Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Discovery Home's Neat: Avalanche of ToysLisa's house is overwhelmed by toys. She is a busy mom of two children under 3 years old. Her home has become overwhelmed by her stuff. Toys are being kept in every nook of the house. Even the bathtub of a spare bathroom has become storage for toys! Organizer Hellen Buttiigieg is going to try to force Lisa to purge some of the clutter. The dining room has become a makeshift playroom with too many toys for the space and not room for entertaining or even eating as a family. The basement is an office for Greg, Lisa's husband, but that space too has become toy-laden. The room leaves Lisa and Greg feeling like there is no space to work or to relax.
The Purge: The Neat team invades Lisa's house and puts like items together. This way Lisa can she can see what she has and sort accordingly. The basement htome office was cleared of toys making a toy free office and a place to relax. Lisa gets upset over the loss of her children's toys; she confided that it's tough to get rid of the toys. She is very sentimental, has a hard time parting with things, especially things that remind her of her children. Children's clothes are tough to purge because of the memories associated with the them. But the clothes and toys can be donated to help others in need. Hellen suggested making the kids part of the purging process as they grow up. She suggests using the one-in, one out rule. When the kids get a new toy, an old one has to go to make room for it. This helps keep the house clean and organized while teaching children that it is important to give to others.
While Lisa and her family are away, Hellen and the Neat crew brighten up the basement with a fresh coat of paint and a new desk. The dining room has been divided using shelves and storage units. This defines distinct play zones and adult zones. Baskets were labeled with pictures so even small children can understand what is inside. Curtains have been installed to keep the toys out of site. The basement has been divided into a work space and a relaxation space. Photo storage has been added to make the memories part of the space.
Hellen reminds us that organization is not a one type occurrence. Regular purges are needed to make sure the space does not become overwhelmed with clutter.
HGTV's Mission: Organization: Kitchen Clean-UpSandy Thompson is a banker, a writer and a full time student. That busy schedule doesn't leave her much time to keep her kitchen and dining room organized. Her nine by thirteen feet kitchen in her Wilmington, Deleware, townhouse is too cluttered to allow Sandy to get everyday tasks accomplished.
Weeks of newspapers and mail had piled up on the kitchen counter. As the counter space filled up, the paper overflowed into the adjoining dining room. Cabinet shelves were sagging under the weight of dishes and glassware. Food was stored throughout the space making it difficult to find what was needed to make a meal. Time was wasted and Sandy was getting frustrated.
Professional organizer Debbie Lillard was called on to tackle this challenge. First, Debbie and Sandy cleared the space so they could see the space as a blank canvas. Items that are used everyday are pulled out and stored separately so things can easily be found during the kitchen reorganization. Paper and mail was sorted into trash and needed items. Papers and mail that were kept were then taken to the office to be filed away. Food was then sorted, carefully checking expiration dates.
Next, cabinets were cleared of plasticware. Glasses were wrapped for temporary storage. Cookbooks came down off the shelves and were boxed. Excess bakeware and dishes were cleaned from the dining room buffet. Items that are not used frequently or were no longer needed were thrown away or donated to charity.
To get this kitchen and dining room organized, a small cabinet was removed from the space. The dishwasher was moved to open up the flow of the space. An open rack was replaced with a new pantry. Walls were painted to compliment artwork that Sandy loves. A new buffet was brought in to replace the old buffet that was too small for the space. Sagging shelves were replaced with new sturdy shelves that can hold up to the weight of Sandy's dishes. A small secretary's desk was also brought in to add a space to sort mail and keep keys. And to keep the space bright, a new chandelier was installed.
To maximize cabinet space, dividers and baskets were used. Food was put in the cabinets by type. This serves two purposes: it makes it easier to find and keeps you from buying duplicates of items already on hand. Bakeware and cookware were stored in cabinets with special cabinet organizers that are next to the oven and stove to make them more accessible. The dishes were stored in a cabinet that was next to the dishwasher to make unloading the dishwasher quicker and more efficient. Finally, appliances were put in pantry and in the buffet.
With proper organization, time can be saved and stress can be reduced. Sandy's new kitchen and dining room gives her a new space to entertain, write and do homework. Her newly organized cabinets make it easier for her to cook and save her time. The time and investment in this newly organized kitchen created a beautiful, multiuse space.