IF YOU’RE LIKE US, you’ve spent a lot of time at home over the last year. Which means, you’ve had plenty of opportunity to notice the areas of the house that could use purging and organizing. We asked two local organizational experts for help figuring out how to get started.
Clear away clutter each day.
Many of The Brittish Way owner Britt Blackwelder’s clients work from home and say that they have trouble disconnecting from work. “Mental clutter can come from physical clutter,” she explains. “Try to get into the habit of cleaning off your desk at the end of the day, and then leave that space. Treat it as if you’re leaving the office for the day.”
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Create a landing zone.
“Papers and mail stacking up can be a major stressor,” Blackwelder says. “I tell my clients to put some sort of bin or container right by their door so they have a place to put their mail and everything they bring into their home right away.” An added bonus? You’ll be less likely to lose your keys, or mail, if you keep them in an easy-to-find spot.
Prioritize the spaces you use most often.
“Your attic or basement may be the messiest room in your house,” Liz Girsch, the owner of the Milwaukee branch of Neat Method, says. But if you hardly ever see it, you can afford to ignore it a while longer. Instead, focus on cleaning out and organizing the spaces you use the most – like your closet, pantry or desk – before tackling bigger messes in more remote areas of your home.
Take on one project at a time.
“Make a plan of what you want to get done, and when,” says Blackwelder. “Maybe March is the month you clean out your garage, or the month you organize all your pictures.”
Stay away from The Container Store … at least for a little while.
“The biggest mistake I see people make is that they start by purchasing organizational products,” says Girsch, explaining that it’s always better to begin by going through your things and sorting by whether you’ll be keeping, donating or tossing them. “Wait to buy anything until you’ve emptied out the space and measured it and thought through everything that you’ll be putting back in it.”
Storage Solutions: From Local Stores
1. Olli Ella Bucket Bag
$65, | AVAILABLE AT BLACKBEAR CHILDREN’S BOUTIQUE
This rattan and bamboo bag is too pretty to be kept in a closet. Hang it from a peg in your bed- room and use it as a catch-all for the scarves and accessories you wear most often.
2. Distressed Metal Serving Trays
$29-$39 | AVAILABLE AT THE FLOWER LADY
With its raised edges and wood handles, this decorative tray would look lovely in a rustic, farmhouse-inspired setting. Use it in your entryway to collect mail and odds and ends.
3. Branch Wardrobe Unit
$930 | AVAILABLE AT CREAM CITY RESTORATION
Stymied by a lack of closet space in your home? Create your own with one of these modular wardrobe units. The wood components are solid ash and available in black or white.