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Get Creative With Organization

Look around and you’ll see a familiar sight – families are busier than ever. And with all of that activity comes a lot of “stuff.” Clothes and accessories, office supplies, toys, books and magazines, kitchen utensils, tools – where does it all end? More importantly, where does it all go?

Along with our busy lifestyles, a trend in today’s homes is to have more multifunctional rooms – living/dining, living/entertaining, kitchen/office, guest room/office, kids’ room/disaster area – making it more important to keep everything in its place.

The good news is that organization solutions have taken on a decided design feel, and there are all kinds of ways to find a solution that fits your style. From high-end closet and garage organizing “systems” to simple wicker baskets you can paint to match your decor, you can dive in as deeply as you wish, and find something that works for you.

Consider one of the basics – create a better workspace. An uncluttered desk is crucial to getting anything done. You can easily create a message board by painting a magnetic, chalkboard, or dry erase area on a wall or the back of an office door. If your desk doesn’t have drawers or storage space, accessories like stackable mini-cubes, desktop files, and pencil cups are inexpensive (or make your own if you’re feeling particularly ambitious) and can be painted to add color or to accent a design style.

Closets are another area worthy of attention. Wardrobe closets, linen closets, storage closets, pantries – they’re all prime organizing real estate. There are all kinds of decorative and functional wall hooks you can use as is or refinish to your taste to take advantage of unused wall space. Stack cubby units on closet floors or on shelves to organize storage. For larger cubby units, place removable wicker baskets inside for a tidier look. Add color to the cubbies and baskets to match your décor, or to help organize things (such as red for hats and gloves, aqua for dog toys, green for garden tools).

Kids’ rooms present a challenge. They’re generally smaller, they mysteriously tend to “collect” stuff, and kids are, well, kids. Cubby units, again, are a great help, serving as storage and usable surface area. Under-bed storage bins are helpful, as well as decorative wall hooks, so use all four walls. Desk areas are also good to organize to take away at least one reason for not doing homework. If you have kids that share a room, give each child a storage color for their stuff – it’ll help make picking up more fun.

The same principles apply throughout the rest of your home. Step back and take a look at the area. Consider how it’s used, or, how you want it to be used. Then, get creative. Getting rid of clutter is liberating, and frees up all kinds of possibilities. Think of it as a design project rather than a chore. You’ll become more organized, and make your home look better at the same time.

Don’t Forget The Basics

1. When you’re done using something, put it away. That’s what you tell your kids. (You do tell them that, don’t you?)

2. Get rid of things you don’t want or need. Donate, have a garage sale or sell online.

3. Find a temporary “place” for things. Labeled folders, binders, boxes, baskets – all are good places to hold things until you take the next step.

4. If it’s a big job, don’t try to tackle it all at once – start with one area or room or closet and move on from there. You’ll get a sense of satisfaction that it can be done without feeling overwhelmed.

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