Tuesday Tip: Shop Your House Before You Hit the Stores

Is it a TV stand or a great entryway storage bench?!
25 Jun 2012

I heard a great reminder on The Nate Berkus Show this morning about shopping your house for items you can re-purpose before you hit the stores. And while I may not be able to DIY an old table into a design marvel (though I really wish I could), as an organizer, I couldn’t agree more with this common-sense-but-we-could-all-use-a-reminder tip! Good organizing solutions are rarely complex or unique items – they are usually born from everyday containers, furniture or storage that just needed a little creativity and perhaps labeling :)

So the next time you have an organizing dilemma, which often involves finding a home for something that doesn’t have one, take a look around your house, basement, and attic to see if you already have something that fits the bill. Since we’re in the process of setting up our new home, I’m doing this almost daily. Just the other day, I re-purposed a simple Pier 1 basket that I’ve had for probably 10 years (and has always served some purpose in my office) into a perfect container for our cloth place mats and napkins. I used to keep them in a kitchen drawer, but storage space is super-limited in our new kitchen, so I decided I needed to relocate anything that didn’t absolutely have to be in the kitchen. So the cloth items are now happily in the basket on a shelf right near our dining area – perfect!

Along the same lines, I was also reminded recently when looking at the Ikea Hackers site that when it comes to home furnishings and organizing solutions, things don’t always have to be what they are intended to be. Just because it says it’s a TV stand, doesn’t mean you have to use it as one! Once again, my new house is challenging my organizational skills – we have almost no entry area, and even less entry storage. I have come to realize as an organizer that having a landing zone with proper storage for all the things that go in and out of your house everyday is key to maintaining overall household organization. I knew what I was looking for but couldn’t find all the elements in a traditional entryway bench. So I am using an Ikea TV stand as the foundation of our landing zone, thanks to some ideas I saw on Ikea Hackers. I will also be adding a wall unit with baskets and a row of hooks to complete the storage options. The moral of the story is to get creative when you’re looking for a solution and don’t settle for something that doesn’t meet your needs.

Is it a TV stand or a great entryway storage bench?!

Sarah Buckwalter