Organizing a kitchen

Photo: AnikaSalsera/iStock/Thinkstock

The Thought of Organizing Is Too Overwhelming!
You'd be surprised by what you can accomplish in three minutes, says Donna Smallin Kuper, author of Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness. She suggests cleaning off the bathroom counter or emptying a shelf in the medicine cabinet while you draw a bath or organizing a kitchen drawer while you wait for popcorn to pop. Says Kuper: "The little efforts you make ultimately add up."
Laptop computer

Photo: Fuse/Thinkstock

If I Donate My Computer, Someone Will Steal My Data
"Your goal is simply to make access to your data so difficult that a criminal will look elsewhere," says Derek Meister, a tech support expert at Best Buy, which has recycled a billon pounds of electronics. Before parting with your computer, check the owner's manual online for instructions on performing a factory reset, which will reformat the hard drive, blocking access to previously stored data. For added security, change the password on accounts you used with that device.

Photo: franhermenegildo/iStock/Thinkstock

But I'm a Collector!
Real collectors focus on, say, vintage lustreware, know the value of the items they have, and are always on the hunt for new pieces. What they don't do is stash them in a trash bag under the bed. "A true collection," says Gail Steketee, PhD, dean of the Boston University School of Social Work and an expert on hoarding, "is one that is kept in some sort of logical order and that you can show off." If you love your things, don't you want to see them? If you don't, toss 'em.
Clothing clutter

Photo: GoodMood Photo/iStock/Thinkstock

I'll Need It Someday!
If you have a heater or a pile of clothes you won't need until winter, try MakeSpace, a company that holds on to your stuff so you can avoid the hassle of renting a storage unit. Put in a request online for boxes (which will be delivered to your door), and MakeSpace will pick them up from anywhere in the continental United States. Plus, you'll receive an online photo catalog of the contents of each bin, so you'll never forget what you've stored. When you're ready, just log on and select the items you'd like to have sent back to you. (; $25 per month for four 27-by-17-by-13-inch boxes)

—Arianna Davis, Megan Deem, Zoe Donaldson, Melissa Goldberg, Jihan Thompson and Ashley Williams