CALM THE CHAOS
Things happen behind closed doors — in closets, cupboards and drawers. What do you do about all the excess clothing, shoes and other “stuff” that consumes valuable storage space?
Need an incentative? National Get Organized Week, publicized by the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), was celebrated annually the first week of October. Now, January is officially designated as National Get Organized (G.O.) Month.
CATEGORIZE ALL ITEMS
Try on your clothing and shoes once again and make decisions. Separate into categories: (a) wearing now, (b) wearing next season – store elsewhere if necessary, (c) toss out or rag bag, and (d) donate to charities.
EMPLOY “DEAD” SPACE
When appropriate, a great way to increase storage is to attach shelves to sides, bottom and top of closets. Install double rods for shorter items. Doors and walls can provide easy access and extra storage when you mount shoe and towel racks, mug dowels and peg boards with hooks. Fill empty luggage and trunks and place them in the attic or garage.
VISIBLE AND TIDY
Are items stored in clear plastic boxes and bags? Extra hanging see-through shoe bags hold smaller possessions, such as scarves and gloves. Labels help you in locating and returning items to their “home.”
CONVENIENCE SAVES TIME
Your most frequently worn clothing, shoes, bags, etc. should be within arm’s reach. Store items used less frequently in another closet or storage boxes out of reach. Tape a list of enclosed items onto the end &/or top of box to remind you what’s inside.
According to California Closet Company, stains and scents attract bugs, so clothes should be clean. Moth damage is preventable; use cedar chips, sachets, lavender or mothballs.
Over-stuffed drawers, closets and cupboards can cause stress, loss and damage of possessions.
LIKE THINGS TOGETHER
Hang pants together, shirts together, and so on. Group by color — white items at one end and add pieces all the way through to dark-colored items.
TO KEEP OR LET GO
Most people keep too much paper, clothes, and more. Some items are “treasures” or keepsakes, and that’s just fine. So, where do you display or store them? Depending on their value or importance, mounting on walls, bookcases and tables will work if space is available. If not, a fire-safe box, or bank’s safe deposit box, is a secure solution.
It’s common to procrastinate when it comes to letting go of clothing. What practice should you use? How do you decide? It’s time to say goodbye if certain pieces … (1) won’t fit now or ever, (2) can’t be cleaned of stains, (3) are not repairable, (4) are outdated, (5) make you feel uncomfortable or (6) are not the “right” color for you to wear.
UNIFORMITY IS CALMING
Becoming organized and using like or similar storage products results in harmony and balance. A technique to create this is to remove the “visual graffiti,” a term used by Veteran Professional Organizer Sally Hulem. She also says to replace all those multi-colored plastic and wire hangers with clear plastic hangers with metal hooks, plus use small plastic pant hangers, all the same color.
Various sizes of clear plastic containers will hold all sizes of items in different storage spaces. Tupperware and Tucker are two companies that distribute these containers.
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Reprinted with permission from Donna D. McMillan
Professional Organizer and Productivity Consultant
McMillan & Company Professional Organizing