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Clear up clutter before you attempt to make over space

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Who would ever guess that an innocent beer bottle collection would condemn a home, break down a marriage and cause depression? Not Bob.





He started the collection with plenty of excitement, and all the home’s shelving became filled to capacity with beer cans. Apparently, the cans initially had quite an eclectic look. But the collection continued to grow throughout the years and throughout the house to the point where there was virtually no more living space.





I asked Bob one question. Did he actually drink all that beer? The answer was, “Yup, most of it” That was the icebreaker and we went from there. With limited room to work we started with a logical plan of action.






• We attacked the garage to create storage space for items we needed to filter out of the house. It was clearly time to sell the 1979 Thunderbird. We purged garbage and recycling; bought solid but inexpensive shelving units to temporarily house the portions of the collection that were for sale; and hired labour to actually move the collectables to the shelves. Then, we collected all the gardening items from various areas all over the house and created one permanent zone for them in the garage.






• With the basement recreation room emptied, we reclaimed the space for living and created zones for an office, sitting room and music listening.






• To reclaim the laundry room, Bob had to relinquish his beer-making projects for a while.





We cleared out clutter, cleaned up the room by adding laminate flooring, and painted the walls.






• To fix up the bedroom, we removed the dusty wall hangings and sorted all the items that were on the floors and dresser tops. We sorted drawers and closets, and removed several pieces o furniture to open up the space.





Brenda Borenstein is your professional organizing guru. Look for her column every second Thursday. For more tips and ideas, visit www.organizedzone.comor call 416-665-2165. Brenda has organized hundreds of homes and says, “There is nothing I haven’t seen and nothing that can’t be overcome.”

 
 
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