The 10 Most Inspiring Home Organization Makeovers
Home organizers and interior designers share their best tips for tackling some common and overwhelming organizing challenges.
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Divide and Conquer
“Being organized allows you to free up physical and mental space for doing more of what you love and gives you more time to spend with your loved ones,” says Jen Robin, founder of Life in Jeneral, a professional organizing company in California. Robin tackled this kid’s drawer where diapers were randomly thrown in. “Getting items off the counters and into drawers minimizes clutter and keeps items tucked away from the little ones,” says Robin. “Drawer dividers make it easy to maintain the drawer space and to help keep things in order.”
Overstuffed cabinets and unruly cords created a recipe for stress. While there was an attempt to organize, items quickly became tucked behind others in overflow. “We created categories and within each bin, all items/cords are separated further into specific grab-and-go plastic zipper pouches. There is a specific card organizer and all complementary items are in the same section,” says Robin, adding that each member of the family has a bin for their paperwork.
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Create a Home for Everything
Although there are bins to divide items in this vanity, they were not being used efficiently with products stacked on top of each other. “We chose smaller dividers to make more specific categories and allow for more visibility,” Robin says. “We kept the everyday and most used items in the drawer and removed the extra, still in package items, which were taking up a lot of room. This minimizes clutter, encourages the product to be used, and ensures everything has a home,” says Robin.
To maximize the hanging space and minimize the number of clothing items that are stacked on shelves, Robin added a second rod to this closet. She then organized the clothes themselves from left to right, light to dark, short to long, paying attention that the heavier items, including jackets, were on the lower racks. Next, “We adjusted shelving height specific to the items being stored and placed items used less frequently higher up,” which is a great fix for one of the biggest closet organizing mistakes, says Robin.
Mix New With Old
This closet is the most central location in the house and it has to work for a wide variety of users and seasons. “We designed a solution that would be both functional and spacious but wouldn’t dominate the space. The flexible mix of hanging and drawer storage and the combination of cutout pulls and push-to-open hardware makes it easy to use for every member of the family,” says Mary Flo Ouellette, Allied ASID of Squarehouse Studios. “When integrating newer storage solutions in an older space, consider using more streamlined or invisible hardware that allows more interesting or historic features to remain the most prominent,” notes Ouellette.
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Keep It Simple
This family wanted a modern way to present their fondness for old world elements along with practical storage solutions in their living room for a busy family of four. As part of a total room redo, “We introduced a series of custom built-in cabinets, including a full height vertical pantry drawer for oversized items and extra deep lower cabinets for board games,” says Steven Santosuosso of Squarehouse Studios who notes that when deciding on cabinetry, consider the types of objects that will be displayed. “We kept the carpentry lines modern and clean with neutral finishes to let their personal effects be the star of the story.”
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Make a Small Space Work for You
This laundry room area was created as a pass-through in a basement, shares Stephanie Katz of Simply Less is More. The stackable laundry unit was tucked into a corner with no space for folding clean laundry, never mind holding all cleaning products. Katz added shelves and drawers along the wall with a surface for folding as well as a shelf for laundry items and extra storage drawers.
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Pick, Purge, and Put in Order
Sometimes, you already have the right storage unit but aren’t using them correctly. In this case, Katz’s client was using this basement storage area to hold a combination of glass and dishwares for her catering business. “We took everything off the shelves, sorted through all the items, grouped like items together and donated duplicates,” she says. “After, my client was able to readily find everything she needed,” says Katz. Playing the matching game is one of our 50 top tips for organizing.
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Repurpose with Purpose
This kitchenette was right off a guest room in a basement that served as the back entryway into a townhouse. It quickly became the catch-all storage area for the homeowners’ paper and bulk goods. Katz designed shelving to go above the kitchenette to store all small items off and above the shelving by using baskets the clients already had and labeling them. “Adding this shelving was crucial to storing so many loose items and the things one would usually store in a garage (if there was one),” says Katz.
Create a Sanctuary
A recently married woman contacted Heather Wager, senior designer at New England Closets, after her new husband moved into her home. Although the master bedroom had a walk-in closet, the client was already using it, which meant her new spouse was storing all his clothing in a spare bedroom, which was in a visible area. To make the area look presentable, Wager designed a plan to mirror the symmetry of the windows and used a double bank of drawers to store underwear and socks saving the top drawer for his watches. The finishing touch was an ottoman in the middle of the room to give him a comfortable place to get dressed, says Wager.
Go with the Flow
With no system in place, items were randomly placed throughout making it hard to see everything in this pantry. To streamline it, Robin pulled everything out, categorizing all like items together, and creating a flow that made sense. “We maximized the space by purchasing step shelves that fit the depth of the cabinet and adding turntables to make reaching and seeing everything easy,” she says.
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