Call it tough love for the home. Organizing and de-cluttering, a task calling for making hard decisions, isn’t for sissies.
“First of all go through things and get rid of anything that you do not use, wear or love anymore,” says Cathi Lloyd, owner of Decorating Den Interiors in St. John, offering home organization tips and tricks. “There will be less to store.”
That means for all of us who have a crowded corner in our closet stuffed with clothes we might someday wear again but haven’t put on for years, it’s time to call Good Will.
But what about the stuff you want to or have to keep?
Lloyd recommends space saving organizational furniture such as—for a child’s bedroom—desk and shelves tucked away underneath a raised bed and a bench that is actually a twin mattress for overnight guests (that means no having to store an air mattress).
“It’s a great way to use vertical space,” said Lloyd noting that bookcases at the end of the bed keep books, toys and trophies neatly displayed. “Therefore you have great storage and no clutter in the bedroom.”
Storage ottomans that are really filing cabinets hide items. Art work with a door that opens to reveal a small shelf area is perfect for such things as a printer.
“Baskets are another wonderful way to keep things organized,” she adds. “Pretty, decorative baskets or boxes can add to your decor and help keep things organized as well.”
Organizers come in all sizes and types of materials said Kizzy Creath, department manager at Menard’s in Gary.
“We have under the bed organizers where people can put their shoes and other clothing they won’t be using this season,” she said.”As well as vacuum-sealed plastic bags to store clothes you want to save. These bags are like the ones people use to freeze food, they compress the clothing, making it much easier to fit under the bed or in a closet.”
To organize countertop clutter, Creath suggests using a plastic tub with a handle on top. Place whatever accessories you need for a task such as pens, paper and stapler for a home office, hair spray and lotion in the bathroom and little used but necessary kitchen items in the tub and place under a counter or in a cabinet. When you need them, take out the tub, but be sure to put it away when done.
“You can use hooks inside the closet for hanging items, roll out shelving to make getting to pots and pans and other things easier,” she said. “Small wire racks that attach to the inside of a cabinet allow for more storage space.”
Shower caddies are great for getting soap, body wash, shampoo and conditioner off the edge of the tub.
For garages, Gary Evans, flooring specialist at Lowe’s in Merrillville, suggests using plastic containers for seasonal items like ornaments, yard displays and gardening equipment, that can stored in the rafters. Also, add brackets to the garage walls for hanging bikes and cabinets for getting things off the floor and out of the way. If you don’t have a garage, Evans recommends weatherproof, outside storage bins are good for yard goods (half used grass seed bags, water cans, hoses, etc.) and covering patio furniture with tarps.
“A four by eight tarp can cover four lounge chairs,” he said, noting that consolidating furniture like that takes up less space.
“There are so many great ways to organize your home,” said Creath. “You just have to do it.”