Get It Together

Spring is a time of renewal, and with that, comes reorganization.

Organize by category

Spring is the perfect time of year to embrace the idea of clutter management, get rid of stuff you don’t use, and make the most of the space you have. We asked design and organization expert Kelley Coleman of ShelfGenie to share her best ideas for bringing order to chaos. “It’s not unusual for homeowners to become frustrated with a lack of storage space or overflowing cabinets,” she says. “This time of year is when thoughts of gutting the entire kitchen and starting over sounds pretty satisfying.” Whether you’ve been in your house for decades or just a few months, before you undertake a major project, check out Coleman’s tips for minor and medium organizing changes that can kick-start your cleaning and create more space.

Get rid of dead space:

One common place dead space is found is under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Bathrooms that have only one or no cabinets result in amajority of your items using up valuable counter space. Dead space may also be found under the stairs or in crawlspaces, places where we stuff seasonal decorations and other miscellaneous items, making them harder to access. Every situation is going to have a different solution, but some easy cabinet fixes for confined spaces include shelving tactics, such as glide-out shelves; spin-arounds, corner shelfing, etc.

Get rid of what you don’t need:

You can do this in every room, but so you don’t get overwhelmed and give up, start with one space at a time. For instance, in the kitchen, invest in a good set of nesting bowls, which should provide all the mixing bowls you’ll need. You can then donate or have a yard sale to get rid of the rest. I also recommend removing any plasticware lids and bottoms that are missing their other halves and downsizing from five can openers to two. Once you’ve gone through dressers, closets and cabinets and gotten rid of what you don’t need, you might find that you have a lot more storage space on your hands.

Organize by category:

Group similar items together, and categorize the food in your pantry. Store pots and pans near the stove where you actually use them. Keep essential cooking tools within easy reach of the stove as well. Store cookie trays, cutting boards, and platters in a glide-out tray bin for neat, hassle-free storage and retrieval. Likewise in the pantry, when you store similar food together, you’ll easily know what items are fully stocked and what items need to go on the grocery list.

Keep the most used items at eye-level and easy to reach:

This goes along the lines of grouping similar items together. If you constantly have to get on a stool to see, for example, your spices, consider bringing the space rack down to eye level or put it in a cabinet near the stove.

Plan ahead:

Find small time-savers; for example, keep a supply of empty garbage bags inside the bottom of your garbage cans, and you’ll always be ready for a quick change. For the summer, stock a portable caddy with forks, knives, and spoons, so you’re ready to dine outdoors whenever the weather is perfect.

Search Pinterest for tiny home hacks:

If you’re ever stuck on what to do with a space in your house, check out Pinterest for home hacks. You’d be surprised at the number of tiny fixes you can find for just about anything you’re struggling with. Here’s one: Roll extra bath towels instead of folding them to save on space and store them on a wine rack in the bathroom.

Customize your space based on lifestyle:

If you have kids, consider storing bath toys in a colander so they can drip-dry after each bath, and limit the number of toys to what can fit into one large colander. In the playroom, store your children’s most-used toys on lower shelves where they’re easy to get to and lesser-used toys higher up. Are you a dog owner tired of cleaning up spilled garage? Consider installing a glide-out shelf within a shelf to keep the trash away from your furry friends.

Take advantage of ceiling and wall space:

Although I’ve found this makes the most sense in the garage, this can work in a lot of different spaces. To keep floor space clear, build shelves, hang pegboards and hooks, and use stackable bins.


Kelley Coleman | ShelfGenie

303.518.1016 /