Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Closet Makeover

With the changing seasons (and especially after the holidays) you may be spending more time than usual standing in front of your closet trying to figure out how to make it all fit. At one time my sister, Tiffany, felt the same way. Then we got her clothes organized by using some great shelving and some space saving configurations.

The Problem:
  • Tiff loves jeans and sweaters (and clothes in general!) but that wasn't her biggest problem. The main problem was the way she was storing them. She had lots of sweaters that were difficult for her to get to because they were piled sky high on the top shelf and she's not super tall. Her jeans were impossible to get to because they were folded over each other on pants hangers with multiple rods. As you can see above, the floor space was underutilized as it was just a dumping ground for shoes and boots. She also had shoes in an over the door organizer (not shown) that rounded out her collection. The hangers were so tight she could barely squeeze anything in when it came time to hang things. Basically, getting dressed was not only a physical workout but an exercise in patience for Tiffany.
The Sort & Purge:
  • First, we pulled all the clothes out and sorted them into categories ("like with like"). Then Tiff went through each item and purged anything that she did not wear, that was not flattering and that did not fit. I was so proud of all the clothes that she bagged up to donate. She has good taste in clothes and they were still in great shape so someone was going to love them!
Assigning Homes:
  • Second, we decided what items from her closet would remain in her closet and what types of clothes would store better in her dresser drawers. This gave us more space in her closet to have some breathing room and make things more accessible.
Preparation and Planning:
  • Next, we measured her closet and counted how many pairs of jeans and pairs of shoes she had so we could buy the appropriate organizers. Then we went shopping! We decided to go with some Closet Maid shelving from the local Kmart (also found at Lowes (see link) and Target). Since we had our measurements and numbers in hand, in less than an hour we had what we needed to go home and finish the job.
The Solution:
  • Last, we put all her jeans in a vertical shelving unit placed in the middle of the closet where it could be accessed easily. I thought of it as a "Jean Tower." We then configured the shoe shelves in the best way to make use of the floor space. We stacked them right up under the short hanging items and left space in the far right area of the closet for her few long hanging items. Stacking the sweaters on the top shelf was much easier this time around because we had fewer of them to stack. If we had wanted to go the extra mile we could have bought shelf dividers (can also be found at The Container Store ) for the top shelves to keep the stacks in order. We also used a belt hanger for all her belts to hang on individual hooks which was much better than the one she was using before.


Isn't it beautiful?! The best part of this closet system was that two months later my sister moved our of her apartment and into her first home. She was able to take everything with her and set up her new closet in almost the exact same way!
  • I'd love to hear your closet makeover stories. You can even email me some before and after pictures and I'll post them.

Friday, November 16, 2007

To Purge or Not to Purge...

When evaluating items ask yourself the following questions. Even better--invite a friend over to do the asking!

1. Do I like it?
2. Do I use it?
3. Do I need it?
4. Do I want it?
5. Do I have room for it?
6. If I didn’t have it, would I think I needed it?
7. What is the worst thing that could happen if I got rid of this?

Honestly use these as guidelines and you'll be on your way to a more clutter-free life!


Take a look at some of my organizing success! (Photos and text used with permission.)


Cluttered Desk


Clean and Clear of Clutter

Chaotic Shelf

Neat and Tidy Home Office

Client Feedback

I work out of a home office without any administrative support. I worked with Melissa to organize both my personal and professional effects as I prepared to relocate. I wish I had done it years ago. While organizing my office and paperwork Melissa identified my natural tendencies and created an organizational structure that was easy for me to maintain. When I began looking for a personal organizer, I mostly wanted someone else to come in and take care of the mess I had allowed to build up over the years. Working with an “uninterested” party during the purging process helped me lighten my load considerably. During the process Melissa provided me with simple intuitive skills that have not only allowed me to maintain my newly found order but help friends and family organize as well. I can honestly say hiring Melissa is one of the best things I have ever done for myself. Kelsi Reeves