Once the purge is done, and everything is put away – for some, you have pretty much completed your organizing. But let’s just say that you removed everything from its place, and what you are going to keep is lying on your floor in front of you – and now your stuck. How do you figure out where you need to place it?
This part is so not rocket science, but it may take some thought and evaluation. First you need to group items together logically. What items do you use or need access to at the same time? This will help you to understand how much space you need for each group. Once you have established the groups, then take a quick moment to think about where you need to use these groups. Let’s use your daily facial products as an example. You are going to want to ensure your cleanser, and moisturizers are in the same location because you use them at roughly the same time. In terms of where they should be placed, your not going to place them under the sink cabinet where its a pain to get to every day. No, your going to place them within easy reach, and preferably, in a neat way, because you use them everyday.
Now that you have established what should be grouped together, and approximately where they should be placed, you just need to find the right way to keep them easily accessible. By accessible, I don’t mean location, but ease to access. This could mean on the counter, in a drawer, or even under the sink. But you shouldn’t have to dig through a bunch of other things to access them. Sometimes, you may need additional organizational items to help you, and luckily, there are many affordable solutions to help you keep things easily accessible.
Before you go out and buy anything, you may have options on where to place. For your facial products, you may have the option of counter or drawer. Make sure you take some measurements to know how much space you have. You don’t want to come home with items that don’t fit. Know the height/width/depth of your target drawers and cabinets – just to be safe. Once you have know the space you have to work with, then you can head out to the stores.
My favourite place to visit (you may have guessed it already) is Home Sense. It may not be the cheapest place, but it does have many different solutions and ideas for organizing. Whether you need drawer, cabinet, or counter top solutions for any room, this is where you can find it. And after Christmas is the best time to go – its like organization central there at this time of year.
On a tight budget? Still go to Home Sense or other home stores – see what kind of solutions they have to offer and see if you can replicate them with things you have around your home. So remember when you purged all those things – well there were probably some boxes in there – those can easily be transformed into drawer organizers. In the kitchen, I use large plastic containers to help organize all the small ones and keep them together in my corner cabinet.
Save some of those boxes from Christmas – they could be useful for storing hair products under the sink. Small chocolate boxes with their low sides are great for keep nail polish together but still allow you to see the colours. Get creative. Old candle jars work great for makeup brushes, the large square ones can hold larger products. There are soon many ideas and hacks! If your reading this, and you haven’t checked out Pinterest, then that is definitely your next stop.
Don’t want to bother with this type of effort, but want a more affordable solution? Head to the Dollar Store. You can get a wide range of containers there also. People also ask me about IKEA – its a great place to go also, but if your looking for the cheapest option, its perhaps not the best place to go. However, the good thing about IKEA is, you can check online for solutions before going there, allowing you to plan your storage better. I always like to stress, IKEA does not have cheap products (in terms of quality), however, their standardized sizes are what allow you to pay less – which can be an issue if you need a more custom or modular solution.
Of course, if you have the money, you can always look at custom solutions. You can speak to a designer to help you with this. A contractor will also be able to help you with building any in-drawer or in-cabinet solutions, as well as any custom shelving solutions.
And for all those things going in bins or boxes, just make sure you label them. Get some cute coloured markers and use your handwriting – no need to spend money on a labeller – leave your own mark!
In any case, if you don’t have time to think about this – an Interior Designer or Organizing Specialist can help you with this.
To summarize my keys to organizing
- Purge (see my previous post)
- Group your items according to their use
- Decide where to place these groups based on where and when you use them
- Ensure the items are accessible if you use them on a regular basis
- Place less often used items away, but still in a location that facilitates it being used.
- Label when required
Now listen…no one is perfect…I am far from it. More often than not, I have a pile of clothes on my bathroom floor, my workspace chair and there are kids stuff and papers on my kitchen counters. But it feels great when I actually can put everything away in its right place, and know where to find things when I need them. And that’s really the key to organizing!
I hope this has been helpful for those who need it.
Stay tuned for my next instalment for “New Year, Fresh Start”!