "for storage" and "for donation or sale."

Maybe you receive way too much "junk" mail. Catalogs from which you’ll never buy should be thrown out. In fact, take some time to put yourself on a Do Not Mail list.

Feeling cramped for closet space? Relocate your winter or summer wardrobe from your bedroom closet to a storage area as seasons change. While sorting, ask yourself: will you really wear that again?

Garages were made for cars, not for clutter. But we do use them, especially when storage options are limited. Whether you pile boxes along a wall, or overhead in an attic, you may find your belongings are not easily accessible without a ladder and your memory. You may want to invest in smart, professional-looking storage units for the garage, making sure to label each bin or box completely to save time when you’re on the hunt.

Make a mental list of what might stay in the garage. Though it’s tempting to keep luggage there, remember that you’ll be bringing it back in when it’s time to fly. Sporting goods might make sense in your garage — carefully and neatly stored — since they’re used outside.

Keep your things close to where you’ll use them, and that in turn will motivate you to return them to their proper places. Instead of throwing that item into the first open space, take 30 seconds and analyze the most logical place for it.

© 2006

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