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Living Space: 8 messy spots you can bring order to - fast

By By Kathryn Weber
Jan. 10, 2013 at midnight
Updated Jan. 9, 2013 at 7:10 p.m.

Square spice bottles are see-through and stack easily.

Exercise trainers are touting the idea of quick, speedy bursts of energy to get maximum results at the gym.

The same can be applied to our homes. Quick bursts of organization and disposal of clutter can eliminate some of the messy spots in our homes quickly and less painfully than a major anti-clutter campaign.

Spend five or 10 minutes in each of the following spots and you'll create islands of order all around your house.



1. Spices

Today's cooks use spices from around the world. It's also not uncommon for a home chef to have three or more types of salt. One of the easiest ways to organize your spices is to purchase square glass spice bottles. (sunburstbottle.com) Sure, stainless spice jars are cool-looking but unless they're tilted on their sides, you can't see what's inside; the square bottles are see-through and stack easier. Another option? Put spices in zipper bags and store in an organizing basket in the freezer or pantry.



2. Floors

One of the most instantly gratifying clutter-busting tricks is to get everything off the floor - even in the garage. By getting items up off the floor, space instantly opens up and expands. Do the same in your closets, laundry room, bedroom and kitchen.



3. Sock drawer

With a set of organizing cubes for the drawer, set about separating your socks into athletic and dress, sorted by color. Accordion-style sock organizers just mass them in the drawer. Cubes will help you find the socks you're looking for and keep them neatly organized. Toss out those pesky singles and socks with holes.



4. Bras

Using soft organizing cubes to separate bras by color, style, or how you like to wear them. Throw away bras you no longer wear or like. Life's too short to tolerate an uncomfortable, annoying bra.



5. Small kitchen appliances

Remember that little food chopper you just had to have but never use and the slow cooker that was too small to hold anything more than chili con queso? Pitch them. By getting rid of little-used appliances, you'll free up space for more practical ones.



6. Cookbooks

You may own two dozen cookbooks, but most likely, you go back to the same dozen time after time. Relegate the others to the pantry, or get rid of them altogether.



7. Toys

Put forgotten toys away in a closet. Donate those the kids no longer want or have outgrown. Throw away broken toys. Donate unused stuffed animals to a local shelter, police or fire department to give to needy children.



8. Plastic bowl collection

Always searching for the lid to a plastic bowl? Buy a square drawer organizer basket that you can stand lids upright in. Next, stack the bowls. With the lids stacked vertically, you'll get more of them in the drawer and be able to find them when you need them.

Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website, redlotusletter.com.

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