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Organizing the New House

This house has me excited for a lot of things and organization is, naturally, at the top of my list. It was way harder to keep things organized in my last two apartments. Namely, because they were small so everything was more like “hacks” than anything else. (Under the sink in my last apartment was so tiny that I had to keep my hairdryer, brushes, and curling irons in a basket made for mail on the back of my door… ha.)

While our house is older and the closets are relatively tiny, there is a LOT of room for storage just about everywhere. First and foremost, we have a basement which is already so nice to have for storing out of season items and bulkier things like our skies. The kitchen has open shelving which I can’t wait to style, deep under counter drawers, and a tiny coat closet that we’re having converted into a pantry in a couple of weeks. The dining room has built-ins with cabinets, shelving for displaying items, and hidden away drawers. And the living room has built-in super deep cabinets where we’re storing spare blankets and games right now.

Linen Closets

I have a list of projects I want to tackle around the house, but I know realistically I probably won’t get to most until after Labor Day. (I’m traveling so much!) In the meantime, I’ve been trying to check off some low hanging fruit in terms of organizing. Here’s what I’ve been relying on to keep things tidy so far:

The Home Edit // Is this exactly necessary? No…. but it’s kind of fun to have something physical to flip through (instead of just scrolling through the ‘gram or Pinterest). We also have SO MANY bookshelves and now I’m on a mission to collect a few more beautiful coffee table books and cookbooks to decorate with.

Labeler // To be honest, I haven’t even opened this yet. (My to-do list has been a mile long before I go out of town for a week and a half!) But oh, I’m excited to whip this little guy out!!! I’ve always– and I mean, always wanted a label maker. Even though I have a Cricut (see below), I wanted something small and handy to help with labeling documents and random things (like switches/instructions in the basement).

Cricut // I have a list of projects in my head that I just can’t wait to fire up my Cricut to help with. Beyond the inspiration on Pinterest, I was actually in The Container Store and taking note of how many products sold in there can be made with the Cricut. Did I snap a few photos to file away so I wouldn’t forget? Yep! This is more off a splurge and completely unnecessary, but as I’ve learned recently, crafting is addicting and such a fun way to spend an afternoon.

Baskets // With so many drawers and shelves, I’ve been hitting up my favorite stores for all kinds of baskets. I’ve been standing in front of every closet going, “You get a basket! You get a basket!! YOU get a basket!!!” a la Oprah 😉. They’re so helpful for containing junk and bulkier items. I seriously have baskets for everything from toilet paper, extra washcloths, my hair-taming accessories, and everything in between. After doing a bit of investigative work between stores, these baskets from The Container Store have been my favorites. They come in various sizes and look so nice together and don’t seem to “shed” anything (which I learned is a problem with other options).

In drawer organizers // I’ve slowly been taking stock of all the drawers that need a little KonMari-ing. There were some drawers that were much more in need than others, mostly ones that we actually use frequently like the silverware and utensil drawers! (Don’t worry though, many drawers are still in disarray… it’s a process.) I went to the store with a list of the things that I would need right away along with the measurements of each and went about configuring different setups. These little boxes have been great for turning drawers into a functional oasis! (I literally kneeled down on the floor and configured how I’d want the boxes inside each drawer. Highly recommend. I also upgraded some of the organizers that I’ve had since living in NYC– they had seen better days and were sized for much smaller drawers. This bamboo utensil organizer has been perfect for our deep drawer!

Tape measure // While this technically isn’t an organizational item, a tape measure critical for getting things right. You know what they say: cut once, measure twice. I’ve been measuring everything and bringing those notes with me to the store so I know exactly what will and won’t work size wise. Nothing worse than bringing home a basket that’s too big for a shelf or a divider that’s not quite big enough.

All-In-One Screwdriver // Another tool that comes in handy? A screwdriver. I have a whole kit of screwdrivers, but the one I reach for the most is an all-in-one screwdriver because it can get the job done 95% of the time without having to go for something “specialized.”

Hefty Bins // Though not as pretty as my baskets, I have to say how amazing these Hefty bins are for storing bulky items in the basement. The lids are actually raised so you can fit more in than your typical bin. The side handles snap the lids down securely and they stack on top of each other nicely too. I have a few done already for beach towels and holiday decor!

Binder + Hanging Files // Now that we own a house, there is so much more paperwork involved. I started a binder filled with information I wanted to keep organized in an easy to find way (more to come but a sneak peek on my Instagram highlights). For that, I used a two-inch binder, dividers, and page protectors. Since I want that binder to live downstairs and more readily available for anyone (in case of an appliance or WiFi, ha, emergency), I’m keeping important documents related to the mortgage, insurance, etc in my filing cabinet. I upgraded my hanging file folders to keep things very clear and easy to find.

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12 Comments

Grace K.

Loving your new-home posts! I always learn something new from your organizational methods–those Hefty bins are the answer to my prayers for all the times I’ve shoved things down just to snap the lid on, haha.

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Roseann

Looking forward to seeing how your home turns out! If you forget your tape measure, the US cash in your wallet is 6 inches long and becomes a great ruler!

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Meghan

I just wanted to say that I LOVE that y’all bought an older home. I’m originally from Morris County and I now study historic preservation in Florida. It was not a straight path to get to where I am (law school somehow got in the mix) but I know that my love of old houses and passion for preserving them comes from where I grew up. I just know you will do a darling job decorating and treasuring all the unique features and quirks that come with an old house! I think you will inspire other young people to do the same. Congratulations and good luck with your new home!

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Kim

I’d love to see what you do with your Cricut. I have one and know that I’m not scratching the surface of how I can use it.

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