We’ve been talking home organization this week, with a great blog post yesterday from organizational expert and blogger extraordinaire Katie Buchanan of Little Rock Paper Scissors. She talks about organizing her own closet, so I thought I’d air some of my own dirty laundry and reveal a before and after organization project as well.
Here’s what my family room looked like when we moved to Fayetteville. Yes, decidedly un-glamorous. We had some organizing work to do.
Here’s my 5 Step Program:
1. Add built ins for corralling all that electronic mess, plus games, books and more
Yes, that really is the same space where the TV was on the table. See what built in storage can do?Â And yes, that is me, showing how easy the new space is to use :)Â And our little puppy Roxy. This was a few years back and Roxy is now too big for that dog bed. But the shelves still work great.
2. Choose multi-purpose furniture
We found a coffee table that could hold games, books and that slew of magazines that I always have around…occupational hazard. Same for the side tables, they have shelves below for more magazines (all my copies of At Home, of course).
3. Use bins and boxes
This one goes without saying…boxes and properly-used (not junk piled) bins are an organizer’s best friends. I marked the photo boxes with pictures showing which family member’s stuff was in each box. Which leads to the next point…
4. Get the family stuff out of the “save” pile and somewhere you can enjoy it
While I was rummaging through all those years of great pre-school art, hand prints, and such, I decided to put it somewhere I could see it. Since that cute little handprint now belongs to a 14 year old, it’s great to be able to look back daily and enjoy these.
5. Sit back and enjoy your hard work. Find a game in that well-organized bin and play it with the kids. Enjoy that puppy.
In the interest of full disclosure…no, my house is not this neat on a daily basis. A friend of mine at Ladies Home Journal liked the home organization concept and published this back in 2007. And my good friend, photographer Dan Piassick, took these great shots. Our house always looks lived in, my photography skills are no where near this good, and it did take months to find these items, have the shelves made, etc.
But it was worth it! We spend more time in that room than any other one in the house.