Unclutter Your Home

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 your space!

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 your space.

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.

Getting organized

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.

Overlooked spaces

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 wall alcoves.

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 deep.
  • 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.

Closet organizers

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 waist level.

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 storage areas.