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Don't you just hate it when you spend time cleaning your kitchen and bathrooms only to realize that they still look cluttered? A lack of cabinet space or the need to use something really often can lead to a disaster area in your kitchen and bathroom. Learn to avoid common mistakes and misconceptions about what needs to be out on the counter and how to make space for some items to be kept hidden away.

1) Get rid of piles of clutter by creating areas specifically for certain things. When you bring the mail into the house, does it end up on your kitchen counter or table? Do your make-up, toothpaste, toothbrush and daily medication live on your bathroom counter? It's time to make a specific place for these things to go. The trick is to make the space convenient and easy to access so that you and your family don't revert back to throwing things on the counter again.

2) Take note of things that end up in the kitchen or bathroom because their normal storage area is too far away or too hard to access in a hurry. I noticed that I always paint my nails in the living room while watching TV and I leave the nail supplies on the end table. When I need to clear that area to make room for remotes, a snack or my drink, I would lazily move the nail supplies to the kitchen counter a foot away. Before I knew it, I had created a catch-all spot on my counter where everyone thought they could drop the stuff that they didn't want to put away.

3) When you get the clutter cleared, take a look around at what you don't use every day. Just because your parents might have kept their toaster, coffee pot and mixer out on the counter doesn't mean that you need to. Try to make room for these items in a cabinet very near to where you would use them. This way, you're more likely to actually put them where they belong when they're not in use.

4) Try to disguise whatever you can't find space for. Instead of leaving your hair dryer, brush and hairspray on the counter every day, consider putting a decorative basket on the counter and stashing these things inside of it. If your mixer is too big and heavy to store under the counter, consider using a cover to camouflage it. Making things look more uniform will automatically make a space look more organized.

About the Author: Jo Granville is on the staff of Only Hangers, a leading online retailer of quality, low priced clothing hangers. For more information, please visit