I like to create the illusion of being organized, although I feel like I rarely am. This past year, I created several organized 'havens' in our otherwise chaotic house run by two preschoolers! What I found was that having these spaces under control helped me feel sane even when the rest of the house was a mess. The best part is that once I got a storage system in place, like in our pantry or my craft room, it was 10 times easier to maintain.
In case you too are feeling the need to get organized but don't know where to start, here are a few problem areas I tackled in the past year:
1. Reign in the toys - who doesn't feel the need to do this after Christmas? Now is a great time to reevaluate what you have, what you can get rid of, and what storage systems you can put in place. Check out some simple ideas I incorporated into my girls' playroom.
2. Tackle the pantry - after all the holiday baking and entertaining is your pantry / cabinets a hot mess? I know mine get a little out of control at this hectic time of year, and last year I did this pantry makeover that made such a huge difference. I'm proud to say, it still looks largely like the above photo (the key is stuffing similar things in baskets - check it out)!
3. Find unique storage pieces - we are wine lovers but didn't have a great place to store our wine. We bought this cool vintage locker for Ross's man cave last year but didn't have anything to fit into the narrow compartments. Until it hit us - use it to store all our wine! Problem solved. I bet there are pieces in your home you can repurpose for better storage.
4. Put pretty things on display - rather than stuffing my jewelry into a dresser drawer I now have it on display in my closet thanks to some old canvases I covered with pretty leftover fabric. I did something similar to create a wall of inspiration boards in my office and help reign in the paper clutter that was too pretty to throw away but cluttering my desk drawers.
5. Clean up your craft supplies - you can see I had absolutely no organization for my craft supplies before getting this Martha Stewart craft cabinet. As I've accumulated more supplies in 2014 it would have been a nightmare without these organizing steps I took, as well as the addition of this old file cabinet turned craft supply storage.
6. Create a command station - turning an empty wall in our laundry room into a catch-all for the Stella and Hazel's coats, bags, shoes, and other random gear necessary to get them out the door has been huge. I'm not sure where we would've put all their stuff without it - see the details here. The hooks are right at their height so I've been trying to get them to hang up their coats and put their shoes away on their own when we walk through the door. It works about half the time!
7. Streamline kids' clothes - we have a big closet but no dressers in the girls' bedroom so I've created a system of baskets and hanging organizers to keep their clothes organized and separate their winter vs. summer clothes.
8. Turn kids' projects into rotating wall art - this has helped me with the never ending supply of creations. The girls' hang up their favorites and I toss or file away the rest.
9. More tips for corralling toys - from small pieces, to coloring books, to puzzles - some tips to help you keep sane!
10. Clean off your desk - this desk off our kitchen is the first thing to get cluttered, but taking the time to whip it back into shape every month or so really helps.
What areas of your home are you most anxious to tackle? Next up on my list is our master bedroom closet!