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Living Space: How to organize and declutter your home, room by room

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Wondering how to begin decluttering your home? Here’s how to tackle the toughest areas of your house. Take a mental inventory of what you see and write down how the room makes you feel. Then, close your eyes and imagine what you want your new space to look like. Write down how the new vision makes you feel, and place this in a prominent spot as a reminder of what’s to come. If you stick to the process, you will reach your goals. Here’s how to tackle the toughest areas of your house.

Create a do-it-all entryway.

The entry is a sneak peek into the rest of your home, so you want it to be a functional space that also makes a statement. This area tends to become cluttered with miscellaneous items that don’t make it too far past the door. Organize the entry space to handle daily in-and-out items. Cover one wall with blackboard paint so you can leave reminder messages, or add fun hooks and shelves to keep keys, mail and other items sorted.

Make over your home office.

A cluttered office is more likely to serve as a dumping ground than a functional work space. Give this area a “space-lift” and you’ll feel the difference immediately. Get rid of furniture and miscellaneous items that are broken or nonfunctional. Then, brighten up the room using paint and a colorful rug. Finally, find useful objects such as desk accessories and file folders that speak to your personality — to make even the most mundane tasks a little more fun.

Donate unused food items.

 

The kitchen can be one of the easiest places to organize. Start by going through the food in your pantry. Box up unwanted items that haven’t been opened and aren’t expired and take them to your local food shelf. Next, go through your tableware, pots and pans and decorative kitchen accessories. Donate anything you aren’t using regularly or don’t love. Giving makes the letting go a lot easier.

Edit furniture.

Your home should reflect your personal style. If you are using furniture that was passed down to you, make it your own by painting it a new color or swapping out hardware such as drawer pulls. Don’t let sentimentality bully you into keeping items that are just not you. If a hand-me-down isn’t working for you, let it go and make room for a piece that you really love.

Inventory your closet.

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