Professional Organizing, Room-by-Room
You can take as many professional organizing courses as you want, but you’re never going to get a decisive answer on what the “right” way of organizing a room is. It all depends on the room, the look, the function, and, of course, your client’s preferences.
As we’ve discussed in a previous post, some people might benefit from having their office spaces a little cluttered. They could prefer to have a messier office space to encourage creativity, but a hyperminimalist dining room or kitchen in striking contrast. Your clients likely have some idea or vision of what they want, and it’s your job to help them achieve their organizing goals.
Each room should be organized differently depending on how the room is being used. While there is no single solution, there are certain organizing tactics that are widely applied to specific rooms. Read on for a crash course on professional home organizing as we take you through a tour of the most popular room organization tactics by room.
The Living Room
The place that gets “lived” in has arguably the biggest collection of odds and ends—especially under sofa cushions. This casual and comfortable space means that many people will use it while relaxing, playing games, watching TV, or just hanging out with friends. No wonder this is one of the most chaotic spaces in the home!
Since souvenirs, antiques, collectables, and family photos are likely displayed in the living room, you have to keep them in consideration when organizing the space. Having every photo framed and placed around the room can feel overwhelming and cluttered, but placing a few here and there can help the room feel warm and homey. Try packing up the stuff that doesn’t quite fit in with the look or size of the room. If it’s missed after a week or two, return the items. Otherwise, keep them in storage!
Investing in multipurpose storage solutions like an ottoman and a coffee table that has a drawer or shelf built into it are essential. With DVDs from movie night or toys from playtime strewn across the floor, it’s important to find storage solutions that work without compromising on comfort. If the clients have guests coming over, a window seat with a removable lid can be a lifesaver when cleaning up all the toys from the floor.
Since the closet is a fixed storage space that isn’t easily expandable, modifications have to come from elsewhere. Advise your clients to add an extra tension rod running parallel to the original. This way, they can hang tops on the upper rod and bottoms on the lower rod to maximize vertical space. To clear up some space in the bedroom, why not put that bookcase or shelf into the closet?
This way you can add an extra level of organization inside the closed closet space instead of having too many big pieces of furniture in the bedroom.
Some of us have trouble organizing our clothes from all four seasons into one single closet. A great way to declutter and organize is to put the clothes on hangers and hang them up backwards. Once your clients have worn a piece of clothing, they can hang it up like normal. At the end of the season, any clothes that are still hung up backwards should be taken out. From there, the items can be trashed, passed on, or donated.
The kitchen isn’t just for cooking nowadays. With the popularity of open concept houses, the once ultra-important standalone dining room has all but disappeared. It’s now often an extension of the kitchen, and some people have even imported desks or workstations into the cooking space. This multi-function room needs all the space it can get.
The tangle of cables and wires can be difficult to manage—especially if your pets like to get wrapped up in them. Bundle up the cords and hide cables in a cable caddy that can be attached to the underside of the desk.
If this is the homeowner’s office space, there’s bound to be piles of papers, letters, and magazines on the flat desk surfaces. They likely will already have basic shelves or cabinets, but finding the right sizes can make all the difference. Does it really make sense for all the small sticky note pads and the paperclip container to sit in a foot-deep filing cabinet?
Meal prep area
Clear the large appliances off the counter! Do you really need the spiralizer, water carbonator, and the bread machine to be sitting out 24/7? A regular clean out of all expired foods from cupboards and the refrigerator is also a must. What’s the point in keeping the moldy bread in the back of the pantry? It’ll just take up precious real estate for new loafs!
Besides the nightstand in the bedroom, the kitchen is the most likely place to find a junk drawer. We aren’t saying that the junk drawer must go (although some things in them should go), but adding mini containers and dividers within the drawers is a great way to sort and organize utensils.
Divvying up the space inside the cabinets isn’t the only way to invent space—what about exterior storage options? Add hooks, racks, or trays to the underside of the upper cabinets to store spices, clock radios, cookbooks, and other items that they may need easy access to.
The stuff: cosmetics, toiletries, cleaning products, medicines, hair care products, grooming gadgets, and reading material. Help!
For starters, cosmetics shouldn’t even be stored in the bathroom. The powders and liquids are known breeding grounds for bacteria so the humidity certainly doesn’t help! While cosmetics are being moved, it’s also a good time for clients to sort through their makeup and medicines to chuck out the ones that have passed their best-before date. Even bubble baths, sunscreens, and lotions have expiry dates that, once crossed, will be less effective. If the client is having trouble parting with their products due to “what-if” scenarios, remind them that recouping shelf space can be an opportunity to purchase newer replacements.
Having a caddy or basket next to the sink can do wonders for keeping the space clean. Designed to store and organize, the caddy will keep all toiletries together, and help with prioritizing everyday essentials that need to be on the counters. Unless they have built-in shower shelves, a hanging organizer to hold shampoo and soaps on the showerhead may be necessary. The various bottles will be accessible, and you can say sayonara to the mildew buildup from improper draining.