Get Organized with Fan from the Organized Home

We’re kicking off 2019 with organization. So we’re talking to our favorite organizers and cleaners from the internet for their tips on creating a functional and beautiful space.

It’s no secret we’re huge fans of Remodelista! We were so excited when they announced a new website for organization with the launch of their book, The Organized Home. With a website of the same name, we can’t wait to soak up the helpful information they share. Today we’re talking to Fan from the Organized Home team for tips on organizing your home without sacrificing style.

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Studio McGee: What's a stopgap purchase? What is the quality you look for?

The Organized Home: A stopgap purchase is something you buy for a quick fix—a bandaid, if you will. It's the opposite of a considered purchase, which is something high-quality, but not necessarily high-cost, and well-designed. It's made of natural materials (metal, wood, linen, etc.), and made to last. And it's not trendy. Stopgap products are alluring because of their price point; it's hard to resist buying, say, a pretty $5 basket (baskets are my weakness). When you find yourself at a big box store, on the verge of buying a cheap product, ask yourself: Will it last? Will you still like it in a year? And will it do the job it's intended to do well?


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SM: How do you keep organized without sacrificing style?

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OH: I think the best place to start is to pare down what you own. There's absolutely no point in storing things you don't use and don't love. Instead of spending money buying plastic bins to hold that useless stuff, go through your belongings and edit, edit, edit. You may find, after decluttering, that you actually don't have a lot left to organize. If you need extra storage, spend money buying some quality pieces—metal gym baskets, canvas bins, woven baskets, wooden crates. And to your point about plastic bins and labels, I see those pop up in pantry images all the time on social media, and it feels excessive to me. A well-organized pantry shouldn't have to mean stocking it like a grocery store!


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SM: What are your favorite uses for baskets, trays, hooks, etc. (examples of where and how to use them).

OH: I'm a big proponent of using baskets for shoe storage. I have two boys, and there's no way they're going to spend time neatly placing them on a shoe rack. They much prefer to make like Lebron and toss their shoes into their respective baskets. Trays are great in both the kitchen and bath. In my own kitchen, I use a tray to hold a salt cellar, pepper mill, and a couple of my most oft-used spices. Why bother when those items stand up quite capably without a tray? It's a visual trick: It just all looks more organized and pleasing when you're providing a framework for containing them. 

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SM: What are some spaces where you see this principle come to life? How does this work in an entry space, bathroom, etc.?

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OH: Think of how to kit-ify your routines, then place those kits where you need them most. For your get-out-the-door kit, you'll need keys, purse, sunglasses. Make sure those items are grouped together. For, say, your bedtime routine, you'll want maybe a hand lotion, book, water carafe and glass; keep those things on your nightstand. Group your running accessories—gloves, hats, water bottles, fanny packs, etc.—in a bin. Create a coffee station with all the essentials at the ready. Consider a homework kit for your kids: a bin that holds pencils, pens, markers, erasers, blank sheets of paper. My sons don't always do their homework in the same place, so it helps to have a totable bin with just what they need.

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SM: Can you define "enforced order" and how that can be uninviting?

OH: Life happens. And life isn't always tidy. We're not interested in pristine, clinical interiors. What's important to us here at The Organized Home is making sure that good systems are in place (the hard part), so that we ultimately don't have to waste time locating our keys or rooting around for a certain scarf among dozens. Enforced order can be off-putting and complicated. Simplicity—less stuff, well-thought-out routines—is the kind of order we're after.

If you’re feeling inspired by these tips make sure to check out our sale!! You have until January 14th. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks for organization.