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Tips for Keeping Your Home Organized

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Overcoming the plague of clutter is increasingly difficult when busy lives combine with an over-accumulation of stuff. The more clutter we acquire, the less we want to tackle the task of sorting through it and getting organized.

However, an orderly and tidy home will make life much easier, relieve stress, and save you loads of time that is otherwise wasted searching for that one elusive item hiding in the midst of your chaotic mess. It doesn't have to be difficult or costly to sort through your belongings, maximize your storage space and organize your clutter into neat and aesthetic arrangements.

The following guide will provide you with some quick and easy tips for increasing your storage space and organizing the most clutter-prone parts of your house.

The bedroom

The bedroom is one of the quickest rooms to be taken over by clutter. It's typically the most private room in the house, so anything you can't find a place for may get tossed inside. If you have insufficient drawer or closet space, you may find your clothes piling up on the floor. Your necklaces and earrings are becoming a tangled heap on your vanity. How will you find a place for everything?
  • Utilize your under-the-bed space. Even if you don't have a bed with drawers for storage beneath the mattress, it doesn't mean you can't use that space efficiently. Purchase several large plastic bins to store out-of-season clothes, shoes or coats and slide them under the bed for easy, out-of-sight storage.
  • Use the walls for storage. If you are working with very little horizontal space, it's time to utilize your vertical space. Walls provide a great opportunity to store things like handbags, belts, scarves, necklaces, and earrings. Install hooks, a key rack, or a horizontal, wall-hanging coat rack to hang necklaces efficiently and free of tangles. You can also mount a corkboard and use straight pins to hang your jewelry.
  • Create a closet. Insufficient closet space--or worse, no closet at all? Create your own closet by installing a high shelf on your bedroom wall. Beneath the shelf, install a rod or hooks to hang clothes, handbags, or coats. Attach a piece of fabric in a vibrant color or print from the bottom of the shelf to hide your homemade storage space. Use the high shelf to store boxes of shoes or folded clothes.
  • Organize your vanity. Are your vanity drawers a disarray of cosmetics and hair products? Are your styling tools strewn across the counter top in a jumble of tangled wires? Organizing your vanity will make primping much more pleasant and hassle-free. Use decorative baskets on your vanity top to store your curling iron, flat iron, and blow-dryer, as well combs, brushes, hair clips, hair sprays, balms and gels. Open your vanity drawers. How many of those lotions, lip glosses and eye shadows do you still use? Sort through your cosmetics and toss out whatever you can't remember using in the last six months. Remember, these products do have a shelf life. Then, collect some of those convenient flat boxes you get when you purchase a piece of jewelry. Lay the open boxes inside your drawers to create instant compartments to sort and store different types of make-up, face creams, or even jewelry.

The kitchen

The kitchen is often the most used room in the house, and can quickly and easily become a cluttered mess. Cooking apparatus, food, dishes, cutlery and appliances are all fighting for your counter or cabinet space, which may seem scant and insufficient. Before you start tearing down your walls to build a bigger kitchen, try some of these easy storage ideas.
  • Use baskets. Instead of heaping objects on your counters or stuffing them into drawers and cupboards, use decorative rattan baskets to store assorted kitchen items such as dish soaps, cooking utensils and other frequently used gadgets.
  • Use shelf organizers. Scared of the disaster lurking behind your cabinet doors? Avoid an avalanche of cookware by installing simple shelf organizers in your cabinets to make pots, pans, bake ware and other kitchen tools easily accessible.
  • Use drawer organizers. Don't let your kitchen drawers overflow with random doodads to the point where you are forced to yank them open. Separate your drawers by category--one for cutlery, one for plastic bags and wrapping, one for assorted junk (the infamous junk drawer), one for plastic leftover containers, etc. Keep the drawers streamlined and divided with drawer organizers, so that everything has a place and is clearly visible.
  • Install a hanging rack. Make use of vertical space by hanging a rack from the ceiling for your pots and pans, or install a wine glass rack to elegantly hang your delicate glassware.
  • Hang pegs for aprons and towels. Save drawer space for other objects by hanging your aprons, dish towels, oven mitts and pot holders from pegs or hooks on your wall. Just be sure to keep them at least two feet away from your stove.
  • Install a Lazy Susan. Keep your pantry sorted by using this convenient and space-efficient turntable. Use it to hold condiments, spices, canned goods or other non-perishable foods. Give it a spin to easily access items in the back of the cabinet.

The bathroom

Bathrooms are often our home's smallest rooms and yet there is so much we need to store in them. If you have limited cabinet or closet space in your bathroom, you may have to get creative to increase your storage options.
  • Use a coat rack for towels. A standard towel rack can only hold so many towels, and is often used to display decorative or guest towels for drying hands. So where do you put those wet towels that pile up on the bathroom floor after the fifth person in your household showers in the morning? Place a coat rack in the corner of your bathroom to hang towels. Its slim, vertical shape is space-efficient and it can hold quite a few towels at one time.
  • Create a wall-hanging cabinet out of a drawer. Limited cabinet space in your bathroom? Mount a dresser drawer from an old bureau on your bathroom wall to use as a charming cabinet/shelf for storing hand towels, wash cloths, soaps, lotions or toiletries. Line the bottom of the drawer with pretty contact paper to give your shelf an attractive background.
  • Hang a tiered vegetable basket. Three-tiered wire vegetable baskets are not only handy for storing produce. These fun and convenient hanging baskets can also increase your storage options in a small bathroom. No floor space required--hang it from the ceiling and use the baskets for storing lotions, soaps, bath beads, hand towels, loofahs, and other bathroom necessities.
  • Use a shower caddy. Keep your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soaps, wash cloths and loofahs organized with a shower caddy. Mount it on the wall or purchase an easy alternative that simply hangs over your shower head or hooks onto your curtain rod.

The closet

Unless you are lucky enough to be blessed with a home that has a luxurious walk-in closet, you are probably dissatisfied with your allotted wardrobe space. Here's how to make the most of the closet capacity you have been given.
  • Canvas shelves. These useful hanging shelves are a cheap and easy way to increase space in your closet. Simply hang them inside and store folded sweaters, jeans, shoes, or anything that doesn't require a hanger.
  • Plastic shoe boxes. Instead of struggling to fit an assortment of cardboard shoe boxes that differ in size and shape and don't stack efficiently in your closet, invest in some slim plastic shoe boxes. With each box one uniform size, they will be much more aesthetically pleasing and easier to stack on the floor of your closet or on a high shelf.
  • Shelf dividers. These wire dividers will keep items on your closet shelf organized and neatly sorted. Keep stacks of folded clothes from toppling over and becoming one heaping, wrinkled pile of disorganization.
  • Over-the-door rack. These convenient racks make the most out of a closet's unused door space. Different styles come adorned with pockets for shoes and/or hooks for belts, scarves and handbags.

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on March 13, 2013

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