There is nothing more annoying to me than wasted space. In fact, if you knew how much time and energy I pour into finding products that will fit together to take up the most useable space in a client's drawer or shelf, you would probably institutionalize me. Not only is my crippling perfectionism to blame here, but so is my natural inability to estimate space. Seriously, if you asked me if an elephant could fit through the front door, I'd say yes... absolutely it could.
Anyway, with the gentle help of my husband, I have become more aware of how much I, well, suck at predicting anything in the realm of measurement (especially the whole concept of time). This awareness has encouraged me to double-check every measurement I take when space planning for a client in order to feel more confident when it comes time to buy product. After all, having to return impulse-buy products that do not fit is number two on Kim's List of the World's Most Annoying Things.
But I digress... back to the whole idea of wasted space. As a home organizer, it is important for me to figure out how to maximize each space I am working with, both horizontally and vertically. To do this, I first carefully plan what will be stored in each section of the space to ensure there is a flow to it. Then I choose products that:
Fit the length and width of the space
Are not tapered
Want to dive deeper into the way my crazy brain thinks? Here's a little more information about why I follow each of the above "rules" for maximizing space.
Maximization Rule #1: Buy products that fit the length and width of the space.
Do yourself a favor, people. If you have spatial awareness issues like your girl here does, buy yourself a pocket measuring tape and 1) use it to measure the space you want to organize (write the measurements down, too; "remembering" is for the birds) and 2) if choosing to shop in-store, bring your measuring tape to the store with you in case you need to measure any products.
When you are initially measuring the space, give yourself a little grace by adding a quarter inch to be able to play with. Trust me, this tip comes from real-life experience... nothing is worse than being excited about a product being a perfect fit and then finding that it is just a pinch too big.
Maximization Rule #2: Use quadrilaterals.
Ok, so the next two rules may be super OCD of me, but they are legit. If you are organizing a drawer or shelf that is sharing its space with multiple items, treat yourself to products that are four-sided. Why? Because they fit together without leaving any gaps. Think about it like this: If you put four coins together in the shape of a square, what do you notice? You get that diamond-shaped area in the middle, right? Well, when your goal is to maximize the space you are working on reorganizing, you want to avoid situations like this. That area in the middle is nothing but wasted space.
Maximization Rule #3: Use non-tapered products.
I'll keep this one pretty simple. Similar to Rule #2 above, tapered bins and baskets leave big triangular gaps in between one another when lined up side-by-side. That's wasted space.
Maximization Rule #4: Use stackable products to fill vertical space.
Envision your under-sink area. Your pantry shelves. Your kitchen cabinets. I am sure you have done an amazing job of filling these spaces horizontally, but how about vertically? Vertical space is probably the most neglected in our households, but offers such great storage potential! Depending on the area you are reorganizing, you can work to take advantage of vertical space by 1) using stackable bins or pull-out drawer systems, 2) adjusting your shelving levels, or 3) adding hooks or wall-based bins (such as a Command caddy) to the area.
After reading this post you may think I'm downright crazy, but alas... it's not just me! In a recent poll I posted on my Instagram page, 75% of voters stated that they waste money buying organizing stuff that ended up not working for them. And why, most likely, did these items not work for them? I can bet the reason was because they did not fit well into the space or because they did not offer proper functionality.
So readers, I hope these tips assist you in better managing your space, time, and money by ending the guessing game when it comes to your next home organization project. If you feel you need more specific guidance, click the button below!