A glance around your current home probably finds a lot to be desired: A floor plan that flows from room to room, more nooks, crannies and cabinets for hiding clutter or more space for each family member to store their stuff. Before you begin a home renovation, carefully consider how you can make organization a priority. Small or simple changes to the main areas in your home can make a world of difference.
An attractive, functional entryway is possible with a bit of planning. The first thing you must do is consider the needs of your family. Encourage young kids to hang their own coats and take care of shoes with low hooks, cubbies and baskets. When you designate specific spaces for specific items, young kids can easily learn where things go. Built-in benches and shelving provide ample storage for all of the clutter your family walks in with. Consider adding a closet to hide the items that you don’t use everyday. Revamp your entryway to include as much storage as possible by creatively using crates attached to the wall for shoes, or by placing baskets on the floor for each member of the family.
If you have adequate cabinet space for all the items in your kitchen, it will be easy to keep it organized, attractive and free of clutter. Remember that in order to have an organized kitchen, you need to be able to access the things your use on a regular basis without a lot of effort. When you open your cupboards, you don’t want to have to sift through canned goods to find what you need, or crawl to the back of a low cabinet to find a missing pot lid. Consider adding cabinets during your home renovation and keeping them organized by category. Keep your baking supplies together, your cooking supplies together and your utensils together. Place items you use every day on low, easy-to-reach shelving. Drawer organizers and cabinet shelving allow you to keep drawers and cabinets from becoming a big pile of spoons, forks and storage containers. A pantry adds a lot of hidden storage go a kitchen where you can keep canned and dried goods, bulk food items or large cookware like crock pots, blenders, steamers and other large items.
Organizing your main living space requires finding creative storage spaces that are also attractive. If you are adding on to a living space during your home renovation, consider a bay window with a bench and cabinets beneath it. Built-in shelving is also attractive, timeless and a wonderful way to keep everything organized. Add shelving with open baskets, or consider adding a chest of drawers in a coordinating color to store anything from toys to craft supplies. Arrange books on shelves with attractive bookends to add color and interest to your living space. If it feels like you have inordinate amounts of stuff floating around your living room all the time, consider furniture with hidden storage like a bench or ottoman with a lid that lifts up for storing blankets, books or toys.
A walk-in closet with ample space for you and your spouse is ideal. When your space is limited and you can’t add on a huge closet, make the most of the bedroom space you have. Use under-the-bed storage bins or pull-out drawers to hide items like seasonal clothing or bedding. Place accessory trays in your dresser drawers to keep jewelry, lingerie, ties and tie clips organized and easily accessible. You might also consider building a “walk-by” closet on an empty wall by adding shelving, rods and cubbies just as you would in a closet, minus the door.
Think about where your family needs extra organizing the most. Is your entryway always crowded with boots, coats and sports equipment? Does the bathroom feel like a tornado of towels, dirty clothes and toiletries? Is your main living space so cluttered with toys, books or hobby items that you find it hard to relax? Pinpoint the problems, then look for the solution. Turn your home renovation into a dream come true for your entire family.
Brandon Hall is the owner and co-founder of America’s Best House Plans, an online resource for floor plans and home design.