Monday, March 22, 2010

Storage Solutions - BTSH Around The House Tip of the Week

I continually hear people say “I wish I could be as organized as you!”. I am always looking for ways to better organize my own home, and make things easier to find and access. I’m a firm believer in having everyday things at my fingertips. The first step in organizing is to sort through the areas of clutter and arrange a system. Categorize the items by what needs to stay where it is (but in an organized way of course), what is truly junk and can be tossed, and what is worth keeping, but is in the wrong place. Once you’ve done this, start with the “wrong place” items, and put them in the correct place immediately. Next, conquer the clutter and organize the items that are going to stay put.

Small Solutions
Jewellery trays—these don’t have to be your traditional silver trays, but can be a vintage ceramic plate or bowl. I keep one in every bedroom in my house, so that guests have a safe place to put their jewellery, watches, and other tokens.
Store remote controls in a decorative dish or basket (one with dividers is ever better!). This could also be a good place to keep a pen and paper handy.
Use small clear containers or reseal-able bags to store small items such as paper clips, hair elastics, travel shampoos, etc. By using a clear container, it will be easy to find, and keeps all like items together. I have a large collection of craft items and find that this is the best way to keep all my thingamajigs and doohickies organized.

Kitchen Storage
Perhaps the room that simply never seems to be big enough, or have enough storage space! When doing staging projects, one of the first things that I always suggest to homeowners is to clear off the kitchen counters. From a resale point of view, buyers want to see the counter space available, so you don’t want to hide it. The problem? Homeowners shriek at the thought of having to find room in their cupboards for the items that are sitting on the counter! As a first step, I always recommend looking at what is on the counter, and see what is used several times a week. For items that are not used as often, consider how important it is to the kitchen, and whether it can be stored in another storage area (such as a crawl space, closet, or even the garage), or whether it can be tossed altogether.

A Few More Kitchen Tips
Add drawer dividers to keep even your junk drawer organized
Use clear, stackable containers to store flour, sugar, rice, etc in your cupboards
Make use of the empty space above the fridge—place baskets or storage boxes to keep it looking clean and organized, and store takeout menus, recipes, and special occasion dishware.

I Know I Said To “Toss” It, But Please Don’t Throw It Out
Since this article touches so much on “tossing” unnecessary items, which may not be the most environmentally friendly approach, consider donating to a salvage store, or selling through a local classified paper or online site. The latest in re-using is “Freecycle”, which allows only free items to be posted in an effort to keep them out of landfills. Search online to find a site for your region.

Written by Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes

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