Thursday, January 17, 2013

Don't Open That Door!

Cabinets, drawers, and closets can be your very best home organization friend - nifty little cubbies to organize all your stuff - or your worst nightmare - the catch-all for your secret hoarding problem. Today, we will cover the do's and don'ts of cabinet, drawer, and closet storage and cleaning.

1) First Impressions Are Everything
Have you ever cleaned your cabinet fronts? No? You are not alone, but your cabinets are dirty.
Pictured: NASTY!
Grab some all-purpose cleaner and your roll of Bounty (the only good paper towels) and spray them down right now. Use 50/50 ammonia and water for the extra greasy ones in the kitchen (around the stove). I'll be here when you get back.....

SO much better!
Now that you've done that, we can move on.

If you don't get it, we have much less work to do. If you are scared to open a drawer, cabinet, or closet for fear of being buried in a useless crap lava flow, we need to talk. Ideally, your cabinets and drawers will have a theme already - if the theme is "huh?" we'll start from scratch. Typically, kitchen cabinets get messy easily - lots of random gadgets, too little space. I like to organize my cabinets around the steps of a meal. Step one for me is prep, so let's use that as an example. Here are my prep cabinets and drawers:

The cabinet is ok, but the drawers are a nightmare! So let's get to work. First, we'll take everything out and see what we have, then organize back to front based on frequency of use. (Again, hoarders, if you don't remember the last time you used it and it's not grandma's, Buh-Bye Now!)

Mr. Foreman, the lean-mean-fat-reducing-grilling-machine, is clearly in the wrong place - Ol' George needs to be with his small appliance friends Blender and Toaster.

Friendship is beautiful.
And what did we find under the nice salad bowls (inherited, rarely used, but keepers)? A good cutting board! And why on earth would the rolling pin be in front of all my little prep bowls and dishes? A little logic and.....
...lemon squeezy. Poof!

Follow suit with the other cabinets and drawers (remember to edit):

Recognize this prep drawer?
Or this one? (Now a bottle opener/wine key/koozie drawer)
Did you even see the knives??


AFTER! There's my glue gun!
Now you're thinking, "That's fine, Gillian, but what about this pile of extra stuff I just edited out of inappropriate drawers?" Well, here's my pile:

Don't stumble over random items!
And here's what we do:
A) Extension cord? There's a bag of you guys in the laundry room. Go home!
B) Inhaler? You keep me from dying, so let's live in my purse!
C) Snake cage light clip? To the pet drawer from yesterday!
D) iPod? You're my backup, so let's put you in the technology drawer in my bedroom.
E) Tape? Utility drawer in the kitchen.
F) Dayquil? Medicine drawer in the bathroom.
G) Extra key? Key hook.
H) Hair band? Hair accessory drawer in bathroom.
I) SD card holder? Technology drawer.
J) Paper clip? Let's go back to the office!

Get the picture?

3) Overwear, Underwear, Anytime, Anywhere
Clothes closets need organizational love, too. The biggest help for me is ROYGBIV. That's right folks, let's go back to 1st grade art class and color organize our clothes. No more searching for that cute purple camisole or your navy blue french cuff shirt. Presto!

Pretty colors!
You can also sub-categorize within the color groups based on sleeve length, or occasion (casual, work, going out), or any other category - the key is that it makes sense to you and you will stick to it!

Dresser drawers should also follow suit - underthings, casual shirts, jeans, socks - whatever categories make sense for your wardrobe and lifestyle. Pick a theme for each drawer. This is my sports team shirt drawer:
Geaux Saints! Go Jackets!
Here's my jeans drawer:
For "denim"stration!
I also have drawers for socks, underoos, t-shirts, jammies, and riding/workout apparel. This saves me SO much time getting dressed and putting away my laundry. Happy Organizing!

AND.... speaking of laundry, check back later today for a bonus post on my secret to clean, soft clothes on the cheap!!

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