Most of us are doing more at home these days. Working from home. Cooking more meals at home. Eating more take-out at home. Working out at home. Kids at home all day. Entertaining ourselves at home. I think you get the point. We're using our homes in ways that we haven't in the past. If you're anything like me, that means that there is probably more "stuff" that's out and about in your home at any given time, which can cause distractions and stress. Here are some tips, compliments of Independence Title, for simplifying and streamlining the stuff in your home. Enjoy!
Dare to be spare. Ease congestion by sticking to the basics on furniture and arrange so there's a clear, unimpeded traffic flow.
Prune the pile up. Save only the last two issues of magazines. Tear out articles and keep in a binder you'll refer to later.
Keep it clean. To top of tables should be 75 percent clear.
Easy come, easy go. Corral smaller items on a handled tray that's a cinch to relocate in a company's-coming pinch.
Control remotes. Group them together in a lidded box or a chic decorative bowl.
Pare down pillows. A trio in complimentary colors and patters is your best bet for most sofas.
Double Up. Maximize storage and get extra seating with a hide-stuffed-inside ottoman.
Floor show. One rug per room. Layer a statement rug over carpeting or bare floors.
Rule of Three. Restrict non-book items to a maximum of three per shelf.
Lighten your library. Be selective. Leave at least 10 percent of each shelf bare and book free. Have too many books, stack a couple on a table to make a pedestal for a keepsake or picture frame.
Autofocus. For a cohesive look, display groups of photos in similar frames - match the hues or the materials.
Toy story. To encourage neatness, keep kids' things in light-weight bins on a low shelf.
Show them off. Bulky pots and pans can quickly gobble up valuable space. Instead, hang them from s-hooks or from a suspended pot rack.
Put a lid on it. Get a handles on the pots' lids. Mount a rack on the back of a cabinet or pantry door.
Gather round. Get cooking faster; store utensils in a canister by the stove.
Purge the plastic. Avoid and overflow of storage containers. Keep just a few of each size.
De-junk drawers. Stash only those items used daily and move the rest to a more out of the way spot.
Paper purge. Subject every piece of paper that comes into your house to the "two Fs": if you cant file it or frame it, out it goes.
Sneak storage. Hire a contractor to turn the empty space behind kick plates and make drawers.
Jettison the junk. Toss out junk mail immediately. Set the 10 percent of important mail in a very visible basket so you'll be motivated to deal with it.
Cut the catalogs. Visit catalogchoice.org to cancel unsolicited ones.
Flexible filing. Purchase a portable file box so you can transport your home office to any room in the house.
Shred. Shred items immediately instead of letting them pile up on the floor.
Keys to remember. Place keys in front-and-center bowl so you minimize frantic search parties.
Ready to recycle. Position matching bins for recycling and shredding in the foyer or home office.
Pencil it in. Make an appointment with yourself once a week to go through papers and mail that has piled up. Set a time and stick to it.
Shelf help. Add vertical risers to cabinets. Put toiletries in tumblers and cups for a sleek and tidy look.
Reroute meds. Move these humidity-sensitive products to a cooler-location (out of the bathroom) and gain much needed extra space.
Sink storage. Maximize your vanity. Use stackable drawers in dad space around the sink.
Too hot to handle. Melt-proof kitchen canisters can safely hold those still-hot hair appliances and their tangled cords.
Set a timer. Each day, spend 30 minutes straightening up. Do it every day and your house will stay clutter free.