Category Archives: Unpacking the Home

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!

Tips for Moving into Your New Home

Make moving into your new home an organized process.  Here are a few simple tips.

    1. Start immediately and edit what you no longer need.  Keep container in garage to fill with donations and take to charity as it fills.
    2. Create a notebook with the tasks needed.
      1. Interviewing movers
      2. Work needed to be accomplished in new home before move
      3. Include calendar of activities related to the move
      4. Contact list
        1. Utilities to be turned off and turned on
        2. service providers
        3. cleaning service
    3. Assess storage in new home, good time to think about closets, pantry, laundry and other working areas of the home.

      Master Closet by Closets by McKenry

Pantry by Closets by McKenry

  1. Pack boxes (not with trash bags) and label to the destination in new home.
  2. Have new home thoroughly cleaned before moving day.
  3. Unpack one room at a time.  Finish what is started and organize by keeping like items together.
  4. If you still have anxiety about your move, call a professional organizer,  We can help!

Contain and Label

It sounds so simple and easy, keep things together and where they are most convenient for use.  Often though our treasures are spread throughout the house.  Using containers that are the same size help maximize space.  Then the most important step is labeling the contents. Organized storage in basements, garages and attics will save you time and help you enjoy the activities they represent.

Making Room for 2017

Every year we make resolutions to make more time for family, business, and ourselves.  Each year we promise we will get more organized in the new year.  This is why January is National Get Organized Month.

Happily, I am ahead of the game.  For the first time, I took all Christmas decorations down within days of Christmas.  Yesterday, I created my 2017 file folders.  That never takes too long, but in the past I have always procrastinated until well after first of the year.

It is amazing how much better I feel; prepared for a successful 2017!  It really is true, getting rid of excess makes room for future.  Not just in physical space, but in your mind as well.  The tree is down, and makes my home seem bigger.  Files for 2016 are boxed and ready for storage and new files ready for action.  

Next week is busy with clients, but I am ready for busy year and look forward to more time for myself. If you are ready for a change in 2017, don’t wait.  Start meeting your goals today.

 

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.

Kitchen Clearing Clutter Game

Play High, Low, or Let It GO!

Kitchen Upper

If it is difficult to edit the clutter from your kitchen, try a fun exercise I created when helping a client organize her kitchen. The new custom home was finished and the move-in had just begun.  After the long anticipation my client found it difficult deciding what to edit and where to place the keepers.

So in the kitchen, I mounted the step ladder with items in hand. After creating the zones for kitchen work – food storage, food preparation, cooking, and cleanup – I simply asked “High, low, or let it go?”  Things needed for daily use were placed in the lower part of the tall upper cabinets.  If they were seldom used, but needed for entertaining they went high.  Quickly, she realized that if items did not fit into either of the first two categories, there were easier to pass on to others and clear the clutter.

After ten minutes, she said this made the process into a more enjoyable game.  If you have had a time editing your excess, try “High, Low, or Let It GO!”

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.

 

Mr. Vanderbilt’s Organized Moved


I love Biltmore, the largest home in America and just 2 hours from Knoxville.  It is a beautiful study of a different time, grand entertaining and gracious living.  The article below shares the struggles George Vanderbilt had in 1895 as he made his dream a home.

His struggles were the same as our moves are today.  What is going to the new home?  What room will the boxes be unpacked?  Where will things go, where to start?  How will the household run once completely moved and settled?

George Vanderbilt’s 250 room house had a large staff attending to every need of the family. Today, a professional organizer is available to help simplify the details of your move into your personal “Biltmore”.

Read “Moving Into Biltmore House, October 1895” from Biltmore.com

 

 

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.