For some people, “organization” is a scary word. They think it means boring and no spontaneity or freedom. But Tailored Living’s® whole home organization specialists know that the exact opposite is true.
- Organization gives structure and harmony allowing life to flow smoothly
- Disorganization is synonymous with chaos, disorder and … an unholy mess
Think about it. How much time do you spend looking for items that should be readily available, but are not? This can include shoes in the closet, tools in the garage or keys and credit cards in your purse. How many times have you been late to an appointment looking for your wallet, phone charger or phone?
Everyone is different, and how you organize your home and your life will depend on your lifestyle and habits. Regardless of your circumstances–a mother of preschoolers or a single adult household–there are some core principles that apply even though the final solutions may look different. For instance:
- Eliminate clutter hot spots
- Discard or donate what you don’t use or need
- Store daily-use items differently than seldom-use items
- If the space is overflowing, it’s time to seriously purge
- Change what isn’t working
Eliminate clutter hot spots
Stroll through your house and see where clutter habitually collects. Maybe it’s the entryway where things pile up or the dining room table that gets dumped on with mail, school books and backpacks. Bathroom counters and bedside tables are also good candidates for clutter as well as kids’ bedroom floors. By implementing creative storage solutions or by getting some storage sheds, you’ll be able to cut down on the clutter.
- Transform the entryway with custom storage, including hooks, baskets and shelves so it’s easy for the family to stow their gear
- A decorative centerpiece and table runner will make the dining room table off-limits
- A small bookcase can redirect and organize small items just about anywhere in the house
- Use trays and containers at drop-off points for loose items like sunglasses, mail, pens and keys to keep surfaces clear
- Lucite storage accessories for bathrooms can organize makeup, hair care products and toiletries
- Putting toys away will be quick and easy with big baskets or bins in bedrooms or the family room
Discard or donate what you don’t use or need
This can be a tough one because we all love our stuff and parting can be painful. But getting into the habit of donating or selling things you don’t use is an excellent way to prevent clutter. This includes “invisible” clutter—all the stuff in the back of cabinets and closets that you don’t see, but it’s there, taking up valuable space and weighing you down.
- A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used, seen or worn it for a year, you probably won’t miss it
- Get rid of the waffle iron you use once a year on someone’s birthday and free up space for that Keurig® you’ve been wanting and will use every morning
- Keep a donation box handy and encourage the whole family to toss in clothes, books and toys they no longer want and take it to your favorite charity when it’s full
- Don’t keep any item just because you “might need it someday”
Store daily-use items differently than seldom-used items
Seasonal decorations, camping gear, fancy evening wear and the good china don’t need to be front-and-center. Reserve easy-reach, low-level storage for those things you and your family use every day. Capturing vertical space is at the core of maximizing your home’s storage, but then you need to manage that space to best advantage.
- In your closets, store out-of-season clothes on the highest shelves or at the back of the closet so there is plenty of room for this season’s wardrobe
- Overhead storage racks in the garage can keep decorations, sleeping bags, 24-pack paper towels and seasonal toys like sleds, pool rafts and snowboards up and out of the way
- In the family room, favorite movies, books and games should be where everyone can reach them, reserving high storage for seldom-used items or purely decorative accessories
- Organize your pantry so snacks and drinks are where everyone can serve themselves and store canned goods, appliances and cooking staples up higher
- If you need a step-stool or ladder to retrieve it, it should not be something you use all the time
If the space is overflowing, it’s time to seriously purge
No amount of organization can eliminate clutter if you have more than your house can hold, so if you live with perpetual clutter, you may need to reevaluate exactly what you are trying to store. A sock drawer can only hold so many socks and a linen closet can only hold so many blankets, sheets and towels. If you find yourself opening dresser drawers or pulling out bins in the garage and saying, “Gee, I wonder what’s in here,” it’s probably something you don’t need.
Make a plan to tackle every area of your home, including the garage and any storage sheds, and take back control by eliminating all the excess. The first discards will be the hardest, but as you work through pile after pile and closet after closet, it gets easier. You’ll end up with a home filled with your favorite things everywhere you look. And the clutter will be gone.
Change what isn’t working
If you think you’re organized but still feel the stress and frustration of a cluttered home, Tailored Living can help with customized storage and organization solutions that will give you the peace and calm you desire. As whole home organization experts, we know how to get the most out of your space with innovative storage solutions to specifically meet the needs of you and your family, including closet storage systems, entertainment centers, home office design, pantries, laundry rooms, entryways, garage storage cabinets and custom garage flooring.
Call 866-641-8958 (US) or 866-973-8221 (CAN) to schedule a free, in-home consultation or go online to www.tailoredliving.com to find a designer near you. There’s still time to take advantage of our Special Summer Savings event through September 30 and see how much you can save.