Around the House: Make Clutter Disappear Like Magic
By Yehudit Garmaise
Even the most minimalistic among us must retain several things that we would rather not have in view, nor keep in the reach of our little ones.
By using the following storage hacks for the essentials that tend to look “clutter-y” no matter what we do, residents can create ordered homes that are not only kid-proof, but replete with clean lines, smooth surfaces, and relaxing empty spaces.
1. Hide the cords of your toaster oven, microwave, coffee maker, mixmaster, immersion blenders, and other essentials by buying an 8-pack of “cord organizers” to wrap each cord neatly around each kitchen appliance, whether large or small.
The cords of all appliances, especially those kept high, such as on top of refrigerators, should be hidden so children don’t yank on them, and, G-d forbid, pull the appliances crashing down.
Unplug all of the electrical counter appliances, separate the cords, and then consider whether you have cabinet or shelf space to store anything that usually remains out.
Instead of scattering the remaining appliances on your counters, group your essentials together in one corner. Then, buy a “cable management box,” that matches the color of the walls of your kitchen. An electrical strip hides inside so you can keep a few things plugged in, but keep your messy cords neatly out of sight.
2. Hide your kitchen trash can, which no one wants to see. Consider stowing your trash cans under the sink or in pull-out cabinets. Buy a pull-out slider kit to store your trash in a cabinet in a way that can be pulled out easily when needed. Consider replacing small bathroom trash cans with ones that are more attractive or have lids to conceal the contents.
3. Instead of coming home to mountains of shoes, shoes, and more shoes, many inexpensive storage items can help families replace cluttered entryways with clear, welcoming, and open space.
Each family member’s closet should include either a shoe bag that hangs on the closet rod or over the door, a stack of plastic shoe bins, or a shoe rack to store every pair of shoes but the one worn on most weekdays.
All family members can choose one, and only one shoe to keep in his or her own bin, basket, or shelf at the front of the house. Shabbos shoes, sneakers, water shoes, slippers, and all other shoes must stay in each person’s closet.
Purse organizers can also be kept in closets to keep your bags in one place, while keeping your entranceways neat and clean.
4. Make those mountains of paper disappear by investing in a file cabinet or claiming a shelf or two in a closet in which you can store matching bins or baskets to store work and important documents. As you sort and file, keep a large bag for outdated and unneeded paper. Try to minimize what you keep on paper by keeping important information on your computer, instead of on your floor.
5. Choose a storage ottoman, a bench that opens up, or a lidded basket to store toys, games, extra blankets, and children’s books instead of letting them float in disarray. Whether cube-shaped, covered with beautiful fabric, or made of rattan, pieces of furniture that do “double-duty” to stow items you don’t use all the time.
Storing things out of sight makes clean-up time a snap.