Being stuck inside might have you connecting with your inner Marie Kondo – and there’s never been a better time to tackle that mess of a pantry or closet. Here to help is Stephanie Pasley of NEAT Method Providence. With an 18-month-old and two large dogs, Pasley understands firsthand that life can get hectic – and as a professional organizer, she also understands how having an orderly home makes life easier. “We believe that once your life is clutter-free and well-arranged, you will have a new appreciation for the importance of living NEAT,” she says, referring to the luxury organization service for homes and businesses. While NEAT Method originated in San Francisco, they have locations around the country and beyond – Rhode Island being the newest addition. “We cover anything from kitchen pantries to garages, and anything in between,” she says. “We design and implement customized solutions that are not only effective but sustainable.”
While at the moment NEAT Method is forgoing in-person client appointments, they are offering something exciting for our current climate: Virtual organizing aka NEAT It Now and custom labels for purchase.
Looking to get a jumpstart? Pasley shares five tips and tricks to get (and stay) organized in one of her favorite rooms: the kitchen.
1 – Start Small. “If this is your first venture into organizing, instead of taking apart your entire kitchen pantry (which can be very overwhelming) start small,” Pasley advises. She suggests emptying your “junk” or utility drawer and then “editing” – “determine what you no longer need or use that can be disposed of or put away elsewhere, and what you need to keep and put back.” Then, group those “keep” items together into categories (for example, writing utensils, tools, electronics, etc.) and corral them into smaller containers to place back into the drawer.
2 – Set Up Zones. “Creating ‘zones’ throughout your home or business is a great way to get and stay organized and force others using the space to as well” Pasley offers the example of a “zone” in the kitchen as the lunch prep zone, which could be one or a couple of drawers devoted to reusable bags, foils, or wraps, and to-go containers. “We suggest decanting everything into containers and even labeling (see Tip 3) to ensure anyone making lunches can find everything they need!”
3 – Label, Label, Label! “At NEAT Method, we love labels,” says Pasley, laughing. “We believe that labels take your organizing to the next level.” She suggests using labeled woven baskets to contain your least-used items to store on the top shelf in the pantry. “With a clearly labeled basket, you will always be able to tell exactly what’s inside without having to take out your step stool and pull the basket down.”
4 – Revolve Around the Dishwasher. This is the most efficient way to set up your kitchen, explains Pasley. Keep your glassware, dish, and utensil cabinets and drawers in close proximity to the dishwasher to make unloading a breeze. Other most-used items should be given “prime real estate” in the kitchen after that, and least-used items should be placed in harder-to-access spaces that can be reached with a sleek step stool.
5 – The Not-So-Lazy Susan. The rotating circular tray is one of Pasley’s personal favorites “because of its versatility.” A small wooden one, she says, can corral all of your oils and condiments in a cabinet next to the stove for a quick grab while cooking. On the other hand, a large plastic one can live under the sink to store all of your cleaners, and an acrylic divided Lazy Susan can be used to store kids’ snacks in the pantry.