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.

5 Tools to Help You Organize Your Craft Room

If you love crafting in your downtime, chances are you also know the inherent clutter that comes along with arts and craft activities. The following tips and product recommendations will allow you to enjoy crafting while preventing your hobby from overtaking your space.

Keep small craft pieces contained by investing in a high-quality case.

The SnapCubes stackable arts and crafts case is a three-tier clear stackable storage container with compartments. It’s perfectly designed for jewelers, people who love to sew, as well as those who do beadwork. Small compartments within each layer of the case keep intricate pieces organized and neatly separated. A clear acrylic exterior allows for easy visibility. The case has a top handle which will make your craft supplies readily portable. The interlocking stackable design will save space.

A clear exterior and interior compartments make it easy to keep up with the tiniest craft supplies. https://amzn.to/2ILI5dz [affiliate link]

Grab a set of wheels, and put them in motion.

When organizing craft rooms, storage carts are typically a necessity. I prefer wheeled organizer carts with drawers over immobile pieces. While stationary furniture pieces make perfect sense in other parts of the home or office, arts and craft hobbies often involve moving from place to place to gather supplies. Many people also do their arts and crafts in rooms that serve multiple purposes. This is especially true of the confined spaces in metropolitan areas like New York City. If your crafting area serves multiple purposes, you likely find it necessary to occasionally stash craft supplies out of sight or in a more favorable location, especially if you typically convert the area the room to accommodate guests, to be used as a home office, or for any other purpose that does not immediately involve crafting.

The Seville Classics Organizer Cart is available in multiple sizes to suit your crafting needs and to complement the size of your space. The car is available with 6, 8, 10, or 15 drawers. Stylistically, the cart features multicolored drawers, which work well for categorizing and sorting arts and craft supplies and keeping them organized. The cart is wheeled, which makes it easy to take your crafting to other parts of the home or to stash your supplies quickly when you need to make space.

Multi-color compartments are great for organizing and color-coding according to category. https://amzn.to/35yyukn [affiliate link]

Another wheeled option, the IRIS 7-Drawer Rolling Storage Cart includes an organizer top, which is a simple compartmentalized tray that can house scissors, a hole punch, and other hand tools. The seven drawers are comprised of four shallow drawers in three deep bins. The shallow drawers are ideal for storing smaller crafting supplies while the deeper drawers are the perfect places to stash away incomplete craft projects that require days or weeks to finish.

A combination of large and small drawers accommodates smaller craft supplies and unfinished projects that require an extended period of time to finish. https://amzn.to/2OI3RTy [affiliate link]

Organize your desktop.

Keeping your craft room desktop organized can be a challenge. This is especially true for those who need boundaries and separation, neither of which a which an expansive open desktop provides. Fortunately, there are tools that can help you compartmentalize and organize your crafting desktop. The mDesign Lazy Susan Turntable Storage Organizing Container is perfect for organizing larger craft supplies. Divided into five compartments, the turntable storage container is spacious enought to accommodate supplies like glues, containers of glitter, and tubes of paint. A small cylindrical center compartment is sized for supplies like paint brushes, glue sticks, Exacto knives, and sponges.

Turntable organizer keeps desktops neat and attractive. https://amzn.to/2paBVgd [affiliate link]

Get a good desk or craft table.

In a craft room, your work surface is everything. A good craft desk will eliminate the need to purchase many different organizing and storage products. The South Shore Crea counter height craft table is a versatile piece of furniture for novices and for avid crafters. Taller than the average desk, the Crea craft table lends itself to working while standing or while seated on a stool or bar height chair. This craft table has ample storage including interchangeable modules, a wide drawer, and removable shelves. Its scratch-proof work table surface means your Crea craft table will retain its appearance and last for years of continuous crafting.

Removable drawers and shelves make this counter height craft table extra versatile. https://amzn.to/2MzHGMC [affiliate link]

Live in New York City? Need help organizing your space? Give us a call, or book your appointment online.

Basic Closet Organization Strategy

One of the first questions I ask my clients who request closet organization help is: what is your morning routine? Next question: are you often late for work? The automatic follow-up that is: can you find your clothes easily in the morning?
If you struggle in these area, have no shame. You’re in good company. The following is a fairly simple approach to getting your clothes closet in order. One of the fantastic aspects of this basic system is it’s easy to learn and maintain. You can make it as complex and detailed as you’d like. I would advise adding more detail to the way you organize your closet ONLY if doing so would help you. It is entirely possible to get caught up in the act of organizing and get lost in the details.
Ideal Step 1: Purge your closet. Right now we are nearing the end of summer. The next couple weeks provide an excellent opportunity for you to assess spring and summer clothes you will look forward to replacing next year. If you are a person who likes to shop off season or during clearance sales, perfect! Get rid of some stuff before you go buy something new. Seriously. Do not allow yourself to go shopping for clearance items until you have purged.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I will proceed to the more realistic first step for those of us who may be trying to quickly throw our closet together either a) to avoid going insane because we can’t take it anymore or b) because we simply don’t have time to do a thorough purge over the next couple weeks because [insert legitimate reason]. No judgment whatsoever. Okay. Let’s start organizing!
Step 1: Bring all of your hanging clothes (within one closet) into view. You can leave it on the racks as long as you can see it all. Divide your closet based on intended purpose/frequency of use. For many of us, that means hanging all work clothes on one half of the closet and all non-work clothes on the other half. If you have special occasion items, separate them into their own category, preferably at one of the far ends of the closet (in the corner, following your work clothes would be a great place, assuming you dress up or wear a uniform for work).
Step 2: Once you’ve gotten all clothes on hangers and separated into their categories inside the closet [you should have 2 major categories per closet, no more than 3], sort all clothes within Category 1 [let’s call it Work Clothes] by type. This means you would hang all tops at the front of the Work Clothes section, followed by skirts, then pants, then dresses, then suits. Feel free to vary the order of clothing types for greater ease of access or enhanced visual effect–yes, your closet will also look pretty when you’re done. Or you may simply follow the order listed. I typically order clothing as described. Sometimes I vary when working within someone else’s closet.
 
Step 3: After grouping clothing according to type, work within each group, and sort all clothing according to color from lightest to darkest (or darkest to lightest with stripes and prints at the beginning of each color segment [i.e. pink butterfly shirt at the beginning of the pinks, which are located directly in front of the reds because pink is lighter than red, but in the same color family]).
Step 4: This may be more of a bonus step for some, but a necessity when I do my own closet. If you’ve made it this far, you’re doing well. Let’s kick things up a notch by…sorting all clothing (within each type) by weight and sleeve length. This means within Tops: tops with thin straps first, then sleeveless, then cap sleeves, then short sleeves, then 3/4-length, then long sleeves, finally sweaters. Skirts: short skirts, knee-length, calf-length (if you’re into that), ending with long skirts. The idea is to essentially keep lighter weight, cooler clothing to the front of each group and to progress to longer sleeves (or skirt length or pant legs).
This way, you can look at your closet and easily pull out your green beaded camisole without hesitation. Breath of fresh air, right? Ahhh….
 
Step 5: Repeat Steps 1 through 3 [optionally 4] on the next category of clothing in your closet [If you divided your closet into Work and Play clothes, you would simply proceed on to the Casual side, sort and group all casual clothing accordingly]
This system has served me so well. I hope you also enjoy implementing it! It make getting back on track much easier when things go awry…as they sometimes do in the world of staying organized…

Portable Closets: Solutions for Rooms That Have Minimal or No Closet Space

For rooms that don’t have closet storage, a portable unit is often a simple solution that also delivers aesthetics. The following products are mostly priced under $50 and can be purchased at Amazon by clicking on the image [image are Amazon Affiliate links; Amazon pays me a small percentage for purchases made through my links. The purchase price remains the same.].

 

Two hanging rods and nine shelves:

Heavy-duty doors for concealed storage with two bottom drawers:

Five hanging racks with two shelves [Exposed Storage]

B&W Eiffel Tower Decorative Cover w/ four shelves and one rack

 

Modular storage with rack

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Definitive Guide to Buying Makeup Storage Supplies

This installment of my “Definitive Guides” focuses on makeup storage solutions. The product that works best for us will heavily depend on the amount of makeup you own. Nevertheless, below is a diverse assortment of makeup storage options:

[The following images are Amazon affiliate links. Therefore, Amazon will compensate me a small percentage for each sale made through these links (each of which takes you directly to the product page on Amazon’s official website). The purchases price on your end will remain the same regardless.]

 

Keep products secure with pull-out drawers!

For the light makeup user

Build a well-organized makeup tower!

Got Palettes?

Both pieces included!

Interchangeable Design!

Brush storage options:

The Pipeline

I have been conspicuously MIA in recent weeks, so I figured I would provide an update. Basically, business is growing, and I am finally able to shift my focus to creating the extensive knowledge base I have been envisioning! With that said, here are a few updates:

1. Definitive Guides: The Definitive Guide to Moving Supplies has received an overwhelmingly positive response and, frankly, has made life easier for me when I walk into situations in which clients are preparing to move. As a result, I have decided to create more Definitive Guides to streamline the organizing process and to better empower my clients to remain organized on their own. My aim has always been to “teach people how to fish…” but with shelving, decorative bins, and high-quality clothing hangers. 😀

2. More focused product reviews and recommendations: It occurred to me that I should probably post more real-world use cases for the products I recommend to give readers ideas on the different ways seemingly conventional organizing tools can be used around the home and office.

3. More video content!…More on that later.

Stay tuned, people! There is much, much more to come.

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.