Tips for Tidy Spaces

With work, kids, hobbies, and other commitments commanding the majority of one’s daily schedule, keeping a home organized is usually an afterthought. But don’t panic when clutter threatens to take over the home—try these tips from area designers to keep your home looking neat.


Kim Campbell, Chattanooga Closet Company

In closets, be sure to utilize vertical space and make sure you have flexibility. With both of those things considered, place your most-used items at eye level, within arm’s reach. Less-used items can be placed on higher shelves, and seasonal items can go on the top shelf where you can use a ladder to get to them when needed. This allows for seasonal changes—swapping flip flops for boots in the winter may require greater space between shelves. A child’s closet needs to change hanging heights as they grow. Opt for movable shelves and hanging rods in a storage system that has holes to allow a multitude of changes for your ever-changing life.


Leslie Morales, Lead Designer, Smart Furniture Studio

First and foremost: declutter your closet. Too many people hold onto clothing or shoes they never wear. Let’s face it—if you didn’t wear it last season, you’re not going to wear it this season. Store your most-used items at eye level, less-used items below, and least-used items up high. I like to use coordinated hangers for a clean look that will help your closet look more organized and stay that way. In addition, you can use cubbies, tiered shelves, or a hanging organizer to sort all your shoes.


Beth Van Deusen, Van Deusen Design

The two most common options for a kitchen pantry are a tall pantry cabinet or a walk-in closet. A typical pantry cabinet is 24 inches deep, and I always recommend installing individual pull-out shelves in order to easily access all items, especially those in the back. For walk-ins, it’s important to keep the shelf depth 12 to 18 inches to avoid items being lost in the back of a shelf.


Marty Stanley, Allied ASID, IDS, Anything Goes, Inc.

Since everything “extra” ends up in the laundry room, organization is important. Have cabinets, cabinets, and more cabinets installed with lots of drawers so everything will have a place. A large laundry sink with a pull-out spray faucet is a great feature and can double as a doggie bath tub. A counter around your laundry sink and above your washer and dryer is great to create an area to fold clothes. Pull-out drying racks under the counter or above the washer and dryer also help this room stay organized.


Tony Thompson, District Chair, ASID Tennessee, Tony Thompson Design

Dread organizing your pantry? Envision an entirely different space by adding wallpaper or a pop of color, perhaps even a chandelier or other interesting lighting fixture. Prepare shelving so you can arrange items by category. Then get down to the basics: organize! Remember to keep baked goods and pastries in airtight containers. Next, organize your canned goods according to usage—soups with soups, vegetables with vegetables, etc. Have kids who need to earn allowances? Make maintaining the pantry something they are involved with. It’s never too early for children to begin learning independence, and your pantry is a small but great way to start!


Laurel Powell, Laurel Powell Designs

My number one tip for clients in a laundry room is to dress it up. Add wallpaper or art to make the laundry a space you enjoy being in and not a room that gets skipped over. If you actually like being in the room, you are more likely to keep it organized and more likely to go in that room more often, which is the key to an organized laundry room—staying on top of the laundry piles.


Dawn Totty, CSP, Dawn D. Totty Designs

With everyday life, school, work, and weather changes, a home’s entryway is a prime space for clutter and, at times, chaos. Here are a few designer tips for an organized entry: 1. Think vertically for storage. It is far less obtrusive to have your storage in a more narrow space, going upward. A small locker, a vintage chest, or wall cubes are all handy and easily accessible. 2. Place coat hooks at different heights to accommodate all family members. 3. Sit baskets on shelves to conceal gloves, hats, and other apparel. Small baskets or hooks for keys can be a real time saver, too. 4. Opt for a cushioned bench or ottoman with a lid for additional storage—it’s a must for a functional and organized entryway.


Julie Bledsoe, Real Interior Solutions and Broadleaf Residential

When keeping a mudroom organized and clean, I suggest discarding any junk mail daily before setting it down on the counter and keeping only what is needed. It helps eliminate the build-up on the counter. Have baskets labeled for dirty and clean clothes in the mudroom so articles don’t get piled on the floor or on top of things. Shoes and cleaning supplies can be kept in bins under a mudroom benc

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