Tuesday, September 20, 2011

5 Steps to an Organized Closet


Summer is over, the kids are back in school and suddenly you look around your house and realize that while you were out frolicking in the summer sun, your house and especially your closets are a disaster! Never fear, here are five steps to get you back on track to an organized closet (and hopefully keep you there!). This approach can work with any closet, from your mudroom to your bedroom closet.

Step 1: Purge & Sort
Once you begin this part of the process, it’s best to just plow through without stopping so make sure you have some uninterrupted time to dedicate to this step. It will be well worth it in the end, I promise!

Remove everything from your closet (yup, I mean everything!) and start sorting your belongings into 4 piles:

1) Items to keep,
2) items that belong somewhere else,
3) items that can be donated and
4) items that should be thrown.

The easiest task to tackle is items that really don’t belong in the closet. The box of Christmas lights that you shoved in your mudroom closet last January really doesn’t belong there! These items should be moved to their appropriate locations to free up more space. Likewise, if you are cleaning a bedroom closet and have extra storage space, move out of season clothing into storage until you need them again.

The hardest task to tackle in this step is identifying the items that are never used or are worn out and should be donated or thrown away. We all own a sweater or a pair of shoes that we have never worn but swear we will, once we have the perfect pants to wear with it of course! If you haven’t worn or used an item in 2 years you probably never will, so donate it. Someone will find that sweater and give it a good home where it is loved! If you find you simply can’t bear to give the item away, put it back in your closet for 6 months and if it hasn’t been used when the 6 months expire, donate the item.

The opposite end of the spectrum is items that have been used or worn to death and now are in disrepair. If it is broken or has holes or stains or rips, throw it out!

Step 2: Clean

After you have sorted through everything, take some time to clean your closet. Vacuum or sweep, wipe down the walls and dust the trim. Closets are rarely cleaned from top to bottom and a clean slate will feel great!

Step 3: Have a Strategy

You have done a fabulous job of sorting through and cleaning your closet. Now, before putting everything back in, take some time to think about how you use the space in your closet and what you can do to maximize it. A few closet organizers from the local store can make a big difference on a tight budget. If this is a closet that faces more challenges like space constraints or use by multiple family members, a custom closet is a great option to really maximize your closets potential.

The key here is using your wall space to its full potential and making sure that everything has a home where it can be found and put away easily. Adding vertical shelving space that holds sweaters or other items is a great way to add usable surface in a closet. Likewise, a shoe organizer can transform a jumbled pile of shoes into an organized and tidy space that protects your shoes and makes them easier to find.

Step 4: Move back in

Once you have installed your new organizational components, move your items back in! Again, take your time to think about how you use your items and put them back into the closet in ways that can make your life easier. For example, in a bedroom closet, sorting your clothes by color can ease the process of picking out your outfits in the morning. For mudroom closets, sorting jackets and other items by user can make getting out the door much faster.

Step 5: Maintenance

This is the most important step! A great closet organization system can do wonders for keeping your closets in tip top shape. However, a once or twice yearly purging and sorting of items in your closet will ensure that you never again reach the end of summer and wonder what happened to your house while you were out playing in the sun!

For more ideas on closet organization, check out the Closets For Life website. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom closet company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative solutions to all of your organizational needs. Closets For Life is a family owned and operated business.

Contact Closets For Life for a free in-home consultation for your new closet,
Ph: 952-484-0416, Email: rlyrek@closetsforlife.com


Shawnessy Schwartz
Closets For Life Aficionado








Thursday, September 15, 2011

How Women (or Anyone!) Can Build a Closet Organizer

So you have decided you need to add some kind of organization to your closet? You are lucky in that there are many different options available to bring organization to your closet and your life. Keep reading for an easy guide to determining how to design and install a great closet organization system.

First Make Your Closet Wish List

Before hastily running off to the store, first take some time to make your closet wish list.
  • What could you do with your closet to make your life easier? For example, eye level shelving can make finding your sweaters much easier and extend the life of your garments.
  • Analyse the contents of your closet. For example, if you own multiple dress shirts, a dual closet bar would be a great way to double your usable space.
  • Go online to look at examples of closets like yours to get ideas of the different options available to you.
  • A great way to visualize possible options is to draw it out. Good old fashioned graph paper will work just fine.

Next Look At Your Options

Once you have an idea of what you want, the next step is to research the different closet organization systems available to you. There are basically three choices in closet organization: build it yourself closet organizers, off-the-shelf closet organizers and custom closet systems.

Build It Yourself - If you are a handy person, this option can be the most economical way to go. There are several great websites out there such as these Home Depot and Better Homes and Garden sites. Both sites give shopping lists and step by step instructions on how to build a closet organizer.

Off the Shelf Systems - Assuming an arsenal of tools and handyman experience is not at your disposal, then an off-the-shelf system or custom closet organization system may be the best option for you. There are many different brands of off-the-shelf options available at stores. On a tight budget, an off-the-shelf system can be a great choice, especially for reach-in or small walk-in closets. They offer flexibility, choices and easy installation. Some involve nothing more than hanging something from your existing closet rod. Others offer a more 'permanent' installation.

Custom Closet Design and Installation - Perhaps at the end of this process you find yourself overwhelmed by the choices, intimidated by installation or unsure that an off-the-shelf system can meet your needs. Then the custom closet option may be the best fit for you. Typically, custom closet companies will come to your house, assess your needs, design a system to meet those needs and professionally install it for you. The result is a closet organization system that will most likely last a life time and increase your home value.

In The End, Any Step Toward Organization Is Always a Great Choice!

Whatever choice you decide, you won't regret the decision or the time invested to add organization to your life. Good luck!

To see examples of closet organization, check out the Closets For Life website. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom closet company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative solutions for all your organizational needs. Closets For Life is a family owned and operated business.

Contact Closets For Life for a free in-home consultation for your new closet,
Ph: 952-484-0416, Email: rlyrek@closetsforlife.com

Shawnessy Schwartz

Closets For Life Aficionado