The new year is here, and the resolutions are rolling in. After a season of excess [hello, delicious desserts and presents galore!] it’s fitting to evaluate what is working, or not, for you. We are an office full of designers and creatives, so we are always on the hunt for ways to add beauty and function to our everyday lives. At a recent client installation, we enlisted Neat Method to get the home in tip-top organizational shape before the grand reveal. It’s always a joy to work with those whose vision lines up with ours, and they were the perfect addition to make the client experience truly one of a kind.
While we adore a good new year’s purge, there’s a way to neatly tuck away all of your belongings without having to throw away everything you own. Keep reading for design and organizational tips that will get you ready to tackle 2020!
#1 Start with Function
MFI Design Tip: The first step in the design process is listening closely to our clients in order to understand their needs. From there, we then create a layout that allows them to move logically and effortlessly throughout their home. At one of our most recent projects, our client was a busy mom of two who needed a multi-purpose space. She requested an area for sorting the kids’ belongings like crafts, art supplies, and school materials; but, she also needed a separate section for herself, where she could work and store gift wrap, stationery, and photos.
Thus, this hard-working space was built near the back entry and kitchen, ensuring easy access on the way in and out of the house. We also created two zones within one area – the first housed the kids’ items, and the second was the grown-ups’ nook, complete with a door for privacy if needed.
Neat Method Advice: Create your organizational plan based on how you work and live in the home. If you’re using the space for crafting the majority of the time, make sure the room is clearly defined with enough storage for all your materials. Begin by taking everything out and categorizing like things together. Then, edit and discard whatever you no longer want or need. Finish by creating zones so each category flows seamlessly. For example in this home, it made sense to progress from photography, office supplies, and mailing/stationery goods, to gift wrap and crafting.
#2 Color is Key
MFI Design Tip: Choose a simple color scheme to set a clean backdrop for organization. In this project we chose light woods, whites, and blushes to serve as a respite for the eye, then punctuated the palette with a muted Graham and Brown wallpaper for a dose of novelty. A soothing room naturally encourages you to tidy up because you see any out-of-place belongings quickly.
Neat Method Advice: Remember “ROYGBIV!” When color is at play, organize by the hues of the rainbow. When you open that desk drawer, everything is color coded to perfection.
#3 A Place for Everything
MFI Design Tip: Storage should always be suited to the particular function of a space while also leaving wiggle room for usage to evolve over time. In this office we incorporated a mix of open and closed storage so items can either be displayed or hidden. A combination of lower drawers and upper cabinets provides a multitude of options for almost everything, no matter the item’s size.
Neat Method Advice: Give each category a home so you know where it is and how much you have on hand! This will go a long way in simplifying both the space and your routine. Having the right product is also a game changer when it comes to maintaining your freshly organized space. We always want a mix of aesthetics and function when we select product, so think about what sizes and shapes will work for that individual cabinet, shelf, or drawer, in addition to what will be living in that product.
For example, ribbon and gift wrap goes great in drawers with dividers, and stationery looks gorgeous in clear stackable containers. We also love utilizing attractive boxes for loose items like photos waiting to be put in albums or kids’ art supplies.
#4 Seeing is believing
MFI Design Tip: Construct obvious visual cues in plain sight that help you stay on your game. In this space we custom designed a large magnetic white board that serves as the perfect place to jot down to-dos, hang up reminders, or grab homework assignments.
We also hung over-sized acrylic monthly calendars next to the door so everyone in the family can reference them when coming or going. It’s a wonderful way for children to become aware of and get involved in the family’s schedule!
Neat Method Advice: Label! By naming each space, you’ll know where everything is at a glance and will be motivated to keep up the system long after it’s completed. It’s key for high traffic areas, like the pantry, because everyone in the household will be able to help stick with the plan.
Keep scrolling for more home organization inspiration!