Principles of Storage

Often times we end up storing items in the most inefficient and non-functional places.  For instance, I have a client who stores her baking items in the pantry on the very top shelf where it is not only difficult for her 5 foot frame to reach, but also problematic as she is elderly and arthritic.  Another client cannot bear to get rid of paperwork “just in case”.  These two scenarios create obstacles to organized living.

So here’s a few basic principles for storage of a variety of items in your home.

Items that are used most often should be stored within easy reach. Items used infrequently should be stored below the waist.  Items seldom used and that are lightweight only, should be stored above the head. Do not store anything heavy above your head as this can lead to serious injury!

For paper, here are a few questions you can ask yourself if you are struggling with whether to keep it or toss it:

  • Are there any tax or legal reasons for keeping this?
  • Can I easily get a copy elsewhere if I need one?
  • Does someone else have the information? Is this available on the Internet?
  • Can I identify a situation in which I would ever refer to this information?
  • Is it still relevant to my life?
  • What are the implications if I don’t have this?

For clothing, ask yourself these questions

  • Is it out of style, wrong size, wrong colour
  • Does it feel good when I wear it?
  • When was the last time it was worn?
  • Do I use it enough to make it worth the cost of storing?
  • Do I have more than 1, and do I need more than 1?

You can also consider adjusting your buying habits.  Before making a purchase, decide what the new item will replace and where it will be stored to avoid duplicating items.  Don’t forget the “one in one out”  rule. Avoid bulk purchases if you are challenged for space. Mega sized items take up mega space. You may be saving money but you are spending vital space as mega purchases take up prime real estate.

I know I’ve also mentioned this before but it’s worth repeating.  Ask for gift receipts to avoid storing gift items that don’t suit or fit you, are not your style or you don’t care for.  Most important is to resist storing items for fear of offending the gift giver.  Re-gift new items or hold a swap party. It’s fun, a great reason for friends to get together and you may end up with something else you can really use and enjoy.


Clutterbgone Television Debut on Rogers

Yesterday was an interesting day for me. I appeared on Rogers daytime TV with hosts Elaine Yim-Spencer and Jeff Moore to talk about professional organizing and to demonstrate a few pretty cool products to get your life and home organized.  Here’s the video:

Neat Freak was great enough to supply me with components of the Neat Kids Closet Max organizing system. Neat Kids Closet Max organizing system

I just love this product for children’s closets because it grows with your child, makes the clothing accessible to them and teaches children the skills of organizing at a young age.  The components are made of durable fabric and strong nylon strapping and comes in two patterns:  Pop Rock and Candy Stripe.  Even better is that no tools are required to assemble the system, it’s quick and easy and uses your existing rod in the closet.  It’s specifically designed to hold kid-size clothing and items and you can mix and match the different components to create your own unique and custom closet system.  The price point is amazing and you can create a very functional system in a small closet for less than $200.00 easy!

I also demonstrated the Day ja View Recurring Events Calendar which was designed by Sharon Neiss, a professional young mother of three. Day ja View Recurring Events Calendar This calendar won the Parent Tested Parent Approved award for 2011 and is currently patent pending.  It’s great for families and organizing your events and activities in minutes with its ingenious 3 step design.  It’s definitely a winner for families and retails at only $19.99.

Lastly I was able to demonstrate the Grid It! organizer generously provided by Cocoon Innovations.Grid It! organizer  It comes in a bunch of different sizes,  and is an extremely versatile and functional solution to organizing your digital devices and personal items.  It’s made of rubberized woven elastic that firmly holds your stuff in place and there are endless configurations so you can customize the product to suite your specific needs.  It’s a great idea for laptops, Ipads, travel cases, knapsacks and essentially any carrying bag.  The price point varies depending on the size, but you can get a very functional one for about $19.00.

All in all a pretty great day.  I’ll be back on Rogers Daytime TV  in February and will keep you posted.





Pantry Organizing

We recently finished re-organizing our client’s kitchen and pantry. Many of my clients find it difficult to know where to start when re-organizing and decluttering this area of their home. For the pantry we removed every single item and placed them in categories, such as pastas, canned goods, cereals, snacks, spices, etc. We discarded those items that had expired or were no longer used. Once we saw what was left to house in the pantry, we recommended a few minor purchases that would maximize the storage space and make return and retrieval of items efficient: a graduated shelf riser as well as a couple of under shelf storage baskets were all that were needed in this instance.
Here’s a photo of the pantry before we started:
Pantry Before Organizing
And here’s how it looked when we were done:
Pantry After Organizing
Our client and their children loved the under-shelf popcorn basket!
Working on my client’s pantry has inspired me to do my own! What inspires you to get organized?