Author: Carole WeinstockChallenging Disorganization Closet Clothing Home Organizing Wardrobe Management


SML Closet 7.1.13Why Haven’t I Done This Before?

Are you asking yourself any of these questions? What does this mean?

The concept of shopping in your closet is- Know what you own, Create options you love, Wear what looks good & Makes you feel good, and Add what you are missing.

Simply, it’s seeing what you have, distinguishing what your patterns are, coordinating items, and getting into action!

SUGGESTION: Have a pen & paper ready to record your observations

It’s time to get into your closet. If you can’t manage that, then you should clear a path into it, maybe with some professional help from an organizer!

1. Observe it first. Then, if possible group like items together…pants with pants, sweaters with sweaters and so on.

2. Notice how many of the same item you have in the same color ( sound familiar!)  For example- You notice you have 12 black turtlenecks? – couldn’t find them and purchased more?  Did you get them on sale? Are they in your favorite color or colors?

3. Next is to take an inventory of what’s in every category. First it’s a broad look. This will inform you of what’s missing. Also you are gathering information about your colors, styles you tend to buy, styles you prefer to wear, and the correct size that fits now! At this point, you can check sizes and conditions of the garments. Pull out soiled, damaged, items for repair, outdated, and items you don’t feel good in and are the incorrect size. Now is the time to purge and bag the items “Leaving” your closet (if you haven’t done so already!) Look for what stands out, like the items you like or don’t like and the items that fit. All the items you want from each category that remain will become your “core” wardrobe.

4. At this point you will have noticed your buying patterns. Ask yourself questions, because this might help you reveal the “why’s” to what you have in your closet. Now you can make some conscious choices. It would benefit you to stay open to this exercise!

5. This is the time you can start coordinating outfits. You can split up sets and use items separately. You may have purged a part of a set which is fine! If this isn’t your forte then you may consider getting some help from a wardrobe consultant/organizer.

You can have a lot of fun creating new outfits and blending pieces together. At this point you may need to list the colors or items missing for these coordinates/outfits. This will become your new shopping list.  Start using your new insights. These insights about your buying habits will help you from buying items that you don’t need or want.

Using this method will result in some new fresh looks for the season. Generally using items you already had that either you couldn’t see, find or realize could work with something else. This might improve your impulse buying!  Also another outcome of this will be, that you have cleared your closet space and can practice staying organized!

Have some fun with this and let your creative juices flow!!

Author: Adriane WeinbergCloset Clothing Clutter General Home Organizing Wardrobe Management

Quick Closet Makeover!

Closet - Adriane Weinbery


Ouch! What just fell on my head? Maybe it’s time to organize your clothes closet! To start the process, label containers Donate, Recycle, Homeless (for anything that doesn’t belong in the closet) and Unsure (use this one sparingly). Use a garbage bag for trash.

Follow these 13 easy tips:

1.  Have a specific objective (for example — be able to store clothing and accessories without overcrowding so you can quickly put things away).

2.  Plan the space and assign homes for your things.

3.  Pick a corner of the closet to start decluttering. If there is too much stuff to   access the closet, start with what’s in front of you.

4.  Grab the first item and decide where it goes, either in one of the containers or   in its home in the closet. Continue with things on the floor, shelves, and hanging on the rod until your objective is met.

5.  Eliminate everything that is not worn (for whatever reason), torn (mend it), stained (clean it), doesn’t fit (donate it) or beyond repair (toss it). If clothes are too small and only if it’s very likely you will fit into and wear them again, store them in a labeled bin. Otherwise they are just daily negative reinforcement. To save space, pack the too-small things in labeled bins and store them elsewhere.

6.  Group similar items (short tops, long tops pants, suits) in an order that makes   sense to you. To create a rainbow effect, group by color.

7.  If it’s clutter, it goes. I define clutter as anything that is not useful or enjoyable and takes up space without serving any real purpose.

8.  To contain groups of items, use organizing products for shoes, sweaters,   handbags and so on. See Scarf Organizer (below).

9. Decluttering is just a first step. To be organized, it’s crucial to create and follow   systems, habits and rules to live by (as I call them) that work for you.

10.  Use vertical space above the rod for storage, raise the rod for more accessible   floor storage, and see the Closet Rod Doubler (below) to double hanging space.

11.   Do not take back anything you removed! Take out the trash, bring donations to your favorite charity and get your tax-deductible receipt, and distribute things in the Homeless box.

12.   Maintenance is the key to long-term success so immediately return things to their homes.

13.   Reward yourself with a special treat for a job well done!

Need more space for hanging clothes? No problem. The closet rod doubler (shown) simply hangs from the main rod, instantly doubling that hanging space. It’s super-easy to install; no tools are necessary. Both height and width are adjustable. This one sells for $19.99 at The Container Store.

Click on (or copy and paste the link in your browser):|0&Ntt=closet+doubler.

Closet Rod Doubler

Closet Rod Doubler

Scarf Organizer

Scarf Organizer

Scarves are in vogue this spring. If you are unhappy with how yours are stored, this scarf organizer makes it simple and colorful to look at. Organize them by designer, color, size, or material. Try this product for jewelry and belts and, for the guys’ ties. You can buy this one for $5.99 at The Container Store. Click on (or copy and paste the link in your browser):|0&Ntt=scarf+organizer.

Now that it’s so simple to find things and return them where they belong — and everything looks great too — maybe you’ll be motivated to organize the rest of your closets!


Author: Danielle OBrienClothing Wardrobe Management

Clothes Closets

I have the wonderful job of helping women in their homes. One of my favorite areas to organize is their clothes closet. My clients usually start out by saying “I have three different sizes in there somewhere and I don’t know what to do”. I say “keep them”. We are women, our weight is supposed to fluctuate! Everyone has a pair of skinny jeans AND those oh so comfortable loosey-gooseys.

What you DO need to donate are those clothes that are out of style, but they say “what’s in style. I don’t know what to wear”. Well here’s an idea…when you are reading your favorite magazines scan the models. Are they wearing shoulder pads and pleats? If they are wearing any clothes that resemble some of the pieces in your closet, tear the page out, tape the picture on the inside of your closet door and copy the look.

Also what you need to donate are all the clothes in your room that have been in the “to mend” bin for the last two years. Chances are you are not going to mend them. Let them go! Stains? Did you say your clothes are stained? I have clients who want to create a big laundry pile so that when I leave they can soak, rub, and scrub the stains. When I come back the following week, there they are still in the laundry basket waiting. Let them go too!

Fill your closet with items that you love. Pants that are perfect for your body type. Shirts that are soft and comfortable. Nice pajamas, not your husband’s t- shirts and your old sweatpants. I know that the clothes in your donation bag cost a lot of money but they are also taking up room in your closet and making you frustrated every time you open the door. Someone somewhere is going to love the items you passed on.

Author: Naomi CookHome Organizing Organizing Products Storage Wardrobe Management

Label Me Organized

As a Professional Organizer, one of my favorite tools is my label maker.  With one little machine you can create oodles of labels in different fonts, colors and even add borders.  However, can you create a label without a label maker?  Absolutely!  Check out these other creative and perhaps “new to you” ideas to keep all of your favorite things in place:

  • Use Photos…to quickly find the pair of shoes that you are looking for. While pictures work fine mounted on any shoebox, different manufacturers’ shoes come in different size boxes and those can be hard to organize.  Clear plastic shoeboxes fit the bill for that dilemma, but what I really love are the stackable shoeboxes with an open front!  With those you don’t have to take all the other shoeboxes off to reach the pair you want that day.  By putting the picture on one end and the other end backed up to the wall you will achieve a consistent and colorful look!
  • Have you gone to a lot of conferences and never know what to do with those Plastic name tag holders with the safety pin on the back?  Flip over the paper with your name on it and use the blank side as your label!  Pin them on those fabric cube boxes that you can seem to find almost anywhere.
  • Did you know that if you put a Magnet on each side of a clear plastic bin, that the two of them will bond?  I just tested it and it worked!  Use a generic flat magnet on the interior of the bin and on the exterior, use a magnet with a clip.  Consider creating a small label with scrapbooking materials or pressed flowers, laminating it, and then clipping that on!

The additional ideas listed below are brought to you courtesy of Martha Stewart and her new Home Office line at Staples.  What can’t that woman do!

  • Martha came up with ElastiNote Tags®, which are tags connected to an elastic band.  These are ideal for cord control or to secure a box with jewelry, coins or any other small items.
  • She also created Small Metal Bookplates, which add a classic touch to items like magazine holders and photo boxes.
  • Finally, for those people out there with commitment issues in regards to their labeling, you are in luck!  Chalkboard Labels (conveniently placed near Martha Stewart’s chalk!) and Dry Erase Labels (where are your markers, Martha?) are easy and fun to use.  Just erase and start over again!

Whatever your preference or style there is a labeling option out there for you…even if it’s as simple as a Post-It and Sharpie!  Happy Labeling!

Author: Darla DeMorrowGeneral Wardrobe Management

Are You Making These Organizing Mistakes with your Purse?

What is the smallest spot most of us need to organize? Our purse or wallet. Purses are command-central-on-the-go for most women. Sometimes they are aid stations for other family members. Purses can lend their style and their function to the overall first impression we form of a person. We take these necessary accessories for granted, and we might be guilty of making these mistakes that sabotage our efforts to stay organized:

1. Too big. A purse that could be used to regularly smuggle small children causes all sorts of problems, like poor visibility and aching backs. Rooting around in the bottom of something the size of a hot air balloon is about as sexy as digging into the bottom of a large bag of popcorn. Wikipedia states Parkinson’s Law as “Storage requirements will increase to meet storage capacity.” The larger your purse gets, the more stuff you are likely to pack into it.

2. Too small. My own purse is barely bigger than an iPhone. Basically, it’s a wallet on a string. Recently I started carrying my iPad with me everywhere, but my purse is much smaller than the iPad. I’ve been coping, but I don’t have a real solution. All of my essential gear needs a home in my purse, so I may be up-sizing soon. If you find you are always leaving your gear in the wrong place because it all doesn’t fit, you may need to trade up, too.

3. Fear of commitment. Once upon a time it might have been fashionable to change purse and shoes every day, but life moves at a much faster pace these days. Still, we all know women who are always changing purses, and then stating that they left some essential item in their other purse. Why not just move everything to the new purse? Fear of commitment? What if it doesn’t work out with this new purse today? Have a go-to purse for each season, and stick with it for a couple of months, to reduce the trauma associated with changing purses too often. If you can’t be contained to just one choice per season, then spring for a PursePerfector, or one of its look-alikes, which is an internal pocket that can be moved over between purses with just one hand.

4. Lack of systems. Most purses, no matter how cute, just stink at organizing. If the interior lining is black, a low-visibility situation gets even worse. If you’re lucky, they come with one or two small pockets sewn into the interior lining. Exterior pockets will cost you extra. I swear that most purses are designed by men who don’t actually have to carry much. When it comes to well-thought out storage, there are a few standouts, including the Butler Bag and the Thirty-One Gifts line. The Butler Bag has a built-in compartment that encourages items to stand up in several compartments, instead of piling on top of each other.

If any of these purse mistakes are happening to you, give yourself permission to buy a better purse. It’s a little thing that could mean a lot in your day.

What other purse mistakes could you change to become better organized?

Author: Naomi CookCloset Clothing Consignment Donating General Home Organizing Wardrobe Management

Use it or Lose it!

Ok, we’ve all heard that we should keep our bodies active in order to lose weight.  We’ve also heard that we should keep our brains stimulated so we can keep our minds sharp and therefore, remember where we left our keys!  But how does “use it or lose it” relate to clothes?  Well, I will tell you now!

Clothes are tied to sentiment, self expression and comfort, so it’s no wonder why closets can become overloaded.  Sentiment, for clothing we wore at meaningful events in our lives and also times when we were a couple sizes smaller!  Self expression, for clothing we buy to show off our different sides.  And comfort, for those days you just can’t deal with constricting buttons and zippers!  Often though, these items don’t fall into your everyday wardrobe.  Did you know that there is actually a statistic created for that?  You wear 20 percent of your clothes 80 percent of the time.  So what can you do with that 80 percent that is rarely worn?  Here are some options:

1)     Consign …for formal gowns or cocktail dresses (yes, those bridesmaid dresses too!) that you don’t know if and when you will wear again.  Interview some consignment shops and let someone else appreciate and enjoy them for their special occasions!

2)     Host a clothing swap…for friends that have been eyeing items in your closet.  Beware of taking in more than you have put out and aim to use those items in your day to day 20 percent.

3)     Donate…if there are items that you know you will never wear again (maybe they’ve fallen on the floor and got pushed to the far corner!), or haven’t worn in a year.  Give them a gentle wash and bring them to your favorite charity collection site.

But maybe you’re not wearing some clothes because they are missing buttons, have ripped seams or you are just plain tired of them.  Here are some options for these dilemmas:

1)      Head to a tailor…for items with the quality to last and take them in to repair seams.  If you are missing a button, look to the stash of buttons that come with the shirts you buy – that’s what they are there for!  I store all mine in a small decorative box.

2)     Head to a low cost retailer…for items that you’re bored with.  Look for accessories like belts and broaches that can enliven and refresh what you own.  You can follow the color trends without having to buy clothes.  Plus accessories are much smaller and easier to store!

3)     Head to an art center…for shirts that have faded or just can’t be fixed.  They make great smocks for kids!

Now, with all that done, how is your closet looking?  Have you gotten to 70/30?  60/40?

Take it one day at a time and know you are not alone!  Strive to make your closet a place that you can enjoy going to, filled with items that make you happy, are flattering, and reflect your personality.  Then go out into the world, smile, and know that you look fabulous!