Above: A clean, uncluttered kitchen means time spent doing what you want to do, not looking for something you can’t find, whether it’s reorganizing your cabinets or a larger fix, like all new cabinetry, including pullout spice racks.
Maybe especially this year, after being cooped up at home the past 12 months, it just feels like it’s time to get organized. That’s what Insperiors owner Nathan Reynolds is hearing a lot of right now.
“I think spring tends to be a time for renewal for people,” Reynolds, an interior designer, said in a recent interview. “The weather is warmer, and you want to spend more time outside. It’s that whole mentality: How can I get my indoor area more organized and easy so I can quickly get the kids out for a beach day or have friends over for a barbecue?”
The pandemic has added some urgency. With more people working from home, Reynolds said he’s hearing that some spouses or partners have become more interested in how the kitchen works now that they’re spending more time there.
It’s also an excellent time to look at all the things you’ve had around the house all winter. Is this item working for you anymore? If not, well, maybe it’s time to give it away.
“You do that with your clothes, why not for your house?” said Reynolds.
He suggested being targeted. If you decide to take on the whole house, that might be so overwhelming you quit before you really even get started.
Let’s say you start with the kitchen. Organizing doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, Reynolds said (although if you are in the market for a larger undertaking, Insperiors would be happy to help!).
“Sometimes it’s just emptying out the cabinets and putting everything on the island or a table,” he said. Then you can give your cupboards a good solid clean and really look at what you’ve already got. In some cases, you might uncover things you forgot you even had (that wedding present from Aunt Joan!). And maybe not everything needs to go back (that wedding present from Aunt Joan).
Or maybe they do, says Reynolds, but now you can organize them in a way that works better for the family. You might gain a whole drawer or even a cabinet – “Wow, I have room to put the dog food in here!”
If you decide you need to buy a few items to help with organizing, Reynolds has two words for you: measure first. Make sure you are measuring drawers and/or cabinets from the inside – length, width, depth, all of it. It will save you time and frustration in the long run.
“Know your measurements so you can save yourself from having to go back or make lots of returns,” he said.
Reynolds suggests looking at your bathrooms next, especially smaller spaces without a lot of storage space. One simple idea, said Reynolds, is to replace the mirror above the sink with a medicine cabinet. “You’re getting a place to put your toothbrush, your vitamins, your contact solution,” he said, leaving more room in your vanity for larger items.
Another spot for a wall cabinet that’s often overlooked is above the toilet. A small cabinet there will be deeper than a medicine cabinet and out of the way.
One economical solution if you’ve got two or three children sharing a bathroom is to buy stackables, one for each child. And an easy, economical fix to get things off counters (and floors!) are hooks. Make it easy for your children to hang up their towels.
Closets are another spot where a little organization can go a long way, said Reynolds. The first order of business could be the same treatment you gave your kitchen cabinets: take everything out and make sure you’re keeping what you actually want.
Then, look at the space. Do you have room for a small dresser or end table to fit under hanging shirts? That could be perfect to hold smaller items likes scarves, socks or jewelry, said Reynolds, freeing up space in your main dresser.
“It’s giving you drawers within your closet that you don’t have to have custom made,” he said. Since no one’s going to see it anyway, you could also just buy or repurpose a plastic container with drawers.
As for shoes, it’s time to ditch the shoe boxes – shoes get lost there.
Instead, invest in some clear plastic boxes. Nearly all your shoes will fit in them, they are stackable and, best yet, you can see what’s in them, said Reynolds
If small fixes just won’t cut it and you have a bit of money since you had to cancel that trip to Disney or Yellowstone last year, Reynolds and the team at Insperiors would love to help you out. They have lots of ideas big and small to help you love your home.