With the uncertain economy, homeowners are staying in place and upgrading their homes, rather than moving into something newer or larger. Just as economic conditions evolve, however, so does this housing trend. Simplifying and gaining control are now hot incarnations of the “staying-put” trend.

Organizational design expert, TV and radio personality and author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, Peter Walsh hosts “Extreme Clutter” on the Oprah Winfrey Network and has starred on TLC’s “Clean Sweep.” Walsh offers advice for do-it-yourselfers:

Coping in the kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and keeping it organized can save you time and money:

• Maximize cupboard space with easy-to-install sliding racks. These racks make it easy and fast to find items, even in the deepest cupboards.


• Keep cooking utensils and flatware neat and easily accessible with a compartmentalized drawer organizer. You can find them in kitchen and home design stores.

• If you store often-used spices in a cupboard, it’s easy to lose track of what’s in there. Just put your most-used spices in a small baking sheet so that when you need something, you can slide the sheet out to make finding it easier.

• Retire your junk drawer — we all have one. One way to clean up the paper portion of the mess is with an online organizational tool like MyLowe’s on Lowes.com. The free online tool allows you to keep track of purchases, warranties and manuals.

Cutting closet clutter

An organized closet means speedier wardrobe changes and a more harmonious environment:

• “We wear 20 percent of our clothes 80 percent of the time,” Walsh says. Declutter your closet by getting rid of that 80 percent you don’t wear.


• Reclaim vertical space. Look for creative ways to use the walls, backs of doors and other vertical spaces in your closet. Modular home organization systems can solve most storage challenges.

Taming the toy room

It’s important to regularly sort toys with your children to decide what to discard, what to pass on and what to keep:

• Involve kids in deciding what should stay or go. Arrange toys in piles by type of toy, age appropriateness or length of time the child has had the toy. This will help your kids see the toys as distinct groups and make the task more manageable.

• Bring in space-maximizing organizational products like colorful cubbies with canvas bins or decorative shelving units.

Advice for every room

Getting organized is great, but staying organized is even more important. Rather than having to tackle organization tasks in a daunting mess once or twice a year, take steps to stay organized throughout the year. A little organization today means fewer headaches tomorrow.


By reducing clutter and increasing organization, everyone can learn to honor and respect the space they have.