Looking to win big against clutter? Use a zone defense for home organizing!

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

Tired of going one-on-one with the clutter in your home? There is a way to approach organization in your home that helps alleviate the ongoing battles with getting organized, so you can feel peace and claim victory. Ready to win?

Julie Morgenstern, a professional organizer for over 30 years, is a guru and author in the field of home organizing. Julie recommends creating “zones”—much like you would find in a kindergarten classroom—in any space in your home to achieve and maintain organization. The great thing about the zone approach is that it works for any room in the house and can even be applied to shelves and drawers.

In the Zone

Just last week a client and I used this technique to transform her disarrayed and stress-inducing kitchen. We began by removing everything except food from the cabinets. After we assessed which items she actually uses and wanted to keep, we looked at the storage spaces available and where various kitchen activities take place.

By analyzing all of this with the items in full view and the “canvas” of empty cabinets, we were able to get a clear vision of the most efficient way to organize her kitchen. Below are some of the broad categories we created, followed by the sub-zones we established within each of the larger zones.

Cooking Zone (on either side of the oven/stovetop)

  • Baking equipment

  • Pots and pans

  • Accessories, such as vegetable steamer and colander

  • Hot pads and trivets

  • Utensils, such as spatulas and large spoons

  • Cutting area, including cutting boards and knives, and other “cutty-things” like the vegetable peeler

Breakfast Zone (next to the stovetop where she brews tea)

  • Countertop space dedicated to the coffee maker, blender, egg cooker and toaster

  • Cabinet space of three shelves: one for smoothie ingredients, one for coffee and mugs, and one for teas

Appliance Zone (large lower cabinet, using the far back corner for the largest and least-used items)

  • Electric appliances, such as breadmaker and crockpot

  • Designated spot for the appliances her teenage son, who has a culinary interest, loves to use

Additionally, we “zoned” food, serving pieces, containers for storing leftovers, and of course the everyday dishes, glasses and silverware.

The Bonus of a Zone

How much of your day is spent in your kitchen? Are you eating as healthfully as you would like? Do all the members of your household put away items after using them? For this client, better health and less stress are her future. She actually wants to spend time in her kitchen now.

A zone defense works, because it is highly effective. The same can be true with home organization. “Zoning out” your home makes it easy to find what you need, saves time by having everything together near its point of use, and increases the likelihood items are put back where they belong because the storage makes sense. That's a winning strategy!

If you need help thinking through your zone strategy, contact me today for a free session.

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