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One of the problems with having too much stuff is that it is hard to get it organized. Your shelves are crammed, your cupboards running over, and your closets are a mess. After purging unneeded and unwanted items, you can now gain the benefit of being able to organize your stuff.

TACTIC: Organize your stuff by function within the space you have in your home.

For example, in your hall closet, have a shelf for office supplies; have another shelf for sports equipment, another shelf for winter clothing. If you've really pared down on your stuff, you'll have room to do this. You might have to place two unrelated groupings of things on the same shelf or area. However, don't be afraid to allow a shelf to be partially (or fully) empty. This empty breathing room makes it easier to find things easily and quickly. Empty areas also can indicate you have the potential to live in a smaller place.

TACTIC: Use bags, boxes, or containers to organize items.

Knitting supplies? Place in a big, clear plastic bag. Bicycle tools and parts? Place in a cardboard box with a label, "BIKE TOOLS AND PARTS." By placing containers around things, you help keep them together in storage and provide a way for you to pull them out all at the same time to use.

Containers such as nylon packs or plastic fishing tackle boxes give you a durable and inexpensive way to organize your hobby materials and make them portable.

TACTIC: Avoid storing things in hard-to-access places.

Your garage's attic may offer a spacious place for storage, as well as a spacious place to accumulate junk. When something is stored in a place that you can't easily access, it is "out of sight out of mind." Then, why have it?

Seasonal things, like holiday decorations, are likely candidates for hard-to-access storage. But anything that you are putting far away because you just can't find a place for it elsewhere is also a candidate for the clutter triage.

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2013-04-16 · John December · Contact · Terms of Use © December Communications, Inc.