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Organizing Cabinets & Drawers

Make the most of your space and feel the benefits of a clutter-free environment by tackling the areas you see every day as well as the ones you don't. Even if your living spaces are clear from clutter, you could still feel unsettled if going through your drawers and cabinets feels like a hassle. These smaller storage areas should store items of similar use in the room they are used most. When you open a drawer or cabinet you should be able to see everything stored in them at a glance without having to move several items around to find something. You want to make these areas convenient enough to grab an item with one movement rather than sifting through piles to retrieve a specific item. Here are some tips to help you accomplish this:

1.) Use drawer separators. Drawer separators help divide up your drawers into simple categories to make your life a little more convenient. For example, my kitchen utensil drawer is separated into convenience categories: used most often (can opener, vegetable peeler, small whisk for a sauce I make often), used somewhat often (pizza cutter, cheese grater, knife sharpener), used seldomly (stand mixer attachments, wine opener...). With this system I am able to grab the can opener in one motion from the same exact spot in the drawer each time and do not have to sift through the entire drawer to find it. You can purchase drawer separators or just use small boxes you may have lying around the house. I often cut an empty tissue box in have because the size usually works well for my kitchen drawers.

2.) Store things vertically in drawers. With a deeper drawer, the tendency is to stack items so that you are able to use more space in the drawer, but you can accomplish this by storing things vertically making retrieval more convenient. In the picture below, you can see a drawer I use often in the kitchen. It holds my pads for making grocery lists and planning meals. It holds baby wipes I use for quick high chair clean up and disposable meal placemats for my 1 year old. It also holds a book I am currently reading in any downtime during the day as well as all our tapes used for packages mailed out and home projects easily displayed for quick use. Although I strongly advocate for categorized drawers, this is my one exception since I do use these items often and their location is convenient for their use. The plastic separators you see in this drawer are actually part of one piece, which is a plastic folder separator for an office that I found at a thrift store for a dollar. Once you declutter your space, check out the thrift stores for organizing tools as there are often great finds there.

Vertical storage allows you to see everything at a glance.

3.) Use the vertical space in your cabinets. When organizing a cabinet, make use of as much vertical space as possible while also making retrieval as simple as possible. Here are a few ways to do this:

Add a no-install, no-hassle stacking shelf

Use a product called "Spicy Shelf" (U-shaped perimeter storage)

Popular "As Seen on TV" product that you can find on Amazon

Use stadium-style storage to view all items at a glance and make use of vertical space.

Make use of cabinet door organizers to increase your vertical storage space.

Get creative with your vertical space to make grabbing an item as simple as one motion.

Cabinet dividers also make it easier to grab an item in one motion rather than sifting through a stacked pile.

These tips are meant to help you organize your small spaces with purpose and convenience. Make these spaces easier and more convenient to use by finding the right organizers for the items in each space. With this in mind, the first step is organizing your overall space and then deciding what items will go in each drawer and cabinet. After you designate a permanent home for every item, you can then choose the right organizers for making the space more efficient.

Make sure you are putting similar categories together and keep the use of each cabinet and drawer consistent with the room they are in. Avoid storing items in spaces they are not used, because doing this increases the chance that you will forget to put things away if it is less convenient.

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