Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Simplest Organization Techniques You Haven't Tried Yet

Make Your Rooms Work Harder

Whether you have an excess of square footage or are cramped into a too-small space, there are inventive ways to squeeze out useful organization from your home. In a centrally located spot such as a kitchen, a small stretch of wall offers a precious few inches for a family organization spot. Give each person their own slot, or include a message board with important reminders.

Make Your Rooms Work Harder

Maximize Accessibility

Helping your family stay organized depends on kids and parents being able to use whatever system you have in place. For kids especially, that means ensuring access to all the daily-use items that they can be in charge of, such as clothes and toys. Revamping closets with multi-height rods and storing seasonal clothes within their reach is a great organizational technique. Clothes they’ll grow into or use in different weather can be stashed in up-high, out-of-reach spaces.

Maximize Accessibility

Make It Pretty

It’s so much easier to maintain an organization system if it’s one that you love to look at. Invest in pretty clips and hangers; choose a color scheme; and spend time thinking how your organization can and should be part of your decor.

Make It Pretty

Clean Up Electronics

Cords, wires, remotes, gadgets: All the technological stuff in our lives can quickly overwhelm a room and your organization systems. Try grouping like items -- all the remotes, for example -- in one bin. 

Clean Up Electronics

Organize by Person or Function

Bins, baskets, hooks, and containers all lend themselves to a simple but underused organization technique: labeling. Handwritten or computer-generated, labels can quickly help you and your family sort, store, and find what you need. Try labels in an entryway, on shelves, and in the kitchen.

Organize by Person or Function

Do a Daily Declutter

One of the best and easiest ways to stay on top of your home’s organization is to spend a few minutes on it each day. That includes both public and private areas, including your oft-used living room and the floor of your closet. Put shoes away, straighten furniture, and clear countertops for a home that looks and feels more organized.

Do a Daily Declutter

Clear the Floor

It’s amazing the change in the feel and function of a room once the floor is clear: The clutter factor clears, and the visual distractions dissipate. Lots of things can be elevated even a few inches off the floor -- nightstands or shelves, for example -- but the garage is a good place to put this organization technique into place. 

Clear the Floor

Add Portability

It's a hassle to transport small things, such as cleaning bottles and supplies, from room to room. But grouping them together in a tote has multiple organization advantages. For starters, grouping like items together serves as a visual reminder when you need a re-stock. Second, a portable tote helps to cut down on clutter inside a cabinet. Lastly, keeping items well-organized and together means that moving them where they're needed is an easy job.

Add Portability

Divide Drawers by Height

Built-in or added-on, drawer dividers that take advantage of existing height are good ways to increase your organization options. The more you divide the drawer, the more you’ll help to reduce clutter by making what’s stashed inside visible and easily accessible.

Divide Drawers by Height

Increase Visibility

Staying organized depends on knowing what you have and where it is; that way, you won’t purchase duplicates or waste time searching for what you need. Putting items on display, such as the narrower shelves filled with shoes, is a great organizational technique to help achieve this goal.

Increase Visibility

Hide It

Everyone has lots of stuff that is odd-sized or not that pretty to look at, but simple organizational tricks can help. For starters, covered boxes are a good way to corral items that shouldn’t or can’t be left loose or those that are awkwardly sized. There’s a decor-friendly way to improve your book storage too: Group titles -- no matter their size -- based on the colors of the covers.

Hide It

Create Zones

Zones are often used to refer to work areas, especially in a kitchen. But creating organization zones is a good technique to use, even in smaller spaces such as drawers and doors. Here, one drawer is subdivided as an art zone, with paints and other supplies grouped into smaller containers. Another idea: Add a label to the front of a spot to quickly identify what’s inside.

Create Zones

Mix Storage Types

Organization options are much more limited if you have just one type of storage -- all drawers or open shelves, for example. The most clean-looking, hardworking spaces have a little bit of everything: baskets and bins to hide less visually pleasing elements, open shelves for easy access, and higher-up storage for things that aren’t used as frequently.

Mix Storage Types

Rotate Items

Even if you have the space, there's no need to cram all your possessions into a designated closet or dresser. For clothes especially, rotate out what you aren't in need of during a particular season. You'll reduce visual clutter and make it easier to stay on top of your organizational system.

Rotate Items