Originally posted on June 17, 2010
So now that you have a clutter free space, how do you organize what is left? If you have the funds, there are lots of wonderful drawers and organizer systems that you can customize. But reality is, it can be very expensive. I suggest looking on Craigslist for people in your local area who are giving away or selling for cheap their old organizers. There are also flea markets, thrift shops and businesses that are liquidating. I just got a paper organizer from a friend who's office was downsizing and getting rid of some equipment. Keep in mind too that buying used and/or free stuff most likely will need clean up and repair work. If you are not up for the task, then don't take in these items. They will just become more clutter.
Once you have figured out what organizers work for your space (bookcases, photo boxes, file cabinets, tackle boxes, spice jars, etc...) it is time to get to work! Put like with like. For instance, if you are working on your craft/hobby space, put all your ribbons in one spot, all your buttons in another, cutters in another, and so on. Small jars work great for sorting buttons and other small embellishments. Shoe boxes are easy to cover with pretty fabric or scrap booking paper for a personal touch for your storage needs. Most cutting system supplies will fit in an adult size shoe box. Putting ribbon spools on a dowel keeps them together and still allows easy access. If you feel like working a little more, you can drill a hole on each side of a bookcase for each dowel, and they will have a permanent spot to rest and not be kicking around. At IKEA there are portable paper roll holders in the children's section that work great for ribbon too. I use these use for my ribbon, and it allows me to take them anywhere I need. Tackle boxes or the large pill boxes are also very useful for sorting needles, thread, trinkets, notions, or anything else you need.
If you are trying to get a living space organized, I suggest looking through home type magazines if you don't have an idea of the look you're going for already. Furniture layout makes a big difference to the feel of the room. Find what works for your space, and leave out unnecessary pieces. There may be another space that extra chair or side table would work better. Placing your pictures on one wall as a gallery also helps make the room feel less cluttered. It creates a focal point, instead of the walls looking like something spewed all over them. Books should be neatly placed on shelves with candles or other decorations strategically placed. Try not to have too many object displayed outside of a curio or hutch. This will give a cluttered feel, which is what we are trying to avoid. Inside a display case is just fine; that's what they're for.
Deep cleaning after a good purge will also give a big boost to the "fresh" feel of a room (including washing the walls, trim, ceiling, light fixtures, window coverings, picture frames and glass, windows, shampooing the carpet and upholstery, and dusting). Also, be sure to take out of the room and put away the items that do not belong to that room! This should be done on a daily basis to keep clutter from rebuilding. A great way to do this is to get a laundry basket and put everything in the basket that needs to be put away in other rooms. If you have kids, have them put the stuff away (it was most likely them who got it out in the first place).
Once the room is put back together and to your liking, sit back...relax...and be pleased with your fine job!