Closet 101: Tips for Making Over Your Closet

It was so much fun writing this article originally for Rubbermaid Configurations Canada and now it’s your check list to get your daily dressing groove back on!closet101

Is your closet cluttered? Do you have multiple items of clothing on hangers? Can you find the shoes you want right away? Do you know where all of your ties are?

If you’re like most people, there are times when your closet is organized, but more often, clothing and accessories pile up until they are a jumble and finding what you want can require what feels like an archaeological dig. There may be clothes in there that you’ve completely forgotten you even have!

A closet makeover can be an exhilarating activity, but where do you start? How do you do it, and how do you maintain order once it’s done?

Here’s a four-step closet makeover process to get your closets organized and efficient:

1. Assess

2. De-clutter

3. Refine and Optimize

4. Evaluate your results

Step One: Assess Needs

Answer these questions

a) Who will be using the closet? Adults, growing children, an elder?

b) What do you need the space to hold? Coats, sports attire, seasonal clothes?

c) What is your organizing style? Do you prefer items to have a specific place in the closet? Do you like similar styles to be grouped together? Or are you more comfortable with casually draping your clothes over the door until you feel like putting them away?

Step Two: De-clutter

You’ll need large plastic bag and tape and marker

Lighten the Load

1. Review each item from the closet.

2. Return items that you want to keep to the closet, and make a pile of things you want to discard.

3. If you are unsure about whether to keep an item, hang it backwards.If you haven’t worn it in a year, you’ll know. You can then decide what you’ll do with it.

4. Next, divide the discard pile into three clearly labelled bags: donate, garbage and consignment. Divide the items remaining in the closet into “Current” and “Out of Season.” Store out-of-season items separately. They don’t get prime closet real estate until their season arrives.

Start Small to Achieve Success

If this is your first time, choose one small closet 

Set a timer for 30, 60 or 90 minutes, based on your work style

Stay focused on one closet until it’s finished

Step Three: Refine and Optimize

Now that you know what you have:

1. Group items in a way that makes sense to you, by color, style, etc.

2. Optimize the space by using practical organizing tools like a belt hanger, space-saving hangers, jewellery and scarf organizers and door hooks.

3. Consider installing lights to brighten up the interior of the closet.

Step Four: Evaluate Your Results

1. Do you have a place for all of your belongings? If not, you either need to cull more, or consider other options for storage.

2. If you have space particularly overhead or on the floor that is inefficiently used, consider installing a customizable closet system like Configurations™. You will need to measure your space – width, height and depth and then simply install.

via Rubbermaid Canada | Configurations.

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Calendar versus Tasks

Sample Calendar

Sample Calendar

We use calendars so we know what we need to show up for but where do you keep track of all the tasks….. by tasks I mean the tiny action items that require time to execute but don’t necessarily get scheduled into the calendar?

A task can be a call you need to make tomorrow or in one month’s time. Tasks can be the supplies you need to pick up for the office, a course you need to register for or the new toothbrush you need from the drug store.

The rule of thumb is to keep all similar tasks together and then complete them together. If you have 5 follow-up phone calls to make and each will take approximately 10 minutes then you will need to schedule one hour into your calendar to make those calls.

If you have three errands that need to be done – dry cleaners, grocers and drug store then you’ll want to look at your calendar to see when it’s convenient to do those errands. While your reviewing your calendar may notice that you’ll be driving by the dry

Sample Task List

Sample Task List

cleaners on Wednesday  – now you just need to schedule it in and then stop at the dry cleaners on Wednesday.

A calendar for all of our appointments and a list of ALL tasks that need to be done are essential procedures so that we can free up our minds and be confident that everything that needs to get done is accounted for.

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Basement flooding – a bit of a silver lining

Here’s an email I received from one of our wonderful clients

“Hope you are having a great summer . Here is something to add to your blog and organizational savy-ness: best reason to have an organized basement, when your whole basement floods you are very happy to have it all organized in waterproof tubs that can easily be moved to another location and nothing is wrecked. Plus very minimum damage to household items.

We flooded twice … And I have had to rip out entire basement, thanks to our organization of items, at least that part has not been difficult and I did not lose many personal items.”

Thanks L for sending me this email – I’ve been thinking about you so much and hope the renovations are underway. We actually have a few other clients who are in a similar situation – so sorry that you’re going through this and I’m so happy we used the air tight containers!

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Rubbermaid Storage Containers

Kitchen organzing can be priceless

Industry experts say that a well renovated kitchen can increase the resale value of a home by 20% – 25%. But, if you aren’t selling your home any time soon you might want to consider organizing and optimizing your kitchen to best suit your immediate needs.

Organizing inside the cupboards, pantry, fridge and freezer can reduce stress and lift the spirit substantially. Begin by thinking about optimizing the cupboards with turntables, risers and pull out drawers. Be sure to label the top shelves and you’ll never stand there wondering where the ladder is or what’s on that shelf again!

Rubbermaid Storage

Rubbermaid Food Storage

Kitchen Pull Out Shelves

Custom pull out shelves can literally change how your kitchen functions

The cost of a three-hour investment with an Expert Organizer is approximately $200 – the return on your investment will be priceless.

Your papers in the country

Do you love being outdoors? How about outdoor design indoors?

Well, if you love the country feel and you are in need of a filing cabinet take a look at this beautiful facecord filing cabinet made by Mark Moskovitz.

Remember your office practicality doesn’t need to be drab!

Face Cord Filing Cabinet

Facecord Filing Cabinet

Organized Life: Lists

I could write and speak and share the benefits of keeping track of your tasks but I read this blog and loved the simplicity. It’s short and leads you to an(other) task/reminder app. Remember turn the reminder on for a time when you actually have the time to do the task.

Let's Get Organized!

First things first. You can’t truly be organized without a trusty list. There are many ways people make lists. Some people use a pad of paper, a sticky note or a notebook and a pen. Others use a text to themselves, an app or a document in their phone to keep track of the things they need to do. Personally, I’ve used all of these methods but currently my favourite is the Any.Do app on my iPhone.

 

The Any.Do app allows me to create lists for the upcoming days, and even set reminders that pop up when I want them to, in order to keep me on track. I’ve noticed how much more motivated it makes me because I have something reminding me exactly what needs to be done, when it needs doing. It also gives you notification bubble on the app that tells you how many tasks you need…

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Tweaking your entrance

Getting organized is a very personal thing. What feels out-of-place, disorganized or cluttered to one person may go completely unnoticed by another. The most important point is to identify exactly what feels out-of-place or cluttered and work on that one area specifically.

Often times, individuals come home and throw down the keys, the mail, drop the bags and kick off the shoes – a rather common daily activity and one that I love doing….but, if you find yourself feeling anxious about the messy look of ‘piles of stuff’ at your front entrance or the fact that you can’t find your keys the next day, then check out these ideas.

PotteryBarnEntrance Bench

PotteryBarnEntrance Bench

Do you prefer visuals to motivate you? Check these out Pinterest and Better Homes and Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens Entrance

Better Homes and Gardens Entrance