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November 2015, Better Connecticut, Holiday Storage

November 2015, Better Connecticut, Holiday Storage

Matt talks holiday storage and general storage with Scot Haney on Better Connecticut, WFSB, Channel 3.

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Holiday Organizing and Beyond

Holiday Organizing and Beyond

It may seem too early to start thinking about holiday organizing, but a big part of organizing is planning ahead, so your next steps are easier. Besides talking about holiday storage, I’m also going to throw in some general storage tips as well.

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Organizing Clothes for Storage

All of my organizing solutions are built around a plan for circulation and now is the time to look at a very important one: seasonal rotation of clothes. Here are some thoughts on how to store seasonal clothes, how to store daily clothes, and products that make it all easier.

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Shelf Organizing Cheat Sheet

Shelf Organizing Cheat Sheet

I have written a ten part series on closet organizing, but if you’d like to see the best placement practices summarized on one sheet, here it is. This is just for a closet with shelves, from top to bottom, not one with a hanging rod. Before following these, I recommend emptying your closet entirely and purging the excess. When you reload, consider this.

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Are Vampires Lurking in Your Closet?

Are Vampires Lurking in Your Closet?

Last week a woman was giving me a tour of all the organizing challenges in her home and when we came to a closet upstairs, I asked her, “can I see what’s in here?” She said “Oh, I don’t want to show you that. It’s a DISASTER!” After explaining to her that I was in the disaster business, she let me have a look.

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Closet Impossible?

I have taken rather ruthless measures in an effort to get my clients’ wardrobes to match the capacity of their closets.  The measures I take on myself are no less ruthless. Yup, that’s my closet to the right.  ALL of it. Perhaps you have heard the Pareto Principle applied to closets before.  You know, we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time.  Even with a wardrobe as limited as mine, this rule still applies, (although I may wear closer to 40% of my clothes.)  I wear white company polo shirts and jeans, six days a week (which is closer to 85% of the time). Admittedly I’ve simplified my daily wardrobe in an extreme way, but the point is, we usually don’t need to put a lot of effort into that 20% we wear 80% of the time. Often THEY choose US.  Instead, the effort needs to go into that 80% that fits into just 20% of our time.  You don’t have seven days a week to wear them in.  It’s closer to ONE!  So be particularly strict with […]

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Top 10 Closet Storage Do’s and Don’ts: #10

This is the final entry in a series of Top 10 Closet Storage Do’s and Don’ts. 10. DON’T rearrange just a part of your problem closet. Many is the time I’ve gotten halfway through emptying a closet and the client suggests I leave the rest because it’s “pretty well organized.”  Despite that suggestion, I recommend that we keep going so that we can start with a clean slate.  Invariably we unearth items that don’t belong in the assumed categories, items that have long been forgotten, and items that make the client say “Hey, I was looking for that!”  The reason for this is the deeper we get into the closet the more likely the items are older and hidden.   As a result, many of the items can be tossed, donated, or reassigned, freeing up significant amounts of space for more useful items.  Stashing items in a closet can provide a false sense of control.  In reality, you have given control to your clutter, which gradually turns your closet into an all-consuming black hole. DO empty 100% of your problem closet and start […]

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Top 10 Closet Storage Do’s and Don’ts: #9

This is the ninth in a series of Top 10 Closet Storage Do’s and Don’ts. 9. DON’T over-organize items you rarely use. Can you really be too organized? Yes. The ever-quotable Albert Einstein said “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler” and who am I to argue with Einstein? Perhaps it might sound strange for an organizer to say don’t organize too much, but, to me, the whole point of getting organized is to take the obstacles out of the way, so that you can focus on the more important challenges in life.  Therefore, I can’t justify spending a sunny day indoors organizing old files or owners manuals that you are unlikely to retrieve again.  Of course there are going to be some items you need to keep JUST IN CASE, but they don’t’ merit the same devotion as your more useful items. DO focus your organizing energy on items you use the most. Maximum organizing means maximum visibility and accessibility.   For example, backup office supplies should be located below eye level, in clear, labeled drawers.  Office supplies […]

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Top 10 Closet Storage Do’s and Don’ts: #8

This is the eighth in a series of Top 10 Closet Storage Do’s and Don’ts. 8. DON’T store seasonal items at eye level. The most valuable real estate in a closet is located at eye level.  This should not be wasted on items you access infrequently, like holiday, archival, and seasonal items.  If you happen to have some open space front-and-center, great!  You don’t have to fill it.  Save it for a more urgent need, because it will surely come up. DO store seasonal items more remotely. Free up this prime real estate for batteries, light bulbs, paper towels and other everyday items by storing the wrapping paper, sleeping bags, and archive files in the back and top of the closet.  If everything is important then nothing is important.  You have to choose priorities.  At some level everything is important or you wouldn’t keep it, so the real challenge is to recognize the LESS important items and store them remotely. Today’s key to unlocking clutter.  Making less important items less accessible allows more important items to be more accessible.

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Top 10 Closet Storage Do’s and Don’ts: #7

This is the seventh in a series of Top 10 Closet Storage Do’s and Don’ts. 7. DON’T rely on your memory to identify a container’s contents. “I THINK I can remember what’s in there.”  Sure, you know now and maybe for a couple of weeks, but over time your memory of containers’ contents fades.  That’s OK!  You have enough challenges in life with your busy schedule and this unforgiving economy.  You don’t need to add “memorize contents of box” to your list! DO label everything. So don’t think.  Know.  A clear label takes out the guess- work.  I often say the best organizing system is so easy it feels like you’re cheating.  Why NOT make it that easy?  Even with clear boxes and drawers, you should add clearly legible labels.  The written word reinforces the visual clues and if the container is emptied, the label provides a reminder of what the container has been designated for. Today’s key to unlocking clutter. Labels enable.

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