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January 26, 2017

Get Organized in the New Year!

If you’re like many homeowners (or soon to be homeowners!) you’re always looking for new ways to store your stuff. There’s nothing better than knowing where your things are and being able to get to them easily, but for some of us, that’s one of life’s greatest challenges. If you could use a little help getting your home organized, the folks at Ernest Signature Custom Homes are here with some great ideas you can use to take your tidy to the next level. First of all, don’t confuse “clean” with “organized”. Your house can be spotless, but still look a mess if there isn’t a dedicated place for everything. Visible piles of clothes, even if clean and folded, still make a bedroom look like a disaster zone. Stacks of books don’t make your house look like a library – they merely add to the clutter. Make sure that the things you keep in your house enhance its appearance instead of turning it into one giant, disorganized storage closet. Here are some of our top hints and tricks for keeping your life (and your house…) organized. Repeat after me…Space Bags. These handy storage gadgets come in a variety of sizes and shapes to hold big, bulky or out-of-season items in a smaller space than you would ever believe possible. Simply load the bag with last season’s clothes, extra bedding or other squishables you don’t need on a regular basis. Zip it shut, pull the air out with your vacuum hose, and VIOLA! You can store three times the amount of stuff you’d expect in a closet or under a bed. The bags are sturdy, reusable and readily available at most discount and home goods stores. A New Way to Fold… Have more shirts and shorts than will fit easily in your dresser drawers? Try this technique instead; instead of folding clothes in half and in half again and laying them flat in the drawers, fold them over again and slip them into the drawer this way… Gain Closet Space If you have standard sized closets, double your hanging space with a handy closet doubler, or these  multi-tiered hanger holders. You can also invest in hanging shoe holders, sweater shelves or even closet kits like this one that help you fully utilize your closet space. Repurpose Over the Door Shoe Organizers Load up the pockets with school and art supplies, small toys and Beanie Babies in the kid’s rooms, lotions, extra soaps, beauty supplies and hair gadgets in the bathroom, spices, seasonings, tea or other pantry items in the kitchen, cleaning supplies in your laundry and lightweight tools or Ziploc bags of screws, nails or other small hardware  in the garage. Your things are off the counters, tables or floors, easy to find and out of sight behind the door! Freezer Storage Use clear plastic shoe bins to keep your freezer tidy and know what you have in stock at a glance! Manual Labor When was the last time you could actually find the user’s manual for your stand mixer when you needed it? Keep all manuals – and warranties - in pocket folders in a binder…that way you’ll know where they are when you need them. Wrapping Paper Rolls – Taming the Beast We all have at least a few partially used rolls of wrapping paper cluttering up our world. Half the time they unwind, get stuck on something and tear, making the paper useless. Here’s a trick…put a clear, zippered garment bag on a sturdy hanger. Load with wrapping paper and hang at the end of a closet rod in your laundry, spare room or coat closet. Pure genius! Become a Kitchen Whiz! Install a bookshelf on some open wall space for your cookbooks. It will display them nicely and keep them away from splatters. And depending on where you keep them now, it may open up some counter or cabinet space. Speaking of cabinet space…use lid racks to hold pot and storage container lids. You can stack the pots or containers, but storing the lids is always an issue. With handy racks like these, you’ll be able to keep track of them easily. An alternative idea for storing pots and pans…hang them from the ceiling or underneath a wall-mounted cabinet on sturdy hooks. This works especially well for copper, vintage-styled or brightly colored cookware. Sliding storage organizers like this one can also get kitchen items tucked safely away out of sight. Utilize the space on the wall under your kitchen cabinets by installing towel rods, mug hooks, wine glass holders, microwave or convection ovens or additional shelving. Use airy baskets or colorful bins to store items out of sight on open shelves, whether they’re existing shelves or the new ones you install. Hopefully you’ve picked up some ideas you can use to give your home a less cluttered, more polished look. In our next post, we’ll delve a little deeper into organizing by talking about some common mistakes people make when they’re trying to organize…and their efforts backfire. Some organizing tactics seem logical but just don’t work. We’ll warn you against them next time!

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