While I am always sad to see the holidays go, secretly there is a part of me that loves the clean start of January. Like many people at this time of year I get the urge to tackle the neglected spaces in our home and freshen them up.
Over the years we’ve written countless posts on organization and shown you the before and afters. If you are looking for some inspiration, here are some of our favorite organization projects from over the years. I’ll start with our best cleaning ideas, since organization and cleaning go hand and hand at this time of year.
Last year I tackled the small closet by our back door and changed it from a coat closet to a cleaning closet. Having a space to store brooms, our vacuum, cleaning supplies and such right of our kitchen has definitely been a functional blessing. You can read the post HERE. The key to this simple update was adding the Elfa Door system, it installs easily with no tools (so you can move it need be) and it is currently on sale for 30% off.
We have a very popular post on making DIY natural cleaners. If you haven’t tried to make your own cleaners, they aren’t hard to make and are so much safer for your home and family. I personally think they are nicer to use as they have a pleasant smell from the natural oils instead of toxic chemicals too. You can find the supplies to make these in our Amazon Storefront HERE.
One quick project I did last year at this time was tackling the area under our kitchen sink. This makes it easy to grab something when I need it, not to mention I find using the seasonal scents makes cleaning more pleasant. The key to this space is the two-tiered shelf that doubled our storage space (similar here). You can view the entire post (along with 4 other organization/life hack tips) HERE.
Just before Christmas we finished up some projects in our laundry room, including building this shelf and adding cabinetry. I know this room may be the least interesting room in the house to spend money on, but I have three kids and a TON of laundry. Having better systems with more storage in place has made tackling laundry so much easier. You can read the post HERE. My favorite laundry products are in our Amazon store HERE.
Moving on to the kitchen, here are some of our best organization ideas for that space.
A few years back on one cold winter weekend I finally organized my spices, it’s not the most life changing project but it was so nice to see exactly what I had on hand. Not to mention, getting rid of the bottles of all shapes and sizes has saved a ton of space. See the whole process and outcome here.
I also tackled refrigerator organization one January. While my fridge doesn’t always look neat and clean, the Rubbermaid containers I used in this post have been life-changing. I’d list these among my favorite household things (strange as that might sound) because they are that useful. I no longer have a collection of disposable containers with random tops, and pretty much only use these containers for leftovers and food prep. Three years later they are pristine and keep food fresh for days, you can find them HERE. It also doesn’t hurt that they stack perfectly in the fridge so they look nice. One last tip is I store produce (especially berries, but don’t wash them first) in them with a paper towel to absorb any moisture and the fruit lasts at least twice as long this way.
This pantry (above) was from our short-lived stay in a rental home. While it had quite a bit of space, it opened right into the kitchen so I struggled to keep it from looking like a jumbled mess all the time. I created a system that worked for us while we lived there, you can read the post HERE. I called it a real food system since feeding a family of five with two teenage boys means if I showed you a neatly-staged space with sparkling water and rainbow-colored packaged snacks while it would have been pretty, it would not have been reality. We go through quite a bit of bulk food at this stage of life, so this post had my best systems for storing it all.
Christy’s pantry a few years back was large enough to store food and many of her entertaining supplies. She even built a rack along the wall to store platters and large plates (which is a fabulous idea!). You can see the post on the space here and the DIY instructions on the plate rack HERE.
Another winner of an idea from this space is the wall chip rack. This self-serve set up allows for kids to help themselves and frees up valuable shelf space. You can see how to make it here.
I am always trying to figure out if I have a space for a wall chalkboard like this one, Christy painted it in her rental cottage using wall chalk paint and keeps her weekly menu on it. This would save all the “What’s for Dinner” questions! See more of Christy’s kitchen in this home.
We still have some updates to make in our current kitchen including adding cabinetry in our breakfast room. The builder offered a desk option but I wanted more traditional cabinetry so we decided we will add it later on. We’ve tabled our final kitchen tweaks for another year (in hopes of finishing off our outdoor spaces this year) but at that time we hope to add some needed storage. In the meantime, I added this inexpensive shelf in our kitchen and with a bit of staging, it holds some extra dishes and wine glasses.
So what projects are you tackling this month? I have a long list of spaces that still need attention, though first I need to finish putting away all my Christmas decor. That’s on my to-do list this weekend!
Here are some of our favorite organization products below~