Get rid of clutter, then get organized

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Organizing your stuff isn't as hard as it used to be, with home organization systems available for every nook and cranny of your house. But what if you're looking to get rid of stuff?

Here are some ideas on reducing clutter in your home:

• Donate all of your magazines: Most subscriptions come with a free iPad access and the bonus is that past issues are available. For books, consider purchasing e-reader versions of those you use most, but keep the ones that are unreplaceable. Donate some to a library or sell recent issues at a store like Half-Price Books.

• CDs and DVDs: Can you upload some of that music electronically? Store an electronic copy and put the CD in the resale bin. You can also narrow your movie collection to your treasured favorites and classics.

• Purge the closet -- again. If you put on a piece of clothing and it doesn't make you feel great today, it never will. Donate it. Same for shoes.

• Clean out your kitchen cabinets. Get rid of old spices, expired cans and mismatched storage containers with missing lids. Recycle the plastic and leave just enough to fit inside the refrigerator.

Once done, go room by room with a notepad and determine your storage needs. If you are organizing a closet, note pairs of shoes and linear feet of hanging and drawer space. Leave a good 20 percent of empty space for free movement and flexibility.

Here are some new products that will help you organize:

Kitchen: Target (www.target.com) has a Michael Graves collection inspired by the iconic egg. The Container Store (www.thecontainerstore.com) can't be beat for kitchen shelves, organizers, and wall and in-cabinet storage units.

Craft room: No one does organizing and crafts better than Martha Stewart. She has created the Martha Stewart Living Craft Space furniture collection. You can do a whole room or a single piece. www.homedecorators.com.

Bedroom and closets: Gain closet space with slim-flocked hangers. I like Huggable Hangers best (www.hsn.com or Target). Also, check out Home Depot (www.homedepot.com) or Lowe's (www.lowes.com) for closet systems. Design online with free software and print out the supply list or have it delivered for a fee.

Garage/shed: Besides the big box retailers, check out Dick's Sporting Goods (www.dickssportinggoods.com) for specialized sports equipment storage.

Media/television: IKEA (www.ikea.com) is the place for custom boxes, wall racks and more.

Other stuff: CB2 (www.cb2.com) offers modular bookcases such as the three-hive pyramid inspired by a beehive ($99 each three pod section); Organize.com features systems including the Freedom Rail line that allows for interchangeable garage storage. TJ Maxx and Marshalls have discounted items to organize every day irritants such as cloth-covered jewelry trays by Raymond Waitz and desktop clutter keepers.

homes

Rosa Colucci: rcolucci@post-gazette.com; 412-263-1661; Twitter @ rosalive_123. First Published June 16, 2012 12:00 AM


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