10 Tips for Maximizing Your Entry Way

1. A coat tree is a perfect spot to hang daily wear so that you can “grab and go”

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2. hooks placed at child height and a floor basket allow your little ones do their part in maintaining a clutter free entry

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3. wooden hangers are a logical choice as they look great and are well suited for hanging heavy, bulky outerwear

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4. A large bin on the floor is a good spot for canvas totes and other on-the-go essentials (like a baby carrier or picnic blanket)

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5. A boot tray kept on the closet floor is easily grabbed and placed by the door on rainy/snowy days

6. A labeled bin for each family member keeps seasonal essentials logically organized

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7. A large, heavy duty entry way rug may not be as pretty as its decorative counterparts, but they really do slip less and hold up better

8. (if you have a steel door) Use a strong magnet to secure mail, permission slips, and forms (you might otherwise forget) right to the door

9. Coat closet must haves: umbrella and lint roller

10. Entryway (or in near proximity) must haves: clock, mirror, hook for keys

 

 

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Maximizing Under Sink Storage

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1. We use a plastic drawer organizer for plastic wrap, parchment paper, foil, sandwich bags, and freezer bags, etc. (this allows us to maximize space because we can store other cleaners on top).

2. We use a Lazy Susan for kitchen cleaners (so that nothing gets lost in the back).

3. We store our other household cleaning supplies in a portable tote

4. Our cleaning cloths and rags live in a small plastic basket behind the cleaning tote

5. I drape my dusting cloth and polishing rag over the sink drain pipe

6. There was just enough space in the middle for the garbage can liner box (turned on its side) and two containers of dishwasher pods (in the back)

Maximizing Linen Closet Storage

1. Store extra pillows on the very top shelf. This will allows you to use the ceiling height to your advantage, and if a pillow topples down on you, no big deal.

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2. Store extra blankets, quilts and comforters on the bottom.

3.  Fold your bath towels in thirds instead of halves (follow the same steps, minus the last fold, for hand towels)

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4. Fold hooded towels into neat little packages like this

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5. Learn how to fold a fitted sheet. There are a ton of great video tutorials on the web so I will refrain from reinventing the wheel. BHG has a great one.

6. Keep your wash cloths in a small basket. You can place this basket in front other linens which allows you to take full advantage of shelf depth without sacrificing accessibility to the item(s) behind.

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Trust me, the folding makes a difference :).

Confession: I learned how to properly fold a towel in the last year. To see what our linen closet looked like before, you can sneak a peak here.

 

 

5 Tips for Maximizing Bathroom Storage

I think most of us can agree that how a day begins is a large predictor of how the rest of the day will go. Think about it. When you have a bad day, can’t you usually trace its origins back to the first couple of hours?

With that in mind, this post is going to focus on the place most days begin (the bathroom), and how I maximize our storage.

1. I keep my make-up and daily products stored “ready for travel.” This idea was “birthed” when I was packing my hospital bag before my youngest was born. I bought a travel organizer and I liked it so much, I just never unpacked. My organizer  simply hangs from an over the door hook. It is easy see and access my products, and when we do travel (not often), I just have to grab my organizer and a few things from the shower. (Admittedly, this won’t work for someone who has a lot of make-up.)

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2. Drawer organizers are used for toothbrushes, tooth paste and floss storage.

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3. Drawer organizers are also used for combs and brushes and  share a drawer with the Q-tips. (I know a lot of people put their Q-tips and cotton swabs in pretty decanters,  but if the packaging fits in the drawer and is easy to access, I don’t change it.)

Confession: hoarding brushes and combs used to be a serious problem for me. A few years back I threw away probably 15 combs and brushes that I didn’t use. Why I was hanging onto those unused combs and brushes like some poor soul from an episode of “hoarders” I still don’t know. I think I, like many, hate the idea of throwing something away that I spent money on, but there is a valuable lesson to be learned when purging drawers, cabinets and closets. DON’T BUY S%#* YOU DON’T NEED! No one needs 6 brushes, 4 picks, and 5 combs. Find one of each that you really like and purge the rest.

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2. Feminine products are stored in a small tote. For 7 days, this tote can be kept near the toilet; It can be tucked back under the counter for the other 20-some odd days.

3. First aid and seasonal products (sunscreen and bug spray) are also kept in clear, labeled, portable totes.

4. I am a huge fan of stackable, labeled drawer organizers for the purpose of categorizing like items and maximizing vertical space.

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5. My hair tools (hair dryer, curling iron, flat iron, etc.) are kept in a basket under my sink. I can pull it out when needed and tuck it back under when not.

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It goes without saying, but must be said – A clutter free, organized bathroom is SO MUCH EASIER to clean!

 

Maximizing Pantry Storage

I have always wanted a walk-in pantry, and it was on my must-have list when we were house hunting… I didn’t get one. Boo, hiss. But just because it’s not a walk-in doesn’t mean it can’t be super functional and organized.

Before

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Not bad. Fairly organized, but still in need of some “Type A” love.

It was in need of a fresh coat of paint, and the poorly functioning door, when opened, would close off the doorway to the dining room.

So, we emptied the pantry, removed the (poorly functioning) door, and gave it a fresh coat of paint.

I then tapped into my pantry’s full potential by…

1. grouping like items in durable plastic baskets (this allows me to take full advantage of the shelf depth without sacrificing accessibility

2. using drawer systems to organize our medicines and k-cups (this allows me to take full advantage of vertical space)

3. transferring our cereal to clear stackable containers

4. Using clear bins to store our pasta (I labeled them with the cooking times)

5. Using a tiered organizer for our canned goods

6. Utilizing a crate with a chalkboard front to store our potatoes and onions

7. Labeling!!!

After

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A clean, well organized pantry simplifies meal planning and eliminates over-buying. Win. Win.

 

 

 

Book Baskets

There’s no such thing as too many books, but there is such a thing as “too many books on the floor.”

If you have littles in your house, you probably have this problem too… books EVERYWHERE. First, I had them on a shelf… which Rex would clear in one fell swoop. Next, I had them in a cupboard. Out of sight, out of mind. So, I channeled my “inner teacher” and got a basket! It’s easy to see and choose the books, and even easier to put them away.

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Book baskets work!