No one ever makes a new year’s resolution to get more organized, but everyone should. Now that the holidays are over and you’ve (hopefully) put your tree away, it’s time to assess the damage. Having a streamlined, organized home can help you arrive on time (no more ‘Where are my keys/shoes?!’ moments), get more done, and perhaps even sleep a little better (less clutter, less stress).
You might say I have OCD. I say I take pride in a functional home. Tomato, potato.
The thing is, I don’t spend hours every day cleaning my house. I just set myself up so that the place stays nice, and that, my friends, is the ticket to a streamlined home.
Not all of us can afford professional organizers, and if you’re like me, you’re never going to pay for a California Closet. At least, not until Sallie Mae has her way with us for a few more years.
So I’ve compiled a couple of cheap (or free) ways to tidy up the place and make your life a tad more efficient, even in small spaces. No more digging through the junk drawer that has become your life, or wondering where the hell the scissors are. Here are a few of my favorite methods.
1. Rethink Your Recyclables.
I cut the top off of this spinach box to contain the contents of the junk drawer, separating them from important documents. You can also use these to store scarves, etc. when you’re not using them in the summer.
We always end up with an abundance of beer boxes. They’re perfect for under-sink storage. We store Moxie’s dog brushes, treats, and medicine this way, and it’s easy to grab when we go on road trips with the pup.
2. Look at What Things DO, Not Just What They Are.
I actually found the above tie rack in a closet from three apartments ago, and then I stole it. Those previous tenants had no idea that it would be one of my most useful possessions, or that it would actually be used to store jewelry. See that star holding the earrings? That’s an old box lid that I repurposed. Below, I use a belt holder to hang dresses and camisoles. Easy peasy.
3. Display Your Storage In a Creative Way.
We moved in and realized our kitchen had two drawers. Two. Sometimes your utensils just have to be part of the design. This vase was a thrift store find, and we use it to keep cooking utensils handy.
4. Look Up, and Store “Like” Things Together.
Again, I was so excited that we found a place that I forgot to notice that the kitchen couldn’t accommodate our stuff. I am She Who Gets Rid of Things, so the fact that our stuff didn’t fit means this kitchen is, in a word, miniscule. Luckily it had a gap between the ceiling and the cupboards, so we filled it with displayed storage. I love having fresh flowers, so I wasn’t willing to part with our vases. By putting clear glass and chrome-painted items together, this method looks intentional, which is what you’re going for with displayed storage. (The spray painted antlers and branches are just for looks. We have no use for those.)
5. Think of How You Use the Space, and Go From There.
I’m not sure how much my in-laws will appreciate a picture of their outdoor/utility closet on the internet, sorry guys. But it does serve to demonstrate all of the aforementioned methods. By thinking about how the space was used, adding recyclables (a cut-open shoe box), and maximizing the vertical storage with like-items, they’re now able to use the space to dress/undress for skiing and they can store things they don’t need all the time (vacuums, winter gear).
Alright, muchachos, go forth and clean up your spaces. I’ll be here if you need support (or empty beer boxes. Seriously we have a ton).