Marni Jameson: 12 organizational tips for taming the tough stuff

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Marni Jameson: 12 organizational tips for taming the tough stuff

Marni Jameson: 12 organizational tips for taming the tough stuff

OK, so I’m neat. I’m organized. I’ve streamlined until I have just the stuff I really want. I have a place for everything, and put everything in its place.

However, like the unruly children of good parents, certain pockets of my home are out of control. I blame the stuff. Try as I might, certain categories of stuff simply defy order.

Take my scarves. I have a scarf rack in my closet, which my scarf collection has outgrown. They now hang doubled up, so are mostly wrinkled. I can see only half at a time. The other half don’t get out much.

To corral yard tools in your garage, try using short lengths of PVC pipe.(Photo courtesy of Marji Roy)To corral yard tools in your garage, try using short lengths of PVC pipe. (Photo courtesy of Marji Roy) 

My necklaces lay in a tray designed to hold necklaces. They are inside my bathroom drawer. It’s a mosh pit. I pull one necklace out and five follow, like in a Barrel of Monkeys game.

I have yard tools stacked in a corner of the garage. When I go to get one, the others tumble like huge bowling pins, practically beheading me.

Although I do believe that beauty is order and order is beauty, and that almost anything – except pets and kids — can be made orderly, some household territories are tough to tame.

So I went looking for some ideas. Tori Toth is a New-York-based home staging and lifestyle expert who helps clients give their homes a sure hand. She shared the following suggestions for adding order to those hard-to-control items. (For those whose homes still need organizing and streamlining, starting small, such as in one of these areas, may give you just the boost you need to keep going.)

Scarves. Tie them in a loose knot around a towel bar. You’ll be able to see them all at once. Done.

Necklaces. These are best hung. Don’t lay them in a drawer tray. Every time I close the drawer, it’s as if they all go to the disco. Mirrored free-standing cabinets that open and have hanging racks inside can look nice in a dressing area while keeping necklaces tangle free, said Toth. Bracelets, too, are better hung on a bar, like in a department store.

Yard tools. To organize all those tools on sticks, install a peg board on your garage wall and affix the tools with an adjustable hook system. Or, check out what blogger Marji Roy has done on Ashbeedesign.com. Roy fastened 6-inch lengths of PVC pipe vertically to a piece of plywood and fastened that to her garage wall.  Attach the PVC so it hits about waist high. Space each pipe piece several inches apart. To keep tools secure and upright, stick handles of hoes, shovels and the like through the pipe, business end up, where they will stay upright. (See her blog for instructions.)

Bikes. Get them off the floor. Hang them from the garage ceiling, or mount them on the wall.

Kitchen utensils. Round them up and stand them, handles down, in a large ceramic container near the stove where you can see and access them. If stored in a drawer, a deep drawer divider is a must.

Shoes. While I’m not a fan of buying stuff to store your stuff, a stackable shoe shelf lets you double or triple the space for those shoes piled at the bottom of your closet. Also, stacking pairs — rather than setting mates side by side — can double available floor space. Keep tall boots standing by rolling file folders into a cylinder and inserting them in boots.

Office stuff. Go up, not down. In Toth’s home office, she stores most of her supplies on her walls, so everything she needs is at arm’s reach. She uses baskets, labeled bins and a plastic hanging shoe organizer with pockets for office supplies.

Winter scarves and gloves. An empty wine-bottle box, the kind with dividers for 12 bottles, placed sideways in the coat closet can impose order on those unruly winter scarves and gloves.

Tupperware. First, get all square or rectangular shapes. (Round wastes space.) Store the bottoms nested, and all the lids vertical, like record albums.

Toys. Put a trunk in the play area where you or your kids can quickly stash and access toys. Store your pet’s toys in a handsome basket in the family areas, Toth said.

Cleaning supplies. The space under the kitchen or utility sinks is often one of the most chaotic places in a home. Stacking baskets and shelving systems help lift low items, so you see them and won’t knock them down like dominos when reaching for the oven cleaner. A ready-to-grab caddy with cleaning supplies also helps wrangle these household items.

Spices. Often spices are scattered throughout the kitchen, with doubles of many because when you can’t find the cumin, you buy more. Corral all spices on a lazy Susan, and place it in a cabinet by the stove.

Finally, Toth said, every day she takes time to calm the chaos in her own home. “I spend 10 minutes every night before I go to bed putting everything back, so I start each day with a clean slate, and disorder doesn’t grow.”

Contact Jameson via www.marnijameson.com.

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Published at Thu, 26 Jan 2017 18:00:41 +0000