They say, “For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.”
Anyone who has dug through a junk drawer can attest to the truth in that statement. After all, we know it's in there, but where?!?
There is certainly a space in your home that has tested your patience, and your organizational skills, no matter how tidy you are. So, we reached out to a professional organizer for some tips to make all of our lives easier.
Traci Miller, professional organizer and the owner of Spatial Solutions Unlimited in Charlotte, is also an authorized representative of The Container Store. She sounds like the friend we all need in our lives, right?! She has even collaborated with new home builders, like us, about solutions for spaces such as walk-in closets in the primary bedrooms. Even the biggest closet can be an organizational nightmare without the right hardware in place!
Traci can help clients clean out an old home, organize as they move into a new home, declutter during a remodel, or even simply clean out a cluttered pantry. She has tips for every unorganized space in our lives. Here are some of her favorites!
First, you want to be able to scan your pantry quickly and see things in “layers” so you know what you have for dinner, and what you need to pick up at the store. Put your high-demand items on the shelves that offer the easiest access.
Grab some clear, acrylic containers with straight edges and decant your dry goods, like cereals, chips, flours, coffee, etc. Because they are clear, you’ll be able to see exactly what and how much you have. The clean lines will slide against each other and maximize your space. Traci recommends the OXO brand because they are uniform and stackable.
Oftentimes there is unused space between shelves. Undershelf baskets are a great way to go vertical and utilize that empty space because all space is valuable! These are great solutions for fruit or other oddly shaped items. Plate risers also allow you to maximize use out of that empty space.
The best pantries have snacks, of course. But snacks often come in packages that don’t lend themselves to an organized, neatly stacked, Insta-worthy pantry. Instead, consider grabbing some Montauk baskets from The Container Store and using those for hard-to-stack items like raisin boxes, cereal bars, and candy bars.
If you have kids or sweet-toothed adults, you can further organize their life by having zones for their snacks, such as two drawers or baskets – one for salty and one for sweet.
If you are ready to fully commit to the most organized pantry, consider investing in a top-track system. One of Traci’s favorites is the Elfa system at The Container Store. These allow you to hang shelves, drawers, racks, tool strips, and more to the top track, giving you a pantry or closet organization system that feels custom because of its ability to be adjusted to your space.
Don’t flashback to school uniforms, but instead think about matching uniform hangers. This may seem minor, but slim hangers will take up less space than plastic rounded or wooden curved hangers. Consider hangers made of non-slip velvet so that those shirts won’t fall off and your shoulders won’t show crease marks.
Specifically, color-and-sleeve coordinate. Traci recommends organizing your closet by color and shape. Start with black and white, and arrange from tanks to sleeveless, to short sleeves, to long sleeves. This helps you know what you have, and where it is, great for a morning when you are running late!
Go vertical in your closet, too! Buy a step stool that lives in your closet so you can reach those tall shelves more easily and safely. You’ll be glad you did the first time you need it. And you’ll be thankful you have a designated step stool that is not dirty from the garage.
The Elfa system also offers low shelves that allow you to keep items off the floor, making vacuuming easier. It also allows you to use that empty space below your hanging clothes - a perfect use for this is boot storage!
Sweaters and shoe boxes are great solutions for those extra items you don’t need on a daily basis. Buy the kind with handles and clear windows so that they are not only easy to grab from those top shelves but also so you know exactly what you’ve stored where.
Don’t forget, the back of your door is prime real estate for organizing. Traci says an Elfa wall and door rack is great for storing hats, gloves, scarves, and belts.
Want to be inspired by the most Insta-worthy pantries and closets that we love? Check out @thehomeedit.
Visit Traci on Instagram at @spatial_solutions_unlimited.
Get more organizing ideas on Instagram at @thecontainerstore.
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