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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation


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big decorating dreams. tiny little budget. don't be a wallflower! jump on over to the discussion boards and get decorating help.
other recent LOUNGE articles:
o Gallery-style Picture Hanging Tracks
After School
Sew What?
o Curtain Time
Lazy Decorator's Bag of Tricks
Home sweet homes
Minor Makeover Miracles: Kitchen
CD decor
o Say it with Spraypaint
Painting 101
Make it Mosaic!
Estate Sales 
Open House 
Hammock Heaven 
Makeshift Vases 
o Newlyweds' Nest 
o Variations on a Theme 

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fight the chaos
organizing your living space
1 2 3 4
continued from page 2

2 Use those under-spaces
Under the bed, under the sofas, under the endtables, night-tables, coffee tables – all offer prime stash-it potential that frequently go unused. And the behind-spaces – behind the dresser, behind the bookshelf – are great places to stash those extra moving boxes (flattened, of course. When short on space, ALWAYS flatten any cardboard boxes you’re hanging onto; they take up far less space).

3 Force your furniture to multi-task
Think outside the box a little: a table doesn’t have to be a slab of wood with four legs holding it up by the corners. Choose furniture that also doubles as storage space. Need an office desk? Buy a solid wooden door at Home Depot, paint it in whatever color makes you happy, then throw it on a couple of file cabinets – instant desk with plenty of room to store all your papers. Instead of a traditional coffee table, use a low bookshelf (put it on casters for mobility), or a trunk (yard sales and estate sales are great places to score some nice vintage trunks).

4 Shelving is your friend
You can never have enough bookcases and/or wall-mounted shelving. Take a good look around your pad and you’re sure to find plenty of unused wall space that’s just crying out for a shelf -- above windows and doors, next to an entryway, above the kitchen countertops, above the toilet in the bathroom, above your dresser, desk, sofa, etc. If you actually have somewhere to store the washed dishes, clean clothing, laundered towels, you have one less excuse to leave it all lying around causing clutter. And making your own bookcases is the best way to ensure that you’ve got the right height shelves to house your particular book collection – and bonus: it’s a lot cheaper than buying ready-made. Speaking of books ...

5 Stack books on their backs as well as their spines
"Blasphemy!" you book-lovers out there may be shouting right now – how can you pull your Dostoevsky off the shelf to read if it’s pinned beneath a dozen other books? But hear me out. Stacking books on top of each other is far and away the most efficient use of the vertical space between shelves. Obviously, any books to which you require ready and instant access should be stored standing upright. But let’s face it, there’s probably a good portion of your collection that’s been sitting there on your shelves, collecting dust, for years and years now. These are the books that can be stacked on top of one another. Organize these books into piles according to size/dimension (pocket-size paperbacks, trade paperbacks, hardcover novels, college textbooks – each will go in a separate pile). Then slide your stacks onto your bookshelves. Alternate a horizontal stack with a series of vertically-standing books for visual interest.

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