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Posts Tagged closet

Open Space is Not Empty

Open Space is Not Empty

We run into a lot of clients who seem to have fear of open space and I find it to be counterproductive to sustainable organizing systems.

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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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The Organizing Odd Couple

The Organizing Odd Couple

The opposite of out of sight, out of mind is in sight and in mind, but that’s often seen as a bad thing for organizing. If all your floors and surfaces are covered in clutter, it’s overwhelming and stressful, but the exact opposite is not a good thing either. Good organizing is about striking the right balance between what is hidden and what is seen.

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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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The ABC’s of Storage

Here’s a multiple choice question.  Fill in the blank with the best choice. “Just put it away in the_______________.” A.  Attic B. Basement C.  Closet D.  All of the above. Of course the correct answer is “D.”  Attics, basements, and closets are our storage friends.  All too often, however, they turn into forgotten wastelands.  It doesn’t have to be this way.  Here are some ways to make these storage areas more user-friendly. Keepsakes First and foremost, admit that this is a major category.  I see it in EVERY home we work in.  These are sentimental items that bring back special memories, but you have no intention of actually using or displaying. If they’re worth keeping, they’re worth keeping well.  Clear plastic boxes or drawers are the most user-friendly, but if you require 30 of them, they can get quite expensive, so do a focused sort and purge first. Old files I get it.  You need to keep these, just in case, but their location in your attic, basement, or closet should be as remote as the likelihood of retrieving them. […]

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Bedroom Organizing

You work hard so you deserve to have a peaceful sanctuary to retreat to every night. The right paint, drapes, and other décor can put you in a relaxing frame of mind, but first be sure you have a plan for quieting the clutter. Relaxation Dedication. We spend a third of our lives asleep, so it is appropriate to devote one room to JUST rest.  I know it seems downright counter-cultural to ban the television from the bedroom, (heck, I have one myself!), but it pays to keeps as many non-restful elements out as possible. Computers and workspaces don’t make it easy to switch off. Bright colors, mirrors, and lights from electronic devices, create energy and discourage rest. The more you focus on relaxing in your bedroom, the more you can focus on everything else outside of it. Laundry Quandary. If your laundry is littering the floor, you need an easier system. Perhaps you keep your laundry hampers in your closet because they look unattractive next to your bed. There are plenty of attractive hampers to choose from, but none […]

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Top 10 Closet Storage Do’s and Don’ts: #5

This is the fifth in a series of Top 10 Closet Storage Do’s and Don’ts. 5. DON’T store regular small items in lidded boxes. Sometimes I’m in homes where there is no shortage of nice square, lidded, even clear boxes, but there is still a lack of organization.  What’s missing?  Accessibility.  Stackable boxes aren’t for everything.  They make the best use of space for seasonal, archival, and other lesser-used items, but if you need to get to items regularly, lids (and the boxes stacked on top of them) present discouraging barriers.  One of the unfortunate results is multiple purchases. DO store regular small items in drawers.  Picture this scenario.  It’s Sunday night, you’re having dinner in front of the TV, the game’s gone into extra innings, but 60 Minutes is on too.  Thank God for the remote control!   Only it’s at this very moment the batteries decide to give out on the remote.  Wouldn’t it be great to know that the problem will be remedied by a 15 second trip to your closet? You swing open the door and there it […]

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Top 10 Closet Storage Do’s and Don’ts: #4

This is the fourth entry in the series  Top 10 Closet Storage Do’s and Don’ts. 4. DON’T store ANYTHING in a rounded basket with a handle. I know how it goes.  A friend gives you a beautiful gift basket and when it’s emptied, you just can’t bear to part with it.  “Surely I can find SOMETHING to put in it.”  Any time you find yourself trying to match a need to a container, STOP.  That’s a sure fire recipe for clutter and disorganization.  My advice is to fill that basket with flowers, candy, or cheese and give it back to your friend.  A gift basket is just about the worst organizing container imaginable.   Useful items, particularly squared ones like compact disks, tend to fit terribly in these baskets.  Furthermore, they’re usually tapered at the bottom, designed to make the contents look more plentiful and overflowing.  This is not an optimal storage feature.  They tend to fit poorly ON the shelves and wastefully BETWEEN the shelves, because of those stupid handles (not that you could stack anything on top of that […]

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Top 10 Closet Storage Do’s and Don’ts: #2

This is the second in a series of Top 10 Closet Storage Do’s and Don’ts. 2. DON’T fill every last gap in your closet. Packing everything you can into your closet does not make you organized. I have maintained that it is wasteful not to take advantage of vertical space in your closet, but it is equally wasteful to compromise find-ability and accessibility, which is an inevitablility when it’s all crammed in. DO leave room for accessibility. If you are keeping something you don’t need to be able to find, access, or use, you probably don’t need it at all. Disposing or donating items that no longer serves you well may be the best answer to getting your closet back. Prioritize what you are keeping. Seasonal and archive materials should be kept on upper shelves or in the back of a closet. On the other hand, items you need all the time should be located at, or just below, eye level, in clear, labeled drawers, where appropriate. Items whose frequency is somewhere in between should be located somewhere in between. When […]

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