Home Organization Tips: Introduction

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Reviewing Existing Storage (continued)

Which storage looks good visually? Does it enhance the look of the room, and does its internal arrangement please you? Is the amount, and type, of storage appropriate to the room in which it's located?

Equally, take note of what storage doesn’t seem to work. Is there simply not enough of it, or is it badly organized? Are your cupboards user-friendly but located in an awkward area? Are shelves or cupboards in good condition, but looking out of date? In this case, it’s always possible to adapt the existing carcass with alternative trims or fresh doors. Also identify any places where clutter builds up, a sure sign that extra capacity is needed. Look around the house to evaluate potential new storage areas such as alcoves, “dead” landing space, or quirky recesses. Finally, ask yourself what specialized storage you long for. It’s amazing how a customized shoe rack or neatly planned home library can truly improve the quality of daily life!

In tandem with the review, compile detailed lists of everything you have to store. Consider this room by room, over time, so the task doesn’t seem too daunting: there are checklists at the end of each chapter to get you started. You’ll soon reap the benefits. There’s nothing like looking in every cupboard to help weed out unnecessary clutter and —if you’re intimately acquainted with how many shoes/CDs/magazines you own—designing and measuring for storage is a breeze.

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An overview of existing storage can prompt unusual new ideas, and make you reassess less obvious places for adding more. Slim, custom-built units at eye level or baseboard height will squeeze extra square inches out of a small space with a restricted floor area.

Equally, take advantage of particularly lofty proportions. This room (RIGHT) looks very dramatic with bookshelves stretching up to the ceiling.

If you’re adding to existing cupboards, it’s not always essential to build matching units. The addition of a trolley or unit on wheels can improve storage no end.

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