Deconstructed – Kitchen Cabinet Organizing

Kitchen cabinets can be a challenge. First, most kitchens have a variety of fragile dishes and glasses that come in shapes that often do not fit smoothly inside rectangular cabinet spaces. Then there is the issue of aesthetics. Perhaps you have a matching set you would like to keep together. Maybe you only use that set on certain occasions. How do you store those 50 commemorative wine glasses from your best friend’s recent milestone birthday celebration? How do you create a cohesive aesthetic in your cabinet if you have a multiple incomplete dish sets? Check out the photo and instructions below for one way you can quickly organize your cabinet with minimal fuss. Need to know where you can purchase the necessary tools? Click on the links in the supply list to order from Amazon using my affiliate code (I will receive a small commission, but the price of each item will remain unchanged – thank you!).

kitchen cabinet organizing supplies

Supply List:

How To:

  1. Insert mug hooks into the cabinet by attaching each row of hooks to shelf above space in which you would like to position your mugs. You can expect to store about four medium-sized mugs on each row of hooks.
  2. Position glasses for maximum visibility. Place taller glasses on the outside edges of the cabinet space. You can also substitute tall glasses for additional mugs nested together or short glasses from a matching set stacked to make a taller pile.
  3. Next, arrange all remaining glasses from left to right in order of height, shortest to tallest (see photo).
  4. Assemble the corner cabinet shelf, and place it in the far right corner. Place stacks of small plates underneath and on the middle row of the two-tier corner shelf. Place smaller items like ramekins on the very top of the shelf.
  5. Assemble your two sets of stackable kitchen cabinet shelves, and place them adjacent to each other on the next lowest empty cabinet shelf.
  6. Stack your plates together according to matching sets (or as desired), and place them underneath and in front the stackable shelf on the left. Place larger bowls on top of the stackable shelf. If you have a set of smaller bowls, stack them, and place them in front of the stackable shelf.
  7. Arrange remaining plates, bowls, and any specialty dishes on the remaining stackable shelf on the right similar to photo.

Note: If you have sets that do not match or dishes you use infrequently, position these directly underneath the the stackable shelf as they will be slightly less accessible and less visible than the dishes you place in front.

Deconstructed – Easy Closet Design with Hanging Shelves and Shoe Storage

Sometimes we want a little more structure in our closets without the total confinement of custom shelves and DIY organizer units. This very basic closet setup featured on Real Simple shows us how we can achieve a very clean, easy-to-maintain aesthetic by adding just a few organizing products. Let’s deconstruct it!

What You’ll Need:

How-To:

Similar to doing a new hairstyle, closet organization projects have the best results when completed in a freshly cleaned, purged closet. Once you have determined the items you would like to keep in the closet, dusted, and cleaned the floors, you can achieve the above pictured organized closet design by following these steps:

  1. Position your shoe rack in the corner. The two-tier wooden shoe rack listed above is designed to store six to eight pairs of shoes while the three-tier rack can store up to 12. Depending on the size of your closet, you may be able to fit more than one shoe rack if you have more shoes. In a standard, non walk-in closet, I most frequently position shoe racks against a wall or directly in the corner with the most frequently-worn shoes within easiest reach.
  2. Position your fabric hanging shelf on the left side of your closet rod. Within the shelf you can store small items like scarves, socks, tights, perhaps t-shirts. The addition of the fabric drawers makes the shelves ideal for storing intimate apparel or items you don’t need to access throughout the year like hats, gloves, and earmuffs. I recommend using the drawers to store items you can afford to have out of sight, but won’t forget their location and go out and purchase duplicates. On the open shelf, I recommend sticking to items you can neatly fold. Alternatively, you can also store items that do not require folding like a few small handbags and clutches or perhaps a few stackable hats. Whatever you decide to store on the open shelf, be sure you are able to keep it maintained neatly!
  3. Decide which clothing items you would like to keep on hangers, and transfer them over to the wood hangers. The closet in the photo only houses tops on its hangers. However, I’ve selected the full triangular wood hangers that allow you to also fold pants over the bottom rung. While these hangers are a little bulkier than some other styles like the popular velvet hangers, the hangers I’ve selected will give your closet a more upscale retail store aesthetic, and they feature notches that allow you to secure your tops with very thin straps. To achieve the color scheme pictured above, start by positioning your white tops on the left side, and gradually add tops of darker colors as you move rightward, keeping your color groups together. Beginning with your white tops on the left side will also help prevent color transfer onto your light-colored clothes. If you would like to include pants in your close, I would recommend putting them on hangers and keeping them together in a separate section further to the right and also organized by color. You can also check out my post on my quick, go-to color-coordinating closet organizing strategy.
  4. Lastly, place your small hamper adjacent to your shoe rack on the right side of the closet. I recommend keeping the hamper in a position within the closet that will allow fresh air circulation if possible. Place your wire cube bin on the left side of the top shelf to create easy storage for lint rollers, fabric sprays, and other clothing and closet supplies.
  5. Step back and admire your work. We did it!

Once again, the following supplies can be found at Amazon and delivered conveniently to your home. Thank you for supporting me by purchasing through my affiliate links:

Stay tuned as we deconstruct more organized spaces in the home!

How to Keep a Small Apartment Organized

Moving into a new apartment can be an unnerving task, especially one with confined space. Home organization is not an easy task. It can be challenging for many reasons, from cleanliness to maintaining systems. You might be wondering how you could fit all your belongings into such a small place, but the good news is there are multiple solutions available to help you organize your small space.A cluttered home leads to a cluttered mind. A messy place can never bring mental clarity. No matter how small the place is, if you follow the below-mentioned rules, any place can become a happy place.

Living Room Organizing for a More Pleasant Gathering Space

Since the living room is the place where you spend most of your time when entertaining others, it is best not to keep it cluttered at all. Jackets, coats, and bags occupy a lot of space. As a space-saving solution, install hooks just inside the front door. Creating a mudroom or command center allows you to immediately store your outerwear and bags as soon as you enter the home. Creating coat and bag storage also makes things easier for visitors. If you do not want to hook a nail on the wall or door, simply use sticky hooks. To keep your entertainment equipment safe and away from sight, you may also incorporate storage furniture that blends well with your living room furniture. Many coffee tables come with storage boxes.

Bedroom Organizing for Strategic Storage Solutions

Making your bed every day can be a game-changer in your quest to keep your bed organized. When your bed is neatly made, the rest of the room will automatically appear to be more organized.Many people do not like storing things under the bed as they do not often clean under the bed. As an alternative, you might prefer a bed with drawers. You can keep often used things or off-season clothes in the drawer under the bed. Hang a shoe organizer inside the closet. An over-the-door shoe organizer can hold all types of footwear that might otherwise be cluttering your bedroom. There are many closet organizers are also available in the market today that help you organize things in a very elegant way. There are wire closet organizers and wooden closet organizers. You can hang clothes, place shoes and handbags and even display decorative pieces.

Bathroom Organizing for Space Maximization

Bathrooms are even smaller spaces. Make sure you get rid of the things you don’t need. Install utilitarian storage containers where you can keep your toothbrushes, toothpaste and other toiletries like soap and shampoo. Another small wall hanger can be installed to keep your hairdryer, etc.

Kitchen Organizing Solutions to Tame Clutter

The kitchen is another space that seems to attract clutter. Install wall hangers to hang the pots and pans. Use drawers and cabinets to store other utensils and cooking related gadgets. Keep items you seldom use on the top shelves.Take advantage of every hook and nook in the kitchen by installing a hanging spice rack. Place hanging storage containers at the back of the cabinet or pantry door to hold canned food or bottled food items.

By following some of the above-mentioned organizing suggestions, your small apartment will appear more orderly and spacious. A well-organized small apartment can feel as accommodating as any larger space as long as you keep these tips in mind.

Announcing Upcoming Workshops

In an effort to help empower more businesses and households to optimize their living and work environments, I have decided to begin teaching my tips and techniques in a workshop format! More information about upcoming workshops can be found on my Meetup page, The Organized Life (www.meetup.com/the-organized-life/). Join the group to participate in online discussions and to follow along with the workshop schedule as more dates are added!

Economics and Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method

Famed Japanese home organization consultant Marie Kondo has inspired millions around the world to focus on optimizing their home environment. Although the thought of organizing and “de-cluttering” is a source of dread for many, Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has performed tremendously from Tokyo to New York City. What is it about a book on home organizing that appeals to so many?

Kondo helps readers conceptualize their home organization and storage habits by utilizing basic economic concepts. Through these concepts, the author translates the oftentimes daunting language of organizing to everyday, palatable lingo. She effectively guides the reader along the path of uncovering the very psychological correlations between organizational habits and psychology.

The Sunk-Cost Fallacy in Organizing

In economic terms, a sunk cost is a past cost that has already been paid and cannot be recovered. This term is highly applicable when it comes to organizing and is a major setback for many individuals who struggle to donate or discard unused items. For example, an individual may purchase a fruit bowl or even a small kitchen appliance while it is on sale and later decide not to use the item because the colors clash with the current decorating theme or because there is simply not enough space on the kitchen counter. Over time, the new purchase remains unused, and the individual may or may not realize the item is not really a necessity. However, the item remains in place because it is perpetually regarded as a “purchase” that went unused and may still be of use at a later date. Meanwhile, the item takes up space in the home and will likely never be used because it does not meet a more urgent need in the household.

When sorting through closet and storage spaces, remaining honest about an item’s realistic potential for use is paramount. While I, personally, do not aggressively focus on forcing clients to discard items simply for the sake of getting rid of things, I do encourage my clients to audibly talk through the way in which the item came into the home and list realistic pros and cons of keeping the item. At that point, the individual is typically able to make a firm, practical decision about whether the item should go or stay.

The Folly of Prediction in Sorting and Purging

More thoroughly explained in the Freakonomics podcast, the folly of prediction simply acknowledges that, in the grand scheme, human beings are often terrible at making accurate predictions. How does this relate to organizing? Marie Kondo uses this fallacy as a basis for utilizing current valuation of an object to determine whether to keep or remove it from the household. Common examples include clothes that are a few sizes too small or books that have already been read. At this point, my method diverges from the KonMari method slightly in that I typically do not insist on a client getting rid of clothing that is within a couple sizes of his or her current weight or donating favorite books if a) there is space to store the items within easy reach OR neatly within plain sight and b) the client establishes or is clearly working on an organized plan to get back into the smaller clothing size or reread the book. Other examples include housewares and decorations that were purchased for a specific purpose and will likely never be used again. Board games and toys that never see the light of day should also be considered through this lens in most cases.

Status Quo Bias and Preventing the Accumulation of “Clutter”

Under the status quo bias, as it relates to organizing, many people are governed by the belief that they should keep an item in the home if they cannot think of a reason to discard the object. Here Marie Kondo employs a dramatic switch that I find to be the most life-changing of all the economic concepts discussed: she suggests changing the status quo to one under which no item is kept in the home unless there is a valid reason to hold onto it. Under the suggested status quo, most of us would be opting for online bank, credit card, and utility statements, recycling empty bags and boxes, no longer keeping massive collections of old, unused plastic food storage containers. The average American household would be drastically different in form and, to a significant degree, in function. We would no longer need to go out and purchase new stuff to help us store our old stuff.

What would we do with all that extra space? Imagine how much more “living” we could do in our home environments…

For more information about the interplay between the KonMari method and economics, check out this  Atlantic editor’s personal experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIY Drawer Dividers

A particular client in Inwood needed an effective storage solution for her foldable items. I was able to accommodate her more casual clothing in two dressers that were located in her bedroom; however, I was concerned that she might not be able to keep the items neatly compartmentalized throughout the course of her busy work week. At that point, I remembered an idea I’d seen on Pinterest, and I repurposed one of her cardboard moving boxes and made drawer dividers. I often recommend drawer organizers to clients for underwear, t-shirt, and sock drawers especially. However, in a pinch, virtually anyone can easily make his or her own custom dividers from rigid cardboard. In this case, I was working quickly and simply placed the dividers temporarily. Gluing the edges of the cardboard together will create compartments of a permanent size.

 

DIYDrawerDividers