Organized at Home
Keeping the home organized is a situation we all face and with kids running around, the challenge is magnified! Last year I offered up ten smart ideas for family organization. To build on that topic, here are even more strategic solutions for keeping your busy home ship shape.
Create a Drop Zone. Having a spot where all things land has its advantage: when you need them again (hopefully) there they are. Isolate the everyday backpacks, shoes, and coats in a single zone to ease the transition out the door each day.
Make a Family Binder. With school in session, a single binder filled with contacts and schedules is a life saver but just as convenient for summer activities when kids camps, activities, and the information on the family vacation is all centralized in one place.
Office Supply Central. If you lack the space for a corner office, no worries. Set aside a cabinet and shelf where supplies are stored for easy access.
Mail Zone. We live in a digital age where much of our correspondence and bill paying occurs online, yet there is still the need to have a place for outgoing mail, especially for those cards for friends and family to commemorate birthdays, holidays, or special occasions. Keeping the zone front and center helps prevent your sentiment from being a belated one.
Receipt & Warranty Readiness. Often it’s necessary to hold on to receipts for reimbursement, returns, or future tax purposes, and when something needs fixed, the warranty is a document you’ll need to pull out for reference. Storing them in a single spot means when you’re most in need, the document will be there.
You’ve Got Game. Store the games you play in a centralized spot (perhaps a coffee table with drawers or a nearby cabinet) to inspire another competitive round of family fun.
A Place for Everything. The best technique for avoiding the clutter creep is to have a place for everything from sports equipment and seasonal attire.
What strategies do you use to keep your family home organized?
I was analyzing all the ways I organize around the house and as I looked in each room I noticed they all have one thing in common – there’s always a basket that is storing something from blankets to pillows to smaller necessities. Talk about versatile, baskets in all their shapes and varieties are our best friends when it comes to organizing all those things we treasure.
Baskets are made with plant materials, often woven from grasses, and because of it are one of the many ways to add texture to your home. Here’s a look at a few of the smart ways to use them in the rooms all around your house.
Mudrooms and entries are drops zones and one of the best places to use baskets to store flip flops, extra shoes, or pet leashes. Consider assigning one to every family member for easy sorting.
In a reading nook or corner, baskets corral your favorite magazines for that moment when you finally sit down to savor your favorite publications.
Using baskets in a playroom or kid space makes perfect sense. Store toys, games, and books, or get creative and assign a letter to a series suspended on a wall for a reminder where to keep those extra special things.
When styling bookshelves, baskets fill empty spaces in between your favorite pieces on display and also hide the less than pretty things you want to keep for future use.
In the bathroom a series of dark baskets adds stylish contrast to all white shelving and collects everyday necessities such as washcloths, soaps, lotions, and toiletries.
In the home office or craft room, a basket will hold just about anything from supplies to mementos to materials for correspondence.
Grab extra storage space in the bedroom by keeping off-season linens in woven baskets under the bed.
Pantries are perfect perches for a collection of baskets, house apples or onions or potatoes, napkins and paper plates too!
In the kitchen, use a woven tray to corral culinary essentials in an attractive collection.
I’ve shopped for affordable baskets at several retailers including Pier One Imports, World Market, Target, Wal-Mart, and Michaels craft stores. Crate + Barrel, Pottery Barn, and The Container Store are also excellent sources for a wide variety of stylish storage solutions.
Where do you shop for baskets for your home, and in what ways do you use them around the house?
I have a confession to make, as organized as many of the spaces are in our home, our pantry is in extreme disarray. We don’t even have real shelving inside it, we only have a few metal units that I bought at a discount store years ago. I’d like to move those to the garage and take the time to really make our walk in pantry a space that’s both organized and attractive too.
I decided to round up some inspiration for some of you who like me may be experiencing the same doldrums about your pantry space. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have an entire closet in a kitchen as a dedicated pantry, often it’s a series of cabinets that must be utilized for the same purpose.
Make them work smarter by installing pull out drawers and attaching cubbies to the doors for spices or other small packages of dried goods.
With two children in elementary school, having a space for homework is essential to organization in our home. Often times the kitchen table will suffice for a quick spelling review or a few pages of math, but it’s nice to have a zone specifically designed for homework where school supplies, calendars, books, and reminders can be stored.
There are plenty of creative ways to carve out a space for homework, the trick is to create a zone that works best for a family’s lifestyle. A desk and chair are the basics of course but where you place them is up to you. One way to mix form and function is to inject a dose of color, like this cheerful orange chair tucked under a white desk in a child’s room.
For some families, the preference is to have children do homework out in the open in community spaces. Turning two narrow tables into a long workspace is one way to keep an eye on kids who have questions about their studies or are surfing online.
Any spare wall can be converted into study central with a clever table and bookcase retrofit like this one providing two workspaces with privacy and storage.
Nooks and alcoves are often the perfect place to station a homework zone, especially where hours of concentration are necessary and a quieter place is appreciated.
A major movement in modern homes is to convert the formal dining room into work stations for both parents and adults.
Turning a sunny breakfast nook or loft into a kid friendly homework and creativity zone is another way to make a space serve your family’s needs.
Built in desks are ideal if you have a spare wall and overhead storage is always a bonus to help store supplies and conquer clutter.
In our home, we turned a spare room into a kid friendly study zone, complete with DIY window seat and a table we built in a custom size to fit the space.
Bright colors and patterns inspire creativity in a room dedicated to both work and play where both artists and thinkers can thrive.
Parents, where have you carved out a homework zone in your home? Share your creative ideas!
With all the excess food, decorating, and gifting that occurs in December, many share the common desire is to pare down and get organized in January with the turning of the calendar to a new year. One of the key components of successful organization is having a place for everything, and thankfully there are smart strategies that exist for keeping all the stuff organized. Here are several ideas to consider for maximizing storage in your home in the New Year.
Invest in a storage bench, readily available at many online retailers. Use baskets below for toys or books and top it with a cushion in a fabric of choice for style and storage in one!
Many closet companies offer custom storage units but you can achieve a similar look by installing assemble ready kits from home improvement centers or specialty storage stores in a bedroom or hall closet.
If short on cabinet space, a bench with a pull out drawer provides room for toiletries in a bathroom and is a place to sit to dress and undress with a cushion covered in terrycloth.
Square footage is of prime value in apartments, townhouses, and smaller homes and those who dwell within always seek to maximize every square inch of space. Thankfully there are clever affordable solutions for those who reside in spaces where storage is limited. Here are ten savvy small space solutions to inspire a weekend makeover in your condo or casa.
1. Purchase a small console that fits on an entry wall, and remember a lower shelf is an added bonus! Use the top as a desk and baskets below for a centralized solution designed to hold everyday necessities for grab and go convenience.
2. Avoid clutter taking over your countertops by installing a charging station inside a drawer. Drill a hole in the back of a dresser or desk to accommodate the cord of a hidden power strip.
3. Transform an armoire into a pantry or dish and linen storage center perfect for a small space kitchen or dining zone.
4. Turn a stock cabinet into a rolling kitchen island that offers both a prep surface and valuable storage below. If designed with casters, it can roll out of the way when the countertop is not in use.
5. Install a recessed medicine cabinet between the wall studs for bathroom toiletries and necessities.
6. Maximize vertical wall space by hanging a pegboard above a desk to store craft or office supplies. Paint it a cheery hue for a punch of color!
7. Two bookcases plus a wood countertop multitask in any space by providing storage and a writing desk for catching up on email, paying bills, or for hobbies such as scrapbooking or crafting.
8. Inexpensive wood crates painted in bright colors bring fresh style to a bathroom. Multiply the number of crates to create affordable and unique bookshelves in an office or as media storage in a living room.
9. Stack two shipping pallets and top them with a solid surface to give yourself a coffee table with storage for reading material inside.
10. Create your own room divider between entry and living space by combining three ready-to-assemble cabinets and positioning them next to each other to divide the singular space. You’ll create an instant entryway and multiply your storage as well. Here are the details on how to make a room divider with cabinets.
Wherever you reside and whatever your living situation, there are always creative ways to conquer clutter and store your stuff! Stay tuned for even more articles on the topic coming in January with a focus on getting organized and maximizing storage!