Tips to Keep You Organized
Great Room/Living Room
- Clear Flat Surfaces of Magazines, Brochures, Paper, etc.~Make a quick sweep of all flat surfaces by piling papers in a bin, then sorting and purging as necessary. Take a vow, and get your family to follow it, to put papers in files rather than on the coffee table.
- Out of Control Cords~The most attractive is the slim Cableyoyo. It neatly coils up to six feet of cord and comes with an adhesive backing that sticks onto nearly any surface. A cable caddy usually sticks onto a desktop (or behind the TV console) and has a space for several cables to clamp into. Your cords will still dangle freely, however, so a cable zipper, which encloses all the cables in a tube, might be the best bet.
- Create a Play Area for the Kids~If toys are taking over your family room, it’s time to put them in timeout. Unused corners of a family room transform into great play areas because the walls serve to block encroaching clutter. Corners are also good areas to put a small bookcase or children’s table. Add rolling bins for toy storage so your child doesn’t have to feel confined, but is encouraged to pick up after he or she is done playing.
- Expandable Cookware Rack~Constantly fumbling around for matching food storage lids or your favorite baking sheet? An expandable cookware rack will make those frustrations things of the past. With an adjustable rack, you can store lids and bakeware in upright positions, making it easier to find the exact item you need. We set up our lids in deep drawers next to nested containers and had no issues with everything staying in place.
- Adhesive Cabinet Mount Cabby~Talk about a multipurpose buy. This clear plastic caddy mounts to any surface, providing instant storage. We like using it on a cabinet door under the sink to hold extra cleaning supplies or on a tiled backsplash to corral olive oil and vinegar bottles.
- Undershelf Wire Basket~To really maximize vertical space in the kitchen, store coffee mugs, dry food, dish towels or aluminum foil in an under-mount basket. This instantly creates more storage where before there was none. We liked using these underneath our open shelves to create a little coffee station. The basket was the perfect height to store mugs and looked less cluttered than a countertop organizer.
- Make Your Bed Everyday~Remember when Mom used to force you to make your bed each morning? She was practicing the basic tenet of staying organized. According to Julie Morgenstern, “Don’t think of [organization] as ‘putting things away,’ but think of it as positioning [something] for its next use.” Treat your bed as the sanctuary it is by positioning it for use every day. If you spend three minutes each morning to tuck and fold, you’ll develop a habit of keeping order in the room, which may translate into motivation for picking up the pile of clothes on the floor.
- Take Proper Care of Specialty Garments~If your closet is a haven for vintage clothing or your wedding dress, take steps to organize them by making sure they’re cared for. Get everything professionally cleaned, then choose hanger or box storage. If hung, get a quality hanger and wrap the dress or garment in muslin. If boxed, make sure the cardboard is acid-free and wrap each fold or crease in the clothing with acid-free tissue paper. Be sure to hang or store out of the way of your regular wardrobe, and check every year for damage.
- Opt for Storage Under Your Bed~Get more mileage out of the horizontal space in your bedroom with sliding or rolling under bed storage bins. It’s a great extension of your closet, allowing you to rotate your seasonal items or even store bigger, bulkier items like backpacks, purses and blankets. Plus, the storage hidden if you have a bedskirt. Stick a label on the outside of each container so when you peek under the bed you’ll know exactly what you’re looking at. Short on linen closet space? Another idea is to keep extra sheets for your bed here.