everything in its place

A classic-themed home office setup

The upside to binge-watching a reality show like The Home Edit is now we can’t stop organizing! No room is safe from our clutter-busting ways—from the refrigerator to the mudroom, the only thing we’re leaving in our path is, well… a clean path.

Create Order in the Kitchen
Until you experience having an organized pantry, it’s hard to imagine how you ever lived any other way. Not only is it easier to find what you’re looking for, it’s inspiring to open the door and see all of the ingredients for your next meal arranged like they’re on the shelves of a fancy store. If we’ve learned anything from our binge-watching, even cereal looks exciting when decanted into tall, clear containers!

The one thing about a pantry, though, is no matter how much room you have, you can always use more. To essentially double or even triple your shelf space, make use of can caddies or risers, wide, flat stacking containers, and bins that clip to the underside of the shelf—best used at eye level to hold spice and sauce packets and loose, round items like onions, shallots and garlic. Air tight canisters are a great solution for baking ingredients, pasta and rice, and, yes, cereal; don’t forget to clip the cooking instructions or nutritional information from the bags and boxes before discarding.

Another great idea is to buy large baskets or bins and label them by category (snacks, breakfast bars, etc.) or by family member for grab and go convenience. Keep these where everyone can reach them—extra “backstock” and less-frequently used items can be relegated to the top shelves. If you have a door that swings (as opposed to a bi-fold or sliding door), you can use the back of it for even more storage. Add hooks, “chip strips,” or clear multi-pocket organizers for lightweight, easily accessible storage of lunch bags, snacks, and pet treats. Once everything is organized, do as the professionals do and label it, using a paint marker for permanent labels and a chalk marker for high turnover items or information that changes, like expiration dates.

Taking its cue from the pantry, this Whirlpool 23.8 cubic foot French door fridge is packed with purposefully designed features that make it easier than ever to organize and access all your favourite fresh and frozen foods. In addition to adjustable shelves and eight (eight!) door bins, two crisper bins with auto-adjusting humidity control keep fruits and vegetables sorted and at the peak of freshness, while a dedicated deli-drawer keeps your sandwich essentials in one handy, temperature-controlled place. Just above the crispers, an additional pull-out shelf allows you to keep cakes and party platters safe and easy to retrieve.

Down below, the freezer stays as organized as the fridge, thanks to innovative features in the triple-tier compartment that eliminates the need to take multiple items out just to get to the one thing you need. Wide, flat items like lasagna and family-sized entrees stay safely tucked out of the way and there’s a clever pizza pocket that stores frozen pizzas upright to avoid stacking and crushing.

To take your fridge organizing to the next level, pick up several long, clear bins to sort and organize everything, keeping like items together. Look for “fridge organizing bins” which have been designed expressly for this purpose, as they will fit your fridge shelves perfectly, are dishwasher safe, and slide easily in and out for quick access and restocking.

Control the Home Office
Whether you are suddenly working from home, or have been all along (and, yes, running a household counts), the home office got a LOT of attention in 2020.

For some of us, this year forced us to rethink spaces in our homes that would function as work and study spaces for one, two, or several people, working together or in shifts. That meant repurposing rooms, discovering underutilized areas, and, in a lot of cases, evicting other family members from their leisure spaces for several hours per day.

The one thing that we learned early on was that a lot of the success in creating a functional, flexible space depends heavily on organization. At the very least, having a place to set up your laptop and somewhere to put everything at the end of the day so you don’t feel like you’re living at the office. If you are still struggling to carve out your workspace, or it’s time for an upgrade, we got you.

You’ve heard of Bed-in-a-Box, but have you considered an office-in-a-box? The Starmore 4-piece office package, pictured above, includes a desk, bookcase and two tufted-seat, faux-leather chairs. Made of blackened metal and acacia-veneer and hardwood, the desk and bookcase give off a cool urban industrial look, and provide plenty of both organizational and display space for work essentials and treasured objects. Just add vintage-inspired shallow wire baskets to the shelves to keep work items separate and easy to access—they can be easily brought to the desk when needed—and use the desk drawers to stash electronics and stationery, keeping the desk top clean after hours.

If your home office space is also your dining area, a beautiful wood cabinet or sideboard will give you a place to store paperwork and files, without looking like a home office piece. This shaker-style server has two cabinets with shelves that can be adjusted or removed to make room for standing files or binders, a felt lined drawer, and wine storage, because, let’s be real, the workday does eventually end. With its vintage-inspired charm and versatility, this server would also look right at home in the living room or hall.

Marshal the Media Room
With its many functions, the media room is often a hard room to keep organized. Books, games, toys, and electronics are just some of the things that make their way to the media room and they all need somewhere to go. Even if you’re not a neat freak by nature, it’s hard to put your feet up and enjoy a movie when there’s clutter everywhere.

A large cabinet like the Bolanburg, above, has plenty of room for electronic components and several extra shelves to help contain some of that media-room mess behind its gently distressed, weathered oak-look doors. Place baskets or decorative boxes on the top shelves to keep storage concealed attractively behind the glass inlays and add shelf labels to encourage family members to put everything back in its place.

For on-the-go tidying of toys and soft objects like slippers and throws, make sure the room has a couple of big, slouchy hold-alls like the Parish basket set in blue cotton and durable jute, or a storage ottoman. Beneath its plushly, cushioned upholstered top, the Kellway has loads of room for blankets, extra pillows, board games, or seasonal items. Add an oversized tray to the top to corral remotes and game controllers.

Manage the Mudroom
The mudroom, by its very nature, has a habit of collecting a little bit of everything. To give all of those “everythings” a place, add a sturdy open storage unit like the customizable Terio. With its rustic, distressed finish, it’s a natural for high-traffic areas and busy households.

With six spacious shelves and a full width drawer, you can organize the Terio cabinet any way you like. Create purposeful storage on each shelf, or let the seasons dictate how you use it, adding baskets to collect sunscreen, mittens, or dog-walking essentials like leashes, treats, and plastic bags. You can even customize the Terio with different coloured shelves and assign one to each family member to give everyone their own special cubby.

For a little more storage in the mudroom, this 3-cube cubby bench has the added bonus of being a handy spot to sit and put your shoes on. Like the Terio, it’s homey, distressed finish will stand up to daily use and can be customized to give your mudroom or entry way a fun pop of colour.

Are you on an organizing streak? We’d love to see how you’re getting your home in shape for the New Year. Tag @DufresneStyle on Instagram and show some of your favourite ways to get organized.