Organizing 101: Organizing that place we call… “somewhere”
By Sophia Noll
This month I thought we would venture to that place we all have in our homes called “somewhere.” While working with my clients I often hold up an item and ask “where will this go?” Frequently the response is, “You know … somewhere!”
Well it’s time to organize our “somewheres” because it’s getting way too crowded there!
Where you ask is “somewhere”? It’s behind door number one, door number two, and door number three! Yes! It’s our CLOSETS! They have become the repositories for all of those items we don’t know what to do with and before we know it we need a dead bolt to hold the doors shut! So here are some pointers when it comes to organizing closets.
Each closet in your home needs to have a specific function. For example: utility, food pantry, clothes, linen, and coat. It’s important to consider all the closets before you organize one of them so that your belongings will have a logical home. Each closet may hold more than one function but a “General Storage” category is useless and will create more disorganization and chaos. Once you have assigned which closets will house what then start with one closet and remove all of its contents. Here you can use the method I’ve mentioned before by using boxes or bags for sorting the items you will keep, throw away, and give away.
Before putting items back into their assigned closets it’s a good time to make any repairs that might be needed. Perhaps you may want to add another shelf or hanging bar to increase your hanging space or repair a broken rod, install lighting, or add a fresh coat of paint. Adding hooks and clamps are helpful when storing bulky items like mops, brooms, and ironing boards. When placing items back into your closets, group the like items together and store the most frequently used items near the front and items you rarely use in the back or in the harder to reach areas of the closet. Once you have gathered the like items, discard/donate the duplicates since you don’t really need ten pencil sharpeners. For utility closets try using clear plastic boxes or drawer systems that fit on shelves for those extension cords, light bulbs, picture hanging kits, loose tools, etc. Then place labels on the boxes so you will know where to reach when you need an item.
The clothes closet is an area that most are tempted to keep unused items in which is a problem because they tend to be too small for all those items. We have clothes that are too big, too small, need mending, want to give to a friend, and the list goes on and on. Plus hanging on to those expensive dresses you haven’t worn in months or years is costing you in wasted space and not to mention the bad feelings you have for those “mistake” purchases each time you see them. So clear them out of your closet and your mind!
Here are some ways for expanding space in your clothes closet:
- • The back of your closet door is prime real estate so hang a storage system for shoes, scarves, belts, and jewelry on the back of the door.
- • Install a lower bar on existing clothes bar for added hanging space.
- • Replace the metal rod with plastic coated, ventilated wire shelving which gives you storage on top and hanging space in the front of the unit plus you can also install a second hanging bar as well.
- • Use a low drawer system that fits the bottom of the closet.
- • Add a shelf at the top of the closet for items seldom used; use shelf dividers for separating sweaters, purses, etc.
- • Decorative boxes are fun for containing smaller items that can be placed on a shelf.
- • Keep one season of clothing in your closet and place out of season clothes in covered containers and store them in the attic, basement, or under the bed.
I encourage you to take a trip to a home specialty store to get more creative ideas.
The good thing about closets is that you can organize them fairly quickly and the satisfied feeling you get from little effort can inspire you to tackle other areas of your home. “Realtors regard ‘first impression’ improvements such as de-cluttering closets to be one of the smartest ways to speed the sale of a home and fetch a better price, according to the New York State Association of Realtors,” says Julie Morgenstern.
But whether you’re selling or staying … closets can set the tone for the whole house. You will be amazed at the time you will save once your closets are in order and then you can really go “somewhere” like for a hike in the beautiful mountains on a lovely spring day!
Sophia (In Its Place) has been organizing people’s lives for the past ten years from Maine to Asheville. She specializes in Organization, Personal Assistant, Household Management, Staging Homes, Senior Downsizing, Event Planning, and Concierge Services. Sophia offers free consultations and can be contacted at 828-333-3045. Give yourself the gift of Organizing! Gift Certificates Available.