How to Measure for Organizing Products

Most of our clients have tried to get organized on their own before they call us. They’ve been motivated to make a change and increase the functionality of their home, so they make a list of what areas to tackle before heading to the store or checking online for products. And this is where the motivation tends to fade.

There are SO many organizing products out there, and in recent years more stores have stepped up their game to offer products that are aesthetically appealing. It’s overwhelming to know where to begin. The options are seemingly endless and when you don’t know exactly what you need the options can be too much to attempt to handle.

Have you ever walked down the kitchen section of a store in search of a drawer insert for your utensils? Most big box stores’ selections are a bit limited and may only have one or two options, so--as most people do--you buy the drawer insert that is available and call it a day. When you get home and put your utensils inside you may come across one of two situations: (1) the drawer insert is too tall and you now can’t close the drawer or (2) the drawer insert is too wide or too shallow and leaves wasted space between the insert and drawer wall.

As a professional organizer, I’ve seen this situation play out in every area of the home. Inserts that are too small and result in wasted space and overcrowded drawers, bins that are too small so the contents end up scattered around the house, bins that don’t fit on shelves in the storage room so they remain on the floor, items that are advertised to fix a certain need but don’t work the intended way in your home (and so on…).

I can hear the frustration in my clients’ voices as they describe their failed attempts to get organized on their own. If you’ve been in this situation know that there is ONE thing that you need to know to avoid this type of frustration moving forward: how to measure.

How to measure the usable space for organizing products
What works in your neighbor’s home may not work in yours, so always make sure to measure the usable space before you start shopping for solutions. Usable space is the actual space that you are able to occupy with products. So, account for any hinges or angles when you are measuring for products and err on the conservative side of the measurement if there are products that you need to pull in and out on a regular basis or reach into (i.e. bins). Once you have your measurements, bring them with you during your search for products.

We’ve outlined the steps below on how to measure and in a how-to video on our YouTube page. Good luck!

1. Measure the height
The height is the usable space measured bottom to top.

2. Measure the width
The width (or depth) is the usable space measured back to front.

3. Measure the length
The length is the usable space measured side to side.

*Tip: when it comes to drawers the most important measurement is the height (to make sure the drawer will close) and for shelves the most important measurement is the depth (so that the product is not hanging off of the shelf).


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ORGANIZATION FOR YOUR LIFE: GOING PLACES WITH KIT AND ACE

I am hosting an interactive workshop with Kit and Ace on Thursday, March 30 from 7-9 PM (1921 8th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001). Join me for a consultation focused on your travel and packing organizational challenges as I cover all things closet, packing, and wardrobe related including: packing tips and tricks for a better travel experience, and how to (realistically) improve the functionality of your closet. Interested in attending? Please RSVP to theshay@kitandace.com.


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Rachel and Company is a professional organizing firm based in Bethesda, MD, serving clients in the Washington, DC area including: Potomac, Maryland Georgetown, the Palisades, McLean, Arlington, and Alexandria, Virginia.