Design Dilemma: Easy Organizing Strategies for the New YearAuthor:Mary Jo Bowling
Keeping your New Year’s resolution to maintain a neat household is easier said than done. So we turned to pro organizer Sarah Winge of New Direction Design and Organization for five easy things you can do with little hassle and low cost to get started.
1. Change hangers, gain space.
Winge is a big fan of Huggable Hangers in the closet. The items have a slim profile, a velvety covering that keeps clothes from slipping and swiveling hooks. “If you use these hangers, you can double the space in your closet,” she says. Huggable Hangers are available at Target, Home Shopping Network and Bed Bath & Beyond.
2. Put a lid on pantry items.
Winge suggests using clear containers in various sizes to store food (inexpensive Mason or Ball jars behind drawers and doors, plain glass vessels for countertop). If emptying your cereal and pasta into containers seems like a pain, consider Winge’s words of advice: “When everything is consistent and visible, you can see what you have and if you are running low. Plus, most packaging is way larger than the actual food inside, so the jars save space,” she says. “If you are concerned about package directions, cut them out and tape to the back of the container.” Mason and Ball jars are readily available at stores such as Walmart or Ace Hardware. The Container Store has a nice selection of countertop-ready glass storage items.
3. Divvy up drawers.
The concept is simple: Use drawer dividers in kitchen and dresser drawers and you can easily see and find your belongings. Winge likes rubberized compartments in the kitchen for maintenance, her favorite being the Made Smart brand available at Target or CVS. For clothing storage, she prefers cloth dividers sold at The Container Store or Ikea.
4. Tame your wires.
If your computer and charging cords resemble a plate of spaghetti, Winge says to use your power strips as an organizing tool. “Most power strips have screw attachments on the ends and you can secure them beneath the desk top or behind the desk,” she says. Once attached, Winge uses colored hair bands to bind and identify cords and wires.
5. Slap a label on it.
Labeling everything may seem a bit compulsive, but Winge says this is a nit worth picking. Not only do the labels prompt you to keep everything in order, they cue in the cleaning crew as well. Try sticking labels on shelves behind drawers and doors where they aren’t readily visible.
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