What makes a piece of furniture or organizing product smart? Most of us want wall systems, products, and furniture that will practically work in our homes and actually keep us organized. Although I’m not an interior designer, there are important criteria to consider when you’re deciding what to purchase and how to store items around the house. The main goals behind smart storage solutions are practical use, efficient use of space, and realistic function within a family or household setting. During our organizing sessions more thought goes into this “smart storage concept” more than you would think. I am constantly assessing the type of furniture present, the closet systems inside every closet, and the overall free space and occupied space throughout the house. It’s often very easy to correct and simple to point out to my customers. Something you don’t see, I see within minutes. Consider the following organizing storage tips.
Purchasing functional, not just stylish furniture is key. Instead of a plain four footed coffee table, choose one with baskets underneath for storage or drawers to hold remote controls and coasters. Instead of a short narrow bookcase, consider what size would hold the most and work well in the space. I’m not suggesting cover a wall full of bookshelves but if your current one is overcrowded or if you have no bookshelves, analyze the size to maximum space. Also assess your night stands. Books, Kleenex, magazines, a bottle of water and phone chargers fill up the flat surface space quickly. Buy nightstands with storage to hide all that stuff.
Asses what your closet, bathroom and bedroom doors could hold. Vertical door space is usable and underutilized. Of course make sure you can shut the door but if a rack system, hook system, or pocket organizer fits, use it!
Look up at your walls. Consider using more hooks and free floating shelving. It is a simple way of getting things up off the floor. Add hooks in a hall closet to catch reusable grocery bags or umbrellas. Add hooks to a mudroom, entryway or hallway to hold coats, purses, and backpacks. If your space is small, take a closer look. Which wall is open? Adding a shelf above a piano could hold a pencil cup and metranome for practicing. Small free floating shelves in a bathroom could hold perfume or small jars of tolietries. It adds more usable space to a sometimes small, cramped space.
Instead of a frame office desk, choose one with lots of drawers and built in filing cabinets so everything isn’t out in the open, cluttering up your desk. I am thrilled when I walk into a home office with great furniture. It makes organizing paper, photos, supplies, software, and files a lot easier. Every office should have drawers, shelves, cabinets, and filing drawers. It’s rare that someone is completely paperless and electronic. I’ve only known one family in all my ten years that has pulled it off. So invest in making the office space a productive one!
Closet systems make a huge difference in maintaining organization. If ANY of your closets are just a rod and top shelf, it’s time to redo the closet. The only exception I make is a front hall closet. That’s allowed to just have a rod and shelf but the rest of your closets deserve better. The job of a closet is to store, hold, and keep things out of sight but accessible. They can’t do their job well if we don’t outfit them with a closet system. It will just become a dumping ground and things will be stacked on top of each other on the floor. Accessing the bottom bins will be virtually impossible without emptying the whole closet. I’m not suggesting spending thousands of dollars with a closet company. That is one option but cheaper options do exist. For example, buying and using a free standing plastic shelving unit from Home Depot inside an office closet in my opinion is a better option than just a closet with a rod and top shelf.
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