Home Is Where Most of Us Are. All of the Time These Days…

Unless you are in one of the seven states that has not issued stay at home orders, you are probably spending a LOT more time in your house than usual. For some people, that has been a nice change of pace. For others, it has been very stressful. Either way, it has meant that for many hours each day, we look at our homes. We notice things we might not have ever noticed before. The things that bothered us a little bit start to bother us more with each passing day.

Home Is Where Our Stuff Is

One of the things that is bothering us the most is clutter. For many people, extra time at home has opened their eyes to just how much stuff they have. It seems like every newspaper, magazine, and news station website has published an article on decluttering. And with most organizing professionals (including Your Ordered Life, LLC) sidelined, or working virtually, lots of people are doing it themselves.

So, if you are tackling your own organization project, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite products. These are the ‘go-to’, tried and true, time-tested items that I use frequently with clients, and in my own home too.

Home Is Where the Food Is

Your pantry is probably at the top of the list of areas of your home where the clutter is out of control. Many of us stocked up on groceries before stay at home orders went into effect. That most likely means your pantry has more food in it than it typically does. And, if it isn’t organized it’s probably hard to find things in there.

These Water Hyacinth Bins from The Container Store are a favorite for pantry organization. They come in four sizes and two colors so you can find one to fit just about any need and style. They’re durable, attractive, and versatile. And, if you don’t want to see all of the random bags and boxes of food in your pantry, these bins corral them in an organized and aesthetically pleasing way.

If you do like seeing what’s on your shelves, the iDesign Linus series at The Container Store is an excellent option. Between the Pantry Bins, Kitchen Bins, and  Deep Drawer Bins, you can fit any configuration of width, depth, and height.

Whichever basket style you choose for your shelves, labels are critical for keeping everything in order. My favorite option is these Black Bin Clip Labels because they clip on basically any bin or basket. You can write directly on the label with a chalk pen or insert a printed label.

Home Is Where the Laundry Is

How is there so much laundry when everyone is in their pajamas all day??? ‘Tis a mystery, for sure. And laundry rooms are typically one of the most poorly designed areas in a home, which only makes it worse.

This Stock Your Home Retractable Clothes Rack gives you more than two feet of temporary hanging space when you need it. And, when you don’t, it folds flat against the wall. It’s a game changer for small, cramped laundry rooms.

Vertical is often your best option in a laundry room. The limited floor space makes wall storage a critical part of your organization strategy. This Wall-Mounted Drying Rack extends to give you a place to air-dry items. Closed, you have a handy shelf to store small items (a basket for lone socks perhaps?).

If you have a little more space, an Elfa drawer unit is my favorite storage solution in most areas. The sheer variety of widths, depths, and heights means you can configure one to fit in your space no matter how little of it there is.

Home Is Where the Paperwork Is

So. Much. Paperwork. After a few days, you’re probably tempted to just throw it all in the trash. While that might feel satisfying in the moment, there probably are at least a few things in that pile that you need to keep. If you read my 02/26/2020 blog post on paper clutter, you already know my thoughts on that.

For the paperwork you need to keep (if you’re a hard copy person), my favorite filing system – hands down – is Smead Viewables. Office clients especially love the customizable colors and fonts, but they work great at home too. If your file needs are less robust, these Erasable Hanging File Folder Labels are outstanding. They’re a snap to repurpose once the file has outlived its usefulness, and without the nuisance of peeling off old labels.If you like having everything out where you can see it, a stacking tray like this one is a space-efficient way to store a lot of paper. Take advantage of the vertical space on your desk and go higher.

Home Is Where Your Life is Happening

However long our current situation is going to last, it is providing us with an opportunity to really SEE our homes. If yours is not a place of order and relaxation, you can make it so. And, if you find that you need some help, let us know!