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8 Easy tips to tame clutter

Organizing your home is a great way to start fresh and minimize stress.

Reducing clutter transforms a home into a tranquil, escape-worthy getaway. To get started, separate items into four bins: Keep, Donate, Sell and Recycle. When your home is clutter-free, you’ll feel better, lighter and more energized. You can start with these easy tasks:

1. Shoe organizers are not just for shoes.

Turn your over-the-door shoe organizer into a multi-purpose organization system.

Mud room: Organize winter garments. Each scarf and hat finally has a home.
Kitchen: The ultimate snack organizer for the pantry.
Office: Say goodbye to tangled wires for good.
Bathroom: Store toiletries and hand towels to free up shelf space.
Hall closet: Store bulk items like paper towels and toilet paper.
2. Heirlooms should be displayed or passed on.

We know you can’t pitch everything. You shouldn’t. Grandma Shirley’s tea set, postcards from dear friends, old trinkets and family heirlooms; these are the things that make a house a home. Instead of letting them collect dust in the basement, incorporate as much as you can into your decor. Create a gallery wall with framed postcards. Display Grandma’s tea set on the buffet in the dining room. Refinish an old hutch to fit your updated kitchen. If you can’t find a place for it, gift it to another family member.

3. There is more to the attic than cobwebs.

If you have an attic, you’re probably already using it for storage. Install some shelves to transform this dumping ground into an organized place to keep holiday decor and seasonal items. If you have the budget, drywall it to create a cozy reading nook, yoga room or walk-in closet.

4. It’s like Match.com for clutter.

Follow the rule: There is a place for everything. Group like items together to free up space. Consolidate cookbooks into an industrial-chic wire basket. Place coffee accoutrements in a wooden tray. When you need a clean countertop, just move the tray. Voilà!

5. Digitize it, then dump it.

Everyone has a smartphone. We live in a mobile environment, so why do you have all those piles of paper?! Instead of filing away every receipt, skip the paper copy and have them emailed. Scan documents and store them in the cloud or on a separate hard drive. You’ll quickly free your home from a mountain of paper clutter. Now that you tackled the paper clutter, move on to the entertainment clutter. Consider donating old DVDs and CDs (most of those movies and songs can be streamed instantly). Now grab yourself an eBook, because you’re a bona fide digital declutterer.

6. Let it slide.

Turn your under-sink storage into a wonder of functionality. Install a sliding wire drawer to store cleaning supplies. Mount hooks on the inside cabinet door to hang scrubbing brushes. With everything out of site, you’ll have peace of mind and a fabulous-looking kitchen.

7. Stick it to me.

Install magnetic strips to add visual appeal and utility to your storage. In the bathroom: For small metal items that you could easily lose like bobby pins, tweezers and nail clippers, install a magnetic strip next to the sink. In the kitchen: The magnet trick is great for displaying cutlery or spice jars. In the garage: Ditch the toolbox and opt for easy accessibility with a magnet strip mounted on a peg board.

8. Invest in double-duty furniture.

Purchase versatile pieces to maximize space. A big, cushy ottoman can store blankets inside. A trunk can also act as a coffee table. Use a bookcase with open shelving to act as a room divider. If it can serve two purposes, you will need less items.


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