Tuesday Tips: Organizing Your Closets
How many times have you stuffed an unwanted item in the back of a closet? Eventually those little rooms in our houses start busting at the seams and next thing you know, a simple outdoor excursion that requires a coat turns into a heap of stuff on the floor. So here are a few tips for updating closets without spending a ton of money:
Tip #1: Tackle one closet at a time and take everything out. Sort through things and throw out or give away what you haven't used or will never use in the future. A great exercise I read about in Real Simple magazine involved taking out all the clothes in your closet that you haven't worn in awhile and trying them all on. The stuff that doesn't fit anymore gets donated and the rest stays.
Tip #2: Figure out how you're going to use the closet space. Is it going to be just for coats and umbrellas or does the vacuum cleaner need to go in there too? This will help you determine which accessories you'll need to make everything fit properly.
Tip #3: Once you've figured out what needs to go in the closet, add accessories and shelves to make the space more efficient. A closet can always use a second shelf above the standard shelf that sits right above the hanging bar. "It gives you a whole other surface and more places to put stuff," says Sally Reinholdt, a professional organizer with Closets 911 in Alexandria. A shoe pocket hung on the inside of any door is also a huge help, whether it be for shoes in a bedroom closet or mittens and scarves in a coat closet.
Tip #4: Get wire shelf dividers for your linen closet and group together sheet sets and towel sets rather than having a pile of pillow cases all mixed together or a pile of wash cloths.
Tip #5: Accessories make a big difference in the closet. For one thing, get rid of wire hangers and buy a set of uniform hangers, be they plastic or wood. Reinholdt also recommends hangers that have an extra hook for hanging belts or scarves. Use padded hangers for more delicate pieces of clothing. "It makes me crazy when I go into somebody's house and they have their nice clothes on wire hangers," she says. "It stretches everything out of shape."
Tip #6: A collection of purses always seems to make a bedroom or coat closet an utter mess. I love every single one of mine yet they're piled on top of each other on a few hooks in my closet. A large basket is one way to keep them all together and out of the way. Or Reinholdt recommends the Container Store's 8-pocket clear vinyl handbag file for $9.99. It hangs from a closet rod and allows you to see each of your gems.
Tip #7: If a trip to the Container Store or Target isn't going to solve your closet problem, consider a shelving system that can easily be changed. You'll want to be able to reconfigure shelving and storage spaces as the family grows. Some of these systems are easy enough to install yourself.
Tip #8: For a kid's closet, consider using baskets or hanging shelves rather than having kids try to hang up clothing themselves, Reinholdt says. "You want to give them a one-step process so they can put stuff away easily," she added. "Simple is best when it comes to kids."
Tip #9: As much as I love the Container Store, only go there for the unique items. Plastic bins and hangers are much cheaper at places like Target and Wal-Mart.
So have you re-done your closets lately? What are your tips for these small spaces? Have you used shelving systems like Elfa or have you had a custom closet designed by companies like California Closets? Post a comment below.
The first day of school is close if it hasn't started already for your kids. Seems like retailers have put a stop to this summer's 1-cent deals, but Staples and Office Depot are still offering some free items. Here are this week's deals:
Staples: Free eight-pack of No. 2 pencils or 12-inch plastic ruler, plastic report cover for 20 cents, plastic binder for 25 cents and pencil box for 50 cents.
Office Depot: Free five-pack of permanent markers after mail-in rebate, acrylic ruler for 10 cents, 4-ounce glue for 20 cents, 5-inch scissors for 25 cents, 12-pack of pencils and 10-pack of ballpoint stick pens for 50 cents each, and six-pack of notebooks for 99 cents.
InkStop: Two-pocket portfolio and 12-pack of No. 2 pencils for 10 cents each, one-subject notebook for 19 cents, 24-pack of crayons for 27 cents, three-pack of glue sticks for 69 cents, pencil pouch and stretchable book cover for 79 cents each.
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