sedona closets

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.

Mirranda Original.png

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!  

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!     

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! 

5 Steps To Creating Your Sacred Space

I want to preface this whole post by saying that the word SACRED has a very different meaning for everyone!  For some it may mean religious, for others it may mean spiritual and for many more it could just mean private and personal.  It doesn't matter what the definition is as long as it has meaning for YOU! 

A "sacred" space should be one where you want to spend your time. It should attract you by it's calm and quiet and keep you in it's serenity.  It doesn't matter what you do there.....read, write, meditate, sleep.....the point is that you ARE THERE!  

I have friends who have the ability to make every space feel "sacred". No matter what we are doing, they add the special touches that others forget.....Over time I have tried to pinpoint the details that transform these spaces from ordinary to extraordinary and these are the things I came up with:

  1. Find a space that can be private and feels special to you.  This does not mean it has to be a room away from everyone one else....just a space that you can call your own when you need it to be.
  2. Make it comfortable. No matter what space you are working with (a whole room or a special corner), make sure that you are comfortable.  Add some pillows, blankets, furry rugs....whatever makes you want to stay for awhile.
  3. Surround yourself with your favorite things. We all have favorite books, keepsakes, photos, stones, beads, cards...anything that brings you joy should have a place in your sacred space.
  4. Scented candles or incense will help create the mood you are looking for.  It is said that scent is the sense most closely connected with our memories.  You can create a feeling and special moment just with the aroma surrounding you.
  5. Time. Making a conscious choice to spend time in the space you created will be what really makes it sacred.  Make this space yours alone or share it with others on a special occasion but USE IT.  The more time you spend in it the stronger the energy will become.   

A sacred space can take time to create....just take one step at a time and enjoy the creative process.  

I would love to see some photos of what you come up with!   

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!

 

So That Was Weird.

I had a very weird encounter last night. I am still trying to process how I feel about it.

I was sitting in a restaurant with a friend of mine and the bartender introduced us to a young man she knew sitting next to us. After a little bit of small talk, I realized that I had met him before.  He is the son of one of my clients......that is not unusual in this small a town....but his reaction was.

When I reminded him of when me met he said "OMG! you're the woman that made my mother throw away all of my baby pictures!"  I felt like I was slapped in the face!  I did no such thing!

I think he saw the look of horror in my eyes because he quickly apologized and explained his exclamation.  When he saw his mother sorting through, and choosing her favorite photos so that she could keep the best of the best and edit out the ones of people whose names she had forgotten, or with eyes closed, or random scenery......he saw her discarding his life.

I don't remember him being rude, confrontational or even seem remotely upset, but he told me that he had often thought about what he would say to me if he saw me again.....and here was his opportunity.  What he said was "I get it. It has to get done but if it were up to me, I would have asked her to keep everything! It has nothing to do with you."  

I then pointed out the obvious: It would have to be sorted through some time and was he going to do it? He decided that he would box it all in storage and then pay someone to do it. I laughed out loud at that.......until he realized what he had said......that he had just come full circle.  If it was not me and his mom, and it was not going to be him.....someone was going to do it.

I deal with other people's things all the time.  It is so easy for someone else to tell you what to keep and what to part with.  This was a HUGE reminder that as an organizers it isn't just "stuff" I deal with, it's memories, baggage, family heirlooms, successes, creations, and as delicately as I handle these things.......it may still cause someone pain.

4 Ways To Bring Out The "Girly" In Your Closet

I am in No Way a "girly girl".  I am not into make up, jewelry or high heeled shoes but I do love my clothes.  I am such a  true believer that your closet should be a showcase for your clothes, that I created my whole career around it!  Your beautiful clothes should have a beautiful space to live!    

Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some people love clean simple lines. Others love bolder statements of style but none of that matters as long as the person loves their space.  I have seen it all.  I have had clients with library ladders in their closets, pull-out sleeper sofas, a bar, television and work out equipment......but my favorite spaces have always been the ones I would call "girly".  Pretty, sweet, warm, cozy, all of those adjectives can apply. I have only day dreamed of having a closet big enough to "girlify" but have thought a lot about what elements I would include.  Here they are. The 4 ways to bring out the "girly" in your closet:

COLOUR:  Colour can add so much character to a space.  Add color in the units you use, a chair or pouffe or in art on any spare wall space. Choose colours that you love, That make you feel warm and fuzzy and that make you happy.  Matching is optional as far as I am concerned! The more fun you have with it the better! 

LIGHTING: Lighting can mean a beautiful ceiling fixture, a crazy table lamp or a multitude of candles.  You can create an ambiance that reflects your mood just by playing with the lighting. If you have a plain lampshade...though a scarf over it and add even more colour to the space!

FLOWERS:  Real or fake, flowers just add warmth to a room. If you can invest in real flowers you will have the added bonus of a wonderful scent! Flowers make people happy (especially girls/women). 

BLING: Now Bling can take you anywhere.......from crystals, to statuettes, to jewelry on the wall, antique dolls, vintage bags....the imagination can go wild. Experiement with bling to bring out the dreamiest part of yourself and create a space that is joyful.

PLAY...PLEASE PLAY with your spaces.  Organizing can be fun!  Enjoy! 

NO is an O.K. Answer!

As I sat in my third (what seems like forever) meeting, my mind started to wander.......WHY am I here?  This meeting actually does not have much to do with me. I can't even understand most of the "lingo" being used.  How did I get here?

THE REASON:  I have a very hard time saying:

Why is NO so hard to say?  Two little letters come together to form a four letter word!  One syllable that can bring fear to people's hearts and cramps to their stomachs!

Is it  guilt - for standing up for what we want (or don;t want)? 

Is it a sense of "I should's"?   

Is it not wanting to disappoint other people?

CHECK!  All of the above for me!  But I realize that this is not helping me.  Saying YES when you mean NO can only lead to unhappiness and resentment!  Who needs that in their lives! NOT ME! 

So I challenge you (and myself) to start saying NO:

  1. To things that don't serve you.  
  2. When you feel taken advantage of
  3. To things that waste your time or aren't productive
  4. To things that work against you

And start saying YES

  1. To things that enrich your life
  2. To things that benefit you and your family
  3. To things that genuinely help others
  4. To things that bring you JOY

What does this have to do with organizing you may ask?  Well, think about buying things you don't need, keeping things "just because" and living with disorder......you can start saying NO to these things as well ....... you're life WILL become more organized!

It's may be difficult......I know so here's a little video to get you on your way!

Let me know how you are doing!

i