When I look at my own home, with two young children, a husband, and a busy mom running her own business, I know how quickly high traffic areas can get out of hand. The “stuff” we use everyday can easily turn a space into complete chaos. You may have your kitchen counter in mind right now, or possibly the entryway you use the most often. Creating quick and easy storage solutions for items like keys, cell phones, sunglasses, mail, and outerwear can transform a chaotic, cluttered home into a calm, organized space. Take a look at some of my “quick storage fixes” to help you tame this high traffic areas.
A simple, yet attractive tray meant to store cutlery is a great solution for those “on-the-go” items such as your iPod, wallet, ID tag, and receipts from the day. This tray can easily be labelled, one section for each family member, and kept on the kitchen counter or side table near the door. The location and organization of this storage system is key for its success. These versatile trays also work wonders for organizing your remotes and electronic chargers.
Vertical Letter Box (image: Container Store)
If paper clutters every flat surface in your home, try using an upright Letter Box with several slots. Each slot can hold 1-2 letter sized file folders, which can keep your receipts, school letters, bills, and invitations organized in an accessible area. Label each folder according to the type of papers you currently have in random piles. You could also assign a folder to each family member and even the activities they are involved in. (my son’s Beavers folder stores all of the fundraising information and camp-out dates in one place)
If you are short on counter space, you could also purchase a cardboard Literature Sorter from a stationary store and place it on the bottom shelf of the cupboard directly above your “message area” or “junk counter”. The sorter comes with labels to give each slot a specific function. (service providers or the local YMCA schedule)
Wall Mounted Baskets
These baskets, found at IKEA, are a great solution for entryways short on space. Not only do they blend in with your decor, they are multifunctional! I have used these to store children’s tuques and mitts, giving each child their own basket and a durable label affixed to the front. For older children, these easy-mount solutions provide a consistent drop place for homework, library books, and other commonly misplaced paperwork. You might even designate one for your pet and his/her “gear”!
This storage solution has been around the block. The “original” was meant to store shoes, but I like to use this inexpensive product in 3 other areas of the home; kitchen, bathroom, and children’s rooms. Hung securely inside the pantry door, it can organize all of the little things that tend to get lost between the pasta and the cans. If you decide on the more attractive canvas style, make certain to label each pocket. Otherwise, the “see-through” pockets can become the home for straws, bag clips, ziplocs, napkins, baking cups, and so much more!
The door organizer can also work for you in the kids’ bathroom. If you don’t have sufficient drawer space for items like toiletries, hair accessories, and medicine, try sorting these everyday items into each plastic pocket. As for your child’s bedroom, I am sure you can come up with 101 teeny tiny things to use this organizer for. There never seems to be a shortage in my kids’ rooms!
Use one or more of these storage solutions for your everyday items, and be in awe when your husband leaves for work without asking “Honey, where are my keys?” When your kids routinely put everyday items in their proper place, you’ll be giddy with excitement. How will you know you have found quick and easy storage solutions? Your family will use them everyday and there will be a lot less clutter creating chaos in your home.