By Barbara Meyer


Cutting out clutter makes everything in your home better looking, easier to clean and faster to find. It may seem overwhelming, but a great way to tackle the task is to begin one room at a time. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Hang pots and pans to save storage space.
Use lazy susans everywhere – even in the refrigerator. 
Arrange kitchenware by frequency of use; with everyday items on lower shelves.
Group objects in cabinets by purpose: grilling, baking, etc. 
Keep leftovers in the front of the fridge so that they won’t be pushed in the back, forgotten and wasted.
Arrange hanging items by clothing type: tops, skirts, pants, etc., then organize them by color.
Store shoes in clear hanging door racks instead of shoeboxes. 
Create extra room with underbed storage bins, then hide them with a bedskirt. 
Keep things from accumulating on table surfaces with wall shelves. Add visual interest by using repurposed items like crates or doorframes for shelving.
Use stackable bins and dividers inside drawers to keep small items like jewelry and accessories organized. 
Store toiletries in clear containers labeled by what they’re used for: hair, nails, skin, etc. Save time by separating everyday makeup and that used on special occasions.
If your family shares a bathroom, keep each person’s toiletry items in a different colored bin under the sink or in the linen closet, labeled with their name. 
Store sheet sets together in one pillowcase so pieces don’t get separated.
Rotate towels in your linen closet so that they all get the same wear and can be replaced at the same time. Old, faded ones can be used as rags in the garage or donated to animal shelters.  
Keep related items together on shelves: garden, holiday, pool, etc. 
Clear up floor space by hanging items on wall-mounted racks.
Store items you use most often closest to the door.
You’ve purged your possessions… now what? Online sites like Craigslist, Amazon Marketplace and Ebay connect you with potential buyers of pretty much anything. Scan them to see what prices some of your items could bring; your trash could be another person’s treasure. If you don’t want to bother with selling, it’s easier to part with possessions you no longer need if you feel they’ll go on to have a useful purpose. From a library (books and media) to a homeless shelter (toiletries) or a community center (games and furniture), organizations in your community can provide a new future for your old items. Remember to keep a record of your donations and their value for tax time.
Over 80% of household waste could be recycled rather than discarded. An easy online search will yield organizations accepting items you didn’t know could be repurposed, such as used athletic shoes, bras, carpet, eyeglasses, pantyhose and electronics.