Though there are hundreds of ways to get organized, the following four basic rules will get you started. Then you’ll find some specific ideas to make every room of your home seem more spacious.
#1 – Store things close to where they are first used. This basic rule makes everything easier to find and put away.
- In the kitchen, it means putting pots and pans in cabinets or on shelves or racks near the range.
- It means storing boots, mittens and umbrellas near the entryway, or in a hall closet or coat rack near the door.
- In the bathroom, it means putting soap and shampoo on a shower rack or shelf vs. under a sink where they’re hard to reach once you’ve jumped into the showers!
#2 – Store like things together. Obvious perhaps, but have you ever sought for supplies in several spots, just to tackle a small task?
- Sewing goods should go in one box, drawer or shelf
- Try to store sporting equipment in one closet or container
- Handyman’s tools travel neatly together if you put them in one place. Use a caddy made for that purpose.
#3 – Keep frequently used items close by. Put away seldom used or seasonal goods where you can find them, but not where you’ll have to move them constantly.
- This means keeping cooking utensils – large spoons, meat fork, spatula and tongs – in a drawer, hanging on the wall, or in a crock close to the range. You’ll save time, and miles of steps each year.
- If you use Grandma’s soup tureen only once a year, don’t store it in precious kitchen space. Wrap, label and put it out of the way.
- Conversely, if your gas grill gets a workout year-round, keep barbeque tools on a shelf or in a storage container next to the grill.
#4 – Store with safety in mind.
- To protect small children and pets, keep detergents, cleaning supplies and medicines out of reach. Use safety locks on accessible cabinets until children are past the curious stage. If you don’t have small children yourself, but have friends or family who visit with their own, be aware of safety precautions. Keep flammable products – paints, solvents, insecticides – away from heat sources.
- Store knives and scissors away from other utensils. Use blade protectors (plastic or do-it-yourself cardboard covers) to keep blades sharp and to protect fingers when these items are not in use.