A theme lately with clients and at my speaking engagements has been going vertical. So many people, especially those in apartments and tiny offices, just don’t have enough space to store the things they need without creating a cluttered area. Or they end up storing items on the floor, bending down constantly to access often used essentials, when they could and should be stored up higher. Good organization eliminates extra steps and time spent accessing the things you use on a regular basis.
So how do you go about better using your available space? Let’s get vertical with it. Here are some great product options to do just that:
Office: Smead Cascading Wall Organizer
This portable file organizer from Office Depot has been a big hit lately among my small business owner clients. It’s easy to carry with you, folds up accordian style, looks gorgeous, and can be hung on the wall anywhere you go for ease of use. The folders inside are even removable – I just can’t say enough good things about it.
Laundry Room: Wall Drying Racks
I recently installed some of these wall drying racks from IKEA and I’m not sure why I didn’t do it sooner. My floor drying rack was awkward and collapsed way too easily if moved. These wall racks not only support a lot of weight, but also fold away when not in use leaving my floor clear. You can see what else I advocate using in the laundry room in my Laundry Room Organizing Video - it's so creatively named, right?
Coat Closets: Double Hanging Bars
I still don’t know why the standard coat closet is built with a hanging bar, one shelf above and not much else. Putting in shoe racks below uses that space wisely and stops the random clutter dumping that sometimes happens on the floor. You can also add a second bar called a Closet Rod Expander (available from The Container Store) that hangs below the top one, which doubles your coat space, makes it easier for kids to hang coats at their level, and is a non-permanent item that can easily be removed in the future.
Pantry: Elfa Door Racks
Pantries are often built with permanent shelves where the shelf height cannot be changed. Little items can get lost in the sea of big boxes of cereal if you don’t containerize them. One solution is to install an Elfa door rack also from The Container Store on inside of the pantry door to make use of all of your space. The baskets for the rack come in a slim width for spices and little items and also bigger baskets that can handle bottles of soda and much more. Outside of the pantry, there are also different versions for other rooms and even a gift wrap rack.
Anywhere: Over-Door Shoe Organizers
I feel like I advocate using these everywhere because honestly I do. Laundry rooms, pantries, bedrooms, linen closets, and yes, for actual shoes. See my blog about the 24 Amazing Ways To Use An Over-Door Shoe Organizer for more great ideas.
Buying a new product is not always the best way to better organization. However when you choose to go vertical, getting something to replace your blank wall normally helps. Another point to ponder: if you already have the vertical storage but are not using it correctly, it’s time for an overhaul. Put the things you use the most within your reach (neck to waist height) and the things you use every so often up higher or down below. Your back and your knees will thank you!