I’ve been thinking about home organization this week. I still have lots of spaces in the new place that need some attention, but I have a few things that are working really well. Most of them are solutions I’ve stolen from others, so I thought I’d pass on the good ideas in case they might work in your home, too.
1. The calendar is the first thing I see when I come in the back door, so it’s handy for remembering our activities. But here in the laundry room, it’s out of the way so it’s not a total eyesore in a very public place like the kitchen. The clipboards are handy places to clip outgoing mail, invitations, or coupons.
2. The black crate is a functional (if less-than-lovely) place to keep dirty kitchen and cleaning rags. The giant holes in the sides give the rags breathing room so they don’t get mildewey or stinky. I drape wet rags over the edges of the crate (as shown) until they are completely dry so they don’t get all the dirty rags damp.
3. One day I want to install a counter above the washer and dryer so that I have a nice wide working space and so little socks and pieces of lint don’t fall into the cracks. Won’t that be heavenly?
These shoe bags might be the most versatile organizing tool ever invented. My sister in law uses them in every closet of every room to hold little odds-and-ends. I have loved having this organizer in my pantry to help corral fruit cups, cereal bars, sleeves of crackers, and other small snacks. I used to keep this sort of thing in a bin, and the soft things would always get smushed, and everything at the bottom of the bin would expire before I remembered it was in there.
This beautiful armoire used to be our TV cabinet. But when we moved and got rid of our TV, we decided to use this for office storage (remember, the computer is now front and center in our only living room). Stephen added an extra shelf and now this functional cabinet holds the printer, all varieties of paper, computer cords, office supplies, stationery, photo albums, and craft supplies. Our most-watched DVDs are in the bottom drawers.
It’s very practical to have toys for Abby to play with in the living room, where we spend most of our time. But…the living room is where I spend most of my time. I don’t want it to look like Toys R Us! This little end table/shelf is a great place to stash whatever she’s currently into in a way that is easy for her to get to, and easy for me to clean back up. (And yes, I straighten the shelf every night, and often a few times a day.) It is also great when Abby starts messing with my decorated, grown-up bookshelves: I can say, “These are Mommy’s books. Where are Abby’s books?” and she will let herself be redirected to “her” space.
I keep gift wrap supplies in the front hall closet. Tall rolls of wrapping paper are in the canvas shopping bag, which is hung over the coat rod. (Can you tell I only use gift wrap at Christmastime? I’m a lazy gift bagger the rest of the year.)Scissors and tape are tied to the bag for handy access. Gift bags are in the box below, organized by size. Also on the floor, out of the picture, is another box containing ribbon, small boxes, tissue paper, etc.
This is actually my old bathroom, but I’m doing the same things in the new place. Fabric-covered corkboard is a great place for storing jewelry so that it’s out in the open (the only thing to be careful of is getting hair spray on your fancy jewels, if you have them). The handy hamper holds dirty towels (only put dry towels in a reedy basket like this, by the way, or else your basket might get moldy! I may or may not have learned this the hard way). And the white shower curtain covers up an unsightly shower door.
Ha! If I ever find a way to keep these uncluttered, I’ll let you know!