January is National Get Organized Month, and the “G” and “O” in “Get Organized” tell us that it’s GO time in creating the home of our dreams in 2023. The best part? Making a few key decisions helps you to create a system for your spaces that is both achievable and sustainable.
Here are a few tips on how to get started in some key areas of your home:
Pantry Purge: For many of us, it’s “out of sight, out of mind,” but when it comes to food storage and accessibility, a pantry that allows you to know your inventory of food and supplies at any given moment is helpful. Not only does it make meal planning easier, but you may also find that you make more nutritious food choices and save money by not spending on duplicate items. To get started, take everything out of your pantry. Check expiration dates, dispose of anything outdated, and consider donating unopened, still-good food that just doesn’t fit your diet or lifestyle. Clean shelves and assess your space. Consider using clear bins to group similar items -- breakfast items, snacks, cereal, or baking, for example – and corral food types together for easy grab and go. Also consider whether under-shelf storage in the form of pull-out spice racks, wire baskets, adjustable shelves and or hangers might help create storage options for some of your supplies.
Create a real-life inbox/outbox: Designate a space for clutter-on-the-go. This could be a shelf or a small closet where you can drop things short-term that will eventually need a home in your house, or things like unopened mail. This is also a great place to stash your purse or any items you take in and out of the home with you. Here, you can also temporarily store items that need to go back to someone else – that item you need to return to the store, the book you’re going to lend a friend, etc. Give these things a short-term home by creating a dedicated space so that clutter doesn’t live all over your kitchen counters or living room surfaces. Innovative solutions custom-fit to your space, such as pull-out bins or rolling shelves in cabinets, create dedicated spaces that are easy to use and also out of sight.
Home office makeover: If you didn’t have a home office prior to the pandemic, there’s a high likelihood that you need one now. If your home office is in a room that serves multiple functions – for example, in a guest bedroom or primary bedroom – consider using a Murphy bed to create the kind of flexibility you need to allow the room to do double duty. Beds take up the most square footage of any piece of furniture in our homes, and tend to dominate a room. A Murphy bed lifts that bed off the floor and stores it in an attractive cabinet that easily blends with others. Bonus: It makes a great Zoom background!
Use the “one in/one out” rule: To not get overwhelmed with stuff, consider implementing the “one in/one out” rule. Get a new pair of boots? Donate your old ones. Did your child get a great new toy? Perhaps a few older toys can be donated. When purging happens on a regular basis, it becomes less overwhelming and more consistently matches your lifestyle.
Get the garage done. This often-overlooked space is one that gives people great joy when it’s organized well. Why? Especially in Texas, many of us enter and leave our homes through our garage, meaning we see it at least twice a day. Also, garages are typically blank canvases with little organization already built in. The downside is that they can easily become a dumping ground for all the things you don’t know what to do with. The upside is that a well-organized garage can seriously maximize your home storage when done correctly. Start by giving it a good clean, and then consider calling a designer who is a space planning expert. That person can help you decide what can go where, and what cabinetry, hanging items, or other storage solutions will allow you to make your garage a function, floor-to-ceiling space. A slatwall is a great way to hang tools, chords and other items off of the floor to free up space.
Pull together the playroom. An organized playroom does a couple of things: It saves you the headache of living in the midst of toys under your feet, and also teaches children a valuable lesson about organization that will serve them well in life. Using clear bins and drawers customized to your cabinet space, created a dedicated space for the little tyke’s lovies. Once you’ve established a system, work with your children to show them how to put things away, and make this a regular part of playtime. Have them help you until they understand how and where to put things, and make it a game or a race that you do together.
Conquer the closet. The closet of your dreams is within reach, and makes getting ready each day easier and a lot more fun. Start by figuring out what you truly wear. Don’t know where to begin? Reverse all your hangers to put the hook facing you and, when you wear an item and return it, turn the hanger the right way (rounded part toward you) and in just a few short months, you will begin to see which items you reach for. Or, do a purge and place items you don’t think you wear often in garbage bags in a spare closet or in your garage. If you find you need something that’s in the bag, you can pull it out, but set a date in six months or so when you will donate the bags, and mark that date on your calendar. Velvet jewelry tray inserts in drawers as well as tilt-out laundry hampers can help maximize space. Love your clothes but hate your space? The truth is that most homes were not built with the kind of closets that afford you the flexibility and design needed to make the most of your space. Call an expert in space planning who can show you how to add functionality, storage space, lighting and design to create the space of your dreams.
Book a complimentary consultation with a design expert from Closet Factory DFW who can show you how your home’s space can be maximized to fit your lifestyle. With custom-designed solutions handcrafted right here in DFW and installed by trusted expert professionals, Closet Factory DFW helps you create accessible luxury in your own home. www.closetfactorytexas.com