|Psst ... you. Yes, you! Take a look in my cupboard.|
- Try not to buy unnecessary things;
- Get rid of things I don't use; and
- Make sure every thing has a home.
Especially in a small space, it is important to consider how you will store the things you plan to buy. This seems like common sense, but when walking into a store, there are aisles of beautiful, but impractical (for your space) temptations! Whenever possible I buy compact appliances like a kitchen hand held mixer (not a countertop mixer); a laptop computer (not a desktop); and an upright vacuum cleaner (not a canister model). Sans the mass, compact tools do their jobs like their Cadillac siblings.
Fortunately in my small Manhattan apartment, I have cupboards (some New Yorkers don't!), but I still have to get everything in there. Shelf helpers do the trick! (Please don't judge. I have not found a way to live without plastic storage food containers: Unlike glass storage containers, plastic is easy to stack in a limited space and doesn't break when falling over. I never, ever microwave food in them. But I digress.) Back to putting things in order ...
Here are a few helpful organizing tips:
1) Take everything out of a cupboard, then return things, placing the stuff you use daily in front at your fingertips.
2) Don't buy expensive organizers. Get rid of stuff instead! Shelf helpers, at $4 - $6 each, are a cheap, unbeatable tool for organizing essentials -- the things you must keep to make your life easier; happier; or better.
3) About size: Medium and small shelf helpers fit better. The large ones take up too much valuable space inside the cupboard. Often they work for outside areas like counter tops.
4) Usually grouping "alikes": cups; plates; wine glasses; or gadgets together is the best system. If you store small footprint items in front, they won't interfere with grabbing bigger items in the back. As much as possible, I try to avoid the need to move things in order to seize other things. It's annoying to have a job (i.e. move stuff) before you do a job (take out a plate). Organize your things in smart ways to save steps!
In the top photo: The (12) red, goose, china cups and red plate/platter are Christmas dishes. In hindsight, I would not buy once-a-year festive dishes. They take up too much real estate! Moreover, there are a few possessions in the cupboard I never use ... yet am slow to give away as they are gifts. But one day the never-use-articles will have to go!
Extra Tips: Put self helpers (1) in the back of your clothes closet, on the floor to create an extra level for lining up your shoes, as well as, (2) under a bathroom sink to neatly stash a few cleaning supplies. These organizers don't need to stay in your kitchen and will fit tight spaces elsewhere in your house. Finally, (3) be mindful of overconsumption; and try to limit the things you bring into your home. Get into the habit of buying enough. Less is better!
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