organizing closets

Sweaters: To Hang or Not to Hang

Sweaters: To hang or not to hang?

I think this question is the easiest one to answer.

Sweater should be folded. Period.

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Why you may ask?  I can’t tell you how many times I have watched a sweater be put on a hanger and the weight of the material stretches the sweater until it’s deformed!

Another thing I have seen happen is that people use a thin hanger and when they go to wear the piece it has little bump in the shoulder which is very hard to get rid of.

Solution. Fold your sweater and knits to keep them in the best shape.

Has this ever happened to you?


Make Clothing Exchanges Fun and FAIR!

Clothing exchanges are a great thing to do with your friends when you have good pieces you don't like or can't wear any more. But, they can also be very frustrating.

I have been to a few where some people bring beautiful pieces and others bring old ratty ones. When everything is just thrown in a pile on the floor.....the outcome can be quite unfair.

Of course my professional organizer mind takes over and begs me to 

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Here's the plan I came up with for an organized clothing exchange:

  1. Ask everyone to bring only good quality used pieces. Nothing with stains, frays or tears.
  2. Organize the items by category so people will easily find what they might be looking for.  
  3. Have 3 rounds timed how ever long you like.  Leave enough time for people to look around and try things on.  Whatever they don't choose goes back in the piles. 
  4. In the first round, people can choose the same amount of items that they brought with them to exchange. In the second round, decide how many more pieces everyone is allowed to choose. 
  5. Before the final round, people can decide whether they want to give away what is left over or take it back.

It may sound complicated but it's not!  It is organized and fair!

Give it a try and let me know how it goes.  My friends have all thanked me for it! 

5 Choices When Spring Cleaning Your Closet

If you are someone who avoids cleaning out your closet because you 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)....here's are 5 tips to help make your choices easier.

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  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 it's way. Yes, you may lose/gain the 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 hope these helped and if you have any other ideas please share with us!

Closet Resolutions

It's that time again! The time where we pressure ourselves to make tough changes to "better" our lives or ourselves. Personally, I think it's all to much pressure! How about we play a game instead?

The game can be considered a "resolution" but you can have some NO PRESSURE fun while being productive. So, here's how it works: 

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STEP 1:  Make sure all of hangers the hangers in your closet are facing in the same direction,  Then make sure all of 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, we all 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 then once....it's time to let it go!

Who's with me on this? It's a pretty easy resolution to make 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!  

How do you choose?

Today I wanted to talk to you about hangers.......how boring right?  

Not really!  There are so many to choose from.....how do you decide? 

I also decided to take this opportunity to try video my hand at video UGH! 

ENJOY!

5 Reasons NOT to be Afraid to Hire a Professional Organizer

Many people say to me "I really need your help but I am afraid to have you come over".....and all I can think is really? Am I scary? LOL.  

Fear is a very strong emotion and one that can really hold us back from making changes or difficult and uncomfortable decisions. I know what I deal with and I would imagine my clients will deal with the same things:

  • Fear of change
  • Fear of letting go of something
  • Fear of loss
  • Fear of not having enough or not being able to get more
  • Fear of  dealing with buried emotions

 

And YES, de-cluttering and organizing your life can raise some of these deep issues. As professional organizers we are here to help you through that...it's what we dedicate our lives to. Here are the 5 reasons why you should NOT be afraid to work with us:

1- We don't judge: We got into this profession to HELP people not to judge or ridicule them. We take pride in being able to motivate people into creating new patterns that will make their lives easier and more efficient.

 

2- We have seen everything: People are often under the false impression that they are alone in their situation.  If that were the case, Professional Organizers would not stay in business. There is really not much that will shock us!  

 

3- We are not perfectI can't speak for all organizer but to be truthful sometimes.....my own life's organization will turn into chaos.  It happens to all of us.  We just have been taught the skills to get things back on track quickly.

 

4- Your appointments are confidential:  You don't have to worry about people finding out what you are doing or what you are working on.  What happens during your appointments stays at your appointment!

 

5- Our bark is worse than our bite:  We may give you a lot to do and think about and expect positive results. We are merely the facilitators...you don't have to worry about disappointing us.....it's all about YOU!

 

If you have any questions about working with a Professional Organizer, please feel free to contact me!

The Top 4 Reasons To Organize Your Clothing By Cateory

We have all heard the arguments about the best way to organize the clothing in your closet. So which way is the best way? By color? By season? In capsules?  As a closet designer....my vote is by category. Here are my top 4 reasons why: 

  1. When you have your clothing separated by category you will get more use out of each item. For example, if you hang a suit together, you will grab it and wear it as a set all the time, forgetting that the top and bottom can be worn with other items to create a completely new outfit!
  2. When you are not searching for a top squished and hiding between two bottoms, you will be able to see ALL of the mix and match possibilities in your wardrobe more easily.In this way you know exactly where to look when you want to find a particular piece....take a shirt to the pant section (or vice versa) and decide what you feel like wearing. 
  3. You don't have to worry about what works for which season! Who cares! I know when I am cold in the summer....I want my sweaters close by. I wear tanks in the winter as a layering piece. When organized by category you know exactly where items are at all times.
  4. It will save you money! You will always know exactly how much of each category you have. No more buying a piece that you already have buried in your closet somewhere while thinking "I am sure I have one of these already!"   

 

Now keep in mind that this is just my opinion. There is value and merit to other ways of organizing. It doesn't matter what other people do or say is right....you have to choose the method that works best for you!

I simply wanted to share my thoughts and what has worked best for most of my closet clients.

 

I would love to hear any and all other ideas that you may have!  Please comments and share!

 

Closet De-clutter 5 Categories to Purge

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

I took every piece of clothing out of my closet, tried it on 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.

Please give it a try and let me know how you do!

Pour a glass of wine or a cup of tea, put on your favorite music and just GO FOR IT!    

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!