organization

Kate

(More) Ideas for Family Organization

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.

family drop zone bhg

 

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. 

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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.

office supply cabinet

  

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. 

cards and stamps

  

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.

  file storage bhg

  

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.

coffee table game storage

 

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.

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What strategies do you use to keep your family home organized?

 

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Kate

Smart Ways to Use Baskets

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.

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In a reading nook or corner, baskets corral your favorite magazines for that moment when you finally sit down to savor your favorite publications. 

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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.

playroom basket storage bhg

 

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.

sitting room baskets bhg

 

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.

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In the home office or craft room, a basket will hold just about anything from supplies to mementos to materials for correspondence.

baskets in home office bhg

 

Grab extra storage space in the bedroom by keeping off-season linens in woven baskets under the bed.

underbed storage bhg

 

Pantries are perfect perches for a collection of baskets, house apples or onions or potatoes, napkins and paper plates too!

basket in pantry bhg

 

In the kitchen, use a woven tray to corral culinary essentials in an attractive collection.

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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?

 

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Kate

Fresh Start Storage 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!

 bench under window bhg

 

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.  

closet system bhg

 

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.

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Read more


Kate

Small Space Storage Solutions

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.  

entry console with baskets bhg

 

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.  

door divider charger bhg

 

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.  

rolling kitchen cabinet island bhg

  

5.  Install a recessed medicine cabinet between the wall studs for bathroom toiletries and necessities.

recessed bathroom cabinet bhg

 

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.

bookcases to desk bhg

  

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. 

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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.  

cabinet room divider bhg

 

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! 

 

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Kate

Stylish Strategies for Open Shelving

When given the choice between open or hidden storage, most people choose the latter.  The rationale behind closed door storage is that mass amounts of material can be hidden from view, and closed storage certainly is a premium for the non attractive things we need from day to day or require as the seasons change. 

However when it comes to your keepsakes and memorabilia, displaying your favorites out in the open allows you to appreciate them on a daily basis, and also communicates to visitors your personal taste and sense of style.  Here are five great strategies for displaying your personal things out in the open.  

A Curated Collection.   Open shelves are the perfect opportunity to place your passionate pursuit on display.  Avoid the temptation to scatter your collection around the house and instead gather your objects together on one unit, displaying them at different heights and angles for all to appreciate.   

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Subtle Shapes.  Geometry is your best friend when layering similar objects out in the open.  Notice how the individual pieces of coral on these shelves are placed in a diamond shape, and how the silver objects form an invisible triangle.   By making shapes up and down the shelving, you lay a foundation for order within your display.      

built in shelving dining room bhg

    

Group and Gather.   If closet or pantry space is limited, you can organize kitchen or other home goods effectively when you gather like objects closely together and in larger quantities, such as the bottles, dishes, and utensils cleverly grouped on this open metal shelf unit. 

open metal pantry shelving  bhg

   

Symmetrical Stacks.   When arranging books, consider laying them one way.  The purposeful placement of books stacked symmetrically creates a calming backdrop on a large freestanding shelf unit.  

stacked books bhg

    

Palette Precision.  Sticking to one medley of colors (pick only two or three) allows you to mix and mingle objects freely.  It doesn’t matter if they’re organizational or decorative if all of the objects on display wear hues from the same color family.  

blue and green palette bhg

 

How do you artfully organize and arrange your collections and memorabilia in open view?

 

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