New year, new you… or at least that’s always the plan, right? There are always things that get in the way of all those resolutions, like when you say you’re only going to have a glass of wine on the weekends, but when your friends have so generously gifted you a million bottles of wine you really need to make sure you try them all. Or, hello… can you really leave those holiday leftovers in the fridge? Heck no, that’s wasteful! Some resolutions just aren’t meant to be. But you can start fresh in 2022 with a freshly organized home. And we’re here to help! A wise woman once said (that wise woman being our magical Debbie Pratt, designer extraordinaire) “luxury defined is a well organized closet.” So let us break it down into three easy to follow steps so you can make all of your ‘22 dreams come true… as long as your dreams include a fabulous, put together home that you love.
Plan Your Plan of Attack
First and foremost, mental preparation is a must. Make a list of each space that needs attention. Then, prioritize your list and jot down how long you honestly think it will take to knock out each of these areas. Keep your list with you as you work through your home, so you can come up with a customized routine that will help you stay organized in 2022. Document tasks that you think need to be done daily, weekly, and monthly. Add these tasks to your calendar. If you’re the kind that likes to handwrite things on a calendar You should already have a calendar for the new year. Whether it is on your phone, in the workspace, or in your home, a calendar is the most effective way to keep track of events, plans, and meetings. And it’s just a good idea to write down goals and deadlines. You don’t have to do it all at once. If you have time to clean one room each day, then start with the one that needs the most attention. But, if you can only squeeze in one or two areas a day, like those two overflowing kitchen drawers, or the front hall closet, that works too.
Make it Easy on Yourself
Of course, the best way to be organized is to stay organized. While you’re developing a plan and later when you’re doing all the 2022 organizing, be on the lookout for ways that you can easily stay on top of things. Don’t overcomplicate the matter with complex systems and trying to get the whole family to follow an entirely new set of organizational rules. Keep it simple, it’s the only way to make sure everyone can play along!
2. Declutter // Pile it Up
Some things just have to get worse before they can get better. In small areas where clutter tends to build (ahem, junk drawers) a big mess is a must. Dump. It. All. Out. Then, throw away anything that you don’t need. There’s always a little bit of a guilty feeling when it comes to throwing things away, especially clothes and used toys. The solution here is easy, donate! There are plenty of organizations that’ll pick up donations. So, make three piles….
Keep in mind you’re going to have to find a new home for each and every thing that survives this major purge.
3. Get Down to (Organizing) Business
Now that you’ve officially purged your space of anything you can live without, it’s time to put things back so you know where they are. Everything. Must. Have. A. Home. All the things, from something as small as pens to bigger things like the vacuum cleaner. It all has to have it’s own space where you can access it the second you need it… just imagine all the time you’ll save when you don’t have to think “now where did I put that?”For more on chic storage and organizing for the fam, check out this blog post on maintaining a stylish home, even when the kiddos are thwarting all your efforts.
Bins and Baskets
To create a fully functional space, you need separation. This is where those fun and fabulous bins and baskets come in. You can go out and buy all new ones, but there are inevitably a few already fabulous containers not being used in your home. More than likely you’ve uncovered some of these during the great end-of-the-year throwaway of 2021. Debbie loves to include bins in bigger spaces like closets because you can toss things inside, you don’t necessarily have to fold everything to make it look neat!It’s easier to tell what kinds of stylish storage you’ll need as you go, so use what you have for now, and keep a list of what you’ll need to source later. There are new organizational tools coming out all the time, especially at the beginning of the year. Start searching now to find and create new storage solutions. Let’s be honest, it’s a fun adventure, so get out there and start shopping… feel empowered by your brilliant efficiency! Here are some of our tried and true organization staples:
- Dream Drawer Organizers: use these in any drawers where you need to create individual spaces.
- Hanging Shoe Storage: this doesn’t have to be used just for shoes, it’s great for handbags, hats and gloves, and even crafting supplies that may or may not be hiding out in a back corner of the basement.
- Natural Seagrass Basket: these baskets are brilliant, since they collapse when they’re not full of stuff. Easy to store when not in use AND stylish while catching your (well sorted, of course) things… #winning.
Where to Shop
Since we’re spilling all the beans here, we’ll let you in on a few of our favorite places to shop for organizational things. When you’re ready to start shopping (as if you need an excuse anyway), keep these hot spots in mind…
- The Interior
- Mecox Dallas
- Magic Hour
- HomeGoods, Target and Amazon… don’t count these guys out! If you’re in the mood to search, you’ll find some gems.
Group it Up
Sort your items according to use. First, according to general use, and again by situational uses if necessary. Give prime real estate to items that are frequently used or worn. For example, you more than likely have a few (hundred) handbags. Yes, you need to have them all displayed in your closet, but the five that you keep in constant rotation should be on an easy to reach shelf, while they others can be hanging or in a less accessible location… still in plain view, of course. Important papers are a whole different animal, but still important. And many of these important documents are things you need to have on hand, and easy to access. Stacks of papers serve zero purpose, so sort your files into groups and store them in a filing cabinet. It helps to keep a list of files inside the drawer so you know exactly where they are.
Find a Home for Things You Can’t See
When we said we were here to organize for a fresh start in 2022, we meant all the things. That goes beyond the tangibles, into things you can’t exactly see, like finances. So while we’re organizing, let’s make life easier on the financial front, too. To get started, ask yourself these questions…
- Have you recently paid a bill late because you misplaced it?
- Do you have a list of all accounts, numbers, online IDs and passwords?
- Do you have a recent copy of your credit report?
- Do you need a financial organizer, planner, or similar professional to get on track?
Make a dedicated space in your home office where you’ll always be able to find the necessary information you need. This might be a safe or lockbox with important documents or a password to files on your PC.Speaking of passwords, it’s time to do away with password drama. It’s 2022 people, how are we still having to click the “forgot password” button multiple times a week?! It doesn’t have to be this way… promise. Always keep your passwords in a safe place. LastPass is a great tool to securely store passwords, and avoid the last minute panic of not being able to login to an account (and it’s our team’s personal fav).
Let everyone else in the home know where things go. Sure, they won’t always pay attention, but at least you can sleep easy knowing you’re doing your part. But we’ll let you in on a little secret, the actual process of label making is really kind of a bonus here. It’s fun and therapeutic. If you like the idea of making labels on the fly, a smaller, portable label maker is for you. We like this one. It’s easy to use and efficient, so you can print labels on the spot and slap them on your containers as you go. For baskets, you can stick the labels on a tag, tie them to a handle and tuck them inside, so you don’t have a label flapping around in full view. These labels are pretty sticky, so you should be able to stick them on the inside of bins near the top, so their still visible to anyone that’s about to throw something in the bin (no excuses for those that ignore the “socks” label and use it for underpants), but your guests don’t have to see that your family needs directions to put things away. But, if it’s fancy labels you’re after, and you want to add a little arts and crafts to your organizing project, you can make your own decals with one of these bad boys. You can design your own labels in any font imaginable using the design software, then print or cut labels using vinyl. And, if you want iron on labels, you can print them on heat transfer vinyl. This is definitely a commitment, but it’s well worth your time… i.e. you’ll be forced to lock yourself in the office for a few hours to get this done, and you may or may not require complete peace and quiet and a bottle of wine.
The Last Word
Hopefully, now you have all the inspo you need to dive in and get your house into tip top shape for the new year. Because really, doesn’t it feel SO great to have everything right where it should be? And even better… won’t it feel better knowing you’ve set yourself (and the fam) up for success in keeping things organized? If you’ve done all you can with the space you have, and you’re feeling like it might require a little restructuring, revamping, and/or a redesign, we are here to help! Design is what we L I V E and we’re pretty dang good at it. Give us a call and let’s chat about the dreams and goals for your home and your family.