For that full circle moment, it’s not enough to purge — you need to create a system that works now as well as going forward. Each room has its own unique challenges. The key is to have the right thing in the right place at the right time.
Below are some of the ways we organize our house:
Home Office: the desk drawer stores stationary, return labels and stamps, file cabinets hold paperwork all labeled and organized alphabetically. A washstand has extra office supplies and an armoire stores computer and printer supplies. Plastic bins filled with memorabilia are stowed under the futon in the office.
Bedroom: dressers and a closet hold clothes and shoes, tables on each side of the bed have drawers for tissues and personal items with a shelf below for books and magazines. A platform bed with baskets hide extra linens, blankets and off season clothes/shoes. A wicker trunk stores luggage and canvas bags.
Bathroom: an over the toilet cabinet stores cosmetics and toiletries on the bottom shelf and tissues and toilet paper on the top shelf. The medicine cabinet contains vitamins, first aid supplies, toothpaste, etc. An open linen closet has baskets with cleaning supplies, towels and toiletries and a laundry hamper.
Kitchen: a pantry cabinet organized by spices, baking supplies, cooking supplies (oils, vinegars, stock) and cooks tools. Crocks hold wood and metal utensils and the drawers store additional cooks tools, utensils and knives. Open shelving holds plates, bowls, glasses, mugs and cookbooks. A tray next to the stove corrals cutting boards, olive oil, salt and pepper. Trivets and strainers are hung up for easy access. A rolling cart stores dishtowels, baskets and serving pieces.
Every Room: cupboards, cabinets, trunks and tables with drawers and shelves are crucial for multiple storage solutions. Each room has a variety of them. Collectibles and books are arranged on bookshelves and a bar is set up inside a small cupboard. A stack of vintage trunks contain seasonal decor (except Christmas decor which is stored in plastic bins in the shed). Most of our artwork is out and hung, displayed on gallery walls or leaning on ledges.
Resources: The key is finding unique pieces for storage. Many of our painted cupboards and shelves came from Banana Tree, an import shop in Old Town Alexandria. They are long gone but Nadeau is a good resource for similar items.