By Virginia Simmons
Did you miss the “spring cleaning” time of year because you were busy with the kids?
We are here to tell you that there is nothing wrong with putting off your spring cleaning until the summer!
No matter what time of the year, you’re getting to it! I promise you, organizing your house is always worth it.
With over 13 years of professional organizer experience at Delivery Limited, Kristen Wolcott shares her insight about the tips and tricks to organizing your home.
Starting at the Container Store, Kristen quickly learned how to figure out the specific needs of each client off the bat.
Now, with over 22 years of organizing experience – we are so lucky to have her on our Delivery Limited Team!
Below, she explains that the what, where, and why questions are the most important when figuring out the person’s storage needs.
Keep reading for organizing tips for the kitchen, pantry, closet, bathroom and much more!
Professional Organizer Insights!
1. Any room can be organized
It doesn’t matter how big or small a room is – any room can be organized!
Kristen explains that each space can and should be used to organize your possessions.
Walls, desks, behind doors, under beds, closets, and every inch of flooring is an opportunity for storage.
2. Find your vision before tackling the task
“When I enter a room I look at what is in the room and ask the client what their vision is and work from there to develop a plan,” Kristen explains.
“Do they have kids, pets, and who is all living there? What is their lifestyle?”
Once we get a good understanding of how you want the room to look, it’s easier to put a plan into action.
3. Don’t get overwhelmed
When beginning the organization process, it’s easy to become discouraged by the amount of work that needs to be done.
Kristen advises practicing some deep breathing when feeling anxious as well as remaining calm and collected.
“Get started by doing one room at a time,” she says.
4. Get the family involved
Organizing an entire house can be difficult, even for a professional, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
“Get the whole family involved,” she says. “Their participation makes them part of the puzzle which will give them incentive to keep things clean.”
5. Clear containers are everything!
Before diving into the individual rooms, Kristen offers a must have storage item: “Using clear containers in the kitchen, laundry room, bar, all bathrooms, and pantry gives any room a clean look.”
“Clear containers can save you money by showing and spills, drips, and leaks before they cause damage,” she explains. “Clear bins and containers can also save you time because you can see everything without digging.”
6. Match your organization to your house
Don’t be set one type of organization, sometimes your household needs require different types of organizational styles.
“There are bamboo, white plastic or my favorite clear organizers that you can use to match the design of your house.”
Don’t forget to make the items that you use the most, the MOST accessible.
Remember, when it comes to organizing keep function over fashion.
For each room:
“I like to use expandable organizers in the drawers for silverware.”
She also explains the importance of keeping both utensils and dishes together in an orderly fashion so everyone in the family can find them without making a mess.
“One of the most important things you can use in any room of your house is a spin tray which is simply a rotatable tray that gives you easy access and a beautiful display to any commonly used object,” Kristen says.
According to Kristen, “just because it’s your pantry, doesn’t mean it can’t be beautifully organized.”
She urges organizers to separate the pantry’s items based on usage and size.
“I use large spin trays for bottles of vinegar, oils, and salad dressings. For spices and canned goods, I use three-tiered expandables so you can see everything.”
For bulkier things like bottled water and bags of chips and cereal, use large recycling bins that can be stored on the floor (see image left).
“The laundry room sometimes is a catch-all.” Kristen says.
Avoid this, by dividing things into categories.
“Whether its candles, batteries, towels, paper goods, cups, or napkins make sure you measure out your area of storage so you know you have enough space.”
“There’s a solution for everything, it’s all about how you see it!”
Go beyond a dress to impress approach and give your closet the organization it needs.
Kristen recommends that they are separated into a number of different categories: season, color, length, and type.
“Start with short sleeves/shorts in the back and long/pants in the front, from there you can separate them into seasons and formal vs informal wear. From there color code them for a cleaner look.”
She also suggests that skinny, matching hangers are used to give your closet a streamlined look.
“Putting the shoes from front to back gives you an equal view of all sides,” Kristen says.
Clear containers come in handy yet again when organizing shoes!
“Store seasonal shoes in overhead clear containers.”
Lastly, stuffing is key when it comes to boots and purses,
“Stuffing boots will keep them from creasing and it absorbs the odor. This works for purses too and makes them easy to color code,” she explains.
For everything else: Roll ties and belts or hang them depending on your space and to maximize storage roll t-shirts and jeans in various drawers.
Kristen begins to organize bathrooms by paring things together.
“Keep like things together; hair with hair, face with face, and body with body,” she says. “But more importantly, make the most frequently used products the most accessible.”
She advises that, depending on the amount of space you have, either stand or lay products in drawers.
“Baskets work below the sink and they can be put on each side of the pipe.”
Lastly, she suggests to roll towels rather than fold them for an organized finish.
What space are you organizing next?