About a zillion years ago I was part of a show called CLEAN SWEEP on TLC.
When we first shot the pilot episode I truly believed it wouldn't really go anywhere. I thought that there couldn't be enough messy, disorganized homes for us to have more than just a few episodes.
Over 100 episodes later, we were still getting more applications from people all over the country wanting to be on the show than we could ever accommodate.
Getting our rooms organized is something we all struggle with to various degrees.
One of the biggest lessons I learned from hearing the stories of the families that were dealing with getting a room organized, was that you have to find a way to dive in "all or nothing" style. For most people, tacking a mess a little at a time doesn't really work. Somewhere in the "little at a time" scenario, people get overwhelmed with the process and the amount of stuff and give up.
Here are 4 simple tips that really work when trying to get organized.
1) CLEAR OUT THE ROOM AND PAINT
Starting with a clean slate is always a great motivator. Clean out the room without thinking about what to keep and what to toss/donate/etc. Put whatever you can in boxes, move furniture out of the space and just clean it out without any attachment. We'll come back to the *stuff* later.
Now that you've cleaned it out, paint it.
Looking good right? You're also probably exhausted. That's a good thing, because now you are more motivated to make quicker, non-emotional decisions about all the stuff that has to come back in. Also, all that *stuff* is crowding the rest of your home. That is also a good thing--you want it out of the way and that too serves as great motivation to not organize based on emotion but practicality.
One of the biggest reasons for painting the room, that needs to be organized, is that the more effort that you put into making a space look clean and nice, the less likely you are to want to bring back everything. You're going to want it to look as nice and organized for as long as possible.
2) CARTS ON WHEELS
My love of carts and wheels runs deep. Very, very deep.
They are just the most awesome things.
In a bathroom they can keep all kinds of stuff. In a kitchen and laundry room, not only are they a great way to store cookbooks, extra spices/kitchen tools, serve ware, washing detergents, fabric softeners, etc...BUT the top surface area serves as extra prep counter in a kitchen, OR folding surface in a laundry room. AND they are on wheels. Wheels! This means that you can store one for the laundry room in a closet (if laundry area is too small) and easily wheel it out when needed. You can roll the kitchen cart over to the dining area during a party a
nd use it as a bar, or dessert cart. Add a nifty cutting board to the top and it's a cheese cart! Will the wonders never cease? No. They will not.
3) DOUBLE DUTY FURNISHINGS
Ottomans are a wondrous thing.
Ottomans with storage are gifts from Greek Gods. There was an ottoman God, right? No?
Either way, they are awesome.
They can go under an entry table in hallway and serve as a place to store extra coats, sweaters, shoes, or dog toys and leashes.
In a living room they can hold all your magazines, kid and pet toys, or extra pillows.
At the foot of a bed they are perfect for extra bedding.
In a spare room you can leave one empty for extra clothes storage for guests.
Their uses are almost limitless, plus they add a bit of pattern, color and style to your room.
4) VERTICAL STORAGE
This is one of my favorite things to do for clients. Even the very well organized ones.
Wall mounted shelving, built in bookcases, cabinets, or free standing racks can add a great architectural detail to a room as well be an awesome way to store your stuff.
By creating vertical storage you allow for extra floor space and surface area. Plus, if you have average to low ceilings, vertical storage can give a room the feeling of height.
I know it's the Season of Spring Cleaning, but while you're at it--why not also make it the Season of Organizing (S.O.O.)?
Go Forth and Organize Well. -angelo