Whether you live in a matchbox or McMansion, the odds are high you have way too much crap taking up your precious space. Bust clutter with these five strategies, then turn the leftovers into a little bank, or at least good karma.
1. Manage the paper.
It sounds geeky, but a shredder, some three-ring notebooks, and plastic paper protectors are serious space-savers. File magazines and mail you want to keep in a folder or binder. Then, once a month, review the saved stuff and recycle what you don't need.
2. Give every room a purpose.
Your kitchen is for food, not power tools and laundry. Figure out the primary use for each space, then move stuff there accordingly. When it's clear where everything belongs, you won't be tempted to stack up the DVDs next to your blender.
3. Live by the six-month rule.
If you haven't used something in the past 180 days and don't foresee needing it in the next 180, get rid of it. Not necessarily for good; just put it in storage or a friend's huge basement. Click here
for more ways to reduce clutter (that also save cash!).
4. Consolidate on your computer
You'd never throw out your letters from your first love. But there are probably plenty of other sentimental documents you're holding onto that you can scan to your hard drive and retain for posterity. Same goes for those hundreds of CDs taking up way too much space in their jewel cases.
5. Invest in two-in-one storage systems.
Once you've pared down, put your remaining what-the-hell-do-I-do-with-this stuff in storage cubes that can act as a table. (Throw a cute scarf on top if it's ugly).
Already bagged up stuff you don't need? Ehhhxcellent. Here's how to get rid of it:
1. Have a yard sale with friends.
2. eBay it for cold, hard cash.
3. Freecycle it
4. Use shredded paper as packing material or for composting
5. Donate electronics, home goods and clothing to charity