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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Organizing Ideas for the New Year, Part I

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The start of a new year is a great time to also start a diet, a new hobby, and of course, getting your home in order. But it doesn't have to be all work and no fun. Here, I've broken our organizing ideas up by room, and tomorrow we'll be bringing you even more ideas for other rooms in your home.

Ideas for your kitchen

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Try an almost-invisible, inexpensive acrylic plate stand to prop up your tablet on your desk or kitchen counter, keeping it easily accessible with minimal fuss.

1 Try an almost-invisible, inexpensive acrylic plate stand to prop up your tablet on your desk or kitchen counter, keeping it easily accessible with minimal fuss.

I use this trick in my cupboards at home. Create dividers for them using tension curtain rods. Buy rods to fit the space, and position pairs of them at intervals. Twist to tighten.

2 I use this trick in my cupboards at home. Create dividers for them using tension curtain rods. Buy rods to fit the space, and position pairs of them at intervals. Twist to tighten.

Keep lids and pans in order with this trick. Place a wooden peg rack in a cupboard, and line up the lids vertically between the pegs.

3 Keep lids and pans in order with this trick. Place a wooden peg rack in a cupboard, and line up the lids vertically between the pegs.

Pots and pans can take up a lot of space on your counters and in your cabinets. Remedy that with a pot hanger like this one in Martha's kitchen.

4 Pots and pans can take up a lot of space on your counters and in your cabinets. Remedy that with a pot hanger like this one in Martha's kitchen.

Martha keeps ladles, whisks, pastry brushes, wooden spoons, and flexible spatulas in separate containers on a cart, which is well within reach of where she is cooking.

5 Martha keeps ladles, whisks, pastry brushes, wooden spoons, and flexible spatulas in separate containers on a cart, which is well within reach of where she is cooking.

Airtight (well-sealed) containers made of plastic or glass let you see quickly how much of one ingredient you have left. These containers also protect dried goods from humidity and pests.

6 Airtight (well-sealed) containers made of plastic or glass let you see quickly how much of one ingredient you have left. These containers also protect dried goods from humidity and pests.

Martha considered every corner of her kitchen in, right down to the shelving supports. She went with 'bird's beak' supports so there are no holes, no hardware and the look is streamlined.

7 Martha considered every corner of her kitchen in, right down to the shelving supports. She went with 'bird's beak' supports so there are no holes, no hardware and the look is streamlined.

Martha collects vintage enamel holders, originally used for soap and sponges in bathrooms. She mounts them by sinks to hold sponges, brushes, and scrubbers.

8 Martha collects vintage enamel holders, originally used for soap and sponges in bathrooms. She mounts them by sinks to hold sponges, brushes, and scrubbers.

No one will guess that this sleek, modern wine rack is made of PVC pipe from a hardware store. http://www.marthastewart.com/333157/turn-hardware-pipes-into-a-modern-wine-r

9 No one will guess that this sleek, modern wine rack is made of PVC pipe from a hardware store. http://www.marthastewart.com/333157/turn-hardware-pipes-into-a-modern-wine-r

Here is Martha's clever way for storing teacups and saucers. Place cup over saucer, in tidy stacks of no more than three or four that suit them to a T (or a teacup).

10 Here is Martha's clever way for storing teacups and saucers. Place cup over saucer, in tidy stacks of no more than three or four that suit them to a T (or a teacup).

Increase cupboard space by using a serving tray as a shelf divider.

11 Increase cupboard space by using a serving tray as a shelf divider.

Refrigerator door space is prime kitchen real estate. Free it up by moving a few necessities to a turntable, where they’ll still be easy to grab.

12 Refrigerator door space is prime kitchen real estate. Free it up by moving a few necessities to a turntable, where they’ll still be easy to grab.

These downloadable and easy-to-read labels are sure to keep you in the know when it comes to the contents of your freezer (and hopefully help you avoid the infamous freezer burn). http://www.marthastewart.com/270149/clip-art-freezer-labels

13 These downloadable and easy-to-read labels are sure to keep you in the know when it comes to the contents of your freezer (and hopefully help you avoid the infamous freezer burn). http://www.marthastewart.com/270149/clip-art-freezer-labels

In your kitchen cabinet or pantry, use S hooks to hold an inventory list -- so you know what you have, as well as how much you paid per unit, for the sake of future comparison shopping.

14 In your kitchen cabinet or pantry, use S hooks to hold an inventory list -- so you know what you have, as well as how much you paid per unit, for the sake of future comparison shopping.

Ideas for your closets and storage

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Tags made by attaching unlined index cards to clothespins let you mark anything easily -- from plain shoeboxes to fancier bins, like these natural raffia boxes.

1 Tags made by attaching unlined index cards to clothespins let you mark anything easily -- from plain shoeboxes to fancier bins, like these natural raffia boxes.

Extendable cleaning tools help you tackle hard-to-reach spots and are also easy to store. I fit my closet at home with nine-foot doors, which store my cleaning supplies when not in use and expand to reach my 12-foot ceilings when needed.

2 Extendable cleaning tools help you tackle hard-to-reach spots and are also easy to store. I fit my closet at home with nine-foot doors, which store my cleaning supplies when not in use and expand to reach my 12-foot ceilings when needed.

Keep sheet sets together with this trick. Tuck a sheet set inside one of its pillowcases, and then stack according to size (twin, full, queen, king) or by the room you use the sheets in (master bedroom, guest room.)

3 Keep sheet sets together with this trick. Tuck a sheet set inside one of its pillowcases, and then stack according to size (twin, full, queen, king) or by the room you use the sheets in (master bedroom, guest room.)

Take storage to new levels with shelves below a row of jackets. Install shelves near the base of your closet, and you'll no longer have to rifle through items strewn on the floor.

4 Take storage to new levels with shelves below a row of jackets. Install shelves near the base of your closet, and you'll no longer have to rifle through items strewn on the floor.

Take all of those new toys you got for the holidays and put the warranty expiration dates on the boxes so you know when it's safe to throw those cartons away.

5 Take all of those new toys you got for the holidays and put the warranty expiration dates on the boxes so you know when it's safe to throw those cartons away.

These boxes are stylish and functional. They're a practical way to bring color into your home or your office.

6 These boxes are stylish and functional. They're a practical way to bring color into your home or your office.

Eliminate the tangle of unused extension cords by storing each one in a piece of pipe insulation -- foam tubing with a slit along one side.

7 Eliminate the tangle of unused extension cords by storing each one in a piece of pipe insulation -- foam tubing with a slit along one side.

Make sure you utilize all of that space that's open below your coats. Make the most of it by setting up an office-supply storage system.

8 Make sure you utilize all of that space that's open below your coats. Make the most of it by setting up an office-supply storage system.

Magazine holders are good for keeping old issues in order, but their handleless backs make it difficult to access them when you need to. For a permanent fix, attach a sash lift on the back of a holder.

9 Magazine holders are good for keeping old issues in order, but their handleless backs make it difficult to access them when you need to. For a permanent fix, attach a sash lift on the back of a holder.

A storage bench with a hinged lid is handy to have in the mudroom, entryway, or kitchen, and it can be just the right spot for pet supplies.

10 A storage bench with a hinged lid is handy to have in the mudroom, entryway, or kitchen, and it can be just the right spot for pet supplies.

If the stairs leading to your cellar are wide enough, the wall beside them can be transformed into a pantry for items you use regularly, such as canned goods and other kitchen supplies.

11 If the stairs leading to your cellar are wide enough, the wall beside them can be transformed into a pantry for items you use regularly, such as canned goods and other kitchen supplies.

Transfer leftover paint from large cans to small airtight resealable tubs. Make sure to affix a label to the container; note the color and the room where the paint was used.

12 Transfer leftover paint from large cans to small airtight resealable tubs. Make sure to affix a label to the container; note the color and the room where the paint was used.


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Comments (4)

  • Hi Kevin! What an inspiring post to start the New Year with, so beautiful. I started a new board on pinterest, Organizing and cleaning ideas, you inspired me thank you :)

    PS: I would like to share my Christmas cookies, recipes from Martha Stewart Cookies for iPad, and some pics of the Christmas Eve dinner
    http://flic.kr/s/aHsjxHJU7a
    http://flic.kr/s/aHsjxHPUiT

  • Hi Kevin:
    Great tips!
    Can you tell me where those blue and red boxes are from?
    Thanks!

  • Hi Kevin – question for you and I was not sure the best way to submit so I am doing so through the comments…..I was about to hang a wall mounted Volani cabinet form Bo Concept and also want to add a stone top. Wanted to ask if you had to reinforce yours beyond how they say to install to support the stone top or was it strong enough on its own? Appreciate your feedback before I move ahead with my own home project. Thanks, Eric

  • Thank you for the great ideas that we all can use in our homes. Happy New Year.

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