Closet Design

The Man Closet

I must admit that I am not an expert in the “man closet” because most of my people have been women or couples sharing a closet. When a man and woman share a closet, it’s cliché, but true, that the woman usually gets her way and the closet turns out to be on the more feminine side.  I do know that the man closets I have seen have a distinct and consistent look to them.

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. You can feel the masculine vibe and here’s how I think you accomplish it:

1-      Dark rich colors:  Where as a woman may choose a softer color or even white, you will often find dark, heavy wood in a man’s closet.

2-      Absence of detail:  Rather than a decorative panel, mirror or glass on a drawer front, a man’s closet will often have clean, straight lines.

3-      Less Decoration:  You will find less memorabilia, collectibles and extraneous items in a man’s closet where a “girly closet” may have photos, flowers and decorative items.

4-      Symmetrical lines: Since men have fewer differing lengths or clothes (usually only 2 or 3), when you look at their closet it seems more symmetrical and organized then a woman’s which can have 3 lengths of dresses, 2 of skirts and even varying pant lengths.

Now of course, this is all in my own experience based on what I have seen. Men, just like women, have differing tastes and styles and therefore will have a closet to match.

Whatever that is, it’s perfect.

Time for Spring Cleaning?!

I see a lot of people who avoid cleaning out your closet because they can't decide what to keep and what to get rid of (and what I mean by get rid of is to donate or hand down unless it's unwearable)....they become very frustrated and their closets become full of clothing they never wear! I am so happy when I see those sorting bags or boxes come out and things start to go!

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I came up with 5 tips to help make your choices easier.

1.    To Wear or Not To Wear:  You know what I am talking about! We all have those pieces of clothing that we start at time and time again thinking we will wear it, we should wear it and of course we never wear it. Those pieces need to go! Yes, you may have paid a lot of money for it, but your money will be better spent if someone else is wearing it, than if it's sitting in your closet!  

2.    Ouch it Hurts: Ugh my feet are killing me! Is that another blister? If these things sound familiar...you have some shoes that need to go! Life is too short to have sore feet!

3.    Did That Ever Fit?:  Are you standing in front of the mirror wondering how you ever fit into a piece of clothing? If it doesn't fit properly, send it on its way. Yes, you may lose/gain weight again but then treat yourself to new clothes. Live in the present and enjoy!

4.    Never Again!: Say goodbye to the pink taffeta bridesmaid dress or your wedding dress from 15 years ago! If you know you will never wear something again, give it to someone who will!

5.    Tugging at the Heart Strings: High school is over. Your camp days are in the past. IF you are wearing some old comfy pieces that are torn and ragged but simply make you happy: BRAVO! But, if you are saving clothing in a box just for sentimental value, take a photo and move on.

I won’t pretend that it’s an easy process….it’s even hard for me to watch! I will promise you that when you’re done you will feel better, lighter and accomplished. Not to mention, some people will be very happy wearing the clothes you chose to give away!

The Urge to Purge

Ahhhhh........what a great feeling!  I just finished watching my person clean out her closet. Every once in awhile she gets an urge, I mean A REALLY STRONG urge to purge! Has that ever happened to you?

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She took every piece of clothing out of her closet, tried it on, looked into my glass and made a decision about what to do with it.

Does that sound like a dream or a nightmare to you?

Well, I know it's not for everyone!

Many people become paralyzed when faced with too many decisions, so I put together a little cheat sheet to help in this situation.

I would love to hear about your experiences! Please feel free to comment.

I would love to hear about your experiences! Please feel free to comment.

Starting Fresh

It’s that time again! What are you ready to take on this year?

This year I decided that I am going to try to write a closet “guide” book of sorts. I learned in a marketing class that the easiest and quickest way to do that is to use blogs as your chapters! So that is my plan and you shall be my first readers!

To make it a little more interesting, I have created a character named Mirranda to tell stories about what she sees people struggling with in their closets all the time and maybe even divulge a few fun secrets from over her many years of observation.

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I am sure some of these tips will sound familiar to you…..but we all need reminders now and then to keep us on track!

I look forward to this new adventure and will appreciate any feedback you have!

Let’s get started.  

Chapter 1 Starting Fresh:

You know what I notice? And I’ll bet this applies to you too: people have closets FULL of clothes and they wear the same things all the time. Those poor unworn pieces of clothing get very lonely and insecure. It makes me very sad to see them go unnoticed so I want to share an exercise to bring more attention to them! Will you take the time to play?       

  • STEP 1:  Make sure all of hangers the hangers in your closet are facing in the same direction, Then, make sure all the piles of clothing that you have (whether in drawers or on shelves) and neatly folded.

  • STEP 2: Once you wear a piece of clothing, turn the hanger backwards or put the folded piece back at the bottom of the pile.

  • STEP 3:  Commit to only wearing new things until you have turned all your hangers or rotated all your piles.

Now, I know what will happen along the way.......you will get to a piece and not "feel like" wearing it, or it doesn't "feel right" etc. Take note of those pieces and if it happens more than once...it's time to let it go!

Who's with me on this? It's a pretty easy exercise to play and you can weed through your wardrobe at the same time. 

 Remember: Someone else will probably love to wear whatever you choose to give away!  

 

The Corner Rules

Many of my clients ask me "How do you use the corners in a closet". Well, in my experience there is only one EFFECTIVE way to use corners but there are many options out there. 

Take a look: 

#1 - The Angled Corner Unit: With that small an opening....how will you ever know what is back there..never mind how you get to it! Once you hang clothes on the rods they will cover the opening even further and will make that access even more difficult!  

#2- Curved or Corner Shelves: Are not terrible when there is no hanging beside them but again, you will have items stuck far back in a corner which will probably never get used.

#3- Curved Rods: You can see for yourself in this photo that they are not a great use of space. Items can not hang the full range of the rod.

#4- The Lazy Susan: This works, sure...but again if you have anything hanging next to it, it will rub and hinder the spin of the shelves. Clothing folded in rectangles do not fit easily on a round shelf. This is a decent solution for shoes or purses.  

#5- Rods in 2 Directions: This is the most common use of corners and it does not work at all. It is physically impossible to hang the length of both rods. The shoulders of the clothing just smashes into each other.

#6- The Spiral Rod: Oh Yeah, this one is cool for sure but it takes up a ton of space. You can actually get more pieces of clothing on a regular rod then on this gadget. 

So what is my corner of choice? The Access Space:

The Access Space makes use of one wall completely and then leaves room for the clothes on the opposite wall to hang properly. When the correct amount of space is allowed, not only can you see the clothing in the corner, but you can easily reach it as well. 

I'm not saying the other ideas are wrong, just that in my 20 plus years o experience, this seems to work the best.

Do you have your favorite? Please share your thoughts!  

The 3 A's for a Great Closet Makeover

Normally we follow steps 1-2-3 or A-B-C but in my experience you need to follow the 3 A's for a great closet makeover!

ACCESSIBLE CLOTHING: This may seem obvious but if your don't really stop to think about what clothing you are storing where, you may end up having to close the closet door to get your favorite shirt while the gown you wear on occasion is always at hand's reach! Make sure the clothing you wear the most often are the ones that are the easiest to get to everyday!

ADDITION OF SPACE:  Organizing anything is great but when it comes to organizing a closet, gaining more space should be at the top of the To Do List! There is not much point to simply moving stuff around when the possibility of adding extra hanging rods is just a hardware store away. Think about creating double rods, adding shelving and getting more stuff in that same old space!  

ADJUSTABLE PARTS: If you are going to invest your hard earned money into a closet makeover....Make it count! Whether you hire a closet design expert or you do it yourself, make sure you get an adjustable system. Your shelves and rods should be able to move with your changing needs. Styles change, taste changes  lifestyles change and your closet should be able to change with you!

 

An organized closet helps start your day off right! Less frustration, less time wasted, less searching for items and more time for YOU in the morning!

WOW! That was tough!

So how do you define success? Is it when you get what you want....or you deliver on other people's expectations? That's a tough one...and you may be wondering why I am asking such a thing.  Fair enough!

 

I just finished a live and interactive Facebook event called Closet Design Basics to teach the basics of custom closet design and help entrepreneurs create a new business or people working from home create a small business. Was it a success....well that would depend who you ask.

 

Why I created the class was two fold:

  • To teach people a skill
  • To generate interest in my on line course

 

Well......I did both! The MANY participants were engaged, learning and interested in everything I have to offer! I am thrilled!

 

So why are others getting me down saying it was unsuccessful if I didn't make X amount of dollars...who are they to say!

I am frankly tired of all the ads I am seeing promoting your door to a MILLION DOLLAR business......excuse my language but I am calling BS on all of that!

I know what it took me to get my course done and I know what struggles people are having after taking my course.....because I CARE and I FOLLOW THROUGH with people.  It's not about the money!!  Any new skill takes time to learn and expand on to become confident enough to become a success.  

It's scary!  Starting anything new is scary!  Taking the leap of faith is terrifying, but if you don.t.....you will never know!   What is that saying? 

All I wanted to say I that we all put ourselves out there. New is good, and it only matters if YOU think you were a success!

I am proud and pleased with the comments and feedback I received about the event and I know that the rest will follow!  

HERE'S TO YOUR SUCCESS AND TO ANY WAY I CAN HELP!     

Do You LOVE What you do?

I LOVE what I do for a living....I mean I REALLY LOVE IT! I know not everyone can say that about their job! I feel blessed. I found something I love to do and I am good at it. Who could ask for more.

My career path didn't start off this way...that is for sure! I actually studied fashion merchandising and went to work in the fashion industry when I was finished with school. BIG MISTAKE! The work environment was awful. I mean, people would scream at each other at the top of their lungs. These were not life and death situations worth cursing other people out! I was miserable!

Now you may ask, how did I go from that.......to career happiness???? LUCK! I was in the right place at the right time and Closet Design fell into my lap. My designer friend was working on the new showroom for California Closets and they needed someone to work there. Sure! Why not I said! And the rest is history.  

It is simple. I am organized. I am a people person. I am creative and I like to make other people happy! I was a perfect fit. And the best part........I WAS TAUGHT EVERYTHING I needed to know to succeed.  After many years there, it was me who was teaching the new designers and I realized that I love doing that too!!  

 

I was able to help new designers hone their skills, develop their instincts and create incredible designs. All that they learned help make their clients happy Every Day! When you design a closet that someone uses and loves every day....you simplify their lives, reduce their stress and save them money! How many other jobs can accomplish that for people? 

 

THAT is what got me to where I am today. The love of teaching and wanting to share my knowledge. I have done it for many years by educating my clients as I design for them and now I am taking it one step further and offering a FREE online Facebook event to teach YOU the basics of closet design.

 

If you don't LOVE what you do! Think about making a change or learning a new skill!  The closet design industry is growing and you can hop on board! EASILY! If you are even the slightest bit curious, come hang out with me for a few hours on June 26th (1pm-4pmEST) and see what it's all about! Just click the link below to join the event! I look forward to seeing you there!  https://www.facebook.com/events/481869085336600/

 

If you are even more curious and excited......I also offer on line classes to teach you how to be a PROFESSIONAL closet designer. Check out the video below! 

I am so excited and grateful to share my knowledge with you! Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments!

 

4 Steps & 2 Secrets To Custom Designing Your Own Closet

Do you ever look at the beautifully designed closets in all the magazines...and drool just a little? Does your mind go to....... how do they do that or I wish it was affordable? Or quite simply to I WANT ONE?

Well, let me tell you a secret.  All the fluff, cool lighting and fancy gadgets are not what makes  a well designed custom closet.  It makes a pretty closet and a beautiful space but......that doesn't mean it is actually a functional one.  I have seen gorgeous closets, where the rods were placed too low and there was clothing dragging on the floor or some shelves were cut at a cool angle but empty, because nothing could fit on them properly . I have often been unimpressed!   

So what does warrant the title "A well designed custom closet"? Not fancy materials, not pretty pictures and not big name brand companies.  YOU can create your own custom designed plan and build it however YOU want to.  These four steps will tell you how: 

 

  1. TAKE DETAILED MEASUREMENTS:  This first step seems simple enough but it is the most crucial. Imagine designing and ordering your dream closet and having taken a measurement incorrectly.....the pieces won't fit and you will have wasted your money. Take an accurate measurement of the wall(s) that you will be building on. Look for obstructions such as light switches, plugs, vents etc and note where they fall on the walls. Once you have everything measured, draw the space on a piece of graph paper using 1/2" scale (1/2" = 1'). 
  2. ASSESS AND ANALYZE YOUR WARDROBE: Yes, this is meant to be as detailed as it sounds! You need to count how many pieces you have, measure how long they hang, as well as how wide and how high items are when they are stored folded.You want to make sure that you do not leave your clothes dragging on the floor or create shelves that will only fit 1 1/2 pairs of shoes instead of 2! Make notes of how much long vs short items you own, how many piles and how many pairs of shoes. Create paper "sections" (for example 3 feet long hanging, 8 piles of sweaters takes 2 feet of space) to match the same scale as your graph paper. 
  3. MAKE SURE IT WILL ALL FIT: Remember that mess takes up less space than organization.  If you want to move all of your shoes off the floor, they will take space away from something else! Using your scaled floor plan, and the cut "sections" lay out the space that will be used for each category you noted.  Remember that you can double hang short items or add extra shelves above a rod. If you find that you are quickly running out of space then you will have to come up with compromises or give something up!
  4. PROPER PLACEMENT: Once you know what you will be keeping in your new space, make sure that you place the sections where they make the most sense. Go back to the obstructions you measured.  Will you be covering a plug? Will your drawers open? Will you have easy access to the clothing you wear the most? Once you are comfortable with where everything is.......you have YOUR very own custom made closet!

The only thing left to do is order your creation and have someone install it for you!  Easy peasy right?  

 

Are you thinking "Is she crazy? That's a lot of work! OR I can't do all that"! I know, it can seem overwhelming........well.....I have another secret for you: There are other options!

 

First, I have created a service which will take the 4 steps out of your hands and put them into mine! All you have to do is fill out some forms, shop and arrange installation. Does that take some of the stress away?

Second, I have created and on line course that will teach you these steps in detail! Imagine, being able to not only create your own custom closet.......but perhaps start a new side business of your own!

 

I have been doing closet design for so long and I am delighted to help pass the skills onto others!  Feel free to contact me with any questions and I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments! 

Could Organizing Be The 9th Limb Of Yoga?

This has been something I have been thinking about and wanting to write about for a long time. People often think of organized people (therefore organizers) as Type A, anal retentive...maybe even OCD?  Well....perhaps a little of all of them to some degree.......at least for me.  

For a very long time I was very high strung, a total over achiever...someone who recorded her school notes and then listened to them while she slept. (That works by the way!). I was driven, but all over the place and nothing much could slow me down......until I found yoga. 

It may sound cliche but yoga calmed me, grounded me and centered me. I became MORE productive. MORE focused and all around a happier person.  Because I am who I am, I couldn't just enjoy yoga, I had to learn yoga.  As I started to study, I learned that yoga is not all about stretchy pants and  pretzel postures.......it is so much more!  It is a life style. A way of being. It becomes a  part of who you are!  

Yoga became as much a part of me as the organized Type A qualities were.  And I started to compare them..........what I discovered is that the foundation of yoga and organizing have a lot in common.  It  struck me the most within the first 2 limbs of yoga: The Yamas and  the Niyamas:  Let me know what you think!

Yamas | Moral Precepts                              

1. Ahimsa: Non violence to self or others. The staring point to peaceful living.  Being Organized means less stress, taking care of yourself and peaceful living.                       

2.. Satya: Honesty commitment to the truth.  Being Organized is being honest about when you have reached your limits or when it is time to ask for help.                                                         

3. Asteya: Non stealing, not taking anything that is not freely given, not expressing feeling of lack. Being Organized usually means you have what you need and you know where to find it. You are not always searching for something.                                

4. Bramacharya: Sensual Moderation. Being Organized helps keep everything in moderation. Do not over book, over buy or keep to much stuff.  

5. Aparigraha: Non possessiveness.  Being Organized helps you let go of the things that no longer serve you, that don't fit or that you don't use. 

Niyamas | Personal Observances

1. Saucha: Purity, maintaining cleanliness in the mind. Being Organized keeps order in the mind which is then transferred into life. 

2. Santosha: Contentment, the ability to feel satisfied in ones immediate experience. Being Organized gives you the satisfaction of knowing you have what you need or that you have enough time to do what you need to.

3. Tapas: Austerity/discipline. Being Organized is knowing you can get things done. Knowing when to delegate and to avoid buying and keeping things we don't need. 

4. Svadhyaya: Spiritual and self study, self reflection. Being Organized helps you tap into your true self  to make decisions that are in alignment with your goals.

5. Ishvara Pranidana: Devotion to that which you call God. Being Organized is devotion to order.

I know, some of these may seem like a stretch....but not really. I live it, I feel it and it's a great place to live! What's the moral of this story you ask?  If YOU want to get organized....start doing yoga!