The family room—it's a place to watch TV, play games, do homework, pay bills, read magazines, hang out and entertain. The problem is that in being everything to everyone, this room can end up as a catch-all with no focus.
Establish zones. Talk to your family about how they would like to use the room. Then, gather like things together and place them in specific zones. For example, put DVDs and CDs near the entertainment unit. Magazines belong in a rack next to your favorite chair, and board games go in storage bins next to or under the coffee table where you most often play them.
Organize your entertainment. Make sure all media have a clearly defined area. Then, arrange DVDs into specific categories or genres so any movie is easy to find and put away. Label shelves or storage units so everyone knows that's where they belong.
The ratio rule. Regularly purge your DVD, CD and book collections of the ones you no longer watch using this rule: For every four or five you keep, remove one from your collection. Given them to charity or to family or friends. If it still doesn't fit on your shelves, do the same thing at a lower ratio, like three to one.
Go digital. After purging your CD collection, transfer all your CDs to a computer. If you aren't ready to go digital, put your CDs in binders and discard the jewel cases.
Limit magazine subscriptions. You should have no more than three monthly magazine subscriptions. Seriously assess how many you are reading each month and cut back accordingly.
Manage Your Magazines
Get in the Zone