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Are you making the maximum use of the space you have at home? Many people claim they have insufficient space when the truth is, they have ineffective space, meaning they are not making the best possible use of the space they have available. You can maximize your available space by reducing clutter and keeping all areas of your home neat and tidy. Not only does that look far more appealing to the eye, but it is also much easier to keep clean.

If you don't love it or use it, then it's clutter and it needs to go.

To clear the clutter from your home gradually go through each room of the house, assessing each item individually. If you don't need it or use it then throw it out, donate it to a charity or sell it through an online auction site or at a garage sale. If you do love it and use it, decide on the most logical place to keep it.

Every single item in the home or office needs to have a designated home. Whenever it is not being used, it should be in that home. Items that do not have a home, have a habit of becoming lost and "temporary" homes for items also have a habit of becoming permanent. By allocating a specific home to every item, you can then find whatever you need - instantly.

When you finish using something, put it away NOW!

If you always place your handbag, briefcase, keys, mobile phone etc. in the exact same place, you will always know where to find it when you need it. Think how much time and stress that will save you every single day.

If you struggle to find a home for each item ask yourself if your storage space is insufficient or just ineffective. Can you make better use of the space you have? Try looking at your environment from a new perspective and question whether there is a better way.

Have one notebook or create a computer file, where you list everything you need to do and remember. Keeping all this information in one spot, means it is easy to refer to it daily and you always know where to find it.

Only use one diary for all work and personal commitments. Using more than one runs the risk of scheduling conflicts and missing appointments.

If you have a landline phone, keep a notebook by the phone, where all messages are recorded, including who the call was for, the name of the caller, the time and date, plus a brief message. All family members can look for messages when they arrive home.

Having a written to-do list takes the pressure off you having to remember all you need to do plus you get that fantastic sense of accomplishment when you complete an item and get to cross it off the list.

Every piece of paper should be handled just once. Read and deal with it now rather than leaving it on the desk or bench for later.

Organizing and cleaning on a daily basis only requires a small amount of time each day and is less overwhelming than having to do several hours of work all at once.

Get the family involved with de-cluttering. Give each person a specific task to do, and once it's done, you can all do something fun and rewarding.

When shopping, think before you buy. Is this item something you need and are truly going to use? It is better to think about it for a few days then go back and buy it, rather than buy on impulse and then realise you don't need it or have nowhere to store it.

When buying gifts, consider things such as a gift certificate for a manicure or massage, tickets to a movie or sporting event, or treat the person to a special dinner. These are gifts that don't add clutter. Ask your family and friends to do the same for you.

We all love our sleep, but consider waking up a little earlier each day to avoid the morning rush. You'll feel calmer and be able to carry that feeling through the day.

You can also avoid some of the morning madness by preparing the night before. Decide what outfit to wear and have it pressed and ready. Have your bag/briefcase/school bags packed and in their designated home. Make lunches the night before.

When are you at your most productive? Are you more alert in the morning or in the afternoon? Tackle the most difficult and important jobs when you are at your most productive and save the smaller and easier jobs for those less energetic times.

You don't need to say YES to every request. Learn how and when to say no and avoid the risk of running yourself rugged. Say no graciously e.g. "I'm sorry but my schedule is really booked right now. Maybe next time."

Make the most of your driving time by listening to educational or motivational CDs or podcasts.

You save time by not wasting time. Identify all the small and big ways you waste time every day and implement new time saving strategies.

Download photos regularly and do it immediately after a special occasion such as a birthday or wedding to ensure these treasured memories don't get lost. Be sure to back up your photos regularly too.

When cooking, prepare enough for two meals. This takes very little extra time right now and will save you a lot of time later on by not having to cook another night. Either freeze the meal or eat it again that same week.

There's no point putting off a job you don't want to do. When you don't do it, it continues to hang over you and this constant reminder can be more stressful than the job itself. Get it done and out of the way then move on to something you do want to do.

Use waiting time before meetings, appointments or when on hold on the phone to catch up on reading or planning.

Email makes it extremely convenient to send and receive messages instantly, but it can get out of hand. Manage emails the same way as paperwork. Delete any unimportant emails immediately. If it can be answered quickly, then respond immediately so it's dealt with. Create folders in your email system to store important emails which you will need to refer to again.

Store email addresses in the 'contact' area of your email system to save typing them out each time.

With web sites that you have subscribed to that frequently send information or newsletters, is this information useful? Is it worth your time to read it? If not, then unsubscribe.

Think twice before printing an email and creating more paper clutter.

Keep all bills to be paid in one designated area and work out a system where you note when the bill is due and the amount due. As soon as the bill is paid, note on it the date and method of payment, cheque or receipt number, then file appropriately.

There is nothing wrong with being sentimental, but, only about the really important things. For example, when it comes to keeping your children's clothes, toys and artwork, it's not practical to keep every single item they've ever owned or created. But you can choose to keep and cherish those items which have the most meaning, and for the others, take a digital photo of the item, and create a folder where you keep all those photographic reminders in the one place. Then you can refer back to the photos anytime you like, and enjoy the special memories they conjure up.