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Written by Jordana Turcotte of Simply You

New homes have the latest and greatest in design innovation. Who doesn’t love the new and innovative stuff! The kitchen is where you will see it most with custom cabinets to thoroughly organize specific things. Specialized spice cabinets, pull out trash and recycling bins, lazy- susans that pull out in hidden corners, drawer dishwashers and more.  

We are almost at Jetson’s level!

You may wish you could just sell your house and move into one that is “up to date.”  But, that isn’t necessary with tools and retro-fit solutions for all types of things.  You can customize your space to fit your needs and work perfectly.

First, you must identify trouble areas and systems within your home.  Sometimes, just relocating an item to where it fits better or establishing a system somewhere else will just “work.”  No space in your mud room for all the shoes?  Put a cabinet in the garage just before the entry door or place a bin/cabinet on the wall closest to the mud room.  Do you have your vacuum plugged in in a terrible spot?  Hire an electrician to add a plug in the spot or closet you DO want it to be in.  Just moving something can be life changing.  From trip hazard to system organization.

When moving something isn’t possible, customize the space, cabinet, drawer or other with a tool to make it work.  Rev-A-Shelf is a company that has every type of cabinet conversion you can think of.  The best and easiest switch is making a cabinet into two pull out drawers – instantly solving the inaccessible/ hardly seen black hole in the back.  The trash in a pull out cabinet is also a win.  Many hate having the can out in the kitchen.  They also have solutions for the bathroom vanity under sink area.  That area is always problematic with the center piping.

A cheaper and almost as effective way of changing the functionality and use of a cabinet or drawer is to add bins to make pseudo pull out drawers.  Dividing up “stuff” and putting like with like in bins and then putting them on the cabinet shelf helps with keeping things together but also not losing items within the cabinet.  Dividing up a drawer with small bins helps visibility and keeping it all in order.  It is much harder to throw something in a drawer when you can see exactly where it should be placed.  And a lazy-susan (they come in varying sizes) is a game changer – and not just in a corner cabinet!

For the bin solution, first go through everything to let go of unused items or items that belong somewhere else and then measure the space to shop for bins that will work.  Any liquids should be in plastic for easy spill clean-up.  Most times, it is the extra unused stuff that is causing the problem.  Just decluttering alone can feel like customization!

The power of a plain old hook for your bag when you come in can feel custom when you’ve never had one.  Don’t be afraid to change things up, gut a space, or build something that only you want because it IS your home.  It should work for you because you are living there with your stuff and your habits.  Be brave and customize YOUR home!