Ten Tips to Get Your Closet ORGANIZED!

Read on for our best tips in how to organize your closet in a few easy steps!

The goal of closet organization is simple… Get your clothing, shoes, and accessories in order so that you can get dressed quickly and easily, wearing outfits that you love!  For most people, figuring out what steps to take is difficult.  Take a peek at our ten easy steps designed to get even the most disorganized closet in order!

Closet Organization

  1. Start by trying on everything in your closet.  This is tedious, however, it is the only way you will really know what fits, what looks great, and is still in good condition.
  2. Face all of the hangers in your closet in one direction.  As you wear items, have them laundered, and return them to your closet, turn them and face them the other way.  This is a great way to separate the clothes you wear from the one’s you don’t.
  3. Ask yourself the following questions about a garment before deciding to keep it?
    1. Do I love it?
    2. Is it in good condition?
    3. Does it make me feel great about myself?
    4. It is in style?
    5. It is comfortable?
    6. Could someone else use it more than me?
  4. Take a look to find any wasted space in your closet, and try to maximize it.  Consider adding another hanging bar, or shelves close to the top or bottom of the closet.  These changes are quick, inexpensive and can add a lot of space to your closet.
  5. An easy way to make a big difference in your closet is to change the type of hangers you use.  I love wooden hangers.  However, you can use any type of hanger you wish.  As long as they are all of the same type.  This creates a uniform appearance in your closet.  The goal is to have all of your garments hanging at one height, on a hanger that is uniform in width.  This way you will never lose clothes by not being able to see them.
  6. Add some light to your closet.  Unless you have a large walk in closet with an overhead light, chances are you have trouble seeing things in your closet.  Add some stick on LED lights to the walls to make things easier to see.
  7. The insides of closets often get dingy and dirty.  Paint the inside of your closet a fun color to brighten and freshen things up.  Home improvement stores will often have cast off paint gallons for $5 or less so check there before you buy.
  8. Use your door space.  By adding an organizational tool, like an over the door shoe rack, you can add a significant amount or storage space to your closet.  Keep in mind these are also great for scarves, belts, etc.
  9. Just like you would sort through your clothes, its important to sort through your shoes.  Shoes that are not worn frequently, such as occasion shoes, can be stored in a small plastic box on a shelf in the closet.  This keeps them out of the way and also prevents them from getting dusty and beaten up.  Again, ask yourself the questions above in Number 3, and make decisions about what shoes to keep.
  10. Organize your closet how it works for you. Some organizers suggest grouping by genre, other suggest grouping by color, and some by outfit.  It’s not important how to group items, just make sure it works for you.

 

Posted in Closet Organization Tips, Home Organizing Tips | 12 Responses

Awesome Kids Books

I love kids books.  And I’m always looking for awesome new ones for my nephew and for my clients.  Books make a great gift.  They can inspire hours of imagination and the reading of books together gives you special time to bond.  A book that encourages further family time is even better!  Check out my new favorite finds.

1.  The Sleepy Star is an awesome book about a small star who falls asleep and goes on an ocean adventure.  It’s an adorable story told in rhyme.  I love it as the author is local to me! It’s a sweet story your kids before bed time.  They will ask for it over and over again.  Adrienne’s second book, The Sleepy Star Goes To Heaven, talks about the difficult subject of death.  It’s brilliant illustrations make a hard topic really sweet and it’s message is memorable.

2.  Cooking With Kids is an awesome book for rainy weekend afternoons and family activities.  The book gives you fun (and easy) recipes and food creations that your kids will love to make AND eat!  It has great photos, easy instructions and unique ideas.  Overall, this is a winner.  If you have relatives or grandkids…have this on hand for special entertainment when they come over.

3.  Long for simpler times?  Buy The Art of Skipping Stones Other Fun Old-Time Games.  It’s full of the old games you remember from your childhood.  Know what?  They are still awesome today!  Have a family game night without electronics or distractions with this book!

 

Awesome Kids Books

 

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A Desk Makeover

Offices are one of the most challenging organizing tasks.  However, they are also one of the most rewarding.  It’s because organizing your desk can help you pay your bills on time, get more tone and manage your home more efficiently.
I set out to organize a client’s desk, but she didn’t want to spend a lot of money. She had a large work surface, but since we works at home, the need for it to be as functional as possible.
Desk Organization
In the picture above you can see the before of the desk….When I was done all of the desk was clear and open.  I labeled the letter trays in the sides with a label maker.  The trash can that came with the kit (read on for more details) was used as a place for shredding.
So, we started by getting everything off the desk that didn’t matter or didn’t get used every day.  While it’s wonderful to have pretty things in our work space, sometimes too many of them can get in the way.  Make sure that the things you have in front of you are amazing, but not too large in size or quantity.
We used some tools from Staples.  None of them were expensive and we were able to get a full matching set, giving the desk a high end, custom look at a fraction of the cost.
We first used this kit to organize all of the small items that are necessary, but can really clutter up a surface easily.  One of them hold post it notes, another holds pens and pencils, one is for mail that needs attention (bills, invites to RSVP to, etc), the trash can is under the desk.  The last container, a small rectangular piece is perfect to hold a phone, tablet and agenda when they are not in use.
For all of those small items that really find their way onto your desk and never seem to find their way off, I used this organizer.
It’s awesome for spare change, paper clips, binder clips, highlighters, and other items you want during the course of the day, but don’t want to get buried under all of your papers.  This is also a great tool for keeping your washi tape close at hand too!  Crafters can use this for  scrapbooking embellishments, beading supplies or even small crafts for kids!
Finally, it was time for the PAPER!  Yes, this is the toughest part of organizing any desk.  I used four of these letters trays and set to sorting.  I came up with four groups that we most important and worthy of being kept on the desk.  The first was things that needed to be done.  This includes mail that needs to be opened, addressed or read.  The second group was items that need to leave the desk area (things that need to be mailed or given back to your significant other or child).  The third group is items to be filed.  There is no need to file every day.  One a week or even once a month depending on the amount of paperwork you have.  Finally, the last bin is items to be scanned.  Just like filing, there’s no need to bother yourself with this every day.
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Photo Safety and Organization

So you’ve been taking a lot of photos and you’ve had them printed and you have no idea what to do with them now?  Here are some great photo organization tools that you can get from The Container Store or your local super store.  They will help you keep your photos in good condition and organized so that you can find what you want, when you want it.

Photo Organization

While you CAN use any old shoe box for photos, they won’t be protected properly. Use a plastic box like this one to keep out dust, water and dirt.  I love this one and you can find it here at Brylane Home.

I like this box because you can easily affix a label to the outside and stack multiple boxes.

Remember to keep your photos in a space that’s comfortable enough for you to live in. That means the basement, attic or garage are not good options. The extreme temperature differences in these spaces can ruin photos.

When selecting an album make sure you can easily insert photos as well as take them out quickly if need be. I like this album because it offers acid free pages as well as a plastic protection sheet so your photos are a bit safer when being viewed. Finally, the spines on these are easily labeled.

If you want to carry some photos with you or simply set a small amount aside for an upcoming project, this little carrying case is perfect.  Wayfair.com sells these separately or in packs of 10.

I love using these to take to and from family member’s houses and to store duplicates I can give away.  If you have older items that you want to protect but still be able to view, use archival bags such as this one:

Remember, no matter how you store your photos in your home or office it’s best to have a digital back up of them AND to keep a backup off site at a family member’s house or in a safety deposit box.

Personally, I think one of the best ways to organize photos is to get them out of boxes, off the memory cards, and get them on the wall!  I love having photos printed on creative materials so you can honor them and display them.  Photos represent some of the best times in our lives, why not look at them every day?

One of the services I like to use is Picture Bungalow.  They offer photo printing of your high res images on canvas, acrylic, metal and wood.  These are creative and stunning.  Give them as gifts or decorate your own home with them.  However, you’ll find yourself getting more and more creative and finding spots for your new found artwork.  I especially love the cluster variety.  One photos is divided up into many canvases, (or wood pieces and so on).  This looks like you spent a LOT of money on it, but it’s affordable, contemporary and so much fun.  Check out everything that have to offer on their website.

Picture Bungalow

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How To Organize Your Purse

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Have You Done Your 10 Minute Tidy Today?

Ten Minute Tidy

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A Professional Organizer Gets Organized~Linen “Closet” Organization

I recently tackled another area of my home that’s been bugging me.  I don’t have a linen closet so I use an armoire in my bedroom for sheets and towels.  I will say, it’s worked okay for a while.  However, as you can see in the before picture, the towels and sheets have a tendency to go wild and you can’t pull out one without the whole pile crashing down.  The bottom cubbies have also become a place for things that don’t really have a place.

Linen Closet Title

You can click on any of the photos to buy these products.  

It took me about 30 minutes and $11 to improve this space.  I will remind you again, measure before you buy anything!  I bought shelf dividers for the space and they were too tall!  I used them in a closet instead (a project you’ll see int he future).

The first thing I did was take everything out and dust the inside of the cabinet. I was pretty shocked that it was dirty inside!

Before and After

Then, I ROLLED the towels instead of folding them.  This makes them easy to grab and go.  They stay wrinkle free and you can clearly see what you have instead of things getting buried in a  pile.  I put in some shelf risers like these from The Container Store.  About $5 a piece, they work great at separating things and making sure you can maximize your vertical space.

I then tidied the sheets and grouped them by size.  All of the pillow cases were put together as well as the hand towels and face clothes.  I took all of my cleaning clothes and instead of shoving them in on top of things, put them into a small plastic container like this one: 

I keep my jewelry cleaning supplies in this cabinet and to make sure they didn’t leak I tucked them into a Sterilite box.  I bought these in a 12 pack on Amazon.  The prices changes, but they are about $1 each.  I always like to have some on hand for organizing projects and crafts I’m in the middle of creating.

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Easy Weekend Crockpot Cooking~”Beef” Mac Soup

This recipe calls for a few more ingredients than many of the recipes I’ve shared with you.  However, they are things you probably have on hand.  This soup is awesome for kids and since it makes a LOT of soup you’ll probably have leftovers.  It’s another recipe where you can just toss everything into the crockpot and walk away.  I cook it at least five to six hours (and store it along the way).  This is a version of a recipe from the Dysart’s Cookbook.  I’ve made it my own and changed a few of the ingredients.

Beef Mac Soup

 

While I often play the amounts by ear, here are the ingredients and the measurements I use.

Beef Mac1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil OR a fresh basil leaf

1/2 a small yellow onion

8 cups chicken stock (you could use vegetable or beef if you wanted)

1 pound ground turkey breast (This is NOT in the photos, but I buy it in bulk at Costco and freeze it)  The awesome part of crockpot cooking is you can put it in frozen and it will defrost and cook throughout the day

2 cups spaghetti sauce

Splash of tobacco sauce (to taste)

Splash of Worcestershire sauce (To taste)

1 box of elbow pasta (you could use any type you’d like)  I do NOT add this to the crockpot.  I cook it on the stove separately and keep it separate so it does not absorb all of the soup’s liquid

Salt and pepper to taste

Throw it all into the crockpot, site occasionally and you’re good to go.  You can make this with beef if you want, and I’ve even added beans sometimes.  You can go wrong with the soup base.  With fall upon us it’s a hearty soup that the whole family will LOVE.

Have a favorite crockpot recipe?  Share it with us in the comments below!

 

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Organizing Tip ~ How To Store Touch Up Paint

Touch Up Paint

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Soap Making~The Easy Version

This was an item that I originally got in order to put it in our holiday gift guide.  However, I decided to crack it open and try it out myself.  It’s super easy, really run and the outcome is ADORABLE.  I wanted to show you the process and share with you how easy this whole process is.  Also, consider that you can purchase these supplies on their own and go crazy with soap making!

Soap Making

So I opened up the kit and put it in it’s own container.  I knew I’d want to recreate this again.

IMG_0240The kit came with a silicone tray, two scents (orange and grapefruit), two bards of soap and a small plastic spoon (not pictured here).  The food coloring you see here is my own.

IMG_0241

I cut the soap up.  The instructions didn’t say I had to do this but I knew it would make the melting go more quickly.

Double boiler

I used a double boiler to melt the soap and stirred it a little along the way. It melted really quickly and it’s not something you could (or should) walk away from.

Soap kit

This is what the soap looked like melted (hard to see!).  Then, I added a few drops of the scent and a few drops of food coloring.  (I didn’t take a picture because this was very scientific…lol)

Molds

This is the super tricky part.  Pouring it into the molds. I used two pot holders and poured it very carefully into them.  There was more soap than mold so on both batches I threw a little away.  If I had known ahead of time I would have had another small mold ready.  As you can see, I wasn’t so steady and I spilled a little.  The soaps still popped right out of the mold.  I did have to wait longer than 15 minutes as the directions stated.  I just peeled off the little odd ends and the soaps came out perfectly!

I can’t wait to give these as gifts!

Finished product

Want to get your own kit?

Visit Creative Kids

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… I will continue to use Bonnie Dewkett and The Joyful Organizer on projects in our home as our family expands and our needs continue to change…

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There is a saying, “What gets written down gets attended to, and what gets attended to gets done.” 

Write down your organizing goals and hold yourself accountable for completing them. 

I know it seems like a big chore, but you’ll be glad you did it once you’re done!


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