home organization

Phase 5: To buy or not to buy?

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 During any organizing project, it is sometimes necessary to buy new products to help organize people’s personal items in the new space. As we discussed in our previous two posts, there are some circumstances where buying new organizers may be necessary, and certain organizing products that work better than others. However, sometimes people have items they already own that can be repurposed and used in their new home. Buying more items isn’t always the right answer – sometimes it is more efficient, clutter-friendly, and financially beneficial to use what people already own.

When the Calm Order team does our initial walk through and determines that items the client already has, we start to plan for what can be reused in the new home, and what needs to be purchased. Sometimes these items are used in the new home for a completely different purpose than what they were initially used for in the previous home. Finding a new purpose for an item or giving it a simple update can completely change its functionality and usefulness. For example, our clients had a small cabinet that was just collecting unnecessary clutter in the living room of their previous home. However, in their new space, Calm Order was able to find a new use for the cabinet. The new home came with a dedicated play room/bonus area, so the team was able to designate the cabinet for toy and game storage without having to buy a new unit. Other smaller items like bins, hangars, drawer organizers and shelving units are easy to customize and adapt for a new space and are regularly repurposed by Calm Order when unpacking in a new home.

There can be a downside to reusing items – in some cases, people can hold on to more items than they need or try to use objects for a purpose that does not work or does not contribute to the organization of the space. Similar to purchasing new organizers that aren’t needed, some people may try to find a use for items when there is none. In circumstances like this, Calm Order can work with clients to find a place to donate or sell their items to people who might need it more than they do. A list of some of these organizations is available on our website here.

Whenever possible, Calm Order will work with clients to use what they already own. Sometimes all it takes is a new space or a new idea to completely reinvent and repurpose and object that may have previously been creating clutter and contributing to a disorganized space.

Stay tuned for our next post where we continue our journey through the unpacking process!

Phase 3: Finding the right organizing products

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Moving is a multiple-step process that requires a lot of work and planning. On the blog, we’ve been going through each step in the moving journey of one of our clients. The move was prepared in their current home, a walk-through was conducted of the new space, and their belongings were unpacked and carefully sorted. Now, it is time to plan how their belongings will fit into the new space with the right organizing products.

It isn’t as simple as going to the nearest department store and buying some bins – there are a lot of products available that are created to assist people in maintaining an organized space. In a way, there are almost too many different products, to the point that people can run into the problem of accumulating too many baskets or specialty organizers for their items that they don’t really need.  

Before we even started shopping, we carefully examined the client’s new space to see what kind of products would work and where, keeping in mind the actual items and belongings we had to work with. For example, the master bedroom had a large walk in closet that was empty except for a rod for hangers. However, the client had a wide variety of clothing and accessories that wouldn’t work with hangers. This necessitated the purchase of a closet organizer that provided hanging room for dress clothes and coats, as well as shelves and racks for shirts, pants, shoes, ties and bags. 

The new kitchen had large cupboards and drawers, some with deep angles that made the spaces difficult to store items. Although the space was large enough for pots, pans, and mixing bowls, they were almost impossible to reach and would require the clients to take out items to reach other items. The drawers had plenty of space for a large number of utensils, but they would easily become cluttered and lost if they were left loose in the drawer. For the cupboards, the team was able to find innovative cupboard organizers with moveable shelves, so the clients could pull them out to reach the items they needed without emptying the cupboard. As for the utensils, an organizer that fit the dimensions of the drawer were added to keep the cutlery and utensils in their place. The organizer had a mix of large and small spaces so a variety of different-sized utensils could be placed in the drawer, making the space adaptable and customizable.    

In the client’s new home, we were able to find organizing products that worked with their items and would actually provide a benefit to their home. Instead of buying unnecessary products that would only add to their clutter, the Calm Order team focused only on adding pieces that would contribute to the organization of the new space. In some cases, it may not be beneficial to add in an organizer – the space and function of your home or room may not require any specialty products. You might also already own an organizer or a cabinet that can be used to store items that you may not have thought of previously using.

When it comes to finding the right products, remember that while there are a lot of different organizing products on the market, finding the right product – if you need them – requires you to consider the space you are working with, the items you own, and how you use them.

Keep an eye on the blog for our next post, where we will take a look at some of our favourite organizing products and storage solutions!

Phase 2.5: Sorting Items

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Sorting items can be more complex than one might think – it is more than just sorting similar items. For example, people often think they should sort all their cables together, but the often serve different purposes and so they should be stored differently.

When you’re sorting items, look at how they are used instead of just what “kind” of item they are. Continuing with the example of sorting cables, there are generally three different types of cables: electrical, electronic, and personal technology cables.

Electrical cables include everything from extension cords, add-ons, extenders, and timers. These cables all plug into the wall or an outlet, or they are used to add extra cords to extend the length or number of wall outlets.

Electronic cables are mainly used for audio and visual equipment, like HDMI cables, computer cables, TV cables, and stereo systems. These cables are used for specific set-ups and are usually not plugged and unplugged regularly.

Finally, personal technology cables are more everyday use cables, like phone chargers, iPod chargers, tablet chargers, and other USB chargers. These cables are usually in constant use and are often moving between rooms and people around a home.

Cables can be then sorted into how they are used, not just based on the fact that they are cables.  All electrical cables should be stored together but separate from electronic cables and personal technology cables. In this way, the cables will be easier to find and use when they are needed. Instead of sorting through a large bin to find an iPhone charger, people can easily look in a smaller storage container that contains only their personal technology chargers, which they will need to access more often than their extension cords.

When it comes to sorting, try thinking more about how items are used instead of focusing on just what they are. This way, organization will last because the items will be stored in a way that works with people’s lifestyles and routines.