5 Simple Ways to Declutter Your Home Now

I tend to be a pretty organized person, unless you actually open that closet or look in my garage!  Organizing a home takes time and physical effort, but there are some easy ways to get started.  My own home organization projects went smoother doing a few simple things.

Here are the top five residential "trouble spots" for clutter, and what you can do to organize them.

1) The home office

The problem: Overcrowded libraries with books, magazines, and files as well as big electronics like computers, printers, and shredders mean little extra, usable space.

The solution: Toss magazines and newspapers first, as they are normally the easiest to part with and will give you a motivating "win" to start. Give away unwanted books to charity. If your budget allows, consider switching out a desktop computer for a laptop, opening up more room. Dust, label, and arrange the computer cables in an attractive manner.

2) The bedroom closet

The problem: Closets always feel too small, especially to the ladies.

The solution: Remove out-of-season clothing and accessories, and place them (neatly!) elsewhere in the home. Relocate or purge any items that don't belong in a clothes closet, like sports equipment, papers, and junk. Then situate the remaining in-season items as if on display in your favorite store or magazine.

3) The kitchen

The problem: As the heart of the home, the kitchen sees high-traffic volumes - and it normally looks worse for wear.

The solution: Make your kitchen into an orderly command center. Remember: you want to make sure that your kitchen has everything you need to survive a crisis, not that your kitchen has just survived a crisis. Rethink any small appliances you don't use on a daily basis. Chuck the junk mail, and use a tidy basket to hold bills and other essential paperwork.

4) The garage

The problem: The garage is a catch-all for... well, everything.

The solution: Pull everything out of the garage, purge the clutter, and then separate the remaining items into categories like auto accessories, camping equipment, yard tools, recycling containers, etc. Find a home for and use tasteful storage to display each category. The key to organizing a garage is to make use of the elevated space, like the walls for storage racks and ceiling for a false attic.

5) The yard

The problem: It's easy to ignore the dead patch of grass in the backyard because you have more pressing matters, but the outside of a home is reflective of the inside of a home.

The solution: Have a "discovery session," where you walk around your house making a list of necessary outdoor improvements. Then schedule a daily to-do on your calendar, or outsource the tasks, until all items are crossed off.
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