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2011-03-02 / Columnists

Spring Home Improvement

Simple tips to getting your home organized

(NewsUSA) - At the start of the new year, many resolve to become more organized. But the next day, they look around their homes and see the piles of paper on the coffee table, the coats, toys and shoes scattered around the house, and the remains of their holiday decorations. Organizing the house, it seems, can wait a few weeks.

But there’s no reason to feel overwhelmed by a task that is, after all, intended to make lives easier. Here are some tips for those looking to make their homes run more smoothly:

•Take it one room at a time. Clear a space in the room you want to organize. Place all unorganized items, like magazines, books, DVDs and remote controls, in one space, so you can categorize the items before storing them in their appropriate bins and cabinets.

•Throw things out, and be ruthless. Don’t waste your time and space on items you don’t need. Toss out or recycle old magazines and papers. Donate outgrown or unwanted clothes and toys, as well as other household items, like the fondue set you never use.

•Find unused space. Your home probably has more storage space than you think. For example, decorative under-bed storage boxes, like those from The Company Store, allow you to use every inch of available space.

•Teach the kids to clean up after themselves. Make organizing a game by making “special” spaces. For example, children might remember to hang up their coats and scarves if they have their own, fun coat hooks. Company Kids makes coat hooks shaped like flowers, ponies, pirates, trains and safari animals.

•Teach children to take pride in their belongings by giving them their own storage areas. Try clearing a space in your entertainment unit for your children’s movies and video games.

For toys, use colorful bins, like the Kendall Storage Collection, to separate hard toys from plush and put away arts and crafts supplies.

•Designate spaces for different activities. For example, all board games, entertainment units and DVDs should be in the same area. This will help keep items from being scattered throughout the house.

•Create a master calendar for the family. Put it on the refrigerator or beside the computer desk. Time management is an important skill, and kids should learn it early.

•Make cleaning and organizing a family affair. After all, your family helps make the clutter, so they should help organize it, too.

For more information, visit www.thecompanystore.com and www.companykids.com.

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