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If you have a small house and/or a growing family, it can be a struggle to find enough space to store all your belongings. Not having a clear and effective organizational system can make the problem even worse. Here are some tips to make room for your stuff and make things easy to find if you have a limited amount of space.

Only Keep Things You Need
Start off by going through your home and getting rid of anything you don’t need. Many people hold onto items for sentimental reasons or because they think they might need them someday. This results in a lot of unnecessary clutter. You can probably get rid of something if no one in your family has used it in the past year, or if you own another item that can perform the same function. Sell it, donate it or recycle it. Whatever you do, don’t let it continue to sit around just taking up space. Before you buy a new item, ask yourself if you really need it, would use it often and have enough room for it.

Use a Variety of Organizational Strategies
Separate rooms into areas with specific functions. For example, in a child’s bedroom, make areas for clothing, toys, books and art supplies. A clear system that both parents and kids can understand will make it easier to stay organized.

Maximize the use of available space. If you have a closet where you hang clothes on a rod and there’s empty space underneath, that’s the perfect place to put a shoe rack, or possibly even a dresser.

You can buy shelving units in a wide range of heights and widths at any home improvement or big box store or online and put them in a room or inside a closet. Use boxes, baskets or plastic storage bins that are easy to stack and arrange on shelves to store children’s toys, off-season clothes, toiletries or pretty much anything else. If you have some free wall space, install hooks to hang items such as kitchen pans.

It may seem like a good idea to neatly arrange your shoes on the floor in your closet or in the entryway, but it’s also easy to just drop shoes on the floor when you’re tired and wind up with a mess. Use shoe racks instead.

Look for furniture, such as tables and ottomans, with built-in storage. You can use space under furniture, particularly under beds, for storage, as long as items are organized in containers.

Make a Plan to Get and Stay Organized
Staying organized in a house without a lot of storage space takes planning, creativity and discipline. Start by figuring out what you don’t need, then create a plan to find places for all the things you do. There are plenty of clever furniture pieces and strategies to make it easier.