Spring is officially here, and with it comes all sorts of reminders of things we should all be doing on a regular basis - there's a reason they call it "spring cleaning," after all. But reducing clutter and getting organized isn't just good for your home and a great way to start off the season; it can also benefit the Earth and local nonprofits.
How? According to Goodwill Industries, "when you donate to Goodwill,
you are also helping to keep materials out of the waste stream. At
Goodwill, we make a positive impact on the environment by being
proponents and practitioners of re-use. Every year, Goodwill
demonstrates social and environmental leadership by implementing
strategies that decrease our collective carbon footprint, create jobs
for people who need them most, and provide environmentally responsible
solutions for businesses and government.
donations of many gently used items that can be reused as intended or in
new, creative ways. Earth Day is a reason to clean out closets and get
rid of things you don’t need or want any longer. Donate the clean,
saleable items to Goodwill, and our stores will sell the merchandise to
eco-friendly shoppers who are also passionate about reusing items and
diverting them from landfills.”
In honor of Earth Day, why not spend some time today or this weekend clearing out the clutter? Your closet, your local Goodwill and Mother Earth will thank you.
And as a reward for a job well-done, why not look into having a custom closet designed to make sure that you stay organized?
Organizing your pantry takes kitchen organization to a whole new level and allows you to get the most out of every inch by letting you see and access everything you need easily.
So whether it’s storing macaroni or marzipan – here are some things to think about when you’re organizing the pantry into “command central”.
1) When it comes to shelf depth in a pantry – less really can be more. It’s good to have a variety of shelving depths. Shallow shelves are great for small items like soup and mac n’ cheese. Deep shelves are great for larger items like serving bowls and paper towel.
2) Deep shelves or pullout drawers are great for storing serving pieces, platters and large appliances and can go a long way toward kitchen organization. Just be sure to design pullout drawers with varying amounts of space in between in order to accommodate different size items. Your shelving should be adjustable so you can determine what works as you organize this space with your own foodstuffs.
3) Pullout baskets are great for potatoes, onions and such.
4) The wall is a good spot for a mop and broom holder.
5) Hooks are helpful – for reusable grocery bags, aprons, etc.
6) Design the space so items like bottled water and soda can be slid on the floor.
7) If your pantry becomes the home for the recycle center, make sure it’s organized and easy to use. Do this by deciding on how much space is needed for the containers and where they will go. Any sort of pullout can really make this task, and organizing your pantry in general, easier.
We are going to provide 3 tips on how to reduce clutter and unclog your closet. If you are like most of us, you probably haven’t even looked at all the stuff clogging and cluttering up your closet lately. Now is a great time to prioritize and de-clutter.
Do you have more than four pair of jeans in your closet right now?
How about black high shoes and black dresses? How many of those do you have?
And what about flip-flops? How many pair of those are flapping around in the corner somewhere?
Probably too many – and they are clogging your closet.
Who wants a clogged anything –let alone a clogged closet.
Implement these Drano like tips and your life will be flowing more smoothly before you can say “this doesn’t fit me anymore”:
1) Be Realistic – Think in Terms of Cost Per Wearing
A special occasion dress you wear once that costs $250 = a $250 cost per wearing.
A $100 pair of jeans that you wear twice a week for a year = a $1.00 cost per wearing.
Don’t let money just hang in your closet like a bad wire hanger. Make sure the money you spend on garments goes in and out of the closet frequently.
2)Get Baskin Robbins Out Of Your Closet
Sometimes it’s chocolate – sometimes it’s mint chip – but it’s still ice cream.
How that translates to your closet is that eight to ten pair of black high heels still boils down to black high heels.
It’s understood that you have different moods and different occasions and different pant lengths – but ten flavors of the same thing is a closet clogger.
3)Function and Beauty Go In The Closet – Just Beauty Goes On Your Walls As Art
Buying something because you appreciate its’ beauty is a wonderful thing. But if you never wear it – and it’s in your closet – it’s a waste of money.
If you’re a city dweller – you know not to purchase a painting or sculpture without a place to display it. Apply the same principle to your closet.
Don’t put things in your closet that aren’t going to work for you. See an example below of a recent closet de-clog that we helped perform for a client.
Closet organizing for teens and younger children can be challenging, no matter what methods you put into place.
And if you think about it from their perspective – it’s pretty difficult for teens to take the time to actually hang up a garment in their Chicago closets when they are glued to Xbox live or have an average of 80 text messages day, according to recent studies.
But there is hope!
With good planning and assessment of what needs to be stored and how – you might get lucky enough to actually see part of the bedroom floor by utilizing closet organizing.
So here are some important things to think about when planning your custom storage solutions for the kid friendly spaces in your home:
1) Determine what items need to call this Chicago closet space home. Are there toys and sports equipment, in addition to clothing, that need to be stored here?
2) What percentage do you want to hang and what percentage do you want to fold? And, if space allows in your closet system, do you want drawers?
3) Where does dirty laundry end up? Would you like pullout baskets/drawers in your closet system for that? 4) Be sure to have adjustable hanging sections so if children are very young, space will allow triple hang (three rows of hanging garments). As the children grow and the clothing takes up more space, you can remove one of the rods and have traditional double hang.
5) Make sure to have low shelves for children to easily put away the most frequently used items.
6) Incorporate kid size hangers. Standard hangers are often too large for such small clothing items. 7)Teach children how to treat clothing and reward them for with special rewards for keeping it organized. It’s an investment in time that will pay dividends for the rest of their lives. 8)Incorporate hooks for easy closet organizing with anything from sweat pants to back packs.
Note: These photos are from a project we did in the Healthy Home 2010. A small child’s closet and a “princess” closet were included in this entire house project. The other was for three young boys featured in the Luxury Home Tour.
It could be an old letter sweater or favorite college t-shirt. It could be some gorgeous shoes that are comfortable for about a tenth of a nano-second (but look smokin’ hot!) so you never make it out the door with them on - you bury them in your Chicago closet.
It could even be a wedding dress or other sentimental item.
Not only do these items take up very important space that could be utilized more effectively, they also take up mental energy every time you see them and think about how they’re just sitting there – taking up space in your Chicago closet.
A study was conducted by The Daily Mail that professes that every woman has at least 22 items in her closet she never wears but refuses to throw out. If you run a total on that it comes to over 500 million items that will never be worn.
Impulse buys are the main reason for the unworn clothing “pile-up” according to almost half the women polled. And get this – only one in eight regularly do a closet purge and one in fifty delay the task for at least ten years!
Statistically, the most common unworn items are jeans (you know- the ones you’re going to fit back in to when you lose 10 pounds). The second biggest culprit is shoes, with about 20% of women stashing up to six pairs of shoes that they will never wear.
Men are affected by this too! In fact, men tend to have an average of 19 items lurking in their closets that they will never wear again – most of which were impulse, sale items.
So what’s the “take away” of all these fun stats?
The take away is that you need to take those unused items AWAY! Get them out of your Chicago closet.
It will give you more room to move, more space to think, and more options to look and feel better – and isn’t that what every great Chicago closet should do?
Winners of the 2011 Top Shelf Awards were announced February 23 at the CLOSETS Top Shelf Award Presentation during the 7th annual Closets &
Home Organization Conference & Expo. The Top Shelf Awards recognize closet system industry leaders, and Closet OS is honored to once again have been included.
Closet OS received a Top Shelf Award in the garage category for this cool remodeling project, which included custom red and black garage cabinets.
This year marks the 10th time Closet OS has been nominated as a finalist for their custom closet system design and expertise. This most recent award is the 8th we have received in the past three years.
Most garages in America are the home for lots of “stuff” rather than the “ultimate garage” of our dreams. Sometimes, when we’re lucky with our garage design and organization, they’re also the home for our cars (when we’re not driving them).
Some of our cars are large, swanky SUV’s, and some are hybrids. But most are popular, well-rated and dependable autos that we use in very utilitarian and functional ways to get us from point “A” to point “B”.
So when we were asked to do a large “ultimate garage” design for a local vintage car collector, we were thrilled. The client wanted to achieve a very clean, showroom look but also wanted to have ample storage with garage cabinets for his normal garage items, car service parts, as well as his collection of car memorabilia.
Excellent. A garage design opportunity at its’ finest – an “ultimate garage.”
We worked very closely with the client to coordinate the “ultimate garage” project details. And details there were. We had to plan the garage design taking into consideration:
The installation spacing of cars
A car lift system
Coordinating the plumbing for the urinal garage cabinet area (yes ladies and gentlemen, you read correctly, this garage has its’ own urinal), which included a waterproof interior liner
Investigating and testing the special Linex™ coating over with an MDF core for the countertop
Designing the garage cabinets and spacing around the need of an air compressor
Existing toolbox sizing
Air and water hoses
An already located slop sink area
The garage cabinets were made out of a brushed aluminum melamine and a special Linex™ coated countertop. We developed an approach for a new, durable and liquid resistant countertop surface for the workbench area all while making sure all storage was behind doors so we could achieve that “ultimate garage” showroom look.
There are great reasons to invest in garage cabinets, build garage shelving and figure out how to organize your garage. And while making room for your car - especially in the Chicago area where parking is at a premium due to the severe blizzard that hit at the beginning of the month - is a good reason, there are many more.
Your garage space is some of the least expensive “real estate” to improve considering that is already part of your housing expense. Plus, you would be surprised how many people still spend money to rent a separate storage space or still park their car outside the garage rather than improving the form and functions on one's own garage. This can be easily achieved with building garage shelving or adding garage cabinets. Figuring out how to organize your garage will not only improve your psyche but will also enhance the investment in your home right out of the gate.
With garage clutter - you’re constantly reminded of all the “stuff” that needs to be organized, put away, thrown away or donated. Just seeing all the things we have accumulated over the year can often drain your energy in a negative way. It’s a place where people tend to carelessly just dump things and rarely clean up. And there’s usually no organized, dedicated home like garage cabinets for the stuff that gets dropped, so it all turns in to big piles that are incredibly difficult to tackle. So you don’t, and your stuff just sits there for years.
Cleaning up and getting organized will have a positive impact on both your state of mind and your way of life – whether you add any organizational system or not.
Adding some sort of system will have the added benefit of making it much easier to stay organized over the long term. Building garage shelving or adding a garage cabinet here and there can go a long way when considering how to organize your garage.
You plan what needs to be stored and you create a storage solution for those items. Some are very specific – like roller blade equipment, or baskets for gardening tools, or a hook for a ladder.
Other solutions involve building garage shelving, drawers and garage cabinets with doors (and locks) to keep chemicals and solvents out of children’s reach. Just having things behind doors helps the out of sight out of mind principle.
So if you’re looking for a long term investment with a good rate of return and an improved state of being – getting your garage organized should top the list.
Having an organized custom closet is a beautiful thing and makes your daily dressing ritual so much easier when everything has a space and is it in the right place.
But a custom closet doesn’t solve every dressing dilemma you are often faced with – like what to wear to the company holiday party or a corporate networking event with the business owners. Once outside the “dress code” comfort zone, how do you know what is appropriate?
“Dressing for business these days has evolved into “situational dressing”, defined more by tasks, audience, position and industry than anything else,” says Jill Bremer, Bremer Communications, Chicago Illinois.
Here are two tips that will help you always look your best – no matter the situation.
Don’t under dress.
It’s usually better to exceed expectations. Showing up a little overdressed probably won’t hurt you, but dressing too casually can be a career-staller, if not a career-killer altogether.
“There will always be someone in your department or company that is pushing the dress code envelope – and not in a good way. Just because they’re getting away with dress code murder doesn’t mean it’s okay. Remember the old adage – 'Dress for where you’re going.' It will make getting there all the easier.” advises Bremer.
What’s crisp? It’s a look comprised of fabrics that stand away from the body instead of conform to it. It means shirts with a collar instead of knit shirts, T’s or sweaters. It means pants that hold a crease rather than jeans or sweats, according to Bremer. A custom closet can provide appropriate storage for those items to ensure that they maintain their "crisp" appearance between wears.
Structured fabrics convey professionalism and respect. Soft, unstructured fabrics can look mushy and put a spotlight on curves and bulges.
“My recommendation is to wear crisp fabrics instead of or on top of soft or stretchy fabrics. If you plan to wear only a top and a bottom, make the top item a shirt instead of a knit top,” says Bremer. And she adds – “If you want to wear a knit top, simply add a jacket. Leave your body’s curves to the imagination and you’ll help others see you as the serious professional you are.”
Great tips for getting yourself out of your closet and into your life with success and ease.
Chances are, if you are like most Americans, you made a New Year’s Resolution on the first of the year. One of the most popular resolutions is to get organized – closet organization, home office organization, etc. But if you’re going to stick to your organization resolution, you’re going to need a plan.
In fact, according to Bill Curran, president of Closet Organizing Systems™, your project could be doomed before you even start. “With the holidays behind us and our new resolutions upon us there is a sense among many of being disorganized. [We know we need to get organized] but too often it is without a real plan to make it happen. A written down organization plan with a set of priorities is a must these days; otherwise, the task is daunting for many. New projects with a custom home organization system can be taken in steps as well in order to be done economically.”
Here are five tips to help you get - and stay - organized in 2011:
1. Assess – Before you can organize the things you own, you need to figure out exactly how much that is. We all have things buried at the back of closets or in the bottom or drawers that we forgot we had. If it’s been forgotten for over six months, you don’t need it. Ditto anything that doesn’t fit or is in poor condition.
2. Group – Now that you have weeded out items that you no longer need, it is time to separate the things you do need so that they are easy to store and locate in the future.
3. Invest – You’ve gone through your things and organized them, it’s time to invest in home office organization and/or closet organization systems. This is the most important tip, and it can make or break your resolution. With a custom closet or home office organization system, everything will have its place, making it effortless to keep your home office and closet organization resolutions.
4. Organize – Whether you do it yourself or opt for professional assistance, this is the step where you literally “get organized.”
5. Reassess – As with most resolutions, organization is an ongoing process. Resolve to go through your closet organization and home office organization systems every once in a while. Weed out things that are old or no longer serve a purpose. Revise systems that aren’t working as well as they should. Reorganize items by season. You get the idea.
Getting your home office organization or closet organization project underway doesn’t have to be overwhelming, and it doesn’t have to be “just a resolution.” If you follow the above steps, you can easily stick to your resolution and finally get organized in 2011. There are a variety of closet organization systems and home office organization systems available that can help you realize your dreams of “getting organized” – and staying that way through 2011 and beyond.