Category Archives: Staging

Bath Organization

Organize with Decor in Mind

Using your favorite containers, organize essentials on the counter top.  Keep extra supplies conveniently located near where they are used.  In my bath, love seeing things neatly placed behind glass doors.  That is not for everyone.  If you don’t like seeing shampoo, toothpaste, etc then place more decorative items in visible locations.  And the same can be done for your guests.

One thing is for sure, if can you what you need you will not be without shaving lotion one morning-).   This is how your organize like a professional!

Kitchen Secrets from a Professional Organzier

Today kitchens are the centerpiece of the design of most homes.  The “open concept” makes kitchen organization just as important for easy clean up as it does for ease of cooking.  When a professional organizer sets up a kitchen we look for vertical storage, drawers, pantry and if lower cabinets have pull out drawers.

VERTICAL STORAGE – Often it does not exist, but can be claimed.  Narrow spaces in lower cabinets often have pull outs for, well sometimes I wonder?  Yes they can be for spices and oils, but many times the space is too small to see what is placed there. Consider removing the drawers and use for vertical storage.  Also, over the refrigerator the large deep cabinet space can be divided for baking sheets, serving trays, cheese platters, cutting boards, and large seldom used items.

Drawers are so helpful in organizing your kitchen.  For cutlery and cooking tools drawer dividers/organizers essential.  Personally, there is nothing so inspiring as an organized flatware drawer!  Either by purchasing organizers at a retail store or having custom ones made, this keeps things in order.  Deep drawers are great for bowls, plates, and other larger items.

Pantry storage can be unique.  If there is not room in the kitchen, consider using a closet, if one is next to the kitchen.  Especially if the refrigerator is close.  Then all food needs are together.  I love having drawers in the pantry.  They can be used to hold/contain things like baking items that are small, food storage things like baggies, aluminum foil, saran wrap, even chips and bread.

Lower Cabinet Pull-out drawers make it easy to access the back of lower deep cabinets. Personally, I do not care for pull out drawer boxes above waist height as you loose space where you gain access.  The sides of the drawer boxes and glides and cause the loss of several inches at each shelf.  Also, when pull outs are above eye level seeing what is inside is impossible.  This is an important consideration for you when designing a new kitchen.  

The most important secret to organizing your kitchen is to “reboot”.  Don’t let past experiences form your plan.  Often the layout is different, you have new items, and needs have changed. Keep it simple and do be afraid of trying something creative.

Deep, high cabinets converted to vertical storage.

Narrow spaces beside the oven becomes baking sheet storage.

Dividers for cutlery

Deep drawers for heavy items

Pull-out drawer boxes make easy access for lower cabinets.

Drawer can contain some "like" items. ie baking needs, chips, food wrap.

Drawers as containers – perfect for grouping baking needs, chips, food wrap…

Moving is perfect time to organize

Does this stress you out?unpacking

A new home makes life a little more busy.  The “to-do” list usually becomes an activity booklet. But work, family responsibilities, other commitments have not slowed; and you still need to find the moving company and get everything packed and purged.

During the packing process boxes should be labeled to the new house destination.  This makes unpacking much easier.

The unpack is the time to think about how to be more organized.  Keep things where they will be used.  Sort by category and in closets use uniform hangers.  Everything will hang at the same level and clothes will not be playing hide and seek.

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Utilize walls for vertical storage.  Such as for ties and belts in closets, or pots and pans in the pantry.

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Should you need storage in a garage or basement, line a wall with shelves.  While I love the beauty of stylish design and architecture, there is something appealing about a wall of metro shelves organized into zones.  Slat wall or peg board is a fun way to organized a work space.

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And the best and most important moving tip, edit before you pack the old house.  There is so much that is hiding in our homes that is no longer important.  With the clutter gone, all that is left to organize is what will enhance your new home and life.

Diary of a Move
from city to village

Long time clients recently moved to the east end of Long Island.  In her blog, MyFoodVoice.me, Louise shares the story of their transition and gives insightful lessons for letting go.  She relates the difficulty of moving across country and the weight possessions have when holding onto things only because of the memories they carry.

Louise loves cooking and has become a talented knitter and needlepoint artist.  Her husband is an avid gardener, grill master and enjoys his well organized garage.  They truly understand the benefits of an organized life.

IMG_2389Our paths first crossed in 2007 when interior designer Connie McCreight contacted me to assist with the organizing needs related to their Los Angeles home remodel.  Since then, my team has enjoyed working on the first move to their second vacation home, then later when they decided to make the east coast their permanent home.  Along the way, we have helped with other projects including decorating for Christmas.

I left LA for Knoxville just before the move was to start, but colleagues John Trosko and Ros Lakomy took over the California end of the final move.  When I joined the team for the unpack in New York, it was a “working” reunion for clients, organizers and designers.

After reading “The Art of Moving – Letting Go and Embracing Change” check out the rest of the blog for delicious recipes and tips for food buying and entertaining.  I did mention she is a talented cook?

Thank you for sharing your story Louise.  Many will benefit from your moving experience.

 

Clear Your Clutter, Help A Cause – KARM

You have started the process of having an organized home.  Good and tough decisions have been made and you are ready to let go of the past, but what can you do with that unwanted stuff?

DSCN0331Donate unwanted, unused items that are in good condition to your favorite charity.  In Knoxville, a great place to consider is KARM – KnoxvilleArea Rescue Ministries.  Over 18 thrift stores in east Tennessee will turn your clutter in to treasures for the homeless in our area. They offering pick up services, even for businesses.

Don’t let your clutter stay piled up in the garage, get it out of the house.  And remember, this is a process.  In a few months do a quick check around the house and see what is in your way.

Keep it organized!

Elements for an Organized Closet

Sure there are basic things every closet should have…uniform hangers are the first to come to mind.  But there are other elements that will keep clutter under control.

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Belt Hooks – placed on end panel or side of closet
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Tie Rack – on an open wall space (ties sorted by color)

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Waste Basket and Laundry Hamper – will keep dirty laundry together and give place for waste from pockets at end of the day
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Velvet Lined Jewelry Drawers – necklaces can get tangled in a box and other jewelry is quick to find when organized
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Valet Rods – allows the next days wardrobe to be prepared early

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Many times these elements can be added to an existing closet.  If not, the principles discussed can still be included when organizing your space.  Getting organized is not about “things” as it is the way we think.

Keep your clutter under control and your closet can be your favorite boutique.

note:  this closet was organized by Knoxville organizing firm Well-Kept Spaces and designed by east Tennessee’s Closets by McKenry.

Knoxville’s Professional Organizer
for Your Well-Kept Spaces

Well-Kept Spaces comes to Knoxville with 15 years experience organizing homes and being a leader in the professional organizing industry.  While in Los Angeles Chris McKenry was president of the LA chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). During that time he created the Los Angeles Organizing Awards and served on the national board of NAPO.Featured imageNow we are thrilled to return to Knoxville with a new name and a new sister business, Closets by McKenry – for custom closet & garage design.  Recently we work with a client of Interior Designer Todd Richesin.  The beautiful new home was nearing completion and Todd turned to Well-Kept Spaces to unpack and organize the new home for the family.  We even helped plan this beautiful play area for the kids.  Notice the cut-out containers in the desk top for crayons and even the seats are storage bins.

 

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Professional organizers never forget labels.  When using beautiful baskets, gift tags can help identify contents in the gift wrap closet.

To see our “brag book”, as one client called it, click here.  It might give you an idea for your Well-Kept Spaces.

Easier to Clear Clutter
Thanks to Waste Management

Have you been putting off getting an organizing project started because you did not want a large metal unit for the recycled waste in the front?  Waste Management has a new service called Bagster – Dumpster in a Bag.

You purchase a large bag at your local home improvement store that holds up to 3,300 pounds of unwanted, unusable clutter and waste.  Then schedule collection pickup on online or call for a time.

To see if the service is available in your area, click here.  This will work for small renovation projects as well.  The first and most difficult step in the organizing process is clearing out the excess, making hard decisions about things that are now clutter but seem to say in the way.  Looks like Waste Management is making the job a little easier.

 

Two Master Closets Given New Custom Design and Purpose by Professional Organizer

A recent professional organizing project found a client with one small and one larger walk-in closet. Both, off the master bedroom, were over following and no room for shoes and purses. The smaller closet was narrow and hanging clothes made it impossible to walk into and reach what was needed.

Solution

Custom Designed Shoe and Purse Closet

We dedicated the smaller closet for just shoes, purses, and accessories. Drawers for jewelry were added on one wall. Without the depth of hanging clothes, this smaller closet has room to walk into and see everything inside. Backing was even added to end of the closet where the belts are hanging, giving a finished touch.

Wardrobe and Hats

The larger closet was custom designed with adjustable rods and shelves so storage is versatile as needs change. More space was given for hanging clothes with double hang. Now the client has more hanging space than before and room for all other items in her closet. When designing and organizing your spaces, create departments for your possessions. Now you can shop every morning and find your favorite things.

Finding New Uses for Storage

An antique pie safe, a family heirloom, once cooled great-grandma's pies.

An antique pie safe, a family heirloom, once cooled great-grandma’s pies.

Now serves as china storage in Tennessee condo.

Now serves as china storage in Tennessee condo.

Urban small spaces and even suburban larger homes, often need to find unique storage solutions. At this vacation condo, we kept family history and give it new life. With no room for more cabinets or china display, we used this unique pie safe that was used by client’s great grandmother as early at 1890 to cool delicious deserts. Seems only natural that a piece of furniture that once kept foods the family devoured, now holds the most treasured china that is used for special occasions.

Think outside the box for your storage needs.