Shop sensibly and save money with these tips for choosing organizing products.Excerpted from Houseworks, by Cynthia Townley Ewer
Organize, Measure, Buy
Take a common problem: magazine storage. Faced with a bookcase filled with favorites, it's tempting to say, "Oh, I must do something about those stacks of magazines," grab the car keys and head to the store. Once there, buying a set of 12 plastic magazine holders appears to be the right solution.
Home you go, only to find that the holders are too big for the bookcase, and that the whole collection will require eight more containers to hold the entire stack. Wallet drained and energy depleted, you drop the whole project, leaving the new holders to swell the population of household clutter.
Smart organizers understand how the process works: they organize first, measure next, and buy last. First, they assess and sort the magazines, keeping only 20 percent: those periodicals to which they refer often.
After recycling the rejected 80 percent, our organizer plans and measures available storage areas. Only then does she shop for organizational products and she does so with a list that enables her to buy exactly what she needs.
Put organizers to work for you by following these tips for making the most of the storage products available.
Corral and Contain
Cartons, boxes, baskets and containers are the organizer's foot soldiers in the war against chaos. Use them to sort and store magazine collections, children's toys, and arts-and-crafts materials. Open containers are ideal for often-used items, making them available but keeping them from spreading over living areas.
Climb the Walls
Hooks, pegs and hangers provide bonus storage in tight places. Pegs near an entryway allow children to hang coats and hats when they enter the house. The dog's leash and the car keys will never go missing if they have designated hooks near the back door. Narrow molding shelves intended for displaying picture frames are ideal to hold diaper and skin-care products near baby's changing table.
On the Shelf
Wall-mounted shelf units are hard-working members of the get-organized team. Over-the-door shelving provides an instant pantry when stocked with canned goods. A shelf above the washing machine stores laundry products so they are accessible to adults but safe from children and pets.
For maximum storage power, combine plastic containers or wicker baskets with shelves. Color-coded containers help children keep their play spaces tidy. Low, flat wicker baskets make it easy to see and access toiletries in the bathroom.
Divide and Conquer
Drawers are great friends. There's only one problem: open and close a drawer 10 times, and you're apt to find a scrambled mess thereafter. Fix the problem with drawer dividers. Use short, straight lengths of cardboard or plastic to create divided areas or go for commercial drawer dividers: some offer different-sized trays that interlock to create custom dividers.
Excerpted from Houseworks, by Cynthia Townley Ewer
Text Copyright © 2006, 2010, Cynthia Townley Ewer, extracts from Houseworks, reproduced with permission from Dorling Kindersley Limited