Here are some ways to organize your home to make spending time there more rewarding. According to Stephanie Winston, author of Getting Organized, The Easy Way to Put Your Life in Order, “order is not an end in itself. Order is whatever helps you to function effectively.” And, may we say, to enjoy your home.
Goals may differ, but some techniques offered by Ms. Winston and others may be useful. If things that you don’t use all the time are out in the living area and in the way, finding storage space for them could be a priority. Ms. Winston suggests trying to keep items close to the area where they are used. Frequently used things should occupy the most conveniently located space, and seldom used items might be boxed and put in out of the way areas.
Look at furniture in the room; can items be stored inside, such as in some end tables and coffee tables? A table that is not often moved could have stuff stored under it, with a floor length tablecloth or skirt to conceal the stored items. Bookcases can be used to store assorted small objects without being an eyesore if a curtain is used to cover that part of the bookcase. Large covered baskets and wicker chests can be good places to store out of season linens and bulk purchased items like paper towels and canned foods.
Storage boxes can be purchased that will slide under beds. Home improvement stores sell shelves and fixtures that can increase the storage capacity of closets and garages. Stuffed closets may be helped by storing out of season clothes elsewhere.
Here are some inexpensive organizers that do a lot: apple and orange boxes from a fruit stand, special hangers for things like mens’ ties, hooks, shoe boxes, plastic dishpans, stair-step spice racks, and wire racks for the china cupboard.
It may happen that there just is not enough storage space for everything. This is the time to consider weeding out seldom or never-used things and organizing the remainder.
It is a good idea to unload a closet one section at a time. The amount of stuff taken from the closet is the amount that can be sorted and returned to order within one work session.
Ms. Winston recommends spending no more than one or two hours at a time; it helps morale to see improvements in a short time. An all-day session is apt to end in exhaustion with the house looking worse than when work began!
Have boxes available to sort items into: giveaway, throwaway, and a box for items that will be kept. More boxes can be used to sort items into that are destined for other storage areas.
When the closet has been completely emptied and refilled with things that belong in it, do a quick search of other closets to find items that belong in the newly cleaned closet. When ambition stirs again, tackle another closet.
Sorting things you have kept for years can be depressing. Some cheerful music on the radio, or chatting with a friend, can make the task bearable.
 As you sort, questions to ask yourself may include: has the item been used in the past year? If not, is it worth money or does it have sentimental value? We have found that sentimental value tends to dissipate as the number of times the household has moved increase.
If an item has little value and has not been used recently, but “might come in handy some day,” Ms. Winston urges that it be discarded. Consider keeping just a sample of old letters and other bulky things that have sentimental value. Likewise, having a sample of string, rubber bands, and other handy odds and ends will probably be as useful as having a drawerful.

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