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January 30, 2017

Organizing Errors – Avoid These Common Mistakes!

Sometimes your organizing efforts take a wrong turn, and you discover that something that seems like a logical tactic isn’t the solution you anticipated. At Ernest Signature Custom Homes, we’re here to warn you about some of these critical errors before you happen to stumble upon them yourself. Why learn the hard way when we’re here to lend a hand? Don’t: Clean Everything off Your Counters If you use something every day, such as a coffeemaker or a toaster, you’ll actually find that it’s easier and more convenient to have these items at hand instead of tucked away. Moving these items back and forth between a cabinet or cupboard and the counter on a daily (or possibly even more frequent) basis quickly becomes a chore. Just make sure to keep the item wiped clean and free of random food particles. Put Your Entire Life on the Fridge Streamlining your refrigerator’s front door is one of the quickest and easiest ways to tidy up your kitchen. Take down the souvenir magnets, photos, artwork, and report cards. Replace them with one clipboard or dry erase board for important messages or lists. Buy Items for Organizing Before You Organize Stocking up on the wrong kind of storage tools will actually set your organizing efforts behind. If you buy plastic bins and find out later that baskets will be better, or that you’re going to need storage tools that are a different size or shape than the ones you’ve bought, you’ll just be adding to your frustration. Go through your stuff first, decide what you’re going to keep, and buy the items you need to organize only those things. Put Things in a Drawer and Call It a Day Make sure that you organize within your drawers, cabinets and cupboards by using dividers and sub-containers. Bins, baskets, cups, bowls and other containers can hold like items and help keep you even more organized. Who needs yet another “junk drawer”? Forget to Label Be sure to note clearly on boxes, bins and storage containers that are hidden from view what is inside. You don’t want to waste valuable time going through eight plastic bins looking for your Christmas decorations or lawn darts. By taking a moment or two to label, you’ll save oodles of time in the long run! Display a Lot of “Dustables” While you may love your family dearly, think about the clutter you’ll have when you have dozens of photo frames on end tables, coffee tables or bookshelves. Stick with wall-mounted items that can be easily whisked with the occasional feather duster. The same is true for knick-knacks, vases, candles or other décor items. A few well-placed pieces are stunning eye-catchers that have a bigger impact on your interior design. When you do display these types of items, keep them together in a grouping for more visual interest, rather than spreading them around the house individually. Put Your Whole Library on Display Keep your bookshelves gorgeous by winnowing out the saddest members of your book collection. Damaged books, faded books, or books that have a musty odor should be tossed, donated or confined to under the bed bins, the kid’s toy boxes or other out-of-sight storage. Once your books are sorted, arrange them by size on the shelves. All mass-market paperbacks belong together, as do all trade paperbacks and full-size hardcovers. When stored with like types, your books look tidier and more attractive on the shelves. Oh…and don’t overpack the shelves! By leaving some shelf space open for decorative items, you break up the eye line and add a pop of visual interest. Let Your Laundry Linger When a bin is full, do the wash as soon as you can. A place to store dirty laundry is only a successful organizing tool if you use it properly. An overflowing hamper can really kill the mood of a room! Forget to Use a Bedskirt If you’re using under bed storage, be sure to hide the evidence behind a decorative bedskirt. Tucking items away and then leaving the evidence visible is only a partial answer to your organization problem. Continually Change Your Systems Organization works best when you’re a creature of habit. Don’t fix an organizing system if it isn’t broken. By keeping things in the same place all the time, organized in the same way, it becomes a habit that is easy to embrace. If you keep trying to reinvent the wheel with new and “improved” organizing systems, more times than not, you’ll end up with a bigger mess than you started with in the first place. Make sure that when you’re setting up your system, you emphasize function over form. Be sure that the way you’re organizing things makes sense. Your most used items need to be the most accessible. Find a method that really works for you so you can stick with it! Leave It All until the Weekend Organizing is a process, not a single task. Most of us look at organizing our home environment as one marathon event, rather than something that happens continually, bit by bit every day. Take five, ten or fifteen minutes here and there during each day to put things away, and you’ll notice a huge improvement in the appearance of your home!
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