When you glance around the room, do you see three things or more that belong somewhere else, or even worse, have no real place to belong? For many a homeowner this is a sign of storage woes. What a relief that there are simple solutions out there for any home!
To begin tackling the out-of-hand storage situation, the first step is to take an honest look around. How many of the out of place items are really things no one no longer needs, uses, or wants in the household? It is time to get that junk out! Donate, recycle, or throw it away - as long as it gets out of the house. The next step is to look at each room and make a plan. What items do you use daily? What can be stored away for occasional use? Which spaces are wasting potential? If you could have your storage set up any way you wanted, what would it be? This last question is most important; there is no wrong answer and it is typically easier to do than imagined!
- Laundry and Mudroom – The laundry and mudrooms are spaces that may be combined or separated, but are always busy and working hard to keep families on the move. These spaces are best outfitted with flexible storage solutions. For example, baskets are great to assign family members. Each person has their own basket to toss in gloves and hats or sort shoes and laundry. It's a decorative element that corrals the clutter in a simple way. The same can be said for designated hooks and built-in cubbies.
- Kitchen – For many kitchens, it is the little things that are constantly overflowing and in the way. Countertops everywhere are overflowing with bulky spice racks, items that cannot fit into the pantry, and cookware that cannot be manipulated into a standard cabinet space. For starters, labeled baskets and over-the-door storage hangers make pantry organization simple. These tools keep similar small items from overwhelming shelf space, allowing easier access and better inventory. Built-in backsplashes and kitchen islands with extra cabinets are all the rage for making the most of a kitchen. Extra counter space and keeping them clean is every chef's dream.
- Bathroom – Especially within small or shared bathrooms, it is important to make the most of vertical space. Over the toilet shelving and cabinets are perfect for providing a place for frequently used items like toothpaste and mouthwash. This frees up the smaller and somewhat awkward under-sink space for long-term storage of toilet paper, cleaning supplies, etc. Where bathroom storage is concerned it is also critical to look outside the immediate space for appropriate storage options. For example, storing towels in the hall linen closet may make more sense than squeezing them under the bathroom sink.
- Bedroom – Bedroom storage is all about presenting clean surfaces and providing a restful space. Underbed storage, large dressers, and closed armoires are all excellent options for storing things in the bedroom. Even more vital in keeping bedroom clutter out is the well-organized closet.
- Great Room – The typical family gathering space is often littered with movies, books, and games. Floor-to-ceiling entertainment centers offer the perfect mix of open shelving and large cabinets. This system allows prized books and picture to be viewed by guests while secretly taming the unruly mass of gaming systems and movie collections.
These are simply a few suggestions in the mass of storage solutions available on today's market. Whether springing for a pricey customized system or creating your own with baskets and shelves, be patient as you work through the solutions. Keep in mind that a perfect system now may not be in the future. Sensible storage is flexible and grows with the family in need. With a few simple steps and a new perspective on stuff, once again your dream home can be organized and clutter-free.
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