Home Organization Tips: Introduction

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We all live busy lives, so creating an organized infrastructure at home makes it easier to find things in a hurry. Open shelves are the perfect solution for instant, see-at-a-glance access. Don’t be embarrassed to plan them in minute detail. What works for you? Books may be grouped in subject or alphabetical order, files or papers clustered into transparent holders or boxes, and even clothes can be color-coded. Shelves, box files, or containers can also be labeled for extra clarity. There’s a palpable tranquility to the well-organized home. We may not register quite how—or why—good storage affects us. Yet a lack of visual clutter, combined with order behind cupboard doors, goes a long way toward encouraging relaxed living. If the entire household knows where to find key items—and, by definition, where to put them away—a home runs on well-oiled wheels.

Whether you’re a minimalist, or after simple elegance, great storage is also the key to a good-looking, streamlined home. These days, that has never been more important. The clean spaces we favor today have demanded a sea change in storage. Once, classic freestanding pieces and occasional built-in shelves were the norm. Now, storage must be capacious and discreet—specifically to keep daily ephemera at bay—and is often woven into the fabric of the home. It may be expected to make a design statement or, in open-plan zones, to divide living spaces, too.

IMAGE: We all live busy lives, so creating an organized infrastructure at home makes it easier to find things in a hurry. Open shelves are the perfect solution for instant, see-at-a-glance access. Don’t be embarrassed to plan them in minute detail. What works for you? Books may be grouped in subject or alphabetical order, files or papers clustered into transparent holders or boxes, and even clothes can be color-coded. Shelves, box files, or containers can also be labeled for extra clarity.

Our relationship with the very things we store has also changed. In our consumer-driven society, most households are bursting with more possessions than ever. On the other hand, influenced by minimalism, there’s pressure to sort your stuff and to recycle. We also have different things to store: more technology and gadgets, but less paperwork, as photos, music, and documents are swallowed up into the computer.

So it’s vital to keep abreast of our storage needs and find out what works now. Keeping a beady eye on what comes into the house (where will it live? what should go to make room?) is a great habit to cultivate, as is having a regular clearout of clothes, children’s handiwork, and so on. Often, we plan extra storage because we feel we’re drowning in clutter. Sometimes, the answer lies in getting rid of extraneous stuff and reorganizing—rather than adding to—the storage we already have.

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