How to Create a Home Office Space Anywhere in Your House or Condo

home office space

If you’re anything like me, you have a family or you work from home and are no stranger to multi-tasking throughout most of your day.

I was initially doing my work on a tiny desk in the kitchen. Then the dining room table eventually became my “home office space”. My work area became very cluttered, which took away from my concentration.

Each time a task was completed or a family dinner took place, I had to pack up all my paperwork, laptop, and work supplies.

Notes and documents would go missing and my productivity suffered. It was difficult and challenging working this way on a regular basis and my frustration only grew with each passing day.

My need for a home office space became obvious

All of this improvising and the lack of stability when working made me long for my own proper home office space where all of my things could have their own place.

I was tired of “just getting by” having a working environment that wasn’t ideal and experiencing what happens when such a setup is used  – too much lost time and a level of work efficiency that could be much better.

Things needed to be more organized and functional. Ideally, I’d have enough space for a printer, shelves for books, and a comfortable amount of desktop space for papers, supplies, and my computer. I love to have pictures, mementoes, and knickknacks close by as well.

I knew that I finally had to seriously address my need for a home office space that made more sense for my work routine.

How a proper home office made a huge difference for me

Working with a professional company like Organized Interiors to design a home office space has made all the difference in the world to me. They were able to accommodate all my needs and offered a great selection of styles and colours for the room.

Using a spare room, we added a desk with a computer station and an ample work surface. Drawers keep supplies hidden, within close reach, and off the desktop. Additional built-in custom cabinetry creates storage room for files and additional supplies.

Deep shelving provides valuable storage space for my books and magazines, which are convenient to have at my finger tips. There’s also room for my personal effects and a printer. All of the wiring for the work setup is neatly tucked out of sight.

It’s wonderful upgrading to a room dedicated to getting the most out my work. Having a clutter-free space has cleared my mind and given me back the time I would waste looking for misplaced items.

I now know where everything is and my desk area makes it easy to write in the evening with a built-in light valance. Creating my personalized home office space has been well worth the time and expense.

Boost your productivity with a proper home work space

11% of Canadians work exclusively from home and 47% of Canadians work remotely in some capacity. Having a dedicated home work space will make a noticeable difference to your day and how productive you can be.

Routine is important so one can focus on the task at hand. If your work day has no structure and is dictated by too many other factors (like “is the dining room table available for me to try and get some work done?”), it’s difficult settling into a workflow that ends up being productive enough.

Whether you’re working remotely or desire a proper home work space for doing your taxes, managing your finances, or giving your kids a private study area, here are some tips for setting up the perfect home office space, just like I did.

Use a spare room for a bespoke home office

The most ideal situation is to use a spare room to create a home office. A spare room is wasted real estate that typically becomes a dumping ground for a home’s clutter.

Giving it a higher purpose as a private work space gives a home office design professional ample freedom to shape the room into the dream home office you have always wanted.

While you won’t have much say in where your spare room is located, keep in mind that the location of a home office is important.

The more privacy, the better. Having a home office located right beside a noisy laundry room or home entertainment room, for example, would not be ideal.

Your family responsibilities will also have to be taken into consideration. Although having as much privacy as possible is desired, you may have to balance parental supervision duties with your work duties. In this case, having an office space that is too separated from the rest of your home likely won’t work for your needs.

Create a multi-purpose room

What if you don’t have a spare room available? In this case, consider doubling up on a room’s duties and creating a multi-purpose room that includes a home office space.

The home office/guest room is one smart way to get more out of your living space. Having a dedicated guest room may not be practical if you don’t have the luxury of a lot of square footage or only have overnight guests a few times a year.

Have a room redesigned to incorporate a comfortable work space you can use year-round that can easily be called upon to house overnight guests when needed.

A Murphy wall bed is the “MVP” of this type of room setup. The bed stays hidden and folds up into the wall until guests need it, which means your room provides plenty of open space during the majority of time when you’ll use it for working.

The wall bed can be designed with built-in storage that beautifully complements the custom cabinetry designed for the home office area of the room, creating a seamless, stylish aesthetic.

Here are five other room uses that can be paired with a home work space:

  • library
  • reading room
  • fitness room
  • craft room
  • meditation room
home office and guest room with wall bed down

A Murphy wall bed with built-in surrounding storage provides an always-ready comfortable sleeping surface for overnight guests.

home office and guest room with wall bed up

With the wall bed folded up, there’s plenty of room to work comfortably at a highly functional work station that is surrounded by stylish décor.

No spare room? Create a smaller work space.

If your house or condo doesn’t have a spare room available, a useful home office space (or a study space for the kids) can still be customized to fit a smaller area of your living space.

Even a nook-sized office set up in the corner of a room, in an underutilized large closet, at the end of a hallway, or in one of those other awkward “dead space” parts of your home (like underneath the stairs) can work.

Add a built-in small desk with a computer station, a pullout keyboard drawer to save space on your work surface, a couple of desk drawers, and some small shelves for books, knickknacks, supplies, or a printer.

Once again, be mindful of choosing a location that provides some degree of privacy so you won’t encounter too many interruptions while working. Admittedly, this can be especially challenging when creating a work space in a more open area of your home.

Start planning your bespoke home office project

Schedule a free in-home design consultation with us to learn more about how a home office space can be customized to fit your house or condo.

One of our qualified design consultants will visit you at your convenience to begin planning your personalized home office project.

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Junk Closet Organization Tips to Reclaim Your Closet Space

Cleaning up that junk drawer in an entryway, home office, or kitchen is one of those unpleasant home organization tasks we usually put off for as long as possible.

Year after year of tossing all sorts of odds and ends into that drawer will eventually result in an overstuffed storage space that will need a good cleaning out.

As easy as it is to procrastinate on tidying up a cluttered drawer, the prospect of decluttering a larger space like a closet or a whole room can feel even more daunting.

A junk closet organization project isn’t nearly as formidable a cleanup task as you might think, however.

Use these tips to turn that messy closet into a tidy storage space that serves your home’s storage needs more effectively.

junk closet organization

5 reasons to start that junk closet organization project

As with most decluttering projects, one of the hardest parts of the job is simply getting it started.

Don’t focus on how tedious the job might be or how you’d rather be doing something else that is…well, a lot less “decluttery”.

Instead, visualize the positive outcomes that lay ahead once this junk closet organization project is completed:

  1. You’ll save time by having an organized closet. Think of how much time you’ve wasted looking for a specific item in that junk closet over the years. In some cases you might find it, but there have surely been many times where that needed item is nowhere to be found. An organized closet where everything has a home and is visible eliminates this problem.
  2. Any space that is cluttered causes stress. Merely opening the door to a junk closet and laying eyes on the calamity inside is enough to cause you some degree of stress. Who wants to keep experiencing that? An organized closet is a stress-free zone in your home.
  3. A catch-all closet wastes space in your home by lacking functionality. Although we’re calling it a junk closet, there are undoubtedly plenty of useful things hiding in there that could be useful to you. But if they’re too hard to find or access, they won’t get used and that closet’s lack of functionality isn’t serving your needs.
  4. You won’t waste money on duplicate purchases. Whether it’s clothing, tools, or anything else that’s easy to misplace, an untidy storage area inevitably leads to a few unnecessary purchases of items you already own. We’ve all experienced that deflating moment when you eventually find an item that “fell through the cracks” ages ago that you bought again.
  5. You can stop being embarrassed by your “shame closet”. A closet’s messy contents may have a door that can keep everything hidden, but you’re probably not proud that such a messy space exists in your home. Tidying it up can liberate you from the feelings of embarrassment you might feel if a visitor happened to peek inside the space, too.

Tips for clearing out a junk closet

Depending on the size of the closet and how full it is, a junk closet organization task shouldn’t take more than a few hours to sort out.

You could spend an hour or two on a few days throughout the week to work on the task or get it over with quickly by devoting a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday to overhaul the closet space.

We would recommend the latter approach, as it would allow you to completely empty the closet all at once. This ensures nothing gets missed in the decluttering process.

It also means you can give the closet something most closets rarely get – a good cleaning. Get the vacuum in there to clean up that dusty floor and give every surface (including the ceiling, walls, hanging rod, and any closet organization systems) a good wipe down with a damp cloth.

Another good reason for emptying out the closet is you don’t want to just move around all of that stuff inside the area and reorganize it. To get the best results, some heavy-duty editing of the closet’s contents are in order.

When it comes to deciding what stays and what goes, a number of items will be no-brainers. That big box filled with old cables, wires, ancient computer peripherals, and chargers for devices you replaced years ago is a good example. Non-essential papers and documents can be recycled. Get rid of any boxes or bags with damaged things you meant to fix, but never did. And donate any clothes that no longer fit.

The number one enemy of decluttering is sentimentality. Check your sentimental feelings at the (closet) door and be practical about what you keep.

6 ideas for a decluttered closet space

Once you’ve gotten rid of enough of the clutter that clogged the closet, how do you envision using that storage space?

Here are six ideas for how to use a rehabilitated junk closet:

  1. Linen closet: a dedicated storage space for all of your home’s many types of linens is a great way to use a spare closet. Storing all of your bath towels, face cloths, bedding essentials, and other linens in one area makes them easy to find and keep organized. You’ll also free up space in dressers, bedroom closets, or wherever else your linens were being stored.
  2. A mini mudroom: if that closet is in a hallway near an entrance, convert it into a mini mudroom. Remove the doors, add a bench with hidden storage, and incorporate some dividers on the upper shelf to keep things organized. Add decorative hooks for coats, hats, purses, and backpacks.
  3. Utility/cleaning closet: like your linens, cleaning supplies and tools tend to get scattered around the home. Store them all in one closet that’s outfitted with enough hooks for all of your brooms, dust pans, mops, and dusters. Add a few extra shelves to the lone top shelf in the closet for your cleaning product containers, cleaning cloths and rags, scrubbing brushes, and spray bottles. If space allows, stash your vacuum in there.
  4. A storage space for guest linens and seasonal clothing: your guest linens and off-season clothing might not fill a whole closet space on their own. You could use a repurposed closet to store both things.
  5. Reach-in wine closet: just about any spare closet (even a very small one) can be used for wine storage. The only factor that would make a closet a bad choice as a wine storage area would be if the space was too warm, as the idea temperature range for storing wine is 10-18°C (50-65°F).
  6. A home office or reading nook: like the wine closet, another unconventional way to use a closet is as a home office. Considering its tiny size, calling it a “home workspace” might be a little more accurate, but plenty of homes have made this idea work. A closet could even be converted into a cozy reading nook.

Important design considerations for your new closet

However you plan to use your closet, there are a few important considerations to make involving its layout and design.

Think about repainting the closet with a lighter shade and adding overhead lighting to brighten up the space. Incorporating lighting in storage areas that get the most use will also help you get more enjoyment out of the closet.

To maximize the closet’s vertical storage space, add an extra shelf above the standard single shelf in the closet. Extra hanging rods, hooks, hangers, pullout racks, and baskets or bins to store small items can be used as well.

Organized Interiors can design a shelf tower with drawers that fits perfectly within your closet and matches the surrounding décor. A custom storage solution like this will look much nicer than using cheap plastic storage containers with drawers or build-it-yourself cube storage units.

Although you want to optimize your closet’s available storage space, don’t overload it with storage systems that make your closet feel overstuffed again.

linen closet

This linen closet keeps all of a home’s linens in one centralized area, which makes them easy to find and keep organized.

How to avoid future junk closet organization projects

The goal is to create a tidy, manageable storage space so you won’t need to undertake future junk closet organization projects.

To ensure success for that goal, a big key is to make sure everything in the closet is given a proper home. That way you’ll always know where to find things and where they should be returned to.

Make your closet as easy to use as possible. Group like items together and prioritize how your things are stored. That means keeping the most frequently used items in the closet easily accessible and stored from waist level to eye level. Items that are infrequently used should be stored up high or on the floor.

Conquer the “I might need it someday” mindset to keep your closet stocked only with things that serve a purpose to you right now. They don’t necessarily have to “spark joy” for you (can a broom really do that?), but they should be useful to you in some way if they’re staying in the closet.

Finally, make an effort to keep as much of your closet’s contents as visible as you can. Even items stored in drawers should be easy to locate when the drawer is opened. It’s a simple philosophy, but it’s true: if you can see something, you’re far more likely to actually use it.

Replace that junk closet with a more useful closet space

If you have a junk closet organization project in the works, give it an upgrade before restocking it.

Organized Interiors can help you create a closet space with a modern look and a high level of functionality that is easier to keep meticulously organized.

Schedule a free in-home design consultation with us to plan your closet makeover.

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7 Benefits of Custom Sliding Closet Doors You Might Be Overlooking

When Organized Interiors is doing a closet makeover, it’s not just the interior of the space that we’re working to transform.

The closet doors are a major part of the makeover process, too.

Just as garage doors have a big impact on a home’s curb appeal, the door(s) of a closet can make or break the aesthetic presentation of your closet space.

Hinged swinging doors are used most commonly for closets, but they’re not your only door option.

Why not get a little more creative and boost your closet’s curb appeal with some custom sliding closet doors that add a more stylish touch to a room?

sliding closet doors toronto

Boost your closet’s “curb appeal” with custom sliding closet doors

A beautiful closet space starts with the doors. Any successful closet makeover isn’t fully completed until the finishing touch of the perfect door style with the right colour and finish is added.

Sliding closet doors that are added as part of a closet makeover (or as a standalone home upgrade) can really create a special and unique closet space.

They can do far more than just keeping your closet’s contents hidden. But the benefits you’ll get out of your sliding closet doors are directly related to what type of doors you end up buying.

Sure, you could save a few bucks by opting for a generic, mass-produced door product bought from a big box store or an online retailer that only comes in a handful of finishes.

Or you could aim a little higher with your design aspirations and choose custom sliding closet doors (also known as bypass doors) for your home.

Find out below why custom sliding closet doors are well worth the investment and how they have multiple types of functionality you might be overlooking.

1. Customize to fit both your room and your style

Custom sliding closet doors may cost a little more, but are you willing to settle for “close enough” with the products you’re using for a home improvement project or is “absolutely perfect” more desirable?

Too often, buying “off the shelf” sliding closet doors with DIY hardware kits that only offer a minimal number of choices of finishes, styles, and sizes leaves the buyer feeling like the finished project looks merely adequate.

The style or finish may not look exactly how you imagined once everything is installed, but it’s “close enough”.

This disappointing experience just doesn’t compare to the satisfying feeling of “they’re absolutely perfect!” that is felt when your closet doors are specially tailored for your living space, as well as your style preferences.

There’s no settling. Customization gives you a much larger selection of materials and finishes to choose from, ensuring a higher level of satisfaction with the completed project.

Organized Interiors can design sliding doors with a wide variety of panel and insert options that complement your décor and are properly sized to suit your space.

Door insert panels with a wood grain melamine finish create a warm, earthy look that never goes out of style. For a more modern aesthetic, glass or mirror panels work nicely.

The beauty of customizing is that you can get more creative and combine different materials to design closet doors with a truly one-of-a-kind look.

2. Sliding closet doors modernize and upgrade a room’s décor

The doors of a closet tend to be an afterthought when it comes to considerations of a room’s décor. They do have an impact on the appearance of a room, however.

A standard white hinged closet door with panels works fine in a room, but only does so much to elevate the appearance of a space.

Closet doors come in a variety of types aside from the aforementioned sliding and swinging styles. Bifold, barn, louvered, and pocket doors immediately come to mind.

Perhaps whatever doors your reach-in closets currently have look a little outdated. Maybe years of daily use have taken a toll and left them scuffed, dirty, and looking a little too well-worn.

Replacing them with new sliding doors could be the very thing a room’s décor needs to give it an overdue update and refresh.

The combination of the sliding door’s aluminum frame and hardware, along with whichever type of insert is used, instantly adds more visual interest to a room with its modern design.

One of our most popular sliding door designs uses white semi-opaque laminated safety glass with decorative mullion strips.

sliding closet doors in bedroom

Sliding glass doors add more visual interest to a room than traditional white swinging doors.

3. Superior functionality and durability

Modern technology improves just about everything and sliding closet doors are no exception.

Most older, cheaper sliding doors are made from heavier materials that require more effort to use than modern doors made from lightweight materials.

The extra weight in some of those older doors also makes them a tad noisy when they’re being opened and closed. Visit Organized Interiors’ showroom and try out one of our sliding closet doors and you’ll be impressed with how quiet they are.

You’ll also notice how smoothly they open and close. Cheaper doors cut corners on the quality of the hardware and components that are used. That makes for a less satisfying user experience with the doors when compared to what you get with custom sliding doors.

Another issue you have probably encountered with some sliding closet doors is a door being dislodged from its track, getting jammed, or having the two doors hit each other when one of them is moved.

Sliding doors that are built with a high-quality aluminum frame system and reliable hardware (such as the rollers) ensures the doors operate smoothly, with less chance of performance issues over time.

The higher quality of construction materials and the precise craftsmanship that goes into the manufacturing process of our custom sliding doors (which is done in our own manufacturing facility) results in a high-calibre, built-to-last product.

4. Headache-free, precise installation by a pro

Another reason you’ll experience fewer issues with custom sliding closet doors compared to DIY sliding door systems is you know they’ll be properly installed.

That “easy do-it-yourself assembly and installation!” promise on the DIY sliding door system’s packaging rarely turns out to be true.

And when it comes to a product that involves moving parts that will be getting used heavily every day, a perfect installation is essential.

When your sliding doors are custom-made, a professional installation will be part of the full-service experience you get.

Our installers will save you the time and headache of assembling and installing your own sliding doors. The sliding door system will be precisely framed, installed, and tested to ensure it works perfectly.

sliding closet doors with wood and glass

Glass combined with melamine insert panels create a closet door look that’s anything but ordinary.

5. Change the feel of a room + enjoy more mirror space

We know that the main purpose of a closet door is utilitarian (as in it keeps a closet’s contents hidden).

And we’ve established that custom sliding doors can be a real asset when you’re looking for ways to update a room’s décor. Another benefit of sliding closet doors is they can be customized to radically affect how a room feels.

Mirrored doors will make a room feel brighter because they reflect the light so effectively. Various types of glass panels will also reflect light nicely, although to a less degree than mirrors will, obviously.

Another well-known effect of using large mirrors in a room is that they create the illusion of a room appearing bigger than it is.

Sliding doors with large floor-to-ceiling mirror panels also conveniently function as the biggest full-length mirror you’ll probably ever use outside of a fancy boutique or high-end clothing store!

Here’s one more hidden benefit of having mirrored sliding doors: any wall space that was used for a hanging mirror or floor space a freestanding mirror previously occupied is now freed up. 

6. Looking for room divider ideas? Try sliding closet doors!

You might be surprised to learn that sliding closet doors aren’t just for closets. They can also be used as room dividers to partition off a space in a home for privacy.

The Toronto Star recently reported that many Toronto condos have moved towards using sliding glass doors and partitions over traditional walls and doors. More office spaces are utilizing this design trend as well.

Condo developers love the design concept because it helps them save space in condo units that are increasingly shrinking in size.

But another reason this trend is growing is that there’s a convenient practicality to having room dividers that also provide rolling functionality. In a condo or a house, a larger room can be partitioned off to create space for any number of uses including a:

  • guest room
  • work space
  • dressing room area (in a large master bedroom)
  • dining area

When these areas aren’t being used, open the sliding door to enjoy the benefits of having a more open space. When privacy is needed, the simple slide of a door keeps the two areas separated.

room divider with sliding closet door

A room divider in a condo creates a private or open space with the simple slide of the glass door.

7. Need to add closet space? Sliding closet doors can help.

Are you lacking enough closet space because your existing closets are full or too small?

Older homes commonly have a shortage of closet space, so your home may have one or more rooms that lack a closet altogether.

Instead of undergoing a costly renovation to create a traditional closet space, use Organized Interiors’ create-a-closet®.

This cost-effective storage solution allows a closet space whatever size you need to be added to any room. We simply install gables and the sliding doors of your choosing to create instant storage space that looks stylish.

Another clothes storage option that nicely supplements your closet storage is a wardrobe, which can also be customized to match your décor.

Take advantage of these custom sliding door benefits

As you’re now aware, it’s not just about what’s inside a remodelled closet space that makes it exceptional.

If your current closet doors are feeling outdated or you’re looking to take advantage of one of the other ways in which sliding closet doors can improve your home, take a few seconds to request a free in-home consultation with us.

One of our design consultants can show you the wide range of sliding closet door solutions we have available, provide design suggestions, and answer any of your questions.

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Skip the Storage Container Sales This January and Get Truly Organized

storage container sales

Some things in January are as predictable as clockwork.

New Year’s resolutions. Regret over how much we consumed during the holiday season. Packing up the holiday decorations. And storage container sales at seemingly every store around.

Being inundated with reminders that we need to buy more plastic storage containers, bins, tubs, totes, or whatever you call them (and at a deep discount!) is admittedly smart marketing by retailers.

Many of us are feeling that urge to get our homes organized to start the new year off on a positive and productive note. And picking up some more storage containers probably seems like a practical way to help us do that.

But are storage containers really helping you get organized or are they actually (and ironically) adding to your household clutter?

Here’s why you should think twice before buying from any more storage container sales.

Buying from storage container sales won’t help reduce clutter

Merriam Webster defines clutter as “to fill or cover with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness” and “a crowded or confused mass or collection”.

Merely moving loose, scattered things on your floors or in your closets into storage bins doesn’t subtract from that confused mass or collection, however.

An average-sized storage container holds approximately 50-60 L. Its length is about 16″ wide and 24″ deep. That means the container alone takes up about 2.7 square feet of space.

Even if that container is filled to capacity with other clutter, the overall footprint of the amount of “stuff” in your home logically increases with each new storage container that’s added.

Storage containers really just give you the illusion of being organized. You think you’re managing your clutter by providing a mini storage space for it.

In some cases, there’s a certain level of practicality and organization involved when using them. A couple of examples would be when containers are used for storing out-of-season clothing or a bunch of toys that your kids regularly play with.

But more often than not, they’re used to quickly stash unsightly clutter in order to make a home more presentable for visitors or to store odds and ends we just can’t find the time to properly go through and declutter.

Storage containers don’t encourage you to declutter

Even Marie Kondo had to learn that storing more things than she really needed in an organized manner didn’t lead to fulfilment with her living space. As the organizing guru wrote in her 2012 bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, “Why does my room still feel cluttered when I’ve worked so hard to organize and store things away?”

While researching this blog post, I came across a thread on Reddit (the world’s biggest online forum platform). Someone was asking whether or not it might be a good idea to start a business renting out plastic storage containers to people who were moving.

One of the responses perfectly summed up why storage containers don’t solve clutter issues: “I like the plastic boxes especially for long term storage. About half my belongings are boxed up and they have been for years.”

While this is just one person’s viewpoint, it undoubtedly reflects how many of us are fooled into thinking that storage bins help keep our homes organized. We would ask the person quoted above “Why do half the things you own have so little use to you that they can be stored away in containers for years on end?”

Using storage containers doesn’t encourage you to declutter. Instead, they facilitate an out of sight, out of mind mentality for a lot of things you’d be better off just getting rid of.

plastic storage container with wires and cables

We’re pretty sure every home has at least one of these – the plastic storage container or cardboard box filled with ancient wires, cables, remotes, and computer peripherals you’ll never use again.

You’ll eventually need to deal with the root cause of your clutter

It’s not a stretch to say that in most circumstances, storage containers are essentially a clutter enabler.

As an example, take that tote or cardboard box filled with miscellaneous cables, wires, remote controls, and old computer peripherals that virtually every home has (and a lot of homes probably have more than one of them).

There’s probably several rolls of previously used phone line and coaxial cable alone sitting there that you’ll never use again. The same goes for that VCR remote, pre-2K wired mouse, and USB 1.0 and 2.0 hardware and cables that would be torturously slow to use today.

More common items we needlessly keep in storage containers include:

  • old toys
  • outgrown kids clothing
  • sports equipment that’s no longer used
  • linen sets with missing pieces
  • clothing we hope to fit into one day
  • odds and ends like a glove without a partner or a pair of broken heels you never got around to repairing
  • things that hold sentimental value but are never (or rarely) looked at

Why do we hold onto most of this stuff? We suspect that the fact they’re all hidden away and have a “home” in a storage container (even if that isn’t a true home) isn’t helping matters.

Eventually, you’ll need to deal with the root cause of your clutter and start purging the excess items you never use and probably never will. Any thorough decluttering project involves some tough decisions with those items you’re on the fence about keeping, but that’s part of the process.

Clutter is known to be a contributor to higher stress levels, so eliminating as much of it as possible from your home will only benefit you. That includes another quality of life improvement like freeing up space in the home to do something more productive with a room.

This could include adding a new furniture piece or some plants to a room, or simply leaving a decluttered area empty to create a more open space.

Storage containers have their uses – just don’t over-rely on them

Don’t get us wrong – we’re not saying that storage containers have no place in the home whatsoever.

Compared to using cardboard boxes for storage, plastic totes are more stable when stacked, don’t require tape and have lids, provide an airtight seal for their contents, and are much more durable.

Fabric storage baskets or handwoven baskets are pricier, but provide a homier, more stylish look of your storage containers compared to the dull, utilitarian look of standard plastic containers.

Storage containers are ideal for the long-term storage of things you absolutely can’t part with, such as physical photos, treasured family mementoes, and important documents.

They’re also practical for storing things that aren’t used every day, week, or even month, but are used at least yearly – holiday decorations are a good example.

Seasonal clothing is also commonly kept in storage containers, which makes a lot of sense. Keep in mind that the long-term storage of clothing and linens (for years at a time) in sealed plastic containers isn’t recommended, as the fabrics need to breathe a little.

While storage containers can be useful, it’s important not to over-rely on them for too many of your storage needs.

Because it’s so easy to just toss something into a spare tote and plan to give it a proper home later, you want to avoid having too many storage bins that have essentially become junk drawers filled with odds and ends that won’t be easy to find when (or if) they’re ever needed.

Storage containers in garage overhead rack

Although plastic storage containers are useful, don’t over-rely on them for your home storage needs.

Consider the environmental impact of buying more plastic

Another reason to reconsider buying more plastic storage products for your home is the environmental impact they have.

On top of the carbon footprint from the container’s manufacturing process, unrecycled plastic takes an eternity to break down naturally (it can take hundreds of years or more).

It’s estimated only 10-20% of the world’s plastic gets recycled. Plastic storage containers can be tricky to recycle because they’re usually too big to fit in a recycling bin. Some municipalities accept large plastic products for recycling at a depot (not unlike where you would drop off old electronics), but that’s not a guarantee wherever you live.

And unfortunately, that extra little bit of effort required to dispose of bigger plastic products only increases the likelihood they’ll just get put out with the regular garbage for pickup.

Another recycling problem is that older plastic products may be made from materials that make them impossible to recycle.

If you do need to buy plastic storage containers, be sure to buy products made from recycled plastic.

What about your unused storage containers?

After successfully eliminating some of your home’s clutter, you may have a bunch of now-empty storage containers left over.

Sure, it makes sense to hold onto a few empty containers that will come in handy down the road, but don’t keep more than you need.

Because empty storage containers conveniently nest inside one another, it can be tempting to keep a few stacks of them around because they don’t seem to be taking up much space when stored that way. Once again, only retain what you think you’ll actually use.

Remember, those stacks are still taking up space, will need to be vacuumed around (or moved when you vacuum), and are going to collect dust that you’ll have to eventually clean.

Try recycling them as recommended or try to donate them to a local charity.

Try renting storage bins when you move

One undeniable benefit of plastic storage bins is their sturdiness, which makes them ideal for using when you move.

Before stocking up during one of the storage container sales you come across for a future move, check to see if the moving company you’re using or a local business has storage containers for rent.

Cardboard boxes remain the most cost-effective and practical way to move your belongings. They’re easy to recycle, cheap (free in some cases if your local grocery store makes them available to their customers), and can be flattened to take up less space when not in use.

Corrugated plastic boxes are a little less common and still contain plastic, but they’re more rugged than cardboard and are a slightly more eco-friendly option than plastic containers.

Get rid of some of those old food storage containers, too

food storage containersThose storage container sales going on during January might also find you contemplating picking up some new plastic food storage containers. 

We’ve always wondered – do food storage containers multiply in our pantries? Because it seems like we have way more of these things than we actually need or will ever use.

The main reasons food storage containers accumulate to the point where we have too many is because:

  • we’re unsure if the plastic is recyclable
  • friends and family send you home from a dinner with leftovers in containers that don’t get returned
  • attractive sales that seem too good to pass up lure you into buying more of them
  • we hold onto higher quality plastic take-out containers that seem wasteful to throw out

Like larger storage containers, containers for storing your food are obviously perfect for sending leftovers home with a dinner guest, taking leftovers to school or work, or just storing your own leftovers in.

We’re just saying that you don’t need a hundred of them stored in your pantry.

Even with something as unremarkable as food storage containers, a by-product of having too much of anything is the guarantee that it will be more difficult to make a decision on choosing a container when the time comes. It’s something that goes by a few different names including overchoice, choice overload, choice paralysis, analysis paralysis, and the paradox of choice. 

Before buying from any more food storage container sales, take stock of how many containers you currently have. Decluttering your pantry will free up valuable storage space and save you from wasting time looking for that one particular container and lid hiding amongst everything else.

Can’t mind a matching lid or the container for a lid? Has a container started to disintegrate from one too many trips to the microwave? Away they go.

Getting rid of storage containers that have started to break down is recommended because chemicals from the plastic can leech into your reheated food. Even if a container and lid is still in good shape, but just really old (like, 70s Tupperware old), it may not be as safe to use as you might think. Ceramic and Pyrex food storage containers are always a safer storage option for food than plastic.

Skip the storage container sales and use real organization solutions

Avoid the disappointment of admitting defeat with your New Year’s resolution when you realize those purchases from January storage container sales haven’t translated into a more orderly home in February.

Talk to Organized Interiors for real solutions to your home organization problems instead of relying on stopgap measures that aren’t effective in getting your home tidied up.

We can suggest more practical and efficient ways to maximize your home’s storage and organization capabilities.

For example, our built-in bedroom cabinetry has under-bed drawer storage, which is an upgrade over using flat rolling plastic storage containers that get covered in dust bunnies.

Are you currently using cheap plastic storage towers with drawers in a closet or the corner of a room? If so, you’ll be amazed at how how much nicer our custom cabinetry storage towers are, both in terms of looks and functionality.

It takes less than a minute to schedule a complimentary in-home design consultation with us.

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20 Smart Solutions to Organize Your Home in 2020

organize your home, woman in walk-in closet

When the calendar flips over to January, research shows that approximately 60% of us make New Year’s resolutions.

Getting in shape, eating healthier, and learning a new skill consistently rank as the most common New Year’s resolutions that people make.

Right up there with them is the desire to get our homes more organized in the new year.

Focus on fixing once space at a time

Most of us have more than one area of our homes that needs some TLC. That means a quick fix for all of your home’s organization or décor issues isn’t very feasible.

Taking on too much at once usually leads to a less than optimal outcome that is rarely as satisfying as you would like.

Pace yourself, have a smart plan you can stick to, and commit to improving your home one space at a time. That way you won’t need to go back and tweak or improve your home upgrades, which just isn’t productive.

As organization expert Christina Scalise once said, “Organization isn’t about perfection. It’s about efficiency, reducing stress and clutter, saving time and money, and improving your overall quality of life”.

How will you organize your home in 2020?

From getting your home better organized to improving your décor, most houses and condos present opportunities to upgrade every room in ways both big and small.

Taking the time to improve your living space will deliver a boost to your home’s functionality and enhance your comfort level.

But nothing happens without taking that first step. So where will your efforts to organize your home in 2020 start?

1. Reach-in closet

If keeping your closets organized is a battle you can never win, it’s time to look at some solutions that will make it easier to maintain a tidier reach-in closet space.

Our closet organizer systems range from simple to extravagant designs that can be customized to maximize your storage space.

Do you need a tower of shelves and/or drawers in the closet’s centre? How about extra hanging rods or some decorative touches like new baseboards, crown moulding, and stylish hardware to spruce up your closet space?

Just ask us and we’ll work our magic to create a reach-in closet space you’ll love.

two organized reach-in closets in home

2. Walk-in closet

You’ve been eyeing that spare room, contemplating its next incarnation, and plotting the takeover. 2020 is the year you’re going to finally transform it into a dream walk-in closet as a solution to help organize your home.

The extra storage space a walk-in closet provides eliminates the headaches that come with managing a large wardrobe collection in a traditional closet space that can’t meet your storage needs any longer.

Walk-ins customized with wall-to-wall cabinetry, a makeup area with a vanity, a full-length mirror, and a host of additional stylish design features also create the perfect private personal space for getting dressed.

3. Sliding closet doors

Our sliding closet doors have multiple types of applications and can be customized with your choice of glass, mirror, or melamine inserts in a variety of styles to match your décor.

They can be used as traditional sliding doors for a reach-in closet. If you need to create closet space in a room, we’ll install custom-built gables and sliding doors that add instant closet storage anywhere.

Sliding closet doors also work nicely as room dividers to partition off an area of your living space for more privacy when needed.

closed sliding closet doors

4. Guest room with a Murphy wall bed

Another spare room idea worth considering is turning that underutilized part of your home into a useful guest room. Including a Murphy wall bed in the room’s design is a great idea, too.

A Murphy wall bed’s biggest benefit is that it takes up very little space. Until they’re needed, the bed stays folded up and out of the way. You can surround the bed within beautiful custom cabinetry that provides storage space for your guests’ linens and pillows.

Having a guest room always-at-the-ready is a wonderful thing to have, not just for unexpected overnight guests, but any time. Your guests, especially if they’re older, will appreciate sleeping on a comfortable mattress that’s a lot friendlier to their backs than an air mattress or lumpy couch.

organized room with lowered Murphy wall bed

5. Wardrobe closet

Your main bedroom closet has gotten the makeover treatment and you’re still not satisfied with how much storage room is available for all of your clothes. What can you do?

Let a wardrobe closet be your clothes storage saviour! Custom wardrobes can be built to the size you need to alleviate the problems caused by an overstuffed bedroom closet.

Whether it’s for extra shoe storage, more hanging space, or extra accessories, wardrobes are ideal as a supplementary bedroom storage solution. They can be designed as a built-in or standalone furniture piece.

And if that shared closet space with your partner just isn’t working so well for either of you, eliminate the frustration you’re both feeling by getting a wardrobe that one of you can use.

open wardrobe closet in kids room

6. Home office

A home office that’s cluttered and lacks tasteful décor is not a space that encourages a high level of productivity.

We have plenty of home office ideas that will refresh your workspace and increase your ability to get more done while working at home.

Choose from our wide selection of finishes and styles available to create a more comfortable room that’s custom-designed to accommodate your work needs.

7. Study space

Your kids might benefit from having a private, comfortable area in your house or condo to study in with fewer distractions like a home study space.

We can transform a spare room or even a small area of your home into such a space to help your kids focus better with their studies.

If space is an issue, a study area could also be combined with a home office as part of a multi-purpose room design.

Find out more here about creating a learning-friendly study space in your home.

8. Laundry room

Even at the best of times, doing laundry isn’t anyone’s idea of a fun way to spend a few hours. Laundry tasks can be a whole lot more miserable to tackle, however, when the room you’re working in feels like a dungeon.

An increasingly popular way to organize your home and improve one of its hardest working rooms is to update the laundry room’s appearance and functionality.

With more aesthetically pleasing décor, improved lighting, maxed out storage, and useful features like a pullout ironing board and hampers to keep dirty clothes sorted, laundry rooms are capable of being comfortable spaces you won’t dread setting foot in.

washer and dryer in laundry room

9. Wine room

Is your wine collection in need of more storage space? Perhaps your wine collection has never had a proper home and is being stored on wine racks in your basement or living room.

The perfect solution is to turn your spare room into a walk-in wine cellar or a wine room that’s stylish enough to use as an entertainment space.

For smaller spaces or more modestly-sized wine collections, a reach-in wine closet is another option to keep your bottles organized and in ideal storage conditions.

10. Wet bar

With a little imagination, inspiration, and customization, you can set up a wet bar in almost any room in your home.

Custom bar cabinetry is a great way to keep your liquor organized, in addition to adding an aesthetically pleasing touch of class to any room.

Entertain in style with one of our custom-designed cabinetry units, island-style bars, or mini-bars.

11. Entertainment centre

Your home entertainment space needs to efficiently accommodate the wide array of audio and video equipment and accessories we use every day.

Keeping all of these devices and cables organized requires more than a few shelves or a small TV stand with a couple of drawers. A built-in entertainment centre is the answer.

It doesn’t merely provide storage space for your TV and all of your other “home entertainment stuff”, an entertainment centre becomes a home showpiece and the focal point of your living room or home theatre.

Choosing a custom solution over a prefab furniture unit has many advantages. Find out why custom entertainment units are better than prefab units from big box stores.

man with drink relaxing in front of fire and TV

12. Linen closet

The linen closet doesn’t get a lot of home improvement attention because it’s a utilitarian storage space that’s typically small and has a fairly straightforward layout.

That’s exactly why you should think about a linen closet makeover, however. There’s plenty of room for improvement in most reach-in linen closets, which do their fair share in helping to organize your home.

You can have the closet redesigned to freshen up its appearance, maximize its storage space, and keep up with the daily use it gets storing the many linens in your home.

Discover more linen closet ideas here.

13. Built-in bedroom cabinetry

For a stylish solution to a good night’s sleep, look no further than built-in bedroom cabinetry that is custom-designed for your space, creating a seamless blend with your bedroom’s decor.

Our bedroom cabinetry combines your bed with surrounding built-in storage below, above, and around your sleeping space in a smartly designed integrated furniture piece.

built-in bedroom cabinetry in home

14. Makeup table

With makeup application being such a staple of the daily routine for so many women, it makes a lot of sense to have a makeup table in order to streamline the process.

A posh makeup area where your beauty routine occurs almost every day is certainly practical, as it helps you to stay organized. It’s also nice to have a personalized space to complete your beauty ritual more comfortably.

Learn more here about why a bespoke makeup table could make a great addition to your walk-in closet, dressing room, master bedroom, or bathroom.

15. Mudroom

Mudrooms are rather underappreciated when it comes to rooms that are highly valued when it comes to helping to organize your home.

Whether your mudroom is a small room near an entrance, is combined with your laundry room, or is a dedicated space in the hall of your home’s entryway, there are many ways to enhance its functionality.

Shoes, umbrellas, jackets, and other outwear can all have a proper home using hooks, custom cabinetry, shoe racks, and other solutions to keep this transitional space orderly.

organize your home, bench in mudroom

16. Basement

Basements provide ample room for home storage, but they’re rarely given much consideration to keep the things you’re storing organized and easy to find.

Adding better storage systems like custom cabinetry to maintain order and to eliminate visual clutter will help make the basement look more presentable.

An unfinished basement leaves a lot to be desired in the looks department. Make the space cozier by:

  • finishing the walls and ceiling and upgrading the basement’s insulation
  • adding a raised “floating floor” that is more comfortable (temperature-wise) to walk on
  • replacing old carpeting with new carpeting, carpet tiles, or interlocking floor tiles
  • further reducing the chill in the basement with an energy-efficient electric fireplace

electric fireplace flames

17. Library/reading room

If you’re an avid reader and have a large book collection, dedicating a spare room or smaller part of a room for storing books on custom cabinetry shelves keeps things looking tidy and easier to organize.

Make a few more practical additions to the room by complementing your books stored within stylish furniture with some of these ideas:

  • a comfortable accent chair
  • a high-quality reading light
  • an ottoman
  • a side table for beverages

Now you have the ideal personalized space where you can indulge your passion for reading in privacy and blissful comfort!

18. Craft room

Another smart use for a spare room if you or someone else in the family is the creative type is to turn it into a craft room.

From sewing, to scrapbooking, to playing music, to creating art, make a unique space that is bright, fun, and allows you to spend time doing what you love.

craft room

19. Closet accessories and decorative hardware

To get even more out of your closet spaces, take advantage of the many helpful closet accessories Organized Interiors carries.

Accessories like extra hanging rods, valet rods, pullout shoe racks, and racks for ties, scarves, and belts elevate a closet space’s functionality to the next level.

Decorative hardware that accentuates the custom cabinetry and complements your décor is also an important consideration when having your storage systems designed.

20. The garage

Plans to organize your home in 2020 might include getting your garage in order. If your garage clutter has relegated your vehicles to being parked in the driveway every day, talk to Garage Living.

They specialize in transforming disorganized, visually unappealing garages into highly efficient storage spaces that look as stunning as a luxury car showroom.

Let us help you organize your home this year

It can be difficult to decide where to start with your New Year’s home organization project.

For some homeowners, it may also be a bit overwhelming trying to decide what storage solutions and design changes are most practical for their living space.

Instead of struggling to figure everything out for yourself, rely on pros like Organized Interiors to help you organize your home this new year. Our storage solutions and expertise are abundant and available!

Get 2020 started off on the right foot and schedule a free in-home design consultation with us today.

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