By Theresa Malloy
If you’re forced to stay inside to avoid the miserable heat, why not tackle those cluttered eyesores in your house and start organizing? The Container Store in Edina (3825 Gallagher Dr., 952-831-3780) has more than 10,000 solutions to help you get started.
The store’s Happy Organized Home Sale runs until Sept. 3, and you can learn from the store experts at live demonstrations from 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. (One lucky audience member walks away with a $15 gift card at each demonstration.) Topics include basic home organization, dorm room solutions, and back-to-school ideas.
We caught up with The Container Store spokesperson Olescia Hanson to talk about how to start your home organizational project.
“In today’s world, we are juggling so many different things, whether we are at home or in the office or involved in the community,” Hanson says. “It’s really important to get as much time back in our day as possible, so we have time to do the things we love to do.”
- First step, clean your house, take inventory, and get rid of anything you don’t need. This is a great opportunity to donate items or have a garage sale, which helps bring in some cash for your organizing solutions. Hanson goes by the two-year rule: “If you haven’t worn it or used it in two years, then it’s time to say goodbye.”
- Start with a small project, such as the junk drawer, and just focus on that project. Make a realistic goal or deadline on when you want to finish it, whether it’s 15 minutes or an hour.
- Remember the three rules of organizing: visibility, accessibility, and flexibility.
- Visibility – “You want to choose containers that are transparent or labeled, so you can immediately identify the contents”
- Accessibility – “Items you need most often are the easiest to access, so put the items you don’t need on a shelf or different area you may not be using.”
- Flexibility – “We all forget our needs do change as our families grow, our careers change. We may move. You want to have the flexibility to reconfigure. You can reuse solutions.”
- Focus on how solutions adapt to your lifestyle. You need to ask questions. Am I a piler? Would I take my shoes off and take the time to put them in a shoe box? Would a bin be better than a rack? Hanson says organizing experts at the store will ask these questions to help find a solution tailored to your habits and needs.
- Limited space? If you don’t have a home office or craft room, a portable container is a great solution. Check out the elfa rolling organizer you can use for active files and supplies. Keep it in the closet, and Hanson says it’s easy to roll over to your table when bill day comes. Your projects won’t take over the space.
- Look for wasted space. Hanson says to look for vertical solutions. Ask if you’re maximizing your space. Some areas people overlook are under the beds or over doors.
- The Container’s Stores solutions are multifunctional. Something found for your bathroom could be used elsewhere. For example, Hanson says these cosmetic organizers could be used at a desk to hold pens and office supplies, or you could use the cosmetic cube as a vase for fresh-cut flowers.
- Celebrate finishing your project. Take back time for the things you love to do. “Do a little dance,” Hanson says. Reward yourself. This will help you maintain your newly organized space and give you the confidence to start your next project.
Product information:TAGstore™ Boxes, sale $7.99-$22.99 (reg. $9.99-$29.99); Retro Bubble Step Can, sale $11.99 (reg. $14.99); Bronze 3-Tier Shoe Tree, sale $19.99 (reg. $29.99); Platinum elfa Mesh File Cart $99.99; Acrylic cosmetic organizer $19.99; Acrylic cosmetic cube $12.99