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De-clutter Your Home This Fall

Whether you’re selling a home or simply trying to organize its contents so you can enjoy living there, you face one single, daunting enemy of your own making: Clutter. Short of renting out a storage facility, how can you curb clutter? Here’s a look at five methods:

Buy or build multi-function furniture
If you’re planning to buy furniture soon, seek pieces that incorporate storage elements. Buy benches and bed frames that include storage, and use “storage ottomans” in your living room along with trunks that double as coffee tables. If you’re considering adding window seats, look into designs with lift-up seats that disguise storage.

Delve into drywall
Many homes can accommodate built-in shelving of various depths with minimal work. Weekend do-it-yourselfers or a good handyman can cut into interior drywall and turn spaces between wall studs into perfect shelf space—for toiletries in bathrooms, for instance, or for media shelving in a basement den. 

Maximize closet space
Multi-garment hangers can help save space, as can shoe organizers and over-door hooks for items like coats, robes or tomorrow’s outfit. Once a season, remove clothes that aren’t appropriate for the current weather and place them in an alternative space—a spare closet, under-bed box, or laundry room hanging rack—so your closet contains only items you currently wear.

Create “closets” where none exist
Closets can exist anywhere—not just in your, well, closet. Armoires can store clothes as well as media items. A kitchen hutch can house cleaning supplies. Under-bed boxes and bags can stow linens and garments. Attached garages and even outdoor yard sheds are great places for an overflow pantry containing non-fragile essentials like cleaning products, tissue, paper towels, canned goods, pet food, and hardware. For rarely-used items, build storage into garage rafters above the garage door’s tracks if possible.

Take it upstairs or downstairs—then call a charity for the rest
If you’ve got an attic or basement, chances are it houses many boxes never opened after you moved. Dedicate a weekend to reviewing these items and deciding if you really need them. Clothing and household items you don’t need can be donated to numerous charities, some of which will even come by your home for pick-up.