Home Organization Tips From Rubbermaid
If getting more organized is at the top of your New Year's Resolutions list, you’re not alone. You’re also not alone in feeling overwhelmed by the seemingly daunting process. However, after speaking with Betty Schmal, Sr. Brand Manager at Rubbermaid Consumer Products, we can - with complete confidence - assure you that the results are beyond rewarding. In the following Q&A, Schmal offers expert advice on getting your home organized, including tips, tricks and how to get started.
What kind of individuals are great organizers – both professional and DIY?
Anyone with a desire to be productive in every task they tackle is an organizer at heart. However, people who have the ability to think systematically and a good understanding of spatial planning will find organization much more intuitive. You don’t have to be an engineer to organize your spaces and things, but you do have to have some sort of vision as to how items can be pieced and puzzled together.
How do trends in housing, such as storage, square footage and closet sizes, affect trends in organization?
The health of the housing industry has a significant effect on storage and organization. Owners of large custom homes often require custom solutions in their typically ample storage spaces, while more modest homes may rely on custom solutions in key areas (like the master closet or pantry), but less complex, DIY solutions in secondary spaces and bedrooms. Alternatively, the increased popularity of urban living and the large number of renters in today’s economy mean consumers need modular systems that require little or no installation and can be adapted to small and varying spaces.
How have products for professional organizers and DIY organizers for the home progressed?
These days, there are so many options for DIYers to create custom, professional-quality storage solutions using store-bought, kitted systems that meet almost any closet’s needs. The most notable progression in the industry, though, is the addition of stylish features to these storage solutions. Sure, consumers want a very functional space that maximizes storage, but they probably want it to look good too!
What are some of the most common mistakes DIY organizers make? How can they be avoided?
The perfect closet requires three P’s: PURGE, PRIORITIZE and PLAN. The biggest mistake people make is unearthing everything they own prior to thinking this process through. Without purging unnecessary items and prioritizing what’s left, it’s nearly impossible to come up with a plan! Do yourself a favor: follow these three steps and save yourself a headache.
Starting a new organizational project can feel a bit overwhelming. Do you have any tips or best practices for getting started on a new organizational project?
Step one is the three-step assessment mentioned earlier. First, PURGE unnecessary items to ensure you are not storing things you don’t actually want or need. Create three piles: Keep, Toss and Repurpose. Only plan to store what you actually need to keep. Second, understand the difference between active and passive storage. PRIORITIZE the things you actively and regularly need to access by storing them at eye level. Things you only access monthly or yearly should be stored up high or down low – passively. Third, create storage spaces by category: long hanging items, short hanging items, folded items and shoes, for instance. Most manufacturers sell products made specifically for these types of categories, which makes it easy to PLAN to buy the right products for your particular storage and organization needs.
Do you have any personal tips or tricks for organization in different parts of your home?
Adjustable and flexible shelving systems are the best way to get started in any space. These track and rail systems are almost foolproof because they allow you to design as you go (and down the road, as your needs change) with quick and easy horizontal and vertical adjustability. In pantries, use the deepest shelving your walls will allow and incorporate stackers to create layers of visible and accessible storage; use shallower shelving in high spaces to maximize space between the underside of the ceiling and the ceiling itself. In bedroom closets, hang pants and other shorter items higher to maximize your ability to use the shelf below for folded items or shoes.