Month of Storage: Closets and Drawers

Closets and drawers come in all shapes and sizes and can pose a variety of storage challenges. Many closets must have multiple functions while drawers can quickly become a cluttered playground for rummaging and sifting.
Although some closets may be deemed as “catch-all” closets, most often times each closet is setup to serve a specific purpose.  Here are a few of my favorite tips for each type of closet in your Chicago new home.
Entry Closet:

  1. Outerwear changes based on seasons, so set up a simple rotation system to accommodate the shifts in weather throughout the year.  Place frequently used items within reach and off-season items up on higher shelves.
  2. Never settle for a standard shelf and rod setup, which is typical in most closets.  Pop in a few stackable organizers and hang a double rod to make the most of vertical space and to create a custom setup based on your individual storage needs.
  3. An entry closet does not just have to hold coats and shoes, it is a great place to put in your command station to charge phones, sort mail and hang your keys.
  4. Use an over-the-door pocket organizer to hold smaller everyday necessities such as gloves, small umbrellas, dog leashes and sunscreen.
  5. Add a boot tray to the floor of the closet to protect it from dirt and water tracked in on boots and shoes.

Linen Closet:

  1. Organize shelves by function.  One shelf for towels, another for linens and another for toiletries.  Give each shelf a proper label to ensure everyone in the house is on the same page.
  2. If you haven’t mastered folding sheets (I know I haven’t), then opt to tuck them inside of bins or baskets instead.  The basket will corral the sheets together and allow your closet to still appear neat and tidy.
  3. The back of the closet door is often times overlooked as a brilliant way to double your closet capacity.  Install hooks, towel bars and over the door organizers to make the most of your linen storage space.
  4. Use shelf dividers to prevent towel piles from tipping.
  5. Medicines should not be stored within the bathroom, making linen closets and ideal location instead.  Invest in a lock box which can be stored on an upper shelf and out of the reach of little fingers.

Bedroom Closet:

  1. To maximize your hanging space, use ultra-slim hangers and install a double rod to double your hanging area.
  2. Add a bin or shopping sack to your closet as a quick place to store clothing to be donated.  This will keep it easy to follow the one-in and one-out rule.
  3. Once again, set up your closet to work hard for you and maximize the space available.  Stackable mix and match organizers can provide drawers for sweaters, shelving for shoes and storage cubes for purses and accessories.
  4. Utilize the doors to gain storage for shoes with over the door organizers.  Also, add hooks to hold accessories such as scarves, belts and handbags.
  5. Constantly purge items that are no longer being used, and store away seasonal items in under-bed storage bins.  This will make the most of the closet space and ensure that clothing has room to hang and everything is simple to find and be used.

When it comes to drawers, there are some types around the home that function big.  Here are a few ways to ensure they work hard for you, so you don’t have to work hard to find what you are searching for.
Kitchen Drawers:

Start by taking some time to assess and pair down your cooking gadgets.  Although there are many fancy tools for cutting, slicing, plucking and pressing, really think about how much you need to be successful in the kitchen (it really is amazing how many functions a simple knife can do).  Once you have determined the amount of utensils and supplies that need to be stored, use labeled dividers and organizers to give everything a specific place.  The dividers will prevent the urge to add more to the drawer without a little extra thought, and will ensure items do not mix together.
Junk Drawers:

Junk drawers are typically spaces that catch everything in the home that don’t have anywhere else to go.  They are great for storing batteries, rubber bands, stationary items, etc…  Because they can quickly be the “go to” drawer to stash items temporarily, it is a good idea, to do a quick clean out of the drawer every couple of months.  Use organizers that stack and slide to make the most of all the different categories of belongings being stored in this single place.
Dresser Drawers:

When organizing dresser drawers, soft-sided organizers are a great way to corral undergarments and socks.  Line the drawers with scented liners or add a sachet to keep your clothing smelling fresh.  Fold and roll your clothing and place them from front to back vs. stacking them.  This allows you to see all of the clothing and easy grab one without disturbing the remainder of the stack.
Check out my fave finds for the clutter catch-alls in your home!