The Top 10 Reasons You Need a Home Organization System
It’s fun scrolling through Pinterest looking at glamour closets of stars like Khloe Kardashian. How cool would it be to have a room dedicated to your shoe, purse or jewelry collection (even if you’re jewelry is more costume than real)?
While you may dream of such luxuries, you have waaaaay too many practical needs to deal with first.
Your son is demanding a new bookbag. Your daughter wants to buy a hot new prom dress she saw at the mall. “It’s only $389,” …says the girl who isn’t paying for it. They’re both hitting you up to pay for school trips. All these competing needs don’t even include what you’re trying to save for their college education.
And when it comes to your aging parents, they need more of your time, attention and funds also. You’re even trying to set aside a few bucks for a family vacation (which is long overdue).
With life’s competing priorities you may be asking, ‘Do I really need a new home organization system?”
Sure, it would be nice to have an organized closet to replace the mess which is your master closet, or adjustable pantry shelves (to stop the hide and seek routine you deal with today) or a new mudroom (to eliminate the ‘dump and run’ tactics your family uses when they barge in the side door).
In this article I’m going to list the top 10 reasons (or pain points) which can make prioritizing spending on a home organization system now a smart choice (despite all the competing demands for your money).
Simply put, if none of these 10 rings true to you, I’d advice you to spend your money elsewhere (you know that’s not hard to do). If you do find truth in these top 10, then take the next step and get a 3D design to see how your space can be organized, transformed and what it will cost.
Reason #1 – Shutting the door doesn’t make the storage problem and stress go away
Being disorganized is stressful. You’re probably saying, “Mike, tell me something I don’t know!” Being late for work because you can’t find your favorite shoes in the massive jumble on the closet floor isn’t enjoyable. Being frustrated because you HAVE TO IRON ALL THE TIME because your clothes are packed like sardines isn’t your idea of a good time.
These are life stressors you can do without.
If closing the door to your master closet, doesn’t make the problem go away– you may need a closet organization system.
Reason #2 – ‘Sparking Joy’ and decluttering has helped, but your folded clothes still resemble the leaning tower of Pisa
You’re addicted to watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. You’ve decluttered 30% of your wardrobe (hey you!). However, after a couple of months your sweaters and sweatshirts on the top shelf are once again a jumbled mess. Your single closet rod is still weighed down with too many clothes. You’ve got dead space above and below your hanging clothes.
What’s a girl to do?
Your sparks of joy are flickering fast!
I’d argue the problems you’re experiencing aren’t your fault. You closet is the problem. Your closet has ‘structural problems.’ Not a structural problem in that it’s going to fall. It has a structural problem of not being designed right to allow you to efficiently store and use the space. Here’s the biggest hassles I see in closets today:
- Problem #1) The top closet shelf is set too low (note – if your top shelf is 24” to 30” away from the ceiling of your closet, it will always be hard to store up there).
- Problem #2) The single hanging rod leaves gaps (unused space) below it.
Your current ‘system’ (if you can call it that) was designed poorly. You’re paying the price (with unusable space at the top and below your single rod jamb-packed with hanging clothes). A closet redesign can fix this. Double hanging sections with a shelf 12-18” from the top are an intelligent first step.
Reason #3 – The socks, underwear and jewelry in your drawers look like ‘popcorn’ in a shipping box
You love getting packages. You can’t wait to bust them open and find your ‘prize’ inside. You don’t mind sifting through the packaging ‘popcorn’ to get to what you’ve ordered buried inside the box.
When you dig through your dresser (or closet drawers) and the contents resemble the popcorn of a shipping package, it’s not quite so fun. OK, it sucks, if we’re being blunt.
You’re digging deep to find your favorite underwear which doesn’t ride up your butt.
You’re combing through your ‘infamous’ sock drawer. You need to find a decent pair which matches and doesn’t have holes. It can be quite a feat – OK, bad pun intended.
Dressers – while useful – often have deep drawers of the same size. While a deeper drawer works fine for sweatshirts, when you’ve got to ‘dig deep’ to find underwear, socks, pantyhose etc., it’s a pain.
Creating a custom closet with drawer heights to fit the contents (i.e. smaller height drawers so you don’t have to dig for underwear and socks anymore), makes sense and can blow up your frustration at the same time.
Reason #4 – “Throw and go” is not the way you want your mudroom to flow
You’ve seen this drill before. The kids rush in the side door (after all who uses the front door anyway). They throw their bookbags, shoes and stinky sports duffle bags on the floor of your mudroom/laundry room.
It makes you want to scream! How many times have you told them to put their things away?
Then you begin launching into the ‘Suzy-Homemaker’ role. When you decided to have kids, you didn’t realize you signed up to be their ‘personal slave!’
If you hate this routine – and want it to stop IMMEDIATELY, then you’ll want to look into an organized mudroom system. With an entryway system, you’ll at least be able to get their junk hidden behind closed doors.
Reason #5 – You want to blow up the crazy closet corner you can’t do anything with
To give it to you straight, most home builders give little to no thought about ‘closet design’ (if you can call what they put in a design at all). This fact is clear when you see a ‘design’ with hanging clothes meeting up with hanging clothes in the corner of a closet.
What this ‘lack of design’ creates is a corner with wasted space because the clothes ‘bump into’ one another. Can you relate to this problem? This bad corner sparks no joy.
With a professionally designed closet organization system there are 2 ways to fix this problem.
- Fix #1 – Use rounded or angled corner shelves. These shelves are not only space-efficient but look cool as well.
- Fix #2 – Alternate hanging on one wall with shelving on the perpendicular wall (oops – sorry to bring evil Geometry class into this!). When you create an ‘alternating corner design,’ pairing hanging in one direction with shelving in the other, the clothes don’t overlap. Then you can see what you’ve got (and use every inch).
Reason #6 – Your Container Store bins, baskets and hang over shoe organizers make your closet look like one of your Grandmother’s quilts
There’s nothing wrong with using baskets, bins, plastic dividers and hang over the door shoe organizers to keep things in place. Functionally, these products work and are a cheap way to up your organization game (especially if you’re renting).
However, they look like what they are. Patchwork add-ons. If you want a space which is organized and looks good, a coordinated pantry or closet system is the way to go.
Reason #7 – You just moved into your new home, start putting things away and realize, “My pantry and closet systems suck!”
You agonized over thousands of selections building your home. What kitchen countertops to use. You chose quartz. What bathroom cabinet style would stand the test of time. You chose Shaker. You even sweated over the finish of the TP holders. You chose brushed nickel to coordinate with your door handles and faucets.
When it came to the closet and pantries you frankly didn’t pay attention (even though a BIG reason for this move was to give your family room to breathe from the cramped starter home you moved out of).
Now that you’re moving your canned goods, blender, cookie sheets and cereal boxes into the pantry you see there is dead space galore between the shelves. And you know what? You can’t do anything about it. The painted wood shelves (which looked pretty in the model), can’t be moved! They’re nailed in. Ouch!
In addition, your generic master closet with it’s ‘oh-so-fine’ (sarcasm intended) wire shelves and single rods has ZERO PLACE to store shoes. There are no drawers for folded clothes. You can barely fit your stuff from the old home into your larger new home.
You ask yourself, “Why did I pay NO attention to my storage spaces when the reason for moving was to have more room and not feel cramped?”
The bad news is fixed pantry shelves and cheap closet wire shelves can’t be ‘retrofitted’ to make them ‘great again’ (although they were never great in the first place).
The good news is these systems didn’t cost you much since the builder ‘cheaped-out’ and installed the least cost system they could get away with.
Reason #8 – Your closets weren’t designed for you and your family’s needs
I recently heard a comedian joke about one of the most ‘politically incorrect’ songs of all time. It was produced in 1977 by Randy Newman and is called Short People (check out the video below). For people sensitive about their height, you won’t want to watch this one.
While I’m not a towering dude in my 5’11” frame, I’m not short either.
However, my wife is V.C. (vertically challenged – I’m going P.C. here) at 5’ 2”.
With our 9” height variation, it doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out shelves and rods which are a cinch for me to reach, won’t be so easy for Rose to get to.
Effective closet designs are developed around the height, mobility and ages of those using them.
For example, if you have a 2-year-old daughter, you’ll want to have ‘triple hanging sections to fit the most hanging clothes in her tiny reach in closet. When she gets older – with an effective adjustable system – you’ll take out one of the rods and shelves and convert to a double hanging system.
In the example of my wife and I, I would put Rose’s clothes rods lower than mine. In fact, with her lower rods we may have room for an additional shelf at the top section of her side.
Your closets should not be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ proposition. Short people (and tall people) have EVERY REASON for their closet to be designed specifically for them!
Reason #9 – You need more space for you. However, your guest bedroom is used as often as your parents or relatives living room of yesteryear
As a little kid I remember visiting Italian relatives and being led into their ‘mausoleum’ (AKA living room). It had green sculpto carpeting and fancy chairs with plastic over them. I guess the plastic protected the chairs from the family living in the home from actually ever wanting to use their own chairs! Those ‘special’ sticky, plastic-covered chairs were for guests only.
One room of your house today which can resemble the ‘living room mausoleum’ I remembered from my youth, is your guest bedroom. It’s used 2% of the time – if that – for guests – just like the plastic-covered chairs in my relatives living rooms years ago.
If you think of it, this is a waste of space.
However, this waste can be an opportunity for you.
Maybe you’ve dreamed of a craft room (but lacked the space).
Maybe you dreamed of doing yoga in a place you actually liked (instead of throwing your mat down on the floor of your bug-infested, musty-smelling basement).
Maybe you’ve dreamed of a private home office which wasn’t doubling as your kitchen table.
With all these space needs you may have never thought using an organization system could ‘grease the skids’ of your dream craft room, in-home yoga studio or home office. But it can be the solution to your space problem.
You can get the best of both world (a guest room you need 2% of the time) with a multi-purpose room for your crafting, yoga and a home office you’ll use 98% of the time.
The way to accomplish this is to create what I’ll call a multi-purpose (slash room) with a fold away Murphy bed.
98% of the time this room will be yours for crafting, yoga or a home office (when the bed is folded up). 2% of the time (when you have guests) you’ll fold the full-sized mattress down. Friends and family will sleep comfortably with a full thickness mattress used on your Murphy bed (and not on a bunch of wires also known as a futon or a sleeper sofa). You both win!
Reason #10 – Shoes, shoes and more shoes
You love your shoe collection. You love buying shoes sooooo much you hid your last 2 ‘finds’ from your spouse (shhhh…I won’t tell).
However, a shoe collection resembles a shoe graveyard if you don’t have a designated place to put them and see them (other than in a heap on the closet floor). And when they’re buried underneath hanging closets, they’re hard to see, let alone pair them up.
If you’ve got limited room (yet own a lot of shoes), with no effective place to store them, you’re like most people. But, don’t fret – there is a remedy.
The fix for LOTS of shoe storage in smaller spaces is to use flat shoe shelves. You’ll see what you’ve got, without taking up much room.
You’ll love your collection and find them too (note – one drawback can be your spouse will now know what you’re buying)!
While I’ll come clean and tell you I lead a home organization business in Columbus and Cleveland which designs closets and pantry systems, I’ll also admit I struggle with the ‘competing priorities’ on where I spend my money just like you. I’m married with 3 kids…need I say more…
If you’re not ‘rolling in the dough,’ I recommend looking at these 10 reasons to see if an organization system is important enough to allocate money for it now.
If you’ve got no idea what these systems cost, have us come out and create a design. You’ll see how your system will look in your space and get a Free 3D design in the process.
We’d be honored to help you with space-saving and cost-saving ideas for your next project.
Do you want more help from me or my team?
For more information on organization products or remodeling (with a bit of wacky humor thrown in) follow me on LinkedIn @MikeFotiLinkedIn or on Twitter @Mike_Foti or our companies’ @InnovateBuild and @InnovateHomeOrg.
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