Renovation Solutions: Organizing, Part 2: A place for everything, everything in its place

Published: Friday, Jan. 17 2014 5:50 p.m. MST

Schreiner says when you organize, you need to consider items that come in and out of the house. “You need a way station to place these items,” Schreiner says. “It can be a piece of furniture or a closet right where you come in, but you need a system to deal with the stuff coming in and out. If you don’t, this becomes the dump zone anyway.”

For this area, Schreiner is a fan of bins on shelves. She says they hide objects, are easy (it takes only one motion to put something away) and you can take the smaller bin to a different room if you need the contents or want to deal with them somewhere else.

Deal with new clutter regularly, and deal with paper clutter every day or two. Immediately put what you don’t need in the recycle bin or shredder. If you have to store paper, keep it contained and organized. Schreiner has found the best paper system for most people is a simple alphabetical file system with an index at the beginning.

Schreiner recommends using small chunks of time to stay organized. “Use two minutes here and five minutes there,” she says. “Don’t wait until you have huge blocks of time” or it may never happen.

It takes some determination and discipline, but if you work regularly to keep an organized house, the clutter won’t pile up. You need larger blocks of time initially to get organized, but less time to stay that way. Keeping an organized house takes consistent effort, but it can be done. Good luck!

For more tips on organizing from Schreiner see clutter-cutter.us.

Ann Robinson and Annie V. Schwemmer are the principal architects and co-founders of a residential architectural firm focused on life-changing remodeling designs at RenovationDesignGroup.com. Send comments or questions to ask@RenovationDesignGroup.com

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