Date: July 28, 2021 | Photography: Rett Peek | Producer: Stephanie Maxwell Newton |
Get Organized: Storage zones such as closets, pantries, and laundry rooms can be hard to keep organized—especially in a household with children. Don’t let these spaces turn into sources of stress! Read on for ideas to keep it tidy and keep your cool
Concealed storage, a countertop for folding, and a hanging bar help this laundry room operate at peak functionality. Another consideration for small rooms: Wall-mounted storage solutions for drying clothes or corralling cleaning tools can also free up valuable space.
Above: Design by Katie Grace Designs
Tips for Tidying Up
Advice on starting an organization project from Katie Buchanan of Little Rock Paper Scissors
1 / Start Small
“In busy family homes, it’s important to look at the big picture,” Katie says. “Beginning with bookshelves or an entire closet can feel overwhelming; start small and work your way up.” Katie recommends cleaning out a junk drawer as a starting point. “Celebrate how great that feels, then tackle a larger space.”
2 / Be Realistic
When tackling organization projects, Katie encourages people to think matter of factly about the task at hand. “While highly staged organization images on social media are good for inspiration, they are not always totally realistic, affordable, or easy to achieve,” she says. Shop your home for storage solutions first and consider function before aesthetics.
3 / Go Pro (if Necessary)
Overall, Katie’s main advice is to be kind to yourself throughout the process. “If you find yourself stuck, there is no shame in hiring a pro organizer,” she says. “A neutral third party can often visualize a fresh space solution and help pare down belongings. They act as the ‘clutter coach’ your family needs.”
Pantry Peace of Mind
1 / Do Decant
While decanting dry goods into clear containers has become a popular pantry photo op, there’s another reason you should consider this storage method: Air-tight containers help keep ingredients like sugar and flour fresh and safe from pests.
2 / Don’t Forget Labels
When swapping out store-bought packaging for reusable containers, you’re likely to label the contents—but don’t forget to also copy the “best by” date from the original box or can before you trash it. Use clear or washi tape to note this important information.
3 / Do Compartmentalize
It’s natural to store like items together, but also consider how frequently you use certain categories of ingredients and designate a home for them accordingly. Before reorganizing, take a few weeks to note which spices,
oils, and grains you reach for most and keep them
front and center.
4 / Don’t Put Everything Away
Tempting as it can be to stow all your food in the pantry, the warm, dark environment can cause produce to spoil more quickly—or be forgotten all together. Designate a fruit basket or two on your kitchen counter to ensure fresh foods get eaten in their prime.
Advice for orderly clothing storage from David Fraiser of Closet Factory
1 / Going High
“Definitely take advantage of vertical space and go as far up as possible,” David says. Install two rods for hanging clothes and designate the highest shelves for seasonal storage. Looking for a spot to add one more shelf? “Check above the door. In most cases this is unused and, although not large, it is valuable,” David says.
2 / Made to Grow
Adjustable shelving is a must for family homes. “As children grow, so do their clothes, so being able to adjust the rods and shelves is paramount to a good kids closet,” David says. “Pull-out baskets are also great because the items being stored can’t be seen, but they can be easily loaded and accessed by younger users.”
3 / Shoes to Fill
Shoe storage is one of the biggest variables in closet design and organization. While clear boxes make a nice display, they take up a lot of room; consider storing flip-flops and other slim, casual styles in a drawer or basket. David recommends storing shoes one in front of the other—rather than side by side—to make the most of deeper shelving.
Professional Resources Directory
Need guidance on your organization project? Reach out to one of these pros for local assistance
About Space Organizing | Little Rock
Begin Today Organizing | Hot Springs Village
Blessings Organized | Little Rock
Cleaning & Organizing by Design | Fort Smith
Closet Factory of Little Rock | Little Rock
The Container Store | Little Rock
Fresh Start Conway | Central Arkansas
Knotted Spaces | Bentonville
Little Rock Paper Scissors | Little Rock
The Marshall Concept | Little Rock
Marvelous Spaces | Mountain Home
Natural Home Organization | Northwest Arkansas
Organize & Prioritize | Little Rock
Organized by Erin | Texarkana
The Organizer Chicks | Northwest Arkansas
Organizing with Lynn | Northwest Arkansas
Restore the Home NWA | Fayetteville
Sydney Waddle Organizing | Northwest Arkansas
Tailored Living | Rogers
Tidy Nest | Little Rock
Tidying by Kimberly May | Fayetteville