Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Household Storage

I have always been fascinated by books that talk about organizing. It really helps a lot specially in Singapore wherein most of the flats have limited area. A home does not need to be big to look nice and neat.

Here are some tips about Household Storage. Black italics are my own additions

excerpts from "Organize Your Life" by Ronni Eisenberg with Kate Kelly

2 Rules of Replacement
1) Stash it near where you use it - set up each room so that you have access to anything you need within a few steps
- place mats should be kept in drawers near the dining table
- pen, pad, pencil, telephone book near the telephone
- umbrellas and boots near the front door
- spare sheets in a linen closet near the bedrooms (or in the bedroom cabinets)
- extra towels in a closet in or near the bathroom

2) Employ the "how-often-do-you-use-it" rule to decide how and where to put things away
- items used daily should be most accessible
- items used weekly (eg. cleaning supplies and bed linens) can be stored at squatting and tiptoe levels
- rarely used items (eg. holiday decorations, punch bowl, etc) can be stored very high in the closets or in more remote parts of the house (in Singapore we can use the storeroom)

Family Room Neatness
  • Consider how you use the room and plan for the items that are used there. A coffee table with a shelf beneath can be storage for newpapers or magazines, while built-in shelving or drawers for books, games, CDs, DVDs, and other amusements
  • Toy baskets are great for baby and toddler toys
  • Do a "clutter sweep" through the room at least twice a week. Ask everyone to put away items that have been left out. (A better way is to train the kids to ALWAYS put away their toys after every use)
  • If you permit snacks or eating in the family room, all family members should cooperate in a "getting the dishes back to the kitchen promptly" rule. (In our flat, we don't allow eating in bedrooms)
Great Storage Ideas
  • inexpensive rolling carts are handy in every room for making stored items mobile, visible and accessible. Ikea has storage boxes with wheels which our kids use to transport their toys in and out of the playroom. This makes it easier for them to clear their toys at the end of the day.
  • Use a wide variety of boxes, bags, containers, crates, cubbies, hooks and lots to shelving to accommodate what you need. Since in Singapore most of the flats have limited spaces, having built-in cabinets is the best way to go.
  • Keep a box handy to temporarily store items to be give away or donated.
  • Store gift wrap and supplies in large, shallow container under the bed or in a basket-style caddy that can easily be carried to a work space when needed.
Organizing Your Rooms and Your Belongings

The Bathroom
  • Where space allows, install shelving and cabinets to store as many items as possible.
  • Keep the bathroom counter as clutter-free as possible
  • Use caddies or small baskets to group and hold items such as make-up, hair-care supplies, cleaning products and so on
  • Keep items used in the shower and bath in a shower caddy
  • Mesh bags are ideal for holding bath toys. Buy the kind with a drawstring so you can hang it over the faucet when not using the toys
  • Extra rolls of toilet paper should be within easy reach of the toilet in a cabinet or kept in a basket sitting on the back of the toilet or hangin on the wall. Keep spare boxes of tissues in a linen closet of under the sink
  • Store overflow items from the bathroom in a see-through plastic shoe bag or plastic bin in the linen closet
Medicines and First Aid
  • Select a storage spot that is inaccessible to your child as well as to any children who might be visiting. This may be a high shelf in the parents' bedroom or in a cabinet or a closet that is secured with a childproof lock
  • It is better to choose a dry spot elsewhere in the house to store medicine. The steam and humidity that are created by bathing or showering can negatively affect the composition of some medicine.
  • Once a year, sort through the medications and check expiration dates. Note what needs to be replaced
  • Arrange medicines by remedy.
Clothes Closet
Clear out 
  • if you haven't worn something in over a year, you'll probably never wear it again. Donate or discard those items
  • after organizing, assess what you need: more ligthing? a stool? hooks? pegs? more shelves? shoe racks?
Put away with care
  • double hang clothes if space allows
  • face all hangers in the same direction to avoid tangling
  • arrange clothing by category, color and length. Hang dark to light and separate solids from prints. 
  • to save time, keep outfits together
  • if you have a big shoe collection, buy stackable clear shoebox-size storage boxes to store you shoes. Another option is to photograph you shoes and tape the picture of the style on the outside of the box
  • hatboxes work well to store bathing suits, belts, dressy handbags and extra items for your purse such as hankies, and spare eyeglass cases. Label the box on the top and on the side so you'll know what it contains.
Jewelry - Here's how to get - and keep - your jewelry box in order
  • Clear out what you'll never again use. Toss items in bad condition or earrings with missing mates. After you have finished disposing of your discards, pull out what you wear most often so that they are accessible

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