While fancy closet systems are the ultimate—simple, inexpensive clear shoe boxes can help you take your organizational skills up a notch.
If you're not sure how best to organize your closet (or office, bedroom, kitchen...), consider bringing in an expert. An hour or two professional consultation could make the difference between getting the project completed and never starting.
When should you call in a professional organizer? Hiring a pro might help you, if you:
- Don’t have time for the project
- Don’t know how to start
- Need an objective and unemotional eye
- Don’t have the required physical ability
- Can’t agree with others involved
- Just don’t want to be bothered with the project
Stymied for Storage Solutions?
Expert organizational tips to get you started.
- by Jason Schneider
Planning to do some organizing this year, but not quite sure where to begin?
“Most people tend to put off organizing because they’re overwhelmed, don’t know how or where to start, or feel they just don’t have the time,” says Meredith Lindel, clutter specialist and owner of Clutter Solutions in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Don't let the scale of the project keep you from moving forward. Begin with small areas of your home and build from there. Lindel offers two key tips to help you get started tackling your clutter:
- Set realistic goals for the space. How do you want it to be used and by whom? Is there enough space to do it?
- Remove anything from the space that doesn’t need to be there, including excess or duplicate items—these can be sorted into separate bins to donate, trash, recycle or relocate within the home.
When it comes to storage containers, options are seemingly endless—from baskets to bags to bins. How do you determine what type of container is appropriate? “It depends, of course, on what is to be stored and where the storage is located,” says Lindel. “Some items require specialized products—I use different products in climate-controlled spaces than I do in non-controlled ones.”
While there are a lot of specialty products out there, not all are practical, cautions Lindel. “It’s easy to get caught up when you’re looking at these in the store, but sometimes a plastic shoebox is just as useful, more appropriate—and cheaper,” she says.
If you’re still feeling overwhelmed and not up to the task at hand, companies such as Lindel’s are there to help. “If you’re stymied for any reason,” she says, “lack of time or a sudden change in circumstances, don’t know how to start, need an objective and unemotional eye, don’t have the required physical ability, can’t agree with others involved or you just don’t want to be bothered with it, call in an expert.”