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Finishing school: Tips to complete home organizing projects like a pro

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Photos by Amanda Kuzak/Special to the Town Crier
A consistent folding method and labeling can make all the difference when undertaking a home organization project.

Over the past seven months, our homes have become offices, schools, gyms and restaurants, making it more important than ever to have beautifully organized systems in place that you and everyone in your household can easily maintain.

If you have found yourself stuck, wondering how to transform a cluttered space into something worthy of a Pinterest photo, you can do it yourself.

Purging isn’t the final step in the organizing process; it’s important to finish the project with products, labels and folding methods that will increase efficiency and visibility in each zone you are tackling. Over the past 16 years, I’ve had the opportunity to put the finishing touches on thousands of spaces, and I’m hoping my tips will encourage you to go the extra mile and achieve professional organizing results on your own.

Products

The key to perfect product placement is planning. Shop after you have purged, measured and planned to avoid impulse buys that don’t work well in the space.

  • Keep it simple. Containment should help minimize the visual clutter, not add to it. I stick to simple, solid bins and love using clear bins by MDesign.
  • Focus on products that work in multiple areas of your home. Products should be as flexible as your needs are. For example, if you need bins for your coat closet and your clothing closets, purchasing the same product will allow you to make adjustments as your needs change.
  • Measure the space and purchase products that will fill the space. This will allow you to grow into the space while maintaining a uniform look and feel. Pro-tip: Take a photo of the drawer or shelf to reference with the measurements as a reminder of what you need to store.
  • Buy from a bigger box store. Purchase items from Pottery Barn, Amazon or The Container Store to ensure that you can add products down the road. Avoid picking up cute one-off baskets from HomeGoods or boutique shops.

Labeling

Whether you live alone or with a family of five, you want the label to help serve as a prompt to put things back where they belong. If you aren’t a label fan, just stick to products that keep it clear what’s inside. If you love to label, there are many options – and the key is to keep it consistent.

  • Chalk labels allow for flexibility to change the label based on what you are storing easily.
  • Label makers maintain a uniform look. I only use them when labeling files, and my pro-tip is to keep all of the labels aligned to the right. It helps ease the eye when you are on the hunt for a file.
  • Vinyl labels are more pricey, permanent and polished. I order them on Etsy for my client projects, and they elevate common spaces such as pantries and mudrooms.
  • Consider all of the users in your home and what will encourage them to look for and use the labels.

Folding

Consistency is key in creating a visually appealing linen closet or wardrobe. Pick a method and stick with it. You don’t have to go through professional training at Gap to master the art of perfectly folding a T-shirt. It’s all about making a conscious effort to take the time to store something in a way that presents itself for you to easily find.

  • A properly folded shelf or drawer will typically hold less than a haphazard method, so be sure to purge before you fold.
  • Consider the size of the space and the size of the items when deciding how you’d like to fold. For example, children’s clothing is more easily folded into thirds without taking up too much space, while adult clothing sometimes creates too much volume when folded in thirds.
  • If you don’t want to take the time to fold something properly, chances are you don’t love it, so let it go.

For a copy of my best-practice folding guide, visit kuzakscloset.com.

Due to the pandemic, Kuzak’s Closet’s in-home organizing services have been put on hold, but more tips and tricks are available at kuzakscloset.com.

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