Miss A Columnist

Denise Willard has over a decade of experience transforming the homes of clients in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia. Her work has been showcased on ABC Affiliate, News Channel 8 and published in The Washington Post, Home and Design Magazine, Washington Home & Garden, The Washingtonian, and Elan. She writes a regular design column for Viva Tysons, and has a blog where she shares her interior decorating insights, DreamDesignLive.com .

Denise specializes in creating simple, but elegant transitional interiors that are reflective of her clients' personalities and lifestyles. The combination of her southern roots and urban lifestyle can be seen in her personal design style, which combines the comfort and hospitality of the South with the flair of the big city.

Savy Storage Ideas For The New Year

The new year is here, and like a lot of people, you may have made the resolution to “get more organized.” While you can’t organize your entire life overnight, you can start small, think big by systematically going through each room of your home–finding better storage solutions as you go!

Purge Non-Essentials.  One concept to remember as you organize your home is to keep it simple. If you have too many things, start purging. If you don’t love something, or if a particular item is not useful in some way, then get rid of it with no guilt. Carry two boxes or bags with you as you organize, designating one for items to toss, and one for items to donate. The less stuff you have, the less organizing you’ll have to do.

Place Furniture Strategically.  Do you have a dresser or cabinet in a spare bedroom or in your basement that is not holding anything of importance? Consider painting it and putting it in your bathroom to hold extra toiletries, towels and toilet paper. Think about all of the possibilities when it comes to furniture placement. If you have room in a hallway, bathroom, or other area of your home, then fill it with furniture that can make organization more simple. Place a dresser or a bookshelf in a closet, or, if you have the budget for it, get a closet makeover from California Closets or The Closet Factory.

A well-organized closet makes all the difference in the world!

Organize Small Items.  Surely you’ve had the experience of opening a drawer or cabinet and seeing a whole lot of disorganization. Whether it’s your tupperware, socks, jewelry, craft supplies, or holiday decorations, the small items in your home have a way of getting tangled up and out-of-order when they’re not stored carefully. While you can spend lots of money on drawer separators and other organizational tools, why not just use what you already have handy? Wash out a styrofoam egg carton the next time you have one empty, and use it to neatly store buttons, beads and other craft supplies. Use shoe boxes lined with tissue paper in drawers to separate your socks and pantyhose. Rinse out coffee cans, cover them with scrapbooking paper, and use them to hold pens, pencils and scissors in your kitchen and office. In the kitchen, find creative ways to organize your cabinets. One way is to install the Rev-A-Shelf Two-Tier Chrome Wire Baskets from the Home Decorators Collection.

Organizing kitchen shelves with pull out shelving goes a long way to helping you stay more organized.

Think Outside of the Box.  While it’s usually easier to store items where you use them most often, it’s not always possible. Consider the space in your home that is being unused, and try to match it up with the things that you need to store, even if they’re traditionally kept in another room. For example, if you don’t have a pantry in your kitchen, you may find yourself stacking cans and boxes on the counter, or balancing them precariously in a cabinet. What about the space under your bed? Use under-the-bed containers or shallow boxes to hold extra canned goods, and simply restock your cabinets as needed. Or if you’re in the market for a new bed, consider something like the Storage Bed Frame from West Elm.   If you don’t have attic space, consider storing seasonal decorations in pretty, lined baskets on floating wall shelves. Remember to use all of the available space, including vertical space, all the way up to the ceiling.

Storage bed available at West Elm

Don’t be overwhelmed by your new year’s resolution to get your home organized and in good working order. Take some time to think and plan before pulling items out of their current homes, be sure to purge what you no longer need or want, and don’t be afraid to store things in non-traditional places.

Here’s hoping that 2012 is your most organized year yet!


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