Whether you are looking for your dream home or looking to organize your existing one – Nada Thomson, former founder and chief consultant of Artful Organizers has some tips for you. She starts off with people who are looking for their dream home.
“I would want them to plan how long they would plan to be in the next place,” says Thomson. “If they are thinking that this move would be for five years would there be space, would there be children, would it be just themselves. They really have to see the place they are in right now and see what they love about it. Their closet space, and a room they really like – those qualities stay…that is something you want to be looking for in the new space. The place – did it have a lot of shelves? Did it have a lot of storage space? They do not want to lose the things they love about the place they are in right now in the new place.”
Thomson also says that if you have just moved into a new place, it would be important to take a geometric view of the new surroundings.
“Looking at spaces, rather than rooms. Looking at cubes and circles. Know they are also going to be doing a little bit of yoga in there, or a little bit of office space in there if it is open concept – if they categorize those compartments then they can see how to function in that space in an attractive way. If they have end drawers, it may be a good place to pop in their laptop. Or spaces for candles or yoga equipment. This is thinking of condo spaces.”
Thomson has some tips for huge open areas as in a house.
“Not everything needs to be against the wall,” says Thomson. “Having toys that are ready and structuring the closets that are nearby to accommodate what is happening in those sections, and finding the right furniture for that.”
Thomson has a special way of working with her clients. She does not want them to clean up the house as though she was an average visitor to their home.
“I want to see how it looks on any given day,” Thomson says. “I ask my clients what is not working for you. Usually it’s the area near the front door that is always a mess. They cannot clean up, I need to see what is happening. Rather than try to train them, I try to help them see the ways they are dumping their space as more attractive. Putting a nice rattan bowl catcher. Maybe the front door closet is crammed full…we organize a closet so not all four seasons need to be in the closet. It can be done with colours, each hanger with a different colour for each season. Some people have extra closets in their home, some people have extra storage racks in their home.”
Thomson recommends a good quality garment rack for clothes that can be found at most organizing stores or department stores so the clothes do not get dusty.
“You just want somewhere else to hang these things, have a canvas box with a zipper on the box or each thing goes in a garment bag. The idea behind it is to be aware of what you are using on a daily basis, why you are dumping and it and where you are dumping it.”
Thomson says organizing is like a puzzle, all of a sudden everything comes together and works.
“Ninety percent of the time the reason why things are not organized is because there is just too much stuff. Not to say that they need to get rid of the stuff, just that they need to relocate the stuff. It is also important to decide that this closet is just for A, B and C, and this drawer is for D and E, and this cupboard is for F. And you know where to get it and it is always that way.”
Now, Thomson is working with a non-profit organization in Toronto. Her years of experience in helping people get organized have many uses.