The least used things get stored the farthest away. If you use your sewing machine once a year, why is it in the middle of the family room and not a corner of the basement? If you wear that nice black cocktail dress once every three years, why is it in your bedroom closet and not stored away in the guest room? Apply this principle to anything and everything. Keeping all the hair items you use everyday in the bathroom is a good thing. However, if you use your hot rollers once a month, put them someplace else where they’re not in the way. It’s a lot easier to pull out these items the few times you use them than it is to trip over them every day. Steal space from anywhere and everywhere. Small, flat plastic bins can be used to store out of season clothes under the bed. The bottom shelf of the linen closet can be used to store papers or office supplies. The laundry room can hold cleaning supplies and tools, or extra toiletry items. Yes, we did say that you should put things close to where they’re going to be used, but we’re talking about long-term storage here. Your desk is not a good place to store a year’s supply of sticky notes and pens, so putting the extras in the linen closet and just replenishing when necessary will be easier on you than trying to work on a jam-packed desk. Also, if you can purchase heavy-duty plastic bins, you can store things in them virtually anywhere. Holiday decorations can be put in the garage, out of season clothes in the basement, and so on. And remember to look up – use space on the walls as storage. Install shelves on a wall of your kids’ rooms for toys and books; do the same in the garage for sports equipment or tools. Metal shelving units can be purchased for the basement and garage as well; they’re typically inexpensive and quite sturdy. Stop getting new things! As we said previously, this is probably the best advice for keeping yourself organized. The less things you have, the less you need to keep up and maintain. Really, how many pairs of shoes or kitchen gadgets does one person need? As with children, you might instill the rule that for every two things that come in, one thing must go out. Every second new skirt you buy, one skirt or pair of pants must go. For every two new pairs of shoes, one old pair must go. Of course this can’t always be a hard and fast rule. If you’re buying new sneakers because your old ones are worn out, then of course you shouldn’t feel a need to purge. But give this some serious thought. Must you really purchase every DVD or CD or new type of software? Every knickknack, every new handbag that catches your eye? By being selective with not only the things you have, but the things you want to add to your home, you can be better equipped to keep your entire home neat and organized.