Text By Nancy Johnston
Do you ever get tired of having to run up and down the stairs all the time to keep getting things that you need? Does it take you longer than it should to do just about everything because nothing is where it should be? If you answered yes to either of these questions then perhaps a little organization can help. Not only can it make your life more efficient by saving you a lot of time, it can save a lot of wear and tear on the legs! Now if organizing your home seems like a daunting task, don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be. With some preplanning and a “room at a time” approach, you can turn chaos into convenience in no time at all.
It’s quite easy to get started: just pick a room, take a cardboard box, and better yet, take two. Enter the room and take a good look around. Is clutter obstructing your view? Then that’s the place to start. Put all clutter such as unused items (things you have that you know you’re never going to use) into one box. It’s amazing how removing all the things you don’t use can free up space for things you actually use. If you can’t quite bring yourself to throw the stuff away, have a garage sale or donate it to charity.
Now take another look around. Gather up all the items that are not in the room where they are normally used/needed and put them in the second box for redistribution throughout the house. Go through each item in each room this way and when you are down to the essential items, designate a specific place for those items in the room. Redistribute the contents of the second box to their new convenient locations. From now on always put each item in its place when not in use so you know exactly where it is when you need it. This will save you the time and frustration of endless searching. Now that you have gotten rid of what you don’t need and have relocated the things that weren’t in the right room to begin with, it’s time to organize everything you have left.
Okay, so what to do with the two hundred pairs of shoes and matching purses that make closing the closet doors difficult? Simple. Compartmentalize! First go through all your shoes and purses and get rid of the ones you’ll always love but will never use again. Do the same with your clothes. Once you’ve done that you can see how much space you actually have to work with. Does everything fit better now or do you need to clean things up further by adding shelving and door fitted shoetrees. These days shelving comes in every possible size for every conceivable use so there is a shelving solution that will fit your particular needs. Check out one of the multitude of manufacturers if you need shelving in any room.
If kitchen size or cupboard space is a problem, you will really need to be organized to have things run smoothly. Again, go through everything item by item and decide if it is worth the space that it is occupying. Is there a better spot for it? Do you even use it? Hanging things whenever you can, such as pots and utensils, wine racks, cups and even spices will free up space. Try to use ceiling and wall space as well as counters and cupboards.
So you’ve filled every nook and cranny and you still need more storage space? Consider hiring a carpenter who can help you find some extra space hidden behind the walls, where recessed shelving or recessed receptacles can be easily constructed. Curved or angled walls, recessed fireplaces or cabinetry and space under staircases are all prime locations for conversion to storage or display areas.
Once you get everything rearranged remember the adage for keeping it that way, “A place for everything and everything in its place.”