Have you ever purchased bins and containers with the intention of finally getting organized, only to get home with no success? The products don’t fit the space, your items still don’t have a home, and now you have lots of fancy containers to add to the top of your clutter pile. Last month, we talked about everything labels. This month we are excited to share tips on buying the right organizing products the first time.....
0. We know it's hard, but don't be tempted, just say "no" to those pretty containers until you know exactly what you need to contain and have identified zones for where things will go.
We know it is so tempting to purchase bins and containers at the start. A lot of people think this will kick them into organizing gear, but we promise you will have the most organizing success when you have a clear idea of what products you truly need based on your items to contain and a plan for where those items will live.
1. Sort and edit so you know what you have. No need to keep things you don't need or are no longer using.
Set up a sorting and editing station. Boxes or clothing hampers labeled “toss” and “donate” can be helpful to contain the items you are comfortable passing on, and at the end of your sorting and purging you can easily transfer your box or hamper to your car for donation. We find it helpful to schedule time for donation drop off so you don’t put it off.
For sorting: keep it simple. No need to create extremely detailed categories at first. Keep it high level so you stay motivated and on task. For example, if you are sorting a linen closet your categories could be sheets, blankets, comforters, etc.
2. Take stock in organizing products that you already have. Will they work in the space you are organizing?
Do you have organizing items at your disposal already? Take a look around your home for any bins, baskets, or even empty shoe boxes can be helpful in containing your items. Organizing does not have to be fancy to be functional!
Make a list of the categories you need to contain, so you know exactly what you need, and note if any of the products you found in your home can be assigned to the categories you’ve developed during sorting and editing.
3. Measure your space, taking ALL measurements - height, width, depth. Take into account any obstacles (pipes, cabinet opening vs cabinet width)
We know… measuring isn’t the fun part, you just want to go to the store already! Trust us, measuring your space will make all the difference!
Measure the height, depth, and width of the space you plan to place your organizing products. Pay extra attention to things like the opening of doorways or cabinet doors that could affect the way your products fit in a space. Pipes also present an obstacle for placing products- take this into account carefully as you measure.
Keep in mind that product takes up space. Plan to leave a little space between bins so you are easily able to access them, or pull them out if needed.
4. Consider how you are using the space now. What is working? What is not working? How do you want to use the space going forward? Do you need to store a new category of item? Do you need the space to serve a new purpose?
Truly think about the space you are organizing, and how you want it to function. This will ensure that all of the products you purchase will serve your goal, and help accomplish the vision you have for your space.
Think about how new products could help accomplish your goals. For example: do the backs of your cabinets turn into a clutter pile because they are so deep? Consider products that offer a pull out feature so all your items are within reach at a moments notice.
5. Purchase and place your products.
It's finally time to head to the store with your carefully thought out list of what you need, and what measurements will work best in your space. Since you did the hard work on the front end- getting your products home and placed will be easy. Simply place your products in your space, and fill them with the categories you already developed during sorting and editing!
Purchasing the right products the first time will:
Fulfill your goals for the space.
Maximize the use of your space.
Create efficient systems to help you maintain order and organization.
Allow you to easily locate what you are looking for.