Organizing For Dummies
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Deciding how to store things is an essential part of organizing, and the following tips and guidelines will help you make quick and effective sorting decisions as you organize different areas of your home:

  • Entryway: Trim your collection of scarves, hats, coats, and other items of clothing to those that are used daily or weekly and are in season. Transfer excess accessories to a nearby coat closet or seasonal storage, or donate them.

  • Living room: Lose the knickknacks! Display only your most prized possessions and store or donate the rest. Donate old books, movies, DVDs, and video games, and store the discs you do keep in media folders (recycle the plastic jewel cases).

  • Kitchen: The main source of frustration in a kitchen is overstuffed cabinets and drawers. Donate duplicate gadgets, infrequently used dishes and drinkware, mismatched storage containers, and appliances you don’t use. If you just can’t bear to part with an item, consider relocating it to the garage or basement for long-term storage.

  • Closets: Clothing storage is at a premium. If the item hasn’t been worn in the last year, doesn’t fit well, or is out of style, it’s time to donate it. Be firm with yourself and you’ll see results.

  • Bathrooms: Throw away any expired products and those that are no longer used. Donate items that are still in their original packaging and have been sitting on your shelf for more than 6 to 12 months.

  • Office: Any paperwork that you can locate on a Web site, in a reference book, or via e-mail should be recycled. Clever filing systems help you minimize the inflow of paperwork and reduce your existing paperwork piles.

  • Kids’ spaces: Teach your children the concept of “One in, one out,” and assist them with that organization process each birthday and holiday when new toys and other items come into their lives. Similarly, select a reasonably sized container for your children’s stuffed animals, and fill it with items. Anything that doesn’t fit should be donated. Also donate clothing that your child has outgrown, or transfer it to long-term storage on a regular basis.

  • Laundry room: Do a quick check of your laundry products to make sure you aren’t storing any empty containers. Remove any items that aren’t laundry related, such as photo albums, books, gifts, or projects, and return them to their appropriate homes.

  • Garage: The main culprits in the garage are old sporting equipment, décor that no longer suits your needs or taste, extra furniture that likely will never return inside your home, and boxes of old clothing. Donate these items to free up the space.

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