It’s a safe guess that somewhere near the top of everyone’s to-do lists is a note that says “get more organized!” Despite our best intentions and occasional pushes to get organized once and for all, things do have a tendency to fall back out of place, leading us right back to where we were in the beginning.
Is there a way out of this? The issue may not be with your particular habits, but rather with the way your storage areas are designed. No two cabinets are created equal, so taking a look at the way yours are set up could provide some insight as to why organization is a continuing problem.
Here are the complaints we hear most often, and the best solutions for tackling them.
Headache: I Can’t See Anything in My Cabinets
This may be one of the most common complaints we hear from homeowners. Standard kitchen cabinets and closets don’t tend to offer much in terms of revolutionary storage solutions. Instead, you have a rectangular space full of rectangular shelves, and plenty of opportunity for important items to get pushed to the back and lost.
Have any of these happened to you?
- You come back from the grocery store only to find that you bought duplicates of several items simply because you couldn’t see that you already had them.
- You wasted 15 minutes searching for brown sugar (or your measuring spoons, or a rubber spatula, or a can of tomatoes, etc.) when you could have been making progress on a meal.
- You have avoided making certain foods because you don’t want to have to get down on your hands and knees and dig for the appropriate cookware.
Solution: ergonomic shelving. A few simple improvements to your pantry or cabinets could make a world of difference. Something as small as shelf risers can help you see what’s way in the back, while simply changing the layout of your pantry could allow you to take an accurate inventory at a glance.
Headache: I Cannot Figure out a Way to Organize Pots and Pans
It seems like a good idea at first to stack pots and pans inside one another. It looks neat and organized, and the items don’t take up as much cabinet space. Of course, you already know that this arrangement does not last – sometimes not even for a day.
Stacked pots and pans make it difficult for you to find the exact item that you are looking for, and then make it even more difficult for you to retrieve it once it is found. And that’s to say nothing of pot lids. Those are usually hopelessly jumbled on the bottom shelf of the cabinet.
Solution: vertical storage and slide out cabinet features. When pots and pans are stored up on their sides, there’s nothing to “dig out” making access much easier. A remodeling contractor could easily install vertical storage. Better yet: opt for slide-out features which eliminate the “way at the back” problem by bringing everything forward so you can reach it.
Headache: My Counter/Island is a Dumping Ground
Your keys, your spouse’s keys, wallets, school bags, gloves, jackets – is this all piling up on your counter?
This happens to a lot of families, and it usually stems back to a lack of appropriate storage upon first entering the house. When entering, everyone’s main thought is just to get through the door, and get themselves situated. If the first convenient place everyone finds to set things down is the middle of the kitchen, that quickly becomes less than ideal.
Naturally, you would rather keep that area clear so that you have usable workspace. So, how can we make sure that happens?
Solution: more storage in more places. By installing shelving or cabinets specifically meant to hold “stuff” for your family, they will begin to use those spaces instead of your work spaces.
Ergonomics comes into play all over your home. The true secret to organization is to design your spaces with you and your family in mind, as opposed to generic designs. You know your habits and needs best, so make sure your storage is meeting them.