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I wanted to start a place where we could post our own handy tips for organization in our homes and where we could ask for help with areas we haven't quite figured out yet. Please post your tips and questions!

What Size TV Will Fit in My Entertainment Center? - Contempo Space

Posted By LovelyLisa7 on Sep 16, 2013 at 8:27AM

One of the most often asked questions when shopping for entertainment centers is whether a certain size flat screen television will fit in the TV cavity.

It's a Dance Party in Your Living Room With 2Fly Hip-Hop

Posted By Anna Renderer on Nov 24, 2016 at 8:00PM

Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to groove into your workout with this 10-minute version of Crunch Gym's 2Fly Hip-Hop class. It's so fun! Even if you think you have two left feet, the moves are easy enough for you to follow along. Press play and get ready to have a dance party in your living room.

8 Home Improvements to Upgrade Your Humble Abode on the Cheap

Posted By Emily Co on Nov 24, 2016 at 11:07PM

Now that it's Spring, many of you are eager to start afresh and give your home a face-lift. But renovating your home can end up racking up a huge bill, which you may not be able to afford. Although HGTV makes home improvements look so easy, we all know they're anything but. Here are some simple things you can do to improve your home on a budget.

Declutter. You don't need an interior designer to make your home look better. What would make a world of difference is to rid your home of clutter. Resolve to throw away, donate, or sell at least a bag full of stuff every weekend this season, and you'll find your home looking much more spacious.

Add a closet system. Your closet may not be making the most of its space. If you haven't installed anything in your wardrobe, it's a good idea to start. Add shelves you can buy from companies like Container Store to make the most of your space.

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Read on for more.

Talking Trash: Is Your Messy Mind the Cause of Your Messy House?

Posted By Wise Bread on Nov 24, 2016 at 4:21PM

The root cause of your clutter can be deeper than you think. Wise Bread makes a case for fixing your mind to fix your mess.

I've been messy since birth. One of the constants in my life has been arguing with my mother over how to clean the house, any house, properly. My neatnik mother is one of those naturally tidy people. You know the type. She's so put-together that she looks like a flight attendant.

"A cluttered desk equals a cluttered mind," she'd say, passing me the feather duster. "If that's the case," I'd shoot back, quoting Einstein, "Then what does an empty desk signify?" 

RELATED: Clutter-Free: The Zero-Accumulation Household

I mean, really. Does it even matter that I have a messy mind?

I asked my friend Dr. Regina Lark, who chairs the Education Committee of the National Association of Professional Organizers, if there's any connection between a messy desk and a messy mind.

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"Of course," she said.

Fudge.

I hate losing arguments to my mom.

To quote Regina, "There are people who are genetically messy because their brain is hardwired for non-linear thinking. They are very right brained and artistic. They are out there in the world. They are social. They'd rather do anything other than file. So when these people come home, they get an idea for a project, and everything else just goes on the floor."

Uh oh. As of this moment I count seven, SEVEN unfinished projects in my living room alone. On the floor. Of course.

So, how do non-linear thinkers clear their internal and external space? For me, this means less about relieving the footprint of clutter and more about maintaining a level of organization that allows me to spend the maximum amount of time pursuing creative projects.

I asked Regina how she would handle a client like me. "We'd develop a workaround for you. We'd find a fix that would solve the mess but not make you feel like you are losing your creative edge. For example, I have clients who have piles of clothes cluttering their bedrooms because they hate hanging up their clothes. They argue that, 'the clothes are just going to come off the hangers anyway so why put them on the hangers to begin with?' Since I'm never going to convince the clients that hanging up their clothes isn't a total waste of their time, my attitude is, 'If you just can't stand putting your clothes on hangers, let's go get you some really awesome looking hooks.' Take the sticking point — the hangers — out of the equation."

Read on for more.

Keep Your Fridge Fresh by Organizing It Better

Posted By Anna Monette Roberts on Jan 2, 2017 at 5:01AM

Who says you can't start resolutions before the year is over? We've compiled a list of 51 foodie resolutions to check off, including this helpful tip.

Guilty of losing items in your fridge only to find them months later growing fur? Part of avoiding food from growing the all-too-familiar mold is by making sure your fridge is cleanly organized and every item is in plain view. You don't need a fancy fridge to make this happen, but rather take a look at this table that will help you organize your fridge by shelf.

MAIN FRIDGE
SIDE DOOR
On the top shelf, which is usually the tallest, place bottled beverages and a filtered water jug. On the side door's top shelf, place butter and blocks of cheese.
On the second shelf, stack leftovers in plastic containers on one side. On the other side, store deli meat, bread, and eggs in their original container. On the second side door shelf, group small condiments together by type, i.e. jellies and mustards.
On the bottom shelf, store milk, yogurt, sour cream, and cottage cheese on one half. On the other side, store all raw meats. On the third side door shelf, group international condiments like Italian sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and Asian curry pastes.
In the low-humidity drawer, divide and organize fruit by type. Avoid storing dense fruit like apples on top of delicate fruit like berries. In a fourth side door shelf, group larger jars together by type, such as bouillon pastes, miso pastes, nut butters, and pickles.
In a high-humidity (crisper) drawer, divide and organize vegetables by type. Avoid storing dense veggies on top of delicate greens. In the tallest bottom side-door shelf, place tall bottles of condiments including ketchup and soy sauce and any other large juice bottles or nondairy milks.


For even more, check out our guide on where to store fruits and vegetables.

Sunday Prep: 10 Essential Tasks to Tackle

Posted By Lisette Mejia on Nov 24, 2016 at 9:42AM

Oh, glorious Sundays — the day to relax with a good book or to take on a few tasks that will make your life easier during the workweek. We've rounded up some pretty simple things — from cleaning out your wallet to deleting old email — that you can do now that will make a world of difference come Monday.

  • Plan your work wardrobe: Save time during the week by planning out your wardrobe for work on Sunday — figure out what tops and what bottoms you are going to wear and what needs ironing.
  • Get a head start on Spring cleaning: It's never too early to get ahead on the scrubbing. Start by making a checklist by room of everything you want to clean, what needs extra cleaning, and what should be your priority.
  • Plan your afterwork activities for the week: So that the week doesn't fly by, make an effort to set aside which days you will dedicate to certain activities — when you'll go to happy hour with coworkers, which day you'll take a couple of hours to finish up a book, or how many times you'll hit the gym.
  • Get over the Monday blues: Think about what you can do to actually look forward to Mondays. That includes treating yourself, meeting up with friends, and listening to your favorite podcast in the morning.
  • Pick a place for essentials: It might seem like a no-brainer, but designate a place for your must-have items so you save time in the mornings and — worst-case scenario — avoid a day without your phone or ID.
  • Delete the unnecessary documents: When you're prepping ahead for the workweek, clean out your computer to start afresh. That includes deleting any emails and documents you don't need on your computer and emptying the trash.
  • Get rid of your old magazines: If you have a pile of magazines that's growing bigger and bigger in your home, use this Sunday to finally tackle them for good — first tear out any tips you'd like to keep.
  • Disinfect your phone and laptop: Germs, be gone! Leave your gadgets sparkling clean for you to use on Monday by cleaning them appropriately, whether that be with a liquid or air can.
  • Clean out your wallet: Stop the junk from building up by removing any notes, ticket stubs, and receipts. Also be sure to throw away the ones you don't need, while filing away the ones you'll want for later use.
  • Get your mail ready: Whether you need to fill out insurance forms to file claims or write checks for bills that need paying off, take Sunday to catch up on your mail and prepare the letters you need to send off.

Cozy, Not Cluttered: Maximize Bedroom Space in 7 Simple Steps

Posted By Lisette Mejia on Nov 24, 2016 at 7:32AM

Living in a small space has its benefits (think comfy and warm), but most of the time, we're brainstorming ways to make the place look more spacious. That's why we've rounded up some tips and tricks that will maximize the most precious room in the house: the bedroom. Not only will your room look bigger, but it will also feel larger, and that's what matters most, if you ask us.

Lisa Ling: A Simple Plan to Cut Clutter

Posted By Guest Writer on Nov 26, 2016 at 7:18AM

Editor's note: The following is a guest post written by Journalist Lisa Ling, host of Our America on OWN and program ambassador for the IKEA Life Improvement Project — a program designed to inspire people to make a positive impact on their homes and the lives within. Below, Lisa shares tips for creative ways to cut the clutter at home.  

Your home should be a peaceful retreat, a place to relax and unwind. Since clutter can be a big cause of stress, my husband and I built in solutions for staying organized when we built our new home. With a new baby and a hectic travel schedule, knowing I will come home to a clean and clutter-free home makes all the difference in staying focused while I’m away. Below are a few tips for you to make sure that everything in your home has a place:


Pictured: Ling's master bedroom.

Make A Plan: If you’re not starting from scratch with a new home, you’ll need a plan to whip your current place into shape. Create a three or six-month plan and think through which areas of your home you’d like to tackle first. Focusing on one room at a time will keep you from getting overwhelmed and abandoning the project. Breaking it into accomplishable chunks will help you get everything done.

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Assign Categories: Sort all of your belongings into three categories — display, store and donate/toss. Donate clothes you haven’t worn in the last six months (excluding seasonal items) and things you no longer have a use for. Store seasonal items — like heavy textiles and winter coats — out of reach. Lastly, keep things you use constantly handy. For instance, if you’re a big smoothie maker, keep your blender on the countertop in your kitchen. If you eat granola bars each morning, store the blender away.

Read on for more.