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Adapting New Spaces To Feel At Home

Adapting New Spaces To Feel At Home

You know when you move into a new home and feel like everything perfectly fits (“like a glove”)? Yeah… that usually never happens. New spaces need to be adapted to you and your family so you may feel truly at home.

Start With A Blank Slate to Adapt Your New Space

Almost every new space you encounter will require certain changes to make it work best for you. And to plan these changes in a new space the best thing to do is to completely clear the space. It’s important to have a blank slate.

Instead of assessing how your stuff fits in the new space, remove everything from that room, including any additions previously installed (like shelves and furniture). Then, plan the space by looking at it empty.

Ask For Help

You might want to call a Designer, an Organizer, use an app (many apps with free levels allow you to design 3D spaces with all kinds of architectural singularities), or engage the services of stores like The Container Store, California Closets, Closet Envy to have one of their space designers come and help you with the project. This is a service most stores offer for free. And it is critical to have it right.

In this process, consider the kind of things you intend to keep in that space. Note that we say the kind of things, not the amount.

The design should drive the project when dealing with a new space, not your stuff. Your belongings should conform to the area, not the other way around. Although a functional design uses the available space more efficiently, the physical space available is set, while the contents is more easily adapted.

Time To Let Go

When the time comes to incorporate your belongings into that area, there are serious decisions to make about what to keep and what to let go.  Because even though a good design will always seek to maximize the use of the available area, no design will ever work, and no space will ever look good with more than it can and should hold.

Many people experience this situation when moving. Usually, furniture, storage solutions, and belongings work and fit well in the previous home. But transferring those into a new structure rarely works the same. This leads to odd feelings of not belonging in that new house.

Do You Really Feel At Home?

When finally set in a new house, you want to feel “at home,” and you would like this to happen as soon as possible. But for this to happen, the spaces require some adaptation.

Interestingly, this adaptation process often gets ignored due to a lack of time or skill. The feeling of not belonging persists over years of living in a house where you don’t feel “at home.” But with the sacrifices we often need to make in moving, don’t you think you deserve to feel you belong in your new place?

Here’s the good news! As Organizers, we specialize in space planning. We are highly skilled at adapting, organizing, transforming, and designing your new house in every way so you feel at home as soon as possible. We want you to start your new life in your new space, loving how you feel.

If you are moving or don’t feel “at home”, call your Organizer today! The difference we can make will surprise and delight you – you’ll wonder why you never thought of us before.

Let’s Go Shopping!

Let’s Go Shopping!

We are thrilled to take you on a shopping experience like no other- introducing Shop with Us*, our website’s newest development.

Shop with Us is a carefully selected collection of what will elevate your daily life and home experience.

Some clients ask what’s reasonable to have in a home without excess or deficiencies. For these people, the shop may serve as a guide or validation of their home’s inventory.

Others have the deer-in-headlights syndrome when visiting certain stores. They might face innumerable options without knowing what works best for what or why, or what systems go together. For this group, the shop offers a confident buying experience since items are divided by home space and the best organizing and style solutions had been pre-selected. 

This is an eclectic shop – From the mundane (like cleaning and home miscellaneous) to the sublime (design elements for the sensory experience you want at home). Each piece of the puzzle is equally important in developing the elevated lifestyle you crave. We bring you an intentionally driven purchasing experience without confusion, straight to what each space needs.

Some clients have jumped with us into the unknown (without a parachute) to start a new chapter in their lives. We’ve witness the healing power of starting anew. (Have you ever noticed it’s easier building something from nothing than fixing or transforming something else?). But despite its benefits, starting over from virtually nothing is only for some. However, our experience with those brave souls led us to consider, source, and create new homes and lifestyles for them.

Please note that before acquiring organizing solutions or deal with home design, we must let go of the excess – physical or otherwise. It’s not our intention that you accumulate more stuff or shop for the sake of shopping. Buying storage solutions, containers, or design elements without the proper context will only result in additional clutter. The goal here is to transform your home experience into a streamlined, simpler, organized, exquisite, and fulfilling one.

So, if you have yet to eliminate the clutter in your home and life or you look at this shop collection without a clue of what to get or why, let’s backtrack the process. We’ll happily walk you to a simpler, more organized, stylish, and fulfilling home through design, virtual organization, in-person consultation, or hands-on assistance.

We are constantly learning and growing, and would certainly appreciate your contribution to this shopping experience. Let us know of products that speak to you or diverse uses you give to some mainstream products. Please share your ideas for this shop with us for everyone’s benefit. We’d love your opinion on this new initiative.

Please know that if the items in our shop are not to your taste, you may still use this store as a checklist for all the essentials and charm of a minimalistic, styled, and cozy home. But also, we’d happily create a custom look just for your home, if that’s something that appeals to you. Just contact us!

Shop With Us here.

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualified purchases

Your Dream Closet – Make It Happen!

Your Dream Closet – Make It Happen!

As Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases through affiliate links.

The Dream Closet

The closet is where you start many mornings. An efficient closet system is crucial to making your life easier, especially in a rush. Keeping your closet tidy, clean, and easy to browse through makes a difference in how you start your day.

This particular space should be your inspiration, not a morning drag.

So, let’s organize your closet and make it inviting. Respect your shoes and love your clothes. Give your closet contents the care and attention it deserves.

First Things First – Out With The Clutter

A thorough purge is critical. Your closet should support the person you are now in your life. It should be something other than the dumping ground for clothes that have fit in 15 years.

The closet is not some storage space for everything no one wants or knows where to place. It is impressive that people keep things in their bedroom closets just because they have space available. The space available is good! Be at peace with empty space rather than rush to stuff items that should not be in that space (and then complain about lack of room in the closet). Learn what your closet should contain and let all other items find their proper place in the home.

First, go through the contents of your closet and remove anything from the space other than clothes, shoes, handbags, travel bags, accessories, and other things you wear. Leave in suitcases, though.

Once everything that does not belong in your closet is out of the area and reallocated, it is time to sort through what should go there.

Discard clothes that don’t make you feel fabulous. Discard what looks old, dated, damaged beyond repair, or does not fit you. You will not wear these things, no matter how long you keep them. Besides, having a closet full of petite clothing or something you don’t like wearing does not support you. Rather than inspire you, these clothes will subconsciously remind you of everything you can’t wear. There are better ways to start the day than that.

You’ll be amazed at the space you get back if you objectively look at your clothes and purge.

And from now on, stay on top of your closet management. When you realize that a clothing item is unflattering, unwanted, in bad shape, or no longer fit, remove it from your closet immediately. Practice keeping a basket or nice-looking bag in your closet to place these items at once.

Assess The Space & Inventory Your Stuff

Consider the type of item you’ll hang versus what you’ll fold, the number of items in each category, and the area where each group should go. These elements determine the type of containers, sizes, and style. So, this step comes before buying any storage solutions.

A common mistake is to buy containers before doing the work with decluttering, sorting, organizing, and allocating spaces for your things. First, you must assess what you’ll need to contain and where these things will live. To determine this, you must remove what does not belong in the closet and re-evaluate the clothing. This is the only way to know, realistically, how many hangers you need, how much long hanging, short hanging, or double hanging space you’ll need, for example.

In considering storage space available, it is common to overlook vertical space. However, some walls and behind doors are suitable areas where we can store many items. Just ensure that things placed behind doors don’t interfere with those doors opening freely.

Crafting The Closet – Must-Haves

Lighting

Chandeliers, track lights, light inside closets, and under-shelf illumination are some options that make a closet look magical. At a basic level, the closet space needs good lighting. The lighting system you choose must increase functionality but also enhance the ambiance. That ambiance is all in the lighting! Usually, a mix of yellow light and white light works best.

Body-Length Mirror

A body-length mirror is a must in every closet. It serves a practical purpose because you must see the whole outfit on your body. But a long mirror also helps create that elegant atmosphere we all admire in amazing closets. The location of this mirror will depend on the space available. It can be installed on a wall, behind the closet door, or free-standing against the wall. However, the larger, thicker frame, the more elegant your mirror will look.

Closet Organization

Design Elements and Lighting Are Important

The Personal Touch

There must be space to express who you are. Make the closet your special place where you are glad to be. Use framed pictures or knickknacks that remind you of notable people and moments. Use these strategically and tastefully.

Wastebasket

A wastebasket is necessary for every closet (and in every home space, actually!). Get a wastebasket that complements the space décor. To make things easier, consider a trashcan with no lid.

Hamper

Have one hamper per person sharing the closet. Make the hampers look good in the space. 

If closet space is limited, place hampers in the bedroom. However, hampers should preferably be where you change clothes. 

Note that hampers and laundry baskets are not the same and have different purposes. Your laundry process determines how the closet remains organized or not.

Seating

You may need a place to sit to put on your shoes. This seat could be as simple as the tiniest ottoman or stool to the most oversized armchair (space and style permitting). Ensure your seating option fits the room in style, size, and color.

Hangers

The difference in having all the hangers look the same is incredible.

We recommend space-saving hangers because they prevent clothes from falling off the hangers or losing their shape. In addition, they save at least one-third of the space in your closet (just by switching hangers!).

And if you get the appropriate clips to transform these hangers into a skirt or dressy short hangers, all hangers will look the same in the space.

Having the same hangers throughout prevents hangers from tangling and provides a more efficient experience in your closet.

Sports shorts usually go in drawers, but dressy and cargo shorts should go on hangers to avoid wrinkles and save space in your drawers.

Pro Tip: Use two space-saving hangers for heavy clothing such as coats or jackets. That way, your hanger collection remains uniform.

Garment Bags 

Some pieces of clothing deserve the protection of a garment bag. However, avoid plastic garment bags because plastic is detrimental to the fabric. Instead, replace plastic garment bags with fabric ones.

People seem surprised to learn they should remove plastic covers from their clothes when they bring them home from the cleaners. This is because the plastic used by cleaners is detrimental to the fabric. The plastic also traps the chemical residues of the cleaning process. 

Drawer Dividers

If you have drawers, you need drawer dividers. It is that simple.

Dividers make a considerable difference in the maintenance of drawers and hold us accountable for the amount of stuff we keep in those drawers.

Measure drawers before buying dividers because these come in different widths and lengths to fit every kind of drawer. Keep in mind that drawer dividers come in various colors to match the inside of your drawers.

Closet Organization

Organization Baskets for Closet

Baskets, Bins, Containers

Accessories may end up in baskets or containers. So, where will those be? Use baskets to contain anything folded on shelves and small accessories. But you want solutions that look like they belong in the closet, not like a random selection of last-minute solutions. Use the same type of basket throughout the closet. Using baskets on shelves and niches will give your closet a uniform, elevated look.

When choosing baskets, bins, or containers for the closet, measure the spaces where these will go to ensure the right fit. You must also assess the areas to determine materials, color schemes, style, and what these will hold.

Best Practices – To Hang or To Fold

Hanging

Go for it if you can hang most of what you usually fold. It is easier to see all your clothing when everything is on hangers. And thus, you wear more of your clothes more often. Putting the laundry away by hanging it is also easier than folding it. But, of course, underwear, PJs, sportswear, swimsuits, and socks should go in drawers.

In hanging your clothes, classify them by type and then by color. For example, place all casual tops, jackets and blazers, skirts, denim, slacks, etc., together. You will efficiently select your outfits and enjoy how everything looks on hangers.

Place all your hangers in the same direction. Then, when hanging back those pieces, have the hanger facing the opposite direction. This system will let you know that you wore that item. In addition, the method lets you notice what you do not regularly use, giving you a clue on what to discard. It also helps you rotate your wardrobe more often and get creative with mixing and matching your wardrobe pieces.

Pro Tip: Always place empty hangers in a single location to avoid having to fish them out when putting laundry away. Also, your closet will look better if you isolate empty hangers.

Pro Tip: When clothes come home from the cleaners, switch out the hangers! Cleaners always hang clothes facing left, which is the opposite direction of what most people desire (if right-handed). Also, they use wire hangers, which lose their shape, get rusty, get tangled, and make the clothes lose shape. Wire hangers are the least desirable kind of hangers. Besides, you want your hangers to match your closet. And by the way, the cleaners would like their hangers back!

Folding

Whether you have drawers in your closet or a dresser in the bedroom, some clothing categories are better suited to live in your drawers. These categories are loungewear, sleepwear, sportswear (including swimsuits), underwear, and socks.

Drawer dividers have a stellar role when dealing with these categories. They will keep the contents of your drawers organized and manageable.

Spend the necessary time to fold things appropriately, though. There are also options in terms of folding. You can go Konmari-style or roll each piece of clothing. The rolling method is quick and avoids wrinkling of the clothes.

And whether you believe that the dryer “eats socks” or socks run away from you, your missing socks are probably not coming back. So, stop wasting space and effort keeping an assortment of unmatched socks. Socks are cheap, and your time trying to match them is much more valuable than the cost of a replacement pack.

Also, consider donating all your mismatched socks to a shelter. Did you know that socks are among the items shelters need the most? And when the weather is cold, having socks on your feet is invaluable. Nobody would complain of mismatched socks at that point.

If seasonal clothes take up too much space, consider packing them in air-tight bags to store underneath the bed or on a higher shelf. Since those bags get random shapes when extracting the air, consider placing them in bins that fit the area where you will store them. Bins stack neatly.

Organizing Your Closet Stuff

Accessories

Organize accessories in soft baskets that go well with the closet décor. These baskets are ideal for collecting items in some closets’ built-in niches. If you do not have those in your closet, these baskets can live on shelves. They will still provide an easier way to group accessories by category and allow easy access by pulling out the needed basket.

Consider dedicating at least one of those baskets or bins to small items needed where you get dressed, such as the lint roller, extra bra straps, collar stays, chaffing tape, heel tape, body and cloth tape, insoles, handbag replacement items (like small hand sanitizer, breath mints, mini note pad), and the like.

Closet Organization

Handbags on Display

Handbags

Handbags stored in a drawer or a closet cubby or wilted on a shelf can quickly lose shape or become ruined by creases or rubbing against each other. However, you can preserve your bags and make them look fabulous.

You can stuff your handbags with quilted shapers that preserve their shape, protecting your investment and giving the closet that coveted boutique look. In addition, it will be a more joyful experience to look at your bags while deciding which one you will take out for that day.

If you like that idea but feel the investment is for someone else, achieve the same result by inflating Ziplock bags to the appropriate size and stuffing them with them. Packing paper and bubble wrap do an excellent job as well.

You could also place your bags on special purse hangers or place your folded handbags in baskets or bins on your closet shelves. However, this last alternative is better for synthetic material bags.

Boots

There are many products in the market to preserve the shape of your boots. But the same company that makes the quilted stuffers for handbags also makes them for boots. Also, try these. However, rolled magazines and stuffing paper will also work (not very luxuriously, but they work – ensure they are not visible inside the boots).

When no shelving or cubby space is available to display your boots, hang them with special boot hangers.

Shoes

Closet Organization

Shoe Lover

Shoes should be off the floor, preferably on shelves. This way, they are easier to access and don’t get lost in the infinite depths of your closet, gathering dust. You are more likely to rotate their use this way as well.

Some closets already have unique shelving or cubbies for shoes. But if this is not your case, you can incorporate a shoe rack that makes selecting your shoes more accessible.

Sometimes, removing a closet rod and making space for a shoe wall makes sense. We know of an excellent company that specializes in walls of shoes! 😊

When space is an issue with the closet, a clever shoe solution is the over-the-door hanging shoe bag. This bag utilizes the door space to store your shoes. Please note this alternative works best when the shoe collection is small!

If your closet has shelves, particularly the highest shelf, you should have stackable shoe boxes. These protect your shoes from dust but let you see the contents. You might incorporate shoe boxes with lids or boxes with front lids that eliminate the need to remove boxes above to get that fabulous pair you want to take for a stroll. The shoe box option most uses the vertical space above your highest shelf.

Scarves 

Closet Organization

Scarves on an old fashion shoe rack

Scarves can go on hangers in your closet, in front, or behind your tops section.

Hanging your scarves prevents wrinkles and gives them greater visibility so that you might use them more often. Try using a hanger per piece.

There are specialty hangers for scarves that make a beautiful display.

You may choose to store your scarves in a drawer. If so, fold them neatly or roll them to avoid wrinkles. Then, place them in a divided drawer container or insert, preferably in a shallow drawer.

And how about repurposing an old shoe rack to create a formidable scarf display? We did that for a client once, and the result was exciting.

Belts & Ties

You need special hangers for belts and ties if you or your partner wear belts or ties. But belts bunched on a wire hanger or ties sliding off improvised solutions don’t work.

Organized Closet

Tie Hanger

Closet Organization

Belt Organization Alternative

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drawer space permitting, you could roll each one of these items and place them in a shallow drawer fitted with the right divided drawer insert. Rolled ties and belts in a drawer create a colorful, accessible display.

When the drawer option is deep, make two or three layers of inserts per drawer.

Hats

If you own large hats, consider using hat boxes. These preserve your hats’ shape and protect them from dust.

When space is a concern, use wall space to install hooks to hang your hats. This idea works great for caps as well.

Jewelry

Closet Organization

Jewelry Trays

Would you prefer your jewelry in stackable trays in your closet or your dresser in the bedroom? Or would you rather have a utility board on the wall to enjoy an artsy jewelry display?

If your closet is ample, you might have space to create a jewelry section. There are countless ideas to design this space so that you can enjoy your jewelry. Just check on Pinterest and be overwhelmed!

On the other hand, if your closet lacks the space to include jewelry, consider using stackable trays. Stackable trays are versatile, adaptable to your needs, and sit over your dresser or another flat area.

Before you decide on a jewelry system, though, make sure to edit your jewelry collection. All too often, jewelry is a forgotten category of items, and we tend to accumulate it without purging it.

After deciding what is still relevant, select the system that will hold the kind, size, and amount of jewelry pieces you keep. The critical factor is to have all your jewelry in one area, preferably using a single storage system.

Travel Bags & Suitcases

Only put away your suitcases and bags after emptying them first. The amount of trash collected from our clients’ handbags and suitcases is astonishing. Things get easily lost this way. Emptying suitcases and bags after every trip makes packing easier for the next one. It is easier to start fresh than to grapple with all the junk and expired products that remain in the bags from your last trip.

Befriend Your Closet

Avoid a closet that laughs at you in the morning and yells, “Ha! Good luck finding something nice to wear here.” Instead, every day, your closet should invite you in. But it is up to you to make this happen.

Keeping it in order is essential for your peace of mind regardless of your closet size. Getting ready in the morning sets the tone for your day.

Start your day with a beautiful and organized closet.

Not sure you can do this on your own? You don’t have to! Contact My Space Reclaimed, LLC, to get professional organizing assistance.

#FriscoProfessionalOrganizer #ClosetGoals #ClosetOrganization #FriscoOrganizer #SpaceOrganizer #HomeOrganizerFrisco #ProfessionalOrganizerFrisco #ClosetDesign #HomeDesign #HomeOrganizationServices

 

 

Designing The Perfect Kids’ Playroom

Designing The Perfect Kids’ Playroom

Note: This is a guest post by Kevin Connors of Inspired Organizers in Phoenix, Arizona

Creating the Perfect Kids’ Playroom

When envisioning well-organized spaces in your home, the kids’ playroom may not be the first that comes to mind. However, creating that ideal place  for your children can foster their creativity, exploration, and joy.  It also makes it easier for parents to maintain order and encourage imaginative play.

In this guide, we’ll explore the best practices for organizing a kids’ playroom. Striking the perfect balance between fun and functionality creates a space that nurtures learning and enjoyment.

First, Declutter and Organize

The initial step in organizing a kids’ playroom is decluttering the space. Begin by sorting toys, games, and other items into specific categories, such as puzzles, building blocks, stuffed animals, art supplies, and board games. Discard broken or unused items. Consider donating toys your children have outgrown to make room for new experiences.

Investing in proper storage solutions is crucial for maintaining a tidy playroom. Combine open shelving, closed cabinets, bins, and baskets to store toys and belongings effectively. Open shelving allows easy access to frequently used toys, while closed cabinets can safely store items that might be hazardous to younger children. Clear bins and labeled baskets help children identify where to return toys after playtime. This encourages them to participate in the cleanup process.

Activity Zones Ideas

Organize the playroom into different activity zones to stimulate specific types of play and learning. Here are some ideas:

  • Reading Nook: Designate a cozy corner with a bookshelf or bookcase, soft cushions, and good lighting to create a welcoming reading space.
  • Art and Craft Area: Set up a table with art supplies, drawing paper, coloring books, and washable markers to ensure ample space for creative exploration.
  • Building and Construction Zone: Utilize open shelves or storage units for items like LEGO, building blocks, and magnetic tiles. This inspires engineering and imaginative play.
  • Pretend Play Corner: Arrange a play kitchen, dolls, action figures, dress-up costumes, and accessories for imaginative play.
  • Transform the playroom into an excellent environment for learning. Introduce educational elements like a whiteboard for drawing and practicing writing skills. Consider adding a map, alphabet chart, or numbers display to make learning fun and accessible.

Additional Considerations

Consider implementing a toy rotation system to keep things fresh and avoid toy fatigue. Store some toys away and rotate them periodically. This method reduces clutter and reignites children’s interest in toys they last saw a while ago.

Safety is paramount in a kids’ playroom. Anchor large furniture to the wall to prevent tipping, cover electrical outlets, and use cord holders to manage wires. Keep small items or toys with small parts away from younger children to avoid choking hazards.

Flexibility is vital as children’s interests evolve, and their playroom should grow their interests.

Kid's Playroom by Inspired Organizers Arizona

Designing an organized kids’ playroom is a fulfilling investment in your child’s development and happiness. You can build a space that encourages creativity, imagination, and joyful play by decluttering, employing smart storage solutions, creating purposeful activity zones, emphasizing safety, and incorporating learning elements.

With some planning and effort, you can create a magical haven where your child can explore, learn, and make unforgettable memories.

About the Author: Kevin Connors owns Inspired Organizers in Phoenix, AZ, and serves as the Director of Membership of the NAPO Arizona Chapter.

Intentional Storage – Knowing Your Why

Intentional Storage – Knowing Your Why

Intentional storage means considering what we keep to determine how to keep it. However, in talking about storage, we must discuss the difference between putting things down and putting things away.

Putting Things Away

A simple life with fewer things means that we can adequately contain the contents of the house and develop sound systems around the use and care of those possessions.

A home that operates in this way is a home that facilitates putting things away instead of just putting something down.

Putting things down is the beginning of the end if you’d like a tidy home. 

Putting things away after using them every single time is fundamental to having a home that breathes peace and order.

And it’s much easier to learn to put things away consistently when everything has a logical, designated place in the home and everything fits its designated storage space.

Containers Keep Us Accountable

I heard Joanna from The Home Edit say something that stuck with me because it is so accurate, and I never thought of putting it into words as she did. She said: “Containers keep us accountable.”

I can see now why their organizing method always includes all that micro-organization and over-division of stuff. The more (appropriate) containerization, the easier it is to determine when our stuff is becoming too much – they’ll start spilling over.

When things start spilling over, we must decide (if we don’t want clutter to take over) what we should let go of or if that group of items has grown for a legitimate change that might require a permanent change in space planning. And this is what being intentional with the storage means.

The Why Dictates The How

Suppose you love crafting, embroidery in particular. And you have a section in your home office with all those supplies needed for your hobby. At some point, your hobby turned into a business possibility. So, you decide to pursue embroidery as an income-generating activity. Now, you’ll need much more material and supplies and probably more significant, better equipment to handle production.

In this case, it makes sense to “set shop” on a different part of the house dedicated to these activities, transform your home office into the facility you need, or even rent some industrial space. Either of these alternatives calls for a total change in how you gather, store, and use your embroidery supplies, materials, and tools.

Having a ton of new material available because your mother-in-law gave you a bunch of stuff over the holidays is not a reason to overflow or change the storage system that has worked for you so far. If you received embroidery material that you were not expecting or needing, you should decide:

  • whether to keep the new stuff and get rid of the previous material
  • sell or donate the new stuff
  • keep parts of each collection and give away the rest

The two instances are different but require an intentional decision and an action.

All that additional material will hang around the carefully appointed system and previously set containers without an intentional decision. As a result, it won’t look as contained anymore nor be as functional as it was.

When Storage Space Is Minimal

And one more thing! If the home of your dreams has minimal storage space, some “stored” items might not be concealed (as in open storage). So, when stuff needs to be in view like that, the trick is to blend that with the design and make it “disappear” from sight.

You’ll need some out-of-the-box thinking to achieve this. Finding the right storage solution means transforming potential eyesores into space enhancers, conversation pieces, and even eye candy. How about that? Are you up to the challenge?

The Hidden Magic of HGTV Design Shows

The Hidden Magic of HGTV Design Shows

When “The House Stops Working”

We all love those HGTV design shows. Whether it is “Love It or List It,” “The Property Brothers,” “Unsellable Houses,” or a rerun of “Fixer Upper,” we absorb their contents with joyful passion. But what is the hidden magic of HGTV design shows?

I recently enjoyed a “Love It or List It” marathon. Episode after episode confirmed that homeowners invariably mention that “the space no longer works” for them when they want to move or engage in a significant home remodel.

Clutter Is The Common Denominator

After establishing this fact, we then see the interior of these houses, and most of the time, we see a cluttered space that gives the impression that the home truly does not work for the family anymore. Typically, the common denominator in these homes is the clutter.

But why does the space “stop working” for a family? What does that even mean? Maybe homeowners have stopped trying to conform to their homes and instead have gone out of control, holding on to much more than they need.

They may have stopped objectively looking at their possessions altogether. Things accumulate without anyone noticing, and one day, they realize there is stuff everywhere, and they can no longer put things away even if they try. Or they can only use specific home spaces if their stuff occupies all their living space.

Please do not take me wrong. I love these shows the same as everyone else. In particular, “Love It or List It” is terrific. The dynamics between David and Hillary are fantastic, and this is one of the few shows where you see the Designer fighting for a budget to deliver her proposed plan.

I have never understood the budget distribution on these shows’ renovation projects, by the way. How can $100,000 completely renovate a home, including a whole new roof (and I don’t mean shingle replacement, but removing the entire existing roof where you can see the sky and replacing the whole thing – as I saw on “Mountain Mamas”?)

That Hidden Magic

But back to my main idea. I find it very interesting that these shows could not present their “reveal” without the staging.

Staging plays a fundamental role in the final product. The initial clutter is gone because homeowners moved out of the property during the renovation. But at the time of the reveal, we see that every area has new furniture, accessories, plants, and flowers- everything is perfectly appointed, which goes flawlessly with the new concept. Well, of course, it needs to be like this. Nothing less will do.

But the point is that we see none of the homeowners’ belongings in the space. We see hung clothes in closets, for example. It is a carefully curated selection of clothing pieces that barely occupies the space. And just like the clothes and shoes in closets, we do not see toiletries in the bathroom, the contents of the living room cabinets or kitchen dishes, or an overabundance of forgotten appliances.

What would the space look like with all the homeowners’ stuff and their original furniture? Not quite as impressive, for sure. What is the missing link here? The part they need to discuss is the staging involved.

So, the true hidden hero in those HGTV homes we love is the staging. Although the staging details are not discussed in the show to avoid diverting the focus on design, that big reveal is only possible with staging.

These HGTV shows do not discuss that if homeowners want to continue enjoying their fabulous new space when staging props leave the scene, they better reconsider the amount of stuff they keep and how they store everything in their house. That is what the organization is about.

No Organization, No Magic

Staging does not seem to be compatible with everyday day-to-day living, though. So, unless we look past the design and pay attention to the home organization and available space, the shine of the big reveal will fade as soon as clutter returns.

Staging is the true hero on these shows. But the organization ultimately makes the magic remain once reality sets in and homeowners’ stuff makes its way back into the house. Clutter the area again, and nobody will care about or even notice the outstanding design that once took their breath away.

For the homeowners to move back in and have this fantastic layout “work for them,” they need to flex those long-neglected organization muscles. Otherwise, the place will soon stop “working for them” again.

No matter what changes a space undergoes, if we don’t consider the area available and adequately manage our belongings, no HGTV design wonder will help in the long run.

There are very valid reasons to want to move or renovate a home. But when it is just a matter of the “space no longer working for us,” maybe giving the organization an honest chance saves us the costs and complexities of home renovations or moving.

Properly addressing the organization of the home makes it possible to live in a house worth a design show reveal any day of the week.

As an organization expert, I wish to show homeowners how they can live in bliss with their home environment. They can have a home and a space they love for its functionality and beauty.

That home you never knew you had? I can’t wait to show you!