101 Ideas: Restore order to your space

Charlotte Steill, HGTV

Restore order to your space, large or small, with these simple tips:

Make a plan. Take a notebook with you and sit down in each room of the house, making notes on the following questions:

    -- How will your family use the room?

    -- What storage is available in the room?

    -- What needs to be stored in the room to support its use?

    -- What is your goal for the room?

    -- Does the furniture suit the room, or should it be rearranged or cleared out?

Clearly define each space in your home. Even storage spaces should be defined. When you have a plan and clear definitions, it takes the stress out of deciding where to put things away when they come through the door.

Once you have a plan, tackle one room at a time. Take everything out and only put back what is necessary for the room's function. Think about the furniture placement and how to make frequently-used things accessible. If items are accessible they are also easier to put away.

Use well-labeled containers to create a storage system, and let your family know where things are located.

If space is at a premium, think about adding shelves inside closets to make use of the vertical wall space. Adjustable shelving is ideal because it can be moved to accommodate various storage needs.

Use large, 21-inch lazy Susans to make use of high shelves. Turn the lazy Susan hard to make spaces usable again.

Use plastic shoeboxes to create kits of for things such as sewing items, shoe repair and extension cords. By using stackable boxes with clear labels, all those little things can be stored vertically and easily accessed.

The keys to having a clutter-free home are planning, lots of note-taking and defining of spaces.

Courtesy Charlotte Steill, professional organizer, on hgtv.com. For thousands of other ideas visit www.hgtv.com. Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, http://www.shns.com.