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Choose dual-purpose objects
Look for pieces that do more than one job, like ottomans with hidden storage, file drawers that form the base of a table or bookshelves that conceal a small desk.
The same goes for smaller items you bring into the house, says Michelle Spiess.
"In the kitchen, another way you can simplify is getting rid of one-use items," she adds. So opt for things like a slow-cooker, toaster oven or wok over single-use appliances like waffle makers or popcorn poppers.
The Spiess' advice: Splurge a little on a few custom pieces that pull double duty -- like a Murphy bed that frees up a room during the day, or a dining table that converts into a guest bed.