Written by Alyson Kuhn
Garages and laundry rooms dont always get the love they deserve. If youve been stalling on organizing your garage, our guest experts can get you in gear. If your laundry situation has you wringing more than your hands, let our experts straighten you out. We interviewed two efciency fanatics, and were pleased to report that their tips (this page) and insights (next page) dovetail beautifully.
MAXINE ORDESKY Organized Designs in Beverly Hills, Calif. Maxine Ordesky is the principal of Organized Designs, a space-planning business based in Beverly Hills. She has 40 years' experience designing storage and function-intensive rooms for remodels and new construction. Her book, The Complete Home Organizer, published in 1993, has become a classic. In 1983 she founded, with a small group of women, the National Association of Professional Organizers and served as its president until 1988. firstname.lastname@example.org MASTERING YOUR TASK Give yourself a time limit for your sorting sessions. Even an hour can be highly productive. Set an alarm for 15 minutes before your session will end, and do not allow any distraction. As you touch each thing, you must allocate it: trash, recycle, store, file, donate, return. When the alarm goes off, it's time to take out the trash and recycling; seal up and date the boxes or containers you're keeping; put the shopping bags aside to donate to charity. Next year, if you haven't opened the boxes, don't! Donate them to charity right away. LOWDOWN ON OVERHEAD STORAGE If your garage isn't tall enough for a loft, you can put deep cantilevered shelving extending out over the hoods of your vehicles-for storing luggage, old furniture, reserves of household supplies. COMPARTMENT DEPARTMENT Bins or cubbies are a great way to sort family members' clothes, kitchen linens, bedroom linens, etc. A laundry room or garage can include an area for everyone to leave their boots and wet gear. COUNTER ATTACK A piece of Formica or something similar, cut to size and finished off, makes a perfect removable counter over a sink. A good way to conserve space in a tight area is to install a hinged countertop that folds up or down against the wall when not in use. HANDY HANGING Mount pull-out rods or retractable pulls in the vertical space between cabinet doors to increase hanging space for damp things or items you've ironed. Store extra hangers on a removable hanging rod inside a cabinet. The cabinet's outside dimension should be 18" front to back. CLEAN FINISH If your laundry room is large enough for an island, build in a sizeable pull-out surface on the side where there are no drawers. This is great for folding large items or for staging wrapping and packing projects. VINCE VEGA Abacus in San Francisco, Calif. Vince Vega is the general superintendent for Abacus, a high-end residential building contractor specializing in detail-intensive remodels in the San Francisco Bay Area. He read classic geometry texts as part of the Great Books program at St. Mary's College and has found these principles invaluable on the job for over 30 years. Every one of his tools, except for his Skilsaw, has a box to house it. abacusbinc.com BALANCE FORM AND FUNCTION Form follows function on my planet, but this does not mean that form is left in the dust. Far from it. The mastery of designers and architects lies in creating a design that is aesthetically pleasing and also functional. Functionality is not at odds with design or form. MAKE IT ERGONOMIC If it's not easy to use or to get to, you won't. Do you want to bend down to get the detergent? Do you want to climb on a stepladder to reach your iron? No and no. Accessibility is key. If you have to do an extra step to get to something, you may not use it as often as you want to. Remove the extra effort and you will, typically, use the darn thing more often. DUST OFF YOUR BLOWER Blow the dust out of your garage frequently. Get a blower attachment for your compressor, or use a leaf blower. It won't drive your neighbors nuts for long. WORK IT The garage and the laundry are working rooms, not entertaining rooms. They should work for you, not against you. If the design and aesthetics go with the style of your home, great, but function comes first. ORGANIZE, THEN REVISE Organizing is not a one-time project that you complete. It is an ongoing process. Commit to putting everything back every time you use it, but be open to refining your system and shifting things around. MOVE FORWARD METHODICALLY My mantra on the job site for the crew is intelligent choreography rather than chaos . This is also a good motto for organizing your garage. PRACTICE PRACTICAL MINIMALISM Lose your junk. Lose all your junk.
My mantra is intelligent choreography rather than chaos."
Shop rods and pulls for your laundry area at Build.com/handyhanging
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