How to Reduce Clutter and Organize Your Home, Once and For All!

Fred Wilson, AIA

Fred Wilson, AIA
Founding Partner at Award Winning Chicago Architects, Morgante Wilson

Oct 25, 2018 - 5 min read

How to Reduce Clutter and Organize Your Home, Once and For All!

Which sounds better to you: learning how to organize your home once and for all, with a place for everything and everything in its place – or living with clutter and chaos? If you’re like most of our residential architecture clients, you’d prefer to live in a calm, orderly home. But you’re also likely to live in a house that’s short on closet space, doesn’t have enough kitchen cabinets, and could really use a mudroom. As part of our Morgante Wilson Thirty Years, Thirty Ideas Series, we’re sharing three steps to finally getting organized and taking control of your house

Step one: Answer these four questions

1 .How does your family spend time together?

Does everyone retreat to their bedrooms for some privacy after dinner, or do the kids settle at the kitchen island to do homework? Do you watch movies or play cards together?

2. How do you typically entertain?

Do you host holidays for relatives near and far? Tend to have a few couples over on a Saturday night for sit-down dinner parties? Or invite the whole team back to your place for nachos and wings after the game?

3. How would you like to enter your home?

Does walking in through a mudroom where you can quickly drop shoes, coats and stuff sound good? Or would you prefer to enter into a lovely space that celebrates your arrival without having to wade through boots and backpacks?

4. What happens in your house on weekends?

Do you run out the door at 7:00 am for soccer practice? Cook leisurely breakfasts and catch up with the newspaper? Get a head start on the work week by tackling your inbox?

Step two: Drill down to room-by-room practicalities

As residential architects, we know how important it is to understand a client’s lifestyle. Once we have that knowledge we get into practical issues room by room. For family rooms, we want to know whether you like the idea of books and media being stored on open shelves that are easy to see and access – or are you more comfortable hiding everything behind closed doors so you don’t have to worry how they look?

When it comes to bathrooms, we’ll ask whether you like to sit down or stand up while you put on makeup. Would a drawer fitted with an electrical outlet for your blow dryer speed your morning routine, or do you typically let your hair air-dry? Do you like to keep those Costco-size packages of toilet paper in the bathroom itself, or do you prefer them out of sight in a closet down the hall?

Be honest: do you cook big meals every night, or are you more likely to order take-out? Does the idea of a walk-in storage pantry appeal to you, or are you more the type who likes to display and admire your dishes and glassware?

Step three: Act on what you’ve learned about yourself

Our team finds clients are sometimes hesitant to answer these kinds of questions because they seem overly indulgent and point to wants, rather than needs. But Elissa and I learned from building our own new house that really thinking about how you’d like to live enables you to eliminate the small, daily frustrations that can add stress to your life. There is something peaceful about opening a closet and immediately seeing the blue dress you want to wear without having to push aside everything else crammed around it. Or being able to lift out your once-a-year turkey platter from a cabinet without having to remove all the other serving pieces piled on top of it.

It’s always rewarding to find that usually, the very things clients think they can live without are the same things they tell us years later are what they enjoy most about their new homes. And that’s really our goal: to ensure your house works for you, and brings you joy. Making sure it’s organized is a sure-fire way to achieve that goal.

Want more good ideas? Contact us.! After thirty years in business, we’ve got plenty!

Morgante Wilson Architects provides architectural and interior design services in Chicago, Deerfield, Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Northbrook, Northfield, Ravinia, Wilmette and Winnetka – along with Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Utah, Wisconsin and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Fred Wilson, AIA

Fred Wilson, AIA

Founding Partner at Award Winning Chicago Architects, Morgante Wilson