Rooms are used for different purposes—often at the same time. In order to decide what should stay and where, you need to identify the different activities that take place within each room and divide them into zones. Once you begin organizing, these zones become the center for specific items related to the designated activity. Then, it becomes immediately clear where things belong, where to find things and where to return them.
Sample Zones for Family and Living Rooms
Media—music and TV/video/DVD
Bill paying
Computer work

Quick Tips
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.

How-To Videos
Manage Your Magazines Watch
Get in the Zone Watch
Excerpted from It's All Too Much by Peter Walsh. Copyright © 2007 by Peter Walsh. Reprinted by permission from Free Press, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.


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