Organized All Over
While getting organized is often a high priority, actually doing it can be difficult. Luckily, a wide variety of home organization products and services are available to help manage everything from clothing to yard tools and to simplify life. Go room-by-room with us as we reveal strategies for organizing some of the top problem areas in the house: the kitchen, closet, home office and garage.
Kitchen pantries are usually not equipped with the kind of storage needed to manage the host of drinks, snacks and cooking supplies that land here, resulting in time wasted searching for items and duplicate purchases. Make the most of the space you have with easy storage solutions.
|Out of clutter, find Simplicity. From discord, find Harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies Opportunity.
—Albert Einstein, scientist
Peggy Snider Houghton, director of business development for Closets and More in Marietta, recommends upgrading your pantry with baskets for storing chips and even table linens; pull-out shelves for canned and bottled goods; adjustable shelving for items of different sizes; and space for a wine rack.
With increasingly mobile lifestyles, home offices are becoming centers for managing both personal and professional tasks and files. The key to making a home office work is paring down the workspace. “Your desk area should have the primary things that you use only,” says Christina Gunbay, owner of Uber Organizing in Atlanta. “Secondary or tertiary things should be in a nearby closet.”
Christina recommends staying away from horizontal filing trays that serve little function and take up too much surface area on a desk. Instead, mount a vertical paper tray on an adjacent wall. To minimize paper storage, Christina says, take advantage of electronic record-keeping for bank statements, digital photos and more. For hard copies, stick to one file drawer built into a desk, if possible and acid-free plastic containers for photo archives organized by event and/or date.
In addition, Christina gives the new Apple iPad rave reviews for productivity and mobility. “This is undoubtedly my favorite organizing tool!,” Christina says. “There are so many applications for every use imaginable.”
|Family: A social unit where the father is concerned with parking space, the children with outer space, and the mother with closet space.”
Evan Esar, American humorist
Specialty storage and organization systems can turn a dark, cluttered closet into a personalized dressing-room retreat. Favorite colors, an appealing design and even a few indulgences add to the allure of a well-planned closet. “I think we all like to go into a place that feels good to us,” says Houghton, “and we are going to use it more frequently if we enjoy the space.”
Adjustable shelves and rods allow clothes to hang properly and provide easy access. Baskets or drawers of various sizes keep undergarments, accessories, workout gear and laundry out of sight.
For the ultimate indulgence, a lighted cooling drawer keeps drinks and fine cosmetics at just the right temperature, while a coordinating warming drawer produces comfy heated towels and bathrobes. “It is important for people to know it doesn’t have to be elaborate,” says Houghton. “It can be basic.”
|“A place for everything, everything in its place.”
— Benjamin Franklin
One of the biggest challenges in organizing a garage is accommodating the mix of odd-shaped items that most often ends up here such as kayaks or canoes, artificial Christmas trees and camping gear. The solution, according to Ken Lundin, owner of Space Envy in Norcross, is to use wall, ceiling and cabinet space to keep these items off the floor and still easy to access when needed.
Lundin recommends installing wall-mounted racks to organize yard tools, bicycles and sports equipment; ceiling lifts to store a kayak or large car-top luggage carrier; and built-in cabinetry for seasonal items, coolers, paints and other chemicals and even shoes.
Organizing even just one problem area in your home can result in some great benefits, including increased productivity and punctuality, reduced stress and more time with family and friends. Being able to find that missing shoe when you’re running late and avoiding tripping every time you walk through the garage is even more reason to start getting organized now.
5 Steps To an Organized Home
1. Take inventory of household items and problem areas.
2. Determine your goal or intention for each space in your home such as optimizing for daily use or long-term storage.
3. Prioritize organization goals.
4. Break down each goal into smaller tasks.
5. Establish a plan of action with details and deadlines, and get started!
–—adapted from spaceenvy.com