Saturday, April 23, 2011

Organizing a New House

I think organization has to be simple or it doesn't work for everyone in the house.  And I think the first place to start is to have a place for everything.

Since my husband and I just built this house, I feel like I'm still trying to find places for all of the random stuff we use, but need to store.  That annoys the garbage out of me.  But here are a few things that have really helped me keep things in relative order until we are fully "moved in."

Baskets:  A good basket can hide a multitude of junk.  Favorite and I have baskets in our credenza.  Those baskets are designated for DVDs, XBox games, controllers, Favorite's Rosetta Stone and any cords that go to computers, etc.  In the sides of the credenza, we have several picture storage boxes.  In those boxes (which are hidden from view by the doors), we have our DVDs organized in alphabetical order.  Anytime we get a new one, I simply put it in one of the baskets and when I have time, I re-alphabetize them.  It may sound time consuming, but I only do that about once a month and it certainly keeps everything in it's place.

In my hall closet, I have a couple of canvas "baskets" to hold old washrags for cleaning, light bulbs, etc.  Mostly, I just like that baskets keep a variety of items in ONE PLACE for easy access.  Below my kitchen sink, I have several cleaning supplies organized for easy access.  And I plan to get metal mesh stacking baskets to put below my bathroom vanities.

Bookshelves:  Books will create more clutter in a home of readers than just about anything else.  It's money well spent to invest in a couple of really nice bookshelves.  That way, when a book is finished, you know EXACTLY where it belongs.

Accordion Files:  I have an accordion file sitting on the chest of drawers in my laundry room.  As soon as I come in every day, I sort the mail and file the things I need to keep for the tax man next year--insurance statements, Mary Kay information, receipts, etc.

Bills:  I don't have a desk system set up at my house yet :(, but that is my next real goal.  I plan to get a small desk to put between my bookcases in the front room.  I think a good organizer is key, but I think you have to create a system that works for that organizer.

Something like the above picture is actually really nice for keeping everything visible, functional and neat.  Frankly, that's one of my major rules for my desk:  keep it visible but neat.  I've found it keeps me from purchasing doubles, etc.  (In fact, I don't use my middle desk drawer at school.  I have various tin buckets on shelves behind my desk that store pens, pencils, paperclips, etc.)

Favorite's junk:  When Favorite comes in from work, he has a wide variety of things that he simply threw on a junk table in our trailer.  I solved that problem in the new house by moving our chest of drawers to the laundry room.  The top drawer has a really nice organizer in it (I got it from target.  Picture below) and he can throw spare change, his wallet, his watch, his name badge, etc in there and know exactly where everything is the next time he sees it.  PLUS, I can shut the drawer and not worry about the madness inside!  The other drawers in that chest are going to be used for extra sheets, towels or things that Favorite needs (bullets, etc).

*  Closets:  I hang everything I can (we have a pretty big closet), and I make sure it's all facing the same way.  Then (and you might find this a little crazy), I order my clothes like the colors of the rainbow.  It makes it easier to find red when you feel like wearing red.  Currently, my clothes are separated like this:  cardigans together, pants together, dresses/nice shirts, tshirts.  We have drawers in our closets that hold socks, under armor, etc.  Oh, and we were bright enough to invest in a closet organizer system that is adjustable.  So if our needs change, our closet can, too.

Clearly, this is not my closet.  But it's the system we have (Rubbermaid Homefree) and it was money well spent.

*  Make-Up:  All of my make-up, skin care, brushes, etc. goes into one of these:

That organizer goes into a drawer in my bathroom vaniety.  Every morning, I can pull everything out together and put it all away together.  It stays out of sight, and, bonus, when I travel, all I have to do is grab the tote.  It has everything I need.

(NOTE:  I do have extra make up that I don't use on a regular basis.  I organize that stuff below my sink and get it out on an as needed basis.  But let's face it, most of us have a regular routine that doesn't include 47 products every morning.  Organize those things together so you can cut your morning routine down and get out the door faster...or sleep longer).

Next steps?  I need organize my laundry room.  It's been kinda neglected because we're still finishing some projects so it's the first room that gets muddy or nasty.  I haven't put up shelves to put my cleaning supplies on yet, but I intend to do so and I just bought a sign that says "Laundry" to make the room look really cute :)  Oh, and I did invest in a boot rack and a boot tray.  they are awesome because Favorite keeps all of his shoes (all 3 pair) in the laundry room and I keep a few pairs of flip-flops at the ready.  The rack keeps them out of the floor and the tray keeps water and mud in one place.

Oh, and if you are just putting a laundry room together, I highly recommend a utility sink.  It honestly helps keeps our house clean because we can wash shoes, the dog, etc. out there, dry it off and then come into the house.

Any questions about how I create systems that work for me?  Just ask :)  Oh, and leave suggestions.  I love finding new systems to encourage organization.

1 comment:

Let'sMakeADifference said...

I'm blog hopping and found yours! Great ideas and good pictures! I'm now following! Would love for you to check out my blog and follow back!