21 Feb Design Driven Column – March Break-ing Free from Clutter

It’s difficult to escape a certain design theme that rolls around every year in late January or early February; magazine, blogs, and any number of television shows have all once again rolled up their collective sleeves in a concerted effort to get us organized on the domestic front as we head into the new year.  The sheer mass of storage and organization advice on offer suggests that most of us must live like hoarders from one late winter to the next.

As I look around my own home, it’s fairly obvious I’m guilty of not being even half as organized as I should be.  Having just built a house designed with what we assumed was plenty of storage space, you’d think it would be simple to stay organized.  However, open any closet door or drawer on any given day and more often than not it’s a gong show behind those doors and drawers.

As the March break draws near, with my stay-cation already booked, I’m feeling the itch to organize my living space.  So, with the help of various on-line and print media sources, I’ve found three inspiring design-oriented principles and strategies that I am going to endeavor to build my March Break ‘Organizathon’ around.

1.  I’m going to treat my closets the same way I would a room.  That is, I’m going to curate them.  By ‘curate’ I mean editing whatever isn’t necessary, and then grouping ‘like’ things together wherever possible.  A few years ago I pinned an image to my pinterest board (“Best curated closet I’ve ever seen”) and that will be my inspiration.  Apparently I wasn’t alone as that particular pic has been repinned more than anything else I’ve posted on that social site!

2.  When the local Zellers went out of business they didn’t only sell off their inventory, they sold everything that wasn’t nailed down.  I walked away with the metal staff lockers, 24 mini lockers with doors.  The plan was to dedicate each locker to a particular purpose and thus keep all my office supplies and files in better order.  That ‘best laid plan’ lasted about a week; almost immediately the lockers became the perfect a place to shove things into, things that didn’t really have a space of their own.  With 24 solid metal doors that don’t allow me to see inside, I now spend far too much time opening, closing and generally guessing which door conceals what.  The solution?  I will paint the entire locker set with chalkboard paint on which I’ll name the contents of every locker door.  They may all end up saying “Clutter,” but at least there will be no surprises.

3.  Shamefully, for someone who sells lovely tableware, my kitchen cupboards are home to some pretty ugly cups.  And way too many of said ugly cups.  My husband will likely object, but I’ve looked at his 1970’s Stelco beer mug one too many times.  Like my clothes closets, I want my cupboards turned into models of thoughtful, restrained organization.  I’ll edit all ‘ugliness’ and keep the dishes, glassware and mugs to neutral palates and add only beautiful porcelain and local pottery for visual interest.

What’s on your March Break organizational to do list?  Share with me and send along your before/ after pics to Judith@judithmackin.ca

  • Barb Crawford

    I love this column. Organization is one of my favourite things to take part in, but I never feel like I can dedicate the time to truly PURGING. I love the idea of painting the lockers in your office. I also love the idea of getting rid of “ugly” dishes.
    Great post!
    And thanks for posting your DD posts online. I love the read.

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