Designing Storage Solutions is Not Just About Tidy

One piece of advice I always give anyone who is planning to organize and/or redesign a space is, “store and organize things the way you use them”.  Think about the things you use most often and store them in the most accessible spot.  The goal is to find what you need and put it away easily so you can find it again the next time, right?

The Goal

Designing cabinetry for any space in your home is not just so that you can put things away and have the place look tidy.  The goal is for everything to have a home and look nice too.  So, you have to spend a lot of time thinking about how and where you use your things, and how to best design storage to fit them.

I am currently working on a couple of kitchen design projects, a large closet/storage system in a basement, a master closet, a bathroom renovation and a cottage organizing and decorating project.  All of them require the same thought process.  It is not easy to get it exactly right.

First Steps

Before designing a new storage system, it is important to do a good sort, purge and reorganization of the room you plan to renovate.  Do your best to put things away based on how you use them.  That may mean that you need some temporary shelves, bins and baskets to refine the location of where things should live.

Test Run

I recently did a little test run for a client who will be renovating her kitchen in the next year or so.  She has always had a messy junk drawer, so I suggested we try a new well-designed tray system in the drawer to see if it helps the drawer stay tidy.  It has worked beautifully. That tells me that when I design her kitchen, I need to pay extra attention to the interior of her drawers and cupboards, and we need to place everything in advance to be sure we get it right.

Another example is a bathroom cabinetry design project I worked on for a client a few months ago.  We specified a special spot for her hair dryer and other accessories in one of the drawers.  Those small things can make such a big difference.  Had we not done that, the bathroom would still have been tidy but not as well organized.

Final Words

Put on your thinking cap.  Take your time figuring out how you will “store and organize things the way you use them” so that you don’t have to change your storage solutions later because they aren’t working.  And, as I always say, please try to have fun!

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