An orderly home doesn’t have to mean white plastic boxes with generic printed labels. Nor does it mean getting rid of 90 percent of the things you own.
“Organization can be incredibly artful and soulful,” says Margot Guralnick. She should know. As Remodelista’s architecture and interiors editor, Guralnick studies exceptionally well-put-together homes. And now, the design expert, along with Editor-in-Chief Julie Carlson, has gathered all this knowledge in their new book, “Remodelista: The Organized Home.”
But unlike other organizing manuals that just focus on decluttering, Remodelista’s tome aims to help readers find order while interjecting some major style.
In its pages, you’ll find useful tips (illustrated through gorgeous photographs) and insider shopping resources to streamline your home so you aren’t spending, say, 20 minutes a day looking for your keys or glasses (the worst!). Instead, you’re admiring the objects you do own.
“We’re not advocating clearing out the house and live with only the basics,” says Guralnick. “We’re saying make room in your life for what you love, and have space to take it in and enjoy it.”
Along the way the editors shout out their favorite utilitarian-chic products, like the peg rail (seriously, a catch-all for everything) and the simple tray. “Trays lend order,” Guralnick says. “They corral small loose items and give them a home. The dish scrub, brush, and dish soap — placed on a tray, you suddenly have a small still life.”
Art-worthy vignettes all over our house? Sign us up! Here, Guralnick tells us the fundamentals for a sane, stylish, and most important, happy home.
A place for everything, and everything in its place
Don’t wait for spring to spring clean
Make sorting and editing items part of your regular routine, says Guralnick. Simple steps like going through your mail and recycling daily help prevent giant pile-ups. Then, allot some time, maybe 10 mins a week or a few hours once a month, to tackle any parts of your house that are getting out of hand. Now when spring rolls round you won’t be buried in the everyday clutter and can focus on bigger seasonal to-dos like shampooing rugs.
Make your bed every day
“It’s the habit that makes you feel like things are in order, and it starts the day off right,” says Guralnick. Plus, the one-minute task makes you feel calm as soon as you come home.
Create systems that your family can follow
Want your family to be neater? The key is to establish systems that aren’t overly complicated, says Guralnick. Place hooks on your teenager’s wall or closet door, so instead of tossing jeans on the floor, he can hang them up. “Just getting things off the floor is so much tidier and more pleasing,” she says. “For young kids, hang hooks at their level so they can hang up their backpacks. If your partner has sports equipment, try a canvas totebag in the entryway so he can drop things off.”
Cereal boxes are space hogs. Whether it’s cotton swabs, paper clips, or the giant yellow box of Cheerios, get rid of the clunky packaging they come in, says Guralnick. We know what you’re thinking -- this seems unnecessary -- but by decanting items in bottles you not only gain more shelf space, but a much more visually pleasing home. The Remodelista crew’s vessel of choice is Weck jars, but you can pretty much use any bottle you fancy. Plus, when it’s time to hit the grocery store, you know exactly what you need and don’t end up with duplicates.
Keep your keys, phone and eyeglasses in the same place
“People spend a phenomenal amount of time looking for things, including keys, in the morning,” says Guralnick. Her tip: Hang your keys by a rack on the front door or throw them in a bowl. “Just by keeping these essentials in the same place every day simplifies life in a wonderful way,” she says.
WATCH: The right way to care for your bed