This week I spent some time watching the Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”.  Have you seen it?  If you’re wanting to get more organized but need a little push to get you going, it’s worth watching.

In the first episode, Kondo arrives at her clients’ home with a gift: a stack of “tiny boxes” as she calls them.  “Who gives the gift of tiny, empty boxes?” you might think.  But these boxes are a symbol of something much greater; an organizational system that will TRANSFORM the contents of your cupboards, drawers, and shelves if you use them intentionally.  The lesson they represent for the disorganized families featured on the show is a powerful one. You can learn it too!

Let’s start with one of the most basic rules of getting organized: everything in your house needs a home.  You must tell your “stuff” where to go, or it will morph into piles of unattended clutter covering chairs, tables, countertops and forgotten corners of bedrooms.  If everything has a predetermined place to live (and everyone in the household knows what that place is) it takes a lot less brain power to put something away when necessary.  This means that every time something new comes into your home, it is important to take the time to find a good home for it.  If that space runs out of real estate, it’s time to reevaluate whether a.) you need to purge or b.) you need to find a new home for that collection.  This is the underlying process of keeping your home clutter free, and tiny boxes are the ideal tool for accomplishing this task.

Subdividing larger spaces such as drawers and shelves with small baskets/boxes/bins helps give every item a clearly designated home.  In the gallery above, the concept is applied in three different ways to three different spaces:

  • Clear, stackable bins in the refrigerator maximize space and make it easy for the family to quickly grab what they’re looking for.  As an added bonus, they also catch spills + drips and are easy to remove, rearrange, and wash as needed! These are available at King Soopers, Marshall’s, Target, and many other local stores in a variety of shapes + sizes.
  • Black plastic baskets from Wal-Mart and the negative space between them create homes for glasses, food storage container lids, and water bottles in this drawer.  Look for containers with high sides to keep water bottles up right if you have a deep drawer.  If not, they can lay sideways as shown.
  • Simple drawer organizers like this one are inexpensive and great for junk drawers, laundry room supplies, craft items, and hardware.
  • Finally, individual interlocking plastic , wood  or acrylic organizers can be used in almost any drawer.  The great thing is that these are customizable to your space so they can be used in oddly sized drawers and can be reconfigured as your needs change over time.

We’ve linked to the products we use and love, but implementing this strategy doesn’t mean you have to run out and spend a lot of money to be organized.  Start by looking around your house for things you may have lying around unused.

Some containers I’ve used in the past include:

  • Mason jars (with or without the lids)
  • Unused refrigerator drawers (clear and spacious!)
  • Heavy boxes from past purchases/gifts (if they are plain & brown, I always keep them to use for storage; we used old Smith + Hawken wreath boxes to organize the Colorado Staging + Design Warehouse)
  • Gift baskets left over from the holidays (can be transformed with some black spray paint)
  • Inexpensive buckets from the hardware store
  • Old flower pots

The sky is the limit!  Also, don’t overlook the basic supplies available at the dollar store to get you started.  They have fabric bins, acrylic drawer inserts, and stackable, lidded plastic containers.

If you get in over your head and need a hand,  don’t forget that the Colorado Staging + Design Team is only a phone call away.

Ready…set… ORGANIZE!