One of the best parts about moving to a new home is that it’s clean and pristine. Wouldn’t you want to keep it that way?
If so, you might want to look into creating a superb storage system to ensure that everything stays organized and in its proper place.
To help you out, we’ve talked with several storage experts for their top-of-the-line tips when it comes to keeping your home organized and efficient.
Starting Off Your Storage System
So, where to begin?
“The time to begin preparations for your new home is when you are in your old one,” says Regina Leeds, New York Times bestselling author of One Year to an Organized Life. “It is in this residence that you need to divest yourself of the items you no longer need, want or will use.”
Take a while to think about the problem. What do you have space for? What do you need space for? Once your problem is identified you can start organizing to find your solutions.
“Remember the magic formula: eliminate, categorize and then organize,” Leeds says. “In other words, whittle down your stash, keep related items together and then figure out how to organize those categories so that the end result is beautiful, completely functional and easy to maintain based on who you are and how you relate to the category.”
One way to begin this categorizing is by room of the house.
Leeds suggests focusing on these key areas: the kitchen, the bedroom, the bathroom and the kids’ rooms, if you have them.
Will you have enough kitchen space in the new home for all your pots and pans? Will you need additional closet space in the bedroom? Are you going to need a new storage unit for all the toys? Once you find solutions to these basic questions, your system will be off to a great start.
“Master bedroom closets are usually the starting point, with 61 percent of recent homebuyers planning a project in the next 18 months,” says Lisa Engel, a marketing representative for ClosetMaid, an Ocala, Fla.-based provider of affordable shelving and storage systems. “But garages are the fastest growing, with 50 percent of homeowners citing it as the most unorganized room in their home.”
Building a System with Functionality and Efficiency
Once you get the goal-planning process out of the way, it’s time to start actually building your storage system. And as you probably already know, there are going to be loads of options.
“There are a lot of solutions when it comes to storage in a room with a lot of space, but one of my favorites would be to install a series of shelves so that everything has a place,” says Paul Risdale, owner of Closets By Design in Aurora, Ill. “I have had some customers who have installed doors with glass insets so that you can display what’s being stored, and I’ve also had customers wanting pull-out drawers that come in handy in a pantry.”
Is your current kitchen too tiny? Make sure your new home has an organizable walk-in pantry and plenty of cabinet space. Create a storage plan for each item so that everything flows when you’re cooking and cleaning. Leeds also suggests investing in pull-out shelves so that you don’t have items languishing in dead space.
Is your closet cluttered and in chaos? Call a closet company like Closets By Design, which can work with you to create a storage plan that perfectly suits your lifestyle. Additionally, you could also go to a place like The Container Store, which sells all sorts of tools to help make any space more functional.
If you’ve opted for more space in your floorplan via rooms like a mudroom or a larger laundry room, develop plans for them as well.
“I’ve personally seen a lot of demand for mudrooms,” Risdale says. “A popular design customers are going with is a locker room design, which allows each child to have their own designated space for coats, book bags and shoes.”
Another hot trend is to include drawers in the design configurations as dressers are “moving” into the closets, says Engel. Including spaces for mobile phones and jewelry is also hot.
On the other hand, just because you have the new space doesn’t mean you need to fill it. That could come back to haunt you.
“The engine that runs the organizing train is decision-making,” Leeds says. “Decide the fate of every item that enters the home. Don’t stash items in the garage, a spare closet or in the attic because you have no idea what to do with it.”
When moving day comes again, you don’t want that forgotten junk weighing you down.
Want more storage specifics? Leeds suggests the following products to add to your storage system:
- Bamboo Kitchen Divider.If you lack a built-in cabinet for trays and cutting boards, this will help you convert a space for the storage of those much-needed items.
- Easy Gliders.We all put things in the back of cupboards and the items get lost. In as many cabinets as you can, install something that slides out so what you need is never far from reach.
- Cabinet Organizer.Use these in bathrooms, pantry shelves and cabinets so you can always see what’s hiding in there.
- Acrylic Drawer Organizers.These will make every drawer in the home sing with order. You can see what your categories are and then buy the size and number you need.
- Shelf Dividers.These are designed to keep your closet shelves orderly. You can use these to create as many different categories as you’d like.
Wondering if you should really do it all yourself or hire a professional?
“The two things to consider during a home organization project is both your experience level with typical do-it-yourself projects and your budget,” Engel says. “Professional designers/installers are trained to maximize your space and use the ‘tricks of the trade’ to take the worry out. However, DIY programs can be more budget friendly with videos to help you along the way.”
Or you can combine the best of both worlds and have a professional help with the design and then guide the rest of your way with a shopping list, she suggests. And for inspiration, check out ClosetMaid.com for ideas, design tips and tools, and other professional design services.
Ultimately, the success of your storage system is all up to you. Once you get everything into place, the rest should come naturally.
“The best way to learn how to get organized is to establish good habits,” Leeds says. “String a few habits together and you’ll be creating routines and systems that will take the guesswork out of the organizing process.”