How is 2014 treating you so far? Are thing finally settling down in the New Year? Today, Michelle from the Ten June Blog stops by to share her tips for organizing your rental home in the New Year!
Every year, I challenge myself at the start of the New Year to keep my house more organized. I also challenge myself to stop eating as much chocolate and drinking as much coffee, but that’s off topic! My house is filled by myself, my husband, my fifteen month old son, my Labrador mix and, pretty soon, another little boy! Needless to say, it can sometimes feel like Grand Central Station with all of the crazy comings and goings of our family.
While it’s true that everyone has challenges with organizing their spaces, I feel that it can particularly be even more challenging for a renter like me. Permanent organizing systems or shelving spaces are not options. In addition, a renter is oftentimes in a smaller space such as an apartment home instead of a traditional house. These, and other hurdles that exist in rental homes, can certainly be challenges that can make organizing your home seem impossible!
There are certainly ways, though, to make your rental home feel well-organized and functional. In fact, I’ve got a few easy tips that can help you down that path. These tips are such a breeze that I promise you they’re easier than giving up chocolate or coffee!
Create a drop space for small trinkets.
Nothing drives me crazier than when my husband walks in the door and throws all of the junk in his hands onto the kitchen table. Am I right?! Everything has its place… or at least it will once you create an organized drop space like this!
Right next to our back door, I created this “junk drop space” from a corner of our kitchen counter. It’s really nothing more than a couple of baskets, but the space does wonders to help us stay organized. As you create your drop space, ask yourself- what do you have in your hand when you walk in the door? For us, it’s typically keys and mail. So we’ve got one small basket to hold keys and other small items and another basket to hold incoming mail, coupons, a note pad and other similar items. One big rule, though, is that all junk mail immediately goes in the trash. This keeps our mail bin filled with only relevant, important items and prevents us from having to sort through large piles of junk later. I also have a pen basket (created by my beautiful niece in art class!) so that we always have a writing utensil handy if we need to write any quick notes.
I’m telling you, if you are like me and can’t stand clutter on all of the surfaces of your home, a space even this simply organized will make such a big difference when you walk in the door!
Keep it contained in baskets.
Baskets. I can’t say enough good things about them, which is clearly evidenced by this photo of a corner of my living room. Just in this tiny space, I have two big baskets. One holds blankets and throws so that they are easily accessible if someone wants to cuddle up by the fireplace. The other basket (which actually has a twin just out of the photo lens’ eye!) is filled with toys for my son. I prefer that he have some toys available in our living room for him to play with, instead of having to play only in his bedroom, but I want to keep them organized and stashed away from view. Boom. Baskets. They’re genius!
Keep the items in your closet organized.
I know this isn’t the most glamorous photograph in the world, but it is real life. In my life, we have a bunch of coats, shoes, purses, bags, mittens, hats, paper work, dog toys and more all over the place. It’s just the way our life works! And, I suspect, it’s a lot like your life. So, let’s organize it!
If you’re one of those lucky tenants, you have a hall or coat closet. We struck gold in the coat closet department as we have this big space to hang our gear. Even with a lot of storage space at our fingertips, it has become important to keep this little closet well-organized so that it functions at its best potential.
One big tip is to pick out only the coats that you wear often to hang in your closet. Store the coats and vests you wear less often in a larger closet elsewhere in your house or in plastic bins. This will help you free up some space in the coat closet for other items… like a closet organizer! We chose this hanging closet organizer option as it has large spaces that are perfect for housing bins, baskets or loose items. Each member of our family, even the dog, has a cubby hole and can throw whatever loose ends they want into the slot. No more excuses for my husband to throw his random belongings on the kitchen table!
We are more or less a “no shoes” household, so my family kicks off our shoes as soon as we step in the door. I painted a cheapie bookshelf find (you can find the tutorial for the bookshelf paint makeover right here) with some fun colors and we load it up with our shoes. I try to take piles of less-worn shoes upstairs to our bedroom closets every few days, but, as you can tell, we keep this shelf pretty full of our foot gear. Like I said, this is real life! It makes things a bit easier that the shoes are lined up on the shelf instead of lying in a pile on the floor.
These ideas are truly some simple solutions to help you maintain your organizing sanity in a few spots around your rental home. Feel free to use my advice to challenge yourself to organize your space this New Year!