Quick tips to create an easy-to-maintain, attractive space

  • Be wary of organizing products that have only a single use, this limited use; eventually results in a throwaway.

  • Instead of shopping for expensive and, often, unattractive organizing tools you are unlikely to use, use what you have. Scour your home for unused containers -- from crates to cigar boxes to terra cotta pots -- hiding in nooks and crannies.

  • If you need more organizing supplies, buy from second-hand shops. Your pocket book and the environment will thank you.

  • Baskets are a great catchall. They are attractive, made of natural fibers, come in all shapes, sizes and colors and can be used to organize almost anything you need regular access to: magazines, cosmetics, medicine, napkins, cat toys, etc.

  • Keep likes with likes (nails don't go in the silverware drawer); prevent your home from becoming a junk drawer.

  • Establish a place for everything, and always return it there.

  • Be sure whatever system you set up is user-friendly and easily accessible.

  • When organizing a space used by other people, be sure to consider their needs so that they can use the system and not undo what you just did.

  • Before bringing anything into your home ask yourself if you really need it and will you really use it. Don't let commercial jingles consume you.

  • Never doubt the importance of beauty in your environment. You're not wasting time when you stop to envision how the room will look when you're done. In fact, that's an essential part of the process!