Get Organized Month

ClutterBGone is a proud member of the POC (Professional Organizers in Canada) and the National Association of Professional Organizers in the U.S. who have declared January “Get Organized Month”. Many of us here in Canada are also promoting this month long event in order to promote the benefits of living and working in an organized environment.

How organized are you?

Did you know that the average person spends just under one hour looking for things? That’s a lot of time every day that you will never get back.

Organized people know where things are and spend just a fraction of that time looking for items.

This may shock you.

Almost 80% of what we own we never use. We NEVER use!! Take a look through all of your closets, drawers and cupboards with this in mind and see if that number compares to yours. If not, I’ll bet it is very close. Now think about the space you can save and the money you have spent on these items. When purchasing something ask yourself “do I love it?”. If not, take a second to think about it.

Do you pay bills late?

Almost a quarter of adults surveyed (23%) admitted that they regularly paid bills late because they lost the bill. And almost all of these had incurred late fees as a result. A system needs to be set up so you have instant access to your unpaid bills and you know when they are due.

After that, a filing system needs to be in place to file these paid bills. Save money and protect your credit score by paying your bills on time.

The clutter impact

Clutter has a significant impact on the stress in your life. It distracts you from what you need to focus on. It makes it almost impossible for you to relax. It creates feelings of guilt and embarrassment restricting you from being social. It can just plain be a downer. Get organized and see your stress levels drop.

This statistic comes up every year. Almost 90% of us are planning on organizing a part of our life this year. The majority of you are doing so because you’re tired of clutter and its effect in your life. I’m not one for making New Year resolutions but this is one I can get on board with. A new year and a new clutter free environment will improve your productivity, give you back some much needed time, save you money and reduce your stress. Who wouldn’t want that? Let’s start the new year by getting organized. Let me know how you make out and, as always, we are here to help.

Practice Toy Rotation And De-Clutter

How did your kids make out over the holidays? Bad behaviour or not, I’m sure they received a lot of new toys from you, your family and even Santa. Unless you were really organized, you may not have had a chance to go through their toys before the holidays to make room for the new ones. If your kids’ rooms look like a toy factory here are a couple of ways to regain the space and rotate the toys so they will all get used.

Children learn best from new experiences and believe it or not a new experience occurs even after something has been absent for a short period of time. Try rotating your child’s toys by implementing a “toy closet” or “toy treasure chest” for an ongoing learning experience.

Toy Treasure Chest
The principle is simple: Place some of the new toys received, and even old toys that continue to be age appropriate, into the toy closet or treasure chest, hidden away so that every toy owned is not out for use. Children are easily overwhelmed with too many choices. Then on a regular basis, rotate the toys so that your child is not getting overwhelmed or bored with too many choices.   Less is best. The toy treasure chest is also a great idea when you child is not feeling well: A little surprise for him or her from which they can choose a toy.

Of course, organizing the toys out for use is still very important.

Sort into categories

Lets wade right in there and sort all the toys into categories. Cars, blocks, stuffed animals, dolls, etc. You can use laundry baskets or boxes but get everything sorted into categories.

Weed out the broken

As you sort, take a quick look to ensure that the toys are in working order. I know some children have a hard time of letting go of their favourite toy, even if it no longer works or is missing a limb, so maybe encourage them to make the decision between that and a new incoming toy.

Is it still age appropriate?

While you’re at it lets review the toys to make sure they are still age appropriate for your child. Why hang on to it if it will never be used again?

These toys are perfect for donation to replenish your local second hand store or for a yard sale. If the funds go to the owner of the toy they are more apt to agree to let it go.

Divide into play types

Toys can now be stored into categories that can be rotated in and out. Store them into categories like learning (books, puzzles), artistic (coloring), active (dress up, music) and so on. Rotate these categories every few weeks so your children are constantly learning and the toys are being used.

Storage systems

Now that you have everything categorized and the broken and no longer used toys are out, you can plan on how to store these toys in the space you have. Use clear containers whenever possible so your child can easily see what is inside and therefore won’t have the urge to open every container. Containers are great for small toys like cars, blocks and even doll clothes. Store toys at a height that is accessible for your child so they won’t get hurt bringing them out.

Maintenance is key

Now, here comes the fun part – training your child to put it away when they are done. I know it is easier when you are with them but they need to know that this is their job and it will teach them responsibility and organization at an early age. Make it an ongoing thing with a regular review of what’s not being used anymore.

Teach your children valuable life lessons by teaching them how to organize and take care of their belongings and their space.

Want To Get Out From Under Your Clutter Once & For All? Follow These 7 Tips

contemporary / very well decorated / show home living room

How do you do it? What is the secret? Why does clutter continually accumulate in my home? These are all questions I get asked continually when I meet with prospective clients. The answer is quite simple and when I work with clients we work out a system that enables them to keep clutter at bay. But there are tips or rules, that you need to follow.

Know why you want to de-clutter

Really think about this. We all know the benefits of de-cluttering whether it’s for safety reasons, embarrassment when having guests over, peace of mind, etc. Whatever the reason, know what your motivation is and think about that each time you begin the process. It will give you the drive to continue.

Do you really love it?

We all purchase on impulse and sometimes regret the purchase afterwards or worse, don’t even use the item we purchased. When I shop, other than for food, I look at the item and determine if I really love it or really need it. If the answer is no, then I don’t buy it. Regardless of whether the item is on sale or not this rule has rarely failed me.

Create a sorting system

Create a system that can be used each time you organize. As you organize you will want to place items in one of three piles – keep, give away (donate, sell) and toss.

sort

Your system can be something as simple as three signs or 3 baskets or large boxes. Whatever system you use, keep it and use it each time.

Keep flat surfaces clear at all times

It’s so easy to lay something down on a table or a counter with all the good intentions in the world to look after it later. Flat surfaces are like a magnet for clutter. Make this a rule in your home and enforce it. Soon everybody in the family will be on side with it.

Involve others

Like so many other issues in our lives there is not much we can do without the help or support of others. Family members all need to be on side in order for you to stay clutter free and educating them on the benefits will help you with this. Friends too can help by either digging in or giving gentle reminders when things need to be “tuned” up.

Continually donate

As fashion changes or clothing items become unusable (hey! We all change sizes now and again) I like to give to a local charity that I know passes these items on to others that can use them.

give

I keep a bag in my bedroom closet and everyone knows that items to be donated goes into this bag and about once a month the contents get delivered to the charity.

Don’t click those ads on line!!

Shopping habits have changed with many of us doing a lot of shopping on line. Whether it is an on line retailer or a social media site, almost all of these sites track your “clicking” habits and tailor ads specifically to you. The less you click the less you will be enticed to purchase something you don’t need. Delete your search history and cookies periodically to help.

Follow these tips and I can guarantee that you will live a clutter free life giving you more time to enjoy the things you love.

Stay Organized During the Holidays

christmas-ornament

With everything that’s happening around the holidays it’s difficult, impossible maybe (?), to stay organized through the holiday period. Like it or not, the holidays are almost here. Is it just me, or do they start with holiday commercials right after Halloween? Here are a few tips to help keep you organized and hopefully a little calmer during the holidays.

Holiday Shopping

I know a lot of you put off the holiday shopping until the last minute (guys, I’m talking to you) but try to set some time aside to get it done earlier. Put it in your calendar and treat it like an appointment – no changes.

Arrange a babysitter if need be or if you’re able to book an afternoon off work, even better. The shopping malls get crazy with each passing day, as you know. Last minute shopping is the perfect recipe for stress over the holidays. A lot of malls are now offering valet parking service for a small fee. The money goes to charity and what better way to start a nerve racking adventure.

Gift Wrapping

If you haven’t already, gather all of your wrapping supplies and keep them in one place. Make a list of what you are short of and get out to buy what you need before the selection is minimal in the stores. I created a wrapping station several years ago with all of the wrapping essentials for all occasions stored there. Everyone knows where it is and it saves time running around looking for the paper, tape, bows and everything else.

Planning The Feast

Holidays to me are all about the meal with family and friends. Sure, the gifts can be nice but there is nothing like the laughs and conversations you have around the dinner table. Make a list now of everything that you will need for dinner. Order the turkey, the ham or whatever you cook to celebrate now to ensure you have the size you need.

christmas-dinner

If wine is on your list you can expect crowds at the stores so get out there early while your favorite is still in stock and avoid the long line-ups. Don’t forget the extras like the cranberry sauce and rolls. Oh, I’m getting hungry already!

Make Room For New Gifts

Now is the time to go through the toys or clothes of you and your kids and pare down what is no longer usable, appropriate of just doesn’t fit any longer. You know family is going to spoil the kids with a lot of gifts so make room now and reduce the stress of trying to make everything fit into the same space later. Have the kids get involved. It will build their excitement leading up to the big day.

The Art Of Gift Giving

I’m sure you have already given plenty of thought to what you’re going to purchase for your loved ones. Many of us anguish and plead for hints or ideas trying to give that special gift. My children are all a bit older now so one year we purchased charity items for people in need in third world countries on behalf of each child as part of their gifts that year. School supplies for a school in need, goats for a family that would produce milk, things of that nature.

christmas-gifts

They were touched by it and it got them to thinking of what the holidays are all about. Many items over the holidays are returned or even worse, not used at all and end up adding to the clutter that people already have. When thinking of charities there are a few websites that track how much of your dollars actually make it where the funds are really needed. When in doubt gift cards are always appreciated and with the newer consumer laws most will not have an expiry date.

The holidays can be a very stressful time for most of us but with a little bit of planning we can reduce the stress and stay organized during this time. If you need assistance in getting ready for the holiday season there is still time. Contact us here to see how we can help.

How To Get Your Car Organized and Decluttered Now

car-trunkTo many people, their car is a statement. Your car can be an extension of yourself and in fact tells others about you, your character, style, and personality. To others, their car is an investment. In either case, a car is a big-ticket purchase that you want to take care of in order to obtain the best possible sale or trade in value.

We’re taking more with us in the car and so are our passengers. Phones, tablets, books, etc. As a result, you want to keep your car’s contents organized, functional and accessible. Let’s look at some ideas and tools to get your car organized.

Starting the car organizing process

Pick a good weather day and roll out a small tarp or blanket on your lawn or driveway. Begin by removing everything out of your car (don’t forget the trunk, behind the visors and all compartments throughout your vehicle). Place everything out on the tarp or blanket.

Keep an open trash bag on hand as well so you can place any trash you come across immediately in the bag.  Also have on hand an empty bin that you can label “Put back in the house” in which you will place any items that originated from there and should be returned.  This would include coffee mugs, food containers, etc. Once everything is out on the tarp, take a photo. You will likely be amazed at how much “stuff” was living in your vehicle without your knowledge.

Categories are cool

This next stage of organizing your car is like a game of “match” as you will be sorting like items with like items.  For instance, place all tools together, DVD’s in another pile, paper in yet another and continue this process until you have put everything in a category, like items with like items.

If you find any maps I suggest you check the dates for relevancy.  My rule of thumb is that any map over 3 years old has likely changed and may not be worth using on your next road trip unless you are looking to take an unscheduled detour. If you have a GPS system or use your phone as one, a map may no longer be necessary. This would also be a good time to update your GPS system.

Once everything is in a category begin to revisit your piles and start purging. Think about the essential items you need in your vehicle all the time. For instance, if your work requires your car to be your office as well, you may need certain office supplies. If you regularly drive kids to and from school, perhaps you may want to carry a supply of wet wipes or snacks.

Remove items that are obsolete and out dated, broken or damaged. Multiples of items should be addressed and should not be kept unless there is something special or unique about them in terms of size or shape.

Organize and corral

Now it’s time to corral all your piles.  Using separate bins and crates, load your categories of items into the best sized container. Corralling items in your trunk will save you time and frustration scrounging around in there when you are looking for something. An orderly car is less frustrating and more efficient than disorganized chaos. Don’t forget to plan a regular schedule for cleaning out your vehicle to maintain the state of organization.

The “kids” stuff

I recently received a terrific car organizer from Bearoy and boy do I wish I had one of these a few years ago. They have thought of everything. This organizer fits around the front seat of your car without any impediment to the person seated up front.

bearoy-car-organizerThis product will not only keep your kids entertained during drives but will also keep the back of your seats clean, drink temperatures maintained and keep everything organized.

The best thing I liked about this car organizer is the ability to insert a tablet into the compartment that has a clear touch-screen window so the tablet stays in place and the screen stays clean. Pockets are there for hot or cold drinks, snacks and has enough pockets for earphones, pens, and other items. There are two carabiners to keep keys from getting lost.

This very affordable, waterproof, polyester organizer will look great in any car and snaps off and rolls up when not needed. To view more details, simply click here. If you would like to purchase this organizer, go to Buy the Bearoy.  One of the best car organizers I’ve seen in a long time!

If you’re planning to travel over the Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays now is the time to get your car organized and ready for every trip. Even without holiday travel, keep your car organized for day to day use and your daily trips with the kids will be much more enjoyable!

Drive organized!

Exactly How Does Clutter Accumulate?

 

Organized living room

Clutter means different things to different people. Many of us can work in and actually thrive in, what others would consider a cluttered state. Others have to be in or work in a minimalist state. Whatever environment works for you, at some point we find ourselves with too much clutter around us. How does that happen?

Life happens

You are all so busy these days with raising a family, working (maybe even more than one job) or just not aware or caring what is accumulating around you. Some of you are able to see it as it happens and act on it and some just realize one day that you’re finding it hard to find things and spending more time looking for things or cleaning up than actually getting tasks completed.

Your energy is gone

With a busy life comes reduced energy levels and who wants to clean or organize after a busy week or weekend? You need to be in the mood and have a high level of energy to start the process.

Too tired dog

Starting without the ability to see it through will only defeat you and prevent you from going at it again.

Life has thrown you a curve

A critical illness or the loss of a loved one can leave you spinning out of control and put you out of commission for a very long time. You rarely go out and don’t have the energy to do anything at all. Depression can cause you to remove yourself from the rest of the world giving you the same results.

I know a lot of you tend to hang on to certain items thinking you’ll make use of them again whether it’s a broken appliance or maybe even some clothes that you think you’ll fit into again. Lean on your family and friends during these times for help and support.

But it was on sale!

What better way to feel good about something you bought then to know how much you saved? Want to save even more?

Sale

Don’t buy it at all unless you really need it and when you do make the purchase remember my rule on clothing – one in equals one out. If you find it hard to resist a good buy try to limit your trips to the mall or the big box stores.

Hoarding tendencies

Maybe you were raised in a household that always had clutter and you don’t know any other way. This cycle can be broken so you can enjoy more free time.

No matter how clutter appeared in your life or what your level of tolerance for clutter is, we can help.

ClutterBGone has helped many clients with all different levels of clutter and disorganization in their lives. If you need help, we’re here to give you a hand and see it through. Contact us here.

6 Key Back To School Organizing Tips

Where did the summer go? I know summer doesn’t officially end until late September but for a lot of you summer ends when the kids go back to school so I trust you’ll enjoy the last few weeks you have left!

Take these last few weeks to get your children organized and ready for school with these back to school organizing tips.

Train for bed times now

The young ones have been having a blast all summer long with extended bed times, sleeping in and irregular meal times. Now is the time to start getting them back into the habit of bed times and getting up earlier. You don’t want the chaos of sleeping in on the first day. Slowly start to get them to bed earlier in the coming weeks to prepare them for the first day of school.

Set up a central station

Assign an area in the home where everyone knows where he or she can get more supplies for school.

Homework station

Keep a charger there as well for cell phones, tablets and laptops. No more “Hey mom, where is …” Notes can also be posted there for all to see. Make sure they check this area each morning if you are off to work before they leave for school.

Get the homework area ready now

Set up a homework area in the home and get it stocked with the usual supplies – pens, paper, chargers – that they are going to need to complete their homework. This area shouldn’t be in their bedroom. There are too many distractions that will take away from completing their assignments.

Go thru the clothes now

Perhaps the biggest challenge for any parent at this time of year is going through your child’s clothes to determine what still fits and what needs to go. How much taller has your child grown over the summer?

Kids clothes closet

I used to love going shopping for back to school clothes with my mom. We would come home and go through all my clothes to determine what could be donated or handed down before the new clothes were put away.

Ensure emergency numbers are handy

Kids are getting phones at a much earlier age now and there are arguments for and against but if your child is old enough and responsible enough to have a phone, make sure you have stored the emergency phone numbers in their phone. These should include your home number, cell number and work numbers as well as an alternate family member. Store them in the favourites so one touch of the screen can get them assistance if required.

“Tween” kit

There are times when I’m glad I didn’t have to raise girls. Their needs are much different than boys, especially during the “tween” phase. Help them during this time by preparing a kit containing must have items. Lip balm, deodorant, minimal make up, feminine products and maybe even a small amount of cash are some of the items these girls may need throughout the day. Pack it all in a small bag that they can carry in their backpack or purse.

Going back to school can be a chaotic time in the household. Follow these tips to keep chaos at bay. At ClutterBGone we have helped a lot of families get organized for back to school. Contact us here to see how we can assist you.

Closet Organizers – What You Need To Do Before You Purchase

 

Closet 3

One of the favourite places to start an organizing project is the master bedroom closet. You go in and out of it a few times a day for clothes, shoes, bags and a lot more that you store in there. Many of my clients ask me about installing closet organizers and what I would suggest. There are many different types and styles for many different styles and budgets. Regardless of which style you decide on there are procedures to follow as you start your organizing project.

A picture is worth a thousand words

I like to take a picture of every project I start and then a picture when I finish so I can see the difference. Sometimes it’s difficult to see what you’ve accomplished without having the starting point to refer to. So before everything comes out and the closet organizer goes in, take a picture.

S-P-A-C-E

As you follow my blog you know this acronym of SPACE.

S = Sort everything into piles. These piles can be determined by you such as your bags, pants, scarves, etc.

P = Pare down what is no longer wanted or needed. Here is where you need to be tough on yourself. Do you need that many bags? Will you really want that item when you lose the weight? Keep only what you love and that you feel great in or about. A lot of these items would be welcomed by your local charity or gently used clothing shop.

A = Assign a home for what is left. Everything goes back putting like with like. Keep the colors together too.

C = Containerize what you can using clear plastic containers or decorative bins so it’s easy to see or know what ‘s inside.  Labelling is key in this regard. If hanging space is at a minimum, scarves or belts can fit into containers quite easily and some of my clients use clear shoe box size containers to hold each pair of shoes. Shoes stay clean, the containers stack well and you can easily pick out the shoes you need.

E = Evaluate every so often to ensure the system you implemented is working for you and that you’re not accumulating more. Remember the one in, one out rule.

Closet 1

Closet Organizing Systems – do this first!

If you’re putting a closet organizing system in yourself, make sure you have your closet measurements when selecting your closet organizing system. You’ll need the height, length and width and remember to take into account the baseboards and any crown mouldings. You don’t want to have to take a second trip to the store, or worse, be stuck with system pieces that won’t work for you.

Before purchasing any custom or do-it-yourself closet organizer ensure you first pare down and see the complete volume of each category of clothing and accessories you need to include in your closet. Otherwise the system you decide to implement may not be sufficient to functionally and efficiently hold all your items. You may need more shelves and drawers and less hanging room, or vice versa.

Closet 4

Maximize and take advantage of height and ensure you have at least 2 closet rods to double your hanging opportunity and maximize the space. Don’t forget to allocate hanging space for longer items.  Spend the extra few dollars and purchase all new hangers. You don’t want a new closet organizing system installed with a ragged collection of various sized and coloured hangers.

Research the various closet organizing products and systems on the market before you purchase. There are several price points available and all can be very functional for you. You don’t have to spend thousands to be organized.

If you are thinking of installing a closet organizer or having one installed soon, follow these tips to assist you to maximize your space. If you need help with getting your closets de-cluttered and efficiently organized, we at ClutterBGone have helped a lot of clients do just that. Whether you do yourself or not we would love to see your before and after pictures.

The Process of Organizing – 5 Easy Steps To Follow

time_to_organize

In any business, organizing is a process of establishing work required, the flow of work and grouping of activities related to that work. It really isn’t that different when you apply this to your home or small office.

In the professional organizing industry we like to use the acronym SPACE – Sort, Purge, Assign, Containerize and Evaluate. These 5 basic principles will guide you through the organizing process and allow you to organize pretty much anything.

Sort: This is where you evaluate your items that you wish to organize and sort them into broad categories, placing like items with like items. You can then further sort your broad categories into smaller ones.

Sort

For instance, if you’re sorting clothing, begin with placing all your long, short and sleeveless tops in one pile then further refine it into 3 separate piles: one for sleeveless, one for short sleeve, and one for long sleeve. This will help you clearly see how much you have of each type of item.

I recently sorted my husband’s tee shirts in this exact same way. He was surprised at just how many tee shirts he had and was able to purge which included quite a few shirts he just doesn’t wear any longer.

Purge: Purge can sound like a lot of things to a lot of people and can be scary to some, but think of it as the stage where you decide what will stay and what will go. It does not have to mean these are the items you are throwing out in the garbage. We want to keep as much out of the landfill as possible. Make separate piles for items you are going to donate (it can be a charity or to family); put away (those items that belong in another room or space); sell (via an on-line sale site, garage sale, second-hand store, etc.) or throw away (items for garbage or recycle). Don’t be too sentimental with items. After all, you are going through this process for a reason.

Assign : This is where you determine the best place to store items based on how you function on a daily basis. Ask yourself these questions: Where is this supposed to be stored? Where is the most convenient place for me to keep this where it is most often used or needed? Give some thought as to how you work, what your reach limitations are, etc. Don’t put items away that you need often and have to get the step ladder out for.

Containerize: Once you have completed the previous steps, you can shop your own home or office for the appropriate sized containers, or go out shopping for the containers you need to adequately store the items you have. Remember to store items in containers using the smallest possible container that will house all of the items in a particular category.

storing-winter-clothes-white-way-dry-cleaner

Try to always use clear totes to easily identify what is inside and always label containers. Choose decorative bins and baskets if you wish that will fit in with your décor if these are to be left out.

Evaluate: Now that you have completed the first four steps of the process you need to conduct regular on-going evaluations to maintain the organization that you have now implemented in your space.

These processes will give you a good start on your next project in getting organized so you can calm the chaos. Get your project started and let me know how you’re making out. I would love to hear from you.

10 Hidden Spots To Find Extra Storage

Hidden storage

 

The truth about storage is that you can never have enough. As an organizational specialist, I am constantly thinking about new and creative ways to bring more storage to your home or office. It doesn’t matter whether your space is small or large.

Even in a larger home you’ll find you seem to grow into your home, perhaps buying more than you need simply because you think you have more space. As a result, we are always thinking of new ways to store it, stack it or stow it away.

When considering storage options, keep your lifestyle in mind and you can develop rooms that are both sensible and cozy. Here are my ten hidden spots to find extra storage in your home:

  1. Wall partitions with built-in storage compartments

Sometimes you need a divide and conquer approach to cater your space to specific tasks and that suit the many needs of your family. Wall partitions are great because they not only serve to separate zones in your living space but can also be aesthetically pleasing, functional and an efficient method to store anything from books to games, decorative items, and photos.

Give yourself permission to not fill every nook and cranny. Keeping spaces open and clutter-free is the key to making this work.

  1. Vintage suitcases

Vintage leather or wicker suitcases can be stacked to serve as an end table or coffee table and also provide hidden storage for your video or CD collection, photos or files.

storage_-_suitcase

It’s a great, inexpensive way to achieve that extra storage space and create an interesting design element as well.

  1. Headboards with storage shelves

The idea here is to have pieces that are multifunctional. Especially if you’re challenged with storage.

  1. End tables or coffee tables with shelving underneath

These are great for storage of family board games or cards, videos and even those remote controls that we all seem to have a lot of.

Stylish containers with lids can be stored in the shelving and can upgrade your room’s style and serve to hide items like toys and DVD’s. More décor appealing items such as books and throws can be kept in open bins to be more visible. Choosing containers with a single, beautiful material can cut down on visual clutter.

  1. Empty luggage

Empty luggage can serve as storage for off-season clothing if your closets cannot accommodate all of your belongings. Why have empty suitcases lying around if you could fill them with your off-season items? Simply fold your off-season clothing neatly, place in the suitcase and store either under your bed, under a staircase, in the bedroom or any other space in which they will fit.

  1. Storage ottomans

These are a big favourite of mine for quick and easy storage.

Storage-Ottoman-With-Tray-Fabric

Not only with tops that open, but the ones with lids that flip upside down for multi-functional use as a tray/side table. Once again, think multi-functional, especially if you’re in a tight space.

  1. Baskets

They come in every conceivable shape and size and can be utilized next to a chair, under a bench or stool, inside a closet and even attached to a wall. They can hold everything from photos, extra paper, toys and even towels. Use them in bathrooms to store extra toilet tissue if there are no cabinets, or attach them to the wall easily with a couple of screws and they can house bath products, tissue, towels and more!

  1. Benches

Benches that open are another great secret storage space. With a safety latch, your kids may even think this is a great hiding place! Use one in your front entry, placing baskets inside and store hats, mitts, scarves and even your pet items for easy access when you go out the door.

  1. Trunks

Steamer trunks can serve as both a coffee table, an extra place for linen storage or serve as a great costume/tickle trunk for dress up. Make sure you have a safety latch on these trunks as the lids can be quite heavy for small children.

  1. Architectural columns

Hollow architectural columns are a great idea if you are doing some renovating and are looking for a creative way to add extra storage. Make them hollow and you can add shelves or a door on either side.

Modern Home Interior Columns Room Divider Ideas Book Storage

If you paint them the same colour as the walls they will not stand out as much and actually blend into the walls.

Stretch the storage and function of your spaces. Because small spaces can quickly turn into over-stuffed messes, organizing your space with creative solutions can go a long way to conquering the clutter.

If you are looking to simplify your home, find secret storage spaces and get rid of clutter, these ten tips for finding new spots to store everyday items will help you get organized so you have more time to relax, enjoy every day and then spend more time on the things that matter the most to you.