MANAGING YOUR CLUTTERED SPACES

Clutter can cause cleaning and organization to seem like an impossible task. Letting clutter slowly take over more parts of your home will make you feel cramped and confined in a small space. Practicing good clutter maintenance skills will give you a refreshing sense of relief and calm. It may seem difficult to get started, but there are ways to make it easier. The trick is to do things in a way that will stay organized and clutter free as time goes on. So, as you take care of one area at a time, it should stay taken care of. Nothing is more disappointing than getting a few things clean only to realize that the first thing you cleaned needs to be redone before you're even finished. Use these tips to get your home organized in a way that works with your life so that clutter can be a thing of the past.

1) Step one is to take care of all the big things that are in the way of you getting organized. Go through the house and clear out all the dirty laundry. Throw in a load and then clean the next big thing while it's running. Make the beds, empty all the trash bins, put away make-up and other bathroom clutter so that you can wipe down the major surfaces.

2) Now that you have a little space to work with, you can concentrate on getting things organized. Your quick clean run through the house probably left you with drawers full of junk and laundry to put away. Use your made bed to collect clean laundry as it comes out of the dryer. You can fold things right out of the dryer so that stacks on your bed can be easily put away later.

3) Now take a look around and decide which cluttered areas are causing you the most grief. Is there a disorganized mountain of shoes, coats and backpacks near your front door? Or are you kitchen counters being taken over by purses, change, school work, and everything else that your family wants to quickly put down when they come in? Make a check-list of areas that you want cleared out. As you check things off the list, you can see your progress and stay motivated to finish.

4) To organize one area, you can do one of two things. You can put everything from that area into a box, laundry basket, or other container, so that you can sit down somewhere comfortable and go through it. The other way is to put one thing at a time where it belongs. You'll notice trends as you go, so pay attention to them. If everyone is dropping their phones, wallets, keys and other items that they need everyday into one spot, then try to put a shelf or container there for them to use. It's easier to manipulate storage area locations than it is to get everyone in the house to change their habits.

5) Sometimes clutter happens because we don't give ourselves holding areas for things that aren't done yet. For example, a rolling garment rack in the laundry room stocked with heavyweight plastic hangers will give you somewhere to quickly put clothes as they come out of the dryer when you don't have time to put them away. Organizing your closet by clothing type, putting the things that you use most near the front and center, will also help you to stay organized with laundry. .

About the Author: Jo Granville is on the staff of Only Hangers, a leading online resource for space saving clothing hangers. For more information, please visit OnlyHangers.com.