Does Your House Need a Makeunder?
Problem: You Can't See the Kitchen Countertops
Solution: If you find that your kitchen becomes a breeding ground for the mail, the kids' school supplies, and all sorts of stuff, add a tray to corral loose items, like designer Patrick Wade did in this home.
Problem: Your TV Rules the Bedroom
Solution: As severe as it may sound, a TV doesn't belong in a well-ordered bedroom. It brings with it remote controls, DVDs, cords, and other mess-producing items that counter the main purposes of the room. Bedrooms should be a cozy space for unwinding, like this master bedroom by designer Ginger Barber.
Problem: Important Paperwork Is Always Missing
Solution: If documents are scattered throughout your home office, it's time to organize them. Filing cabinets don't have to be dull. This home office includes tall, stacked, freestanding filing cabinets on either side of the desk, featuring wood that matches the desk. Most important, the wealth of storage space offers a place for everything else, too. You can get a similar look — and the extra storage space — by adding suspension frames into an old dresser with drawers deep enough for file folders. Add whimsical pulls and you're all set.
Problem: The Closet Door Won't Shut
Solution: It's time for a closet cleanse. Expert organizer Julie Morgenstern recommends first starting on paper. Ask yourself, "What are my favorite clothes?" When considering what to toss, refer to your list. If you're still afraid to get rid of items, ask yourself these questions: "Do I love it? Is it flattering? Is it the image I want to project?" If it's a "yes" to all three, then it's a keeper. Donate the castoffs to a favorite charity.
Problem: Your Nightstand Is Piled with Books
Solution: You've been meaning to read those magazines and last week's paper, but you've just been too tired at night. The solution? Since you can only read one thing at a time, that's the number of publications that should be in your bedroom. Keep the rest organized in your library or living room with a magazine rack.
Problem: The Bathroom Is Cluttered with Products
Solution: First, toss any makeup or bath products that have expired. Next, equip your bathroom with organizational aids. A modest set of glass containers, a strategically placed stool, or even a woven basket, like in this bathroom by designer Ginger Barber, can have a substantial effect on the room and how it's used.
Problem: There's No Place to Sit in the Living Room
Solution: If you can't find a spot on the sofa because it's covered in video games, magazines, and tons of pillows, it's time to designate specific zones. Define areas in the room by function. Here, in Annie Selke's living room, she designated one corner as the study, with bar stools that are the perfect place to catch up on e-mails, and a cozy seating area to watch television on the other side of the room.