How can you possibly make smart choices when you’re disorganized and distracted? To be organized at home is to give yourself little gifts, whether it’s minutes from now (yay, scissors!) or years in the future (bypassing a monthlong garage purge). We left it to the pros to roundup their top products — and secrets! — that give them inner peace — and a clean countertop.
“We each have our own tolerance level for the number of items on display in our home. Yamazaki, a 100-year-old Japanese company, creates clever pieces that make use of limited space while keeping things accessible. Their storage ladders are a perfect way to put your textiles on display.” —Jojo Feld, Director of Buying and Development, Food 52
The newest book from Remodelista ($9, amazon.com), the dreamy home website, contains this smart tip for corralling tools you use for occasional tasks: Take a cue from your sewing kit and batch supplies. Love to throw cocktail parties? Keep bar tools, candles, matches, and napkins in one place. (And put the ice bucket, glasses, and trays nearby.) Like to attend cocktail parties? Keep thank-you notes and stamps in a bin. Both hosting and visiting will be much more enjoyable.
Aromatherapy is one of the quickest ways to create a sanctuary at home. Diffusing essential oils into the air can purportedly improve sleep, reduce stress, enhance your mood, purify the air, and prevent seasonal illnesses. Pilgrim Collection founders recommend ylang-ylang and lavender essential oils as a universal starting place — they promote deep relaxation.
To stay balanced, Amy Galper of the New York Institute of Aromatherapy recommends neroli, bergamot, and frankincense essential oils.
“Stick to timeless, clear containers and add your own design with labels,” says Monica Friel of Chaos to Order. Tip: Use white chalk markers on black labels, which is easier to read than black on white.
“Green may be easy on the eyes — literally! It’s said to be less of a strain on your eye muscles, because the color green gets focused directly on the retina.” —Kelly Worman, Color Theory Instructor, Pratt Institute
“Packaged goods like cereal are designed to be ‘loud’ and grab your attention. When you bring those containers into your kitchen, you create a visual cacophony instead of a simple, well-stocked pantry. But our bulk-item sacks and storage system make the transfer from market to home easy and ‘green.’” —Wiebke Liu, founder of Blisshaus
Vikings buried the dead with their possessions, but author Margareta Magnusson suggests more modern ways to avoid saddling your family with stuff in her book The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning. The author, who lists her age as “between 80 and 100,” explains the Scandinavian tradition of döstädning (yes, Swedish for death and cleaning), which includes an enjoyable romp through — and purge of! — mementos with your loved ones.
Renting is the 21st-century storage solution that gives you what you want when you want it.
Get party ready with Table + Teaspoon’s curated party rentals ($24 per guest, tableandteaspoon.com). Custom tablescapes arrive by mail two days before the event — and then you just box it up once the party's over.
Revamp your wardrobe with Rent the Runway’s Unlimited plan ($159 per month, renttherunway.com). You can keep four designer pieces on rotation and receive free shipping, insurance, and dry cleaning services.
Fickle kids are no match for Pley’s toy-rental service (prices vary, pley.com), which lets families select from hundreds of toys for kids 12 and under, from brands like Hot Wheels, LeapFrog, and American Girl.
A brown box at your door is a prime target for snatch-and-grab robbers, a.k.a. “porch pirates.” BoxLock is a new Wi-Fi-connected padlock that thwarts thieves: Attach it to a storage box on your stoop, a shed, or a garage door, and the delivery driver uses the lock’s built-in scanner to scan the package upon drop-off. BoxLock opens only for in-transit shipments — so sneaky crooks can’t scan an old address label — and an app alerts you that your parcel awaits.
This story was originally published in the March 2018 issue of CQ.