As social distancing efforts continue, our homes can increasingly feel like our entire world. While there is generally little we can do about the uncertainty that breaks out outside, there is are in many ways we can tame all the little messes inside.
In this unusual spring cleaning season, the editors at Curbed are sharing some of our favorite housekeeping strategies and tricks below.
Be a doorman
“I can’t advocate enough for a single-entry policy,” says Tom Acitelli, publisher of Curbed Boston and father of two, who applies the policy to clothing, children’s toys, (most) books and other items for the home. . “It really helps keep clutter under control in our small space.”
Create landing sites for clutter
“Establish a” drop-off point, “a place where everything from keys to changing receipts,” Acitelli also recommends. He says it’s best if you walk away from the front door, since distance can foster better organizational habits.
Executive editor Mercedes Kraus agrees: “Everything must have a place. Even if you need to have a temporary place (for keys, mail and the like), have a space dedicated to transience. ”
Recycle nice boxes
“I love to reuse sturdy and attractive boxes as organizers in my apartment,” says editor Jenny Xie. A colorful boxed packaging for some new socks now contains small bottles of skin care products, a flat box for a new wallet contains necklaces and hair accessories, and a long rectangular wine box, placed at its end long, fix loose single-serving sandwiches and condiment packages in my pantry. “
Buy furniture that does double duty
“I live in a small apartment with only one closet, so furniture that works as storage is key,” says engagement editor Jessica Gatdula. “I have an ottoman that serves as an extra seat and stores towels, a basket-shaped coffee table and a nice futon that hides my shoes underneath.”
Choose the storage you can see through
“Transparent storage containers, whether containers or drawers, help you store things, but you can see and access them more easily,” says Kraus. But she’s also a fan of stylish, saved baskets for storing things you might not want to look at.
Contain child chaos
“With two children under the age of five, it’s not so much about getting organized in my house, it’s about quickly throwing everything on the floor in an available container to (temporarily) suppress the disaster,” says urban planning editor Alissa Walker. “I have these knotted PVC bins from the container store ready in every room to sort toys, carry stuffed animals, and store shoes. The bright colors make me smile, even when I’m on my knees chasing a trail of Magna-Tiles across the carpet. “Any similar-sized container, laundry basket, or even a recycled cardboard box would also work.
Dip your fingers in minimalism
“I turned my room into a sleeping space and got all the dressers, tables, clothes, and keys out of the room. It’s minimalist and creepy, but it works, “says Brock Keeling, editor of Curbed SF, who says that in turn, this change helped him get rid of things he didn’t need (tangled wires, old books, homey accents).” It was a chain reaction from the organization! ”
“Learn to appreciate and create negative space,” says Keeling. “Not all walls, shelves, or surfaces need to be filled.”
Unify your wardrobe
Personally, I really believe in matching hangers – they are an easy way to make your wardrobe feel more organized instantly. I used to try poking around with the popular thin velvet hangers but these days, I prefer a sturdy wooden hanger, like the affordable ones from Ikea. If you don’t want to go out and buy all the new hangers, just throw away the dishonest and random ones, and then group similar ones together; for example, use all white plastic for shirts and all wooden for jackets and sweaters.
Go vertical with your kitchen storage
“I love and hate the trash cans in my kitchen,” says Keeling. “One thing that helps keep jagged drawers less chaotic: magnetic knife strips, which hold knives, but also other items like metal clips or small shakes.”
Executive editor Mariam Aldhahi, who has a small kitchen with no drawers and only two cabinets, has leaned on large perforated boards. “All of our pots, pans, and utensils are hanging on a pegboard from the hardware store,” she says. “We also have one in the bedroom and one in the bathroom, which are from the container store.”
When you remodel a kitchen, look for drawers
“I hate deep kitchen cabinets, especially for upper cabinets, where you end up storing things you don’t use, things you could get rid of more wisely, in some cases where you can’t reach them,” says Cindy Widner, editor of Curbed Austin. Meanwhile, deep base cabinets are dark, creepy, and hard to keep organized. When I was able to remodel my kitchen, I looked for drawers, many of various widths and depths.
To keep drawers organized, Widner uses two strategies: a grip, a non-stick drawer liner in a light color (you can align utensils that way, and they won’t move), and modular bamboo drawer organizers that need more structure. .