Knockout Clutter & Take Back Home Storage

Knockout Clutter & Take Back Home Storage
by Hannah Ruhlman

Some people love storage solutions – the color-coded bins and drawers labeled “pens” or “pencils” and other supplies. To some, this looks like organization, but from a minimalist perspective, it could be more closely defined as organized clutter. Because, let’s face it, if someone has so many pens, that the pens need their own drawer separate from the pencils, then he or she probably has way too many pens.

That’s just from a home office perspective. Move to the hall closet with its board games, blankets, and spare cords – most of which the owner has no idea what it is for, but they might need it one day, right? People separate, sort and store these items away inside colored bins. Again, this looks like organization. However, look closer: stacked storage bins, in all its labeled and color-coded glory, really could just be unnecessary clutter that is also nicely stored.

To keep hall closets, pantries and other home and garage storage spaces from getting out of control, and organized in a realistic and functional way, there are companies like Method Organization, located in Rapid City. They provide professional organization solutions by appointment for people to stay organized in a minimal fashion.

“We are primarily service-based but offer custom closet and storage solutions. Our product is top-of-the-line, comes in many finishes and is completely customizable,” said Method Organization’s Melanie Brewer.

When it comes to home closets, Brewer has a few tips. The first is not being afraid to ask for help. Sometimes, a little guidance is all people really need to get started.

“It’s a small investment to hire a professional organizer to come help kick-start motivation. Just having someone to help get you started is what most people need,” said Brewer. “We all have our Pinterest boards full of ideas and good intentions but it can be hard to know where to start, it can be paralyzing. We’ve had a lot of clients that were excited about the progress we made and felt encouraged to continue the process over the weekend on their own.”

It is possible that once someone begins going through those scary spaces, that he or she could even find some buried treasures, such as photo albums. Items like that could be used in home décor, rather than sitting in a closet collecting dust. But, for items that can get the boot, Method Organization also offers Craiglist, Ebay, and Facebook training to sell valuable items someone else might want.

Getting rid of those items, or using them in a more functional way allows spaces to have clean sightlines. Brewer said this is best, but did not advise people run and dump their storage bins into the trash right away. Storage bins, if used correctly, do not have to be the enemy.

“We definitely discourage long-term storage in smaller closets, as bins can take up valuable space, but if someone absolutely has to have them, we suggest going clear and have a purpose for the bins,” she said. “We find that most clients’ top shelves, bins or not, are often covered in dust and are never accessed. So, instead use this space for off-season clothes, furs, hats, and other items that only need to be pulled down once a year.”

Brewer finds that sometimes when people see a bare shelf, they see emptiness and feel the need to fill it and fill it fast. But, she reminds those people that having a bare shelf here and there is not a bad thing and people should not feel like they need to fill it right away.

“My favorite option, and one that gives the cleanest feel, is to leave the space empty. I think a lot of people feel that they need to fill empty spaces, but this is unnecessary, and they end up filling it with items they will never use,” said Brewer.

To sum it up: tackle home storage so it does not tackle you, clean sightlines are best, let go of items you no longer need, and an empty shelf does not mean your entire life is empty. Oh, and also, pens shouldn’t need their own drawer.


Hannah Ruhlman has a hall closet that should now be very, very scared.

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