This client lives in a large home with extended family members of all ages. Since multiple adults and children share all the spaces, establishing and maintaining order is especially difficult. The combined pantry, laundry room, and storage area was the area that was bothering her the most and interfering with the smooth functioning of the household, so we decided to work on that room first.
We started by discussing the different areas of the room and making an overall plan. We would put all laundry and cleaning products on the shelves above the washer and dryer grouped by categories. The pantry shelves would be used primarily for the storage of food and cooking supplies. The small storage shelves would be used for the storage of tools and general household items.
Since Laurie and I were both organizing alongside this client, we were able to make quick progress. We worked on one section at a time with the same general plan: removing all of the items, sorting as we went, cleaning the shelves and the floor, replacing items in a way that maximized space, and labeling. Items that belonged in a different area of the house were taken to that area. Expired food items or unused cleaning products were discarded. Other unneeded items were set aside for donation or recycling as appropriate. When replacing items, we paid particular attention to making sure frequently used items were easy to access, while rarely used items could be placed on higher shelves. Since young children live in the home, we placed items they might use on lower shelves but placed any dangerous items out of their reach.
We were all very happy with the end result. Everything was easy to locate and organized logically. The shelves were much less crowded. The client reports that the organization of this room has been extremely helpful.