If a one-day spring cleaning doesn't cut it when it comes to cutting through your clutter, take a look at the new book "Remodelista: The Organized Home," by Julie Carlson and Margo Garalnick.
Carlson founded remodelista.com -- a website loaded with information about home remodeling and decorating projects -- with three friends in 2007. She's editor in chief of the site and paired up with Guralnick, her achitecture and interiors editor, for the book.
The two urge the rest of us to think of home-organizing as part of an every-day routine to be done with style -- not some soul-less cluster of see-through containers. Their upfront advice is, first, to buy fewer -- but better -- things. Focus on quality, things made of sustainable natural materials
Broken down room by room, "Remodelista" will help you organize every surface within reach. Here are 10 great tips.
- First, start new habits such as making your bed every day, hanging up your coat in a closet or keeping keys in a designated spot. Do it every time and you won't see piles of things to do everywhere you turn.
- If you love shoes as much as I do, give them some love. Sure, sneakers can be tossed into a basket, but other shoes should be Kept in neat cubbies, a storage bench or on nicely arranged racks for easy selection. This works in a mud room or your closet. It will keep you from tripping over them, and it might just keep them out of your dog's mouth.
- If you simply cannot live without a junk drawer, at least keep it organized enough that you'll use the things that are in it.Handy tray inserts keep essentials like a flashlight, screwdriver, batteries or matches where you can find them.
- Kitchens take a lot of abuse. They get used several times a day and cope with grease and grime, spills and chills. To organize surfaces, think like a chef. Keep cooking tools within reach of the stove; keep prep gadgets near work counters. Do it in style by placing spoons or spatulas in a tall ceramic jug and place them on a cute tray with salt and pepper shakers or a small vase filled with cut herbs.
- Still in the kitchen, take an inventory of what you have. Do you really need 10 spatulas, four box graters or three can openers? No you do not. Box up your extras and give them away.
- Use your pantry or cabinets to store appliances you rarely use. Your waffle maker, mixer and electric can opener do not need to be out on your counter. Put them away.
- Invest in shelves or organizers for pans and lids. Risers will help you stack things and still be able to use the pieces on the bottom. For your corner unit, the latest lazy Susan options actually pull out of your cabinets so you're not on your hands and knees digging for those things you don't use often.
- Your bathroom is likely full of things that can simply be thrown away. Toss out perfume you don't like, expired medications and cosmetics, rusty razors and dried-up bottles of nail polish. Then, for the things you plan to keep, use attractive trays, canisters, caddies or baskets to keep things where you need them. Remember that plenty of kitchen storage items work well in the bathroom.
- Use towel bars for more than towels. Hang S-hooks from the bars and you can use them for things like soap on a rope (they're making a comeback) or anything you can loop onto them. Don't leave an icky toilet brush sitting out exposed. Put it in a pretty planter or jug that will help hide it. Keep extra rolls of toilet paper in a basket with a lid.
- Let's get real about your closet: clean it out, clean it up. Remodelista suggests removing everything from your closet for the sort, putting back only your best things. Use matching wooden hangers and add a few hanging cedar discs to ward off moths.
- Use drawers, baskets or other containers to hold like times. Metal desktop sorters can corral clutches and thin handbags in upright position. Remodelista editors suggest limiting jeans, sweaters and T-shirts to six per stack to keep them orderly. If you really want to be orderly, sort things by type and color.
- Set aside out-of-season clothes on an upper rack in your closet or in a spare rack in a storage room. Be sure to keep them protected from dust and light. Again, use hanging cedar discs to keep moths away from sweaters and woolens.