Weekend Projects

This Low-Effort, High-Impact Project Will Instantly Give You a More Organized Space

updated Jun 12, 2020
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Apartment Therapy Weekend Projects is a guided program designed to help you get the happy, healthy home you’ve always wanted, one weekend at a time. Sign up now for email updates so you never miss a lesson.

Cleaning and organizing has been strange lately. I’ve had to (try to) tighten up on some of our routines, like keeping up with maintaining a clean kitchen with so many people cooking and eating at home, but I’ve also had to loosen up on other standards and adjust my notions of the way things should be. The members of my family are all grasping through the fog at anything to keep us stable while a “normal” we’ve never seen before, one that we’re somewhat left to define for ourselves, materializes.

So yeah, the way we’ve been approaching home keeping has been different. We’ve washed and scrubbed the garbage cans in the yard with hoses, organized the junk drawer, re-vamped the pantry, and cleaned out the fridge. I’ve gone through every article of clothing in my master closet and dresser. I crave the order and the psychological lift that comes from seeing a space that I have the power to fix and make right. At the same time, I don’t have the energy to finish the garage or go through the laundry baskets full of junk that are tossed in the guest room.

If you’re in a similar position of wanting the boost of an orderly environment without expending having a bunch of extra energy to make that happen, or if you’ve already cleaned and organized everything in sight, this weekend’s project is for you. It’s a low-effort, high-impact task that might give you a perspective you’ll carry way past quaran-cleaning.

This Weekend: Find a new way to store things that are kept on the floor.

This task sounds so simple—and it is—bit it has an immediate and satisfying impact on any space. Here are some ways to implement the “nothing-on-the-floor” rule around your home:

1. Shoes

Whether it’s in your closet or by the front door, shoes on the floor have a tendency to turn into a tangle of footwear. But even if they stay neatly placed, they don’t look like they’re necessarily “in their place.” A simple shoe rack gives shoes a purposeful home, and also takes advantage of a bit of vertical space. Even a simple basket on the floor, like the one I placed near our back porch, will contain a jumble in the very spot where people take off their shoes and brings in visual calm.

Credit: Kaitlin Garske

2. Small appliances

It’s smart to get your small appliances off of your kitchen counter. But putting them on the floor leads to a different kind of clutter. If you have appliances like your Instant Pot, slow cooker, or air fryer on your pantry or closet floor, consider putting them on rolling plant stands (like these), which makes accessing them (and the rest of your pantry contents) far easier.

3. Blankets

No, you’re not going to be able to train either yourself or the members of your household to neatly fold the throw blankets and drape them over the couch just so after movie nights. But a large basket near the couch keeps them off the floor and put away with an excuse-free solution.

4. Clothes

There are many reasons you might have a pile of clothes on the closet or bedroom floor. They could be clothes you intend to donate, or clothes that don’t feel clean enough to put away but aren’t dirty enough to go in the hamper. Whatever the reason, a basket or two to corral the piles will make everything so much tidier. You can also solve the problem by mounting hooks nearby for hanging to-be-worn-again clothes. Or take a step out of the donation equation with an empty box that lives in your closet specifically for collecting castoffs—right where you take off the clothes that aren’t doing it for you anymore.

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You can catch up with weekend projects right here. Share your progress with us and others by posting updates and photos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #atweekendproject.

Remember: This is about improvement, not perfection. Each week you can either choose to work on the assignment we’ve sent you, or tackle another project you’ve been meaning to get to. It’s also completely okay to skip a weekend if you’re busy or not feeling the assignment.