1) How can I store sweaters on hangers without stretching them out or damaging delicate knits? I suggest using the children’s sized nonslip velvet hangers in the same color as the full sized hangers being used in the rest of your closet. This will ensure visual symmetry and the shoulders won’t get stretched. Of course, truly delicate sweaters shouldn’t be hung, they should be folded.
2) What is an easy, visually appealing way to store scarves? Use skirt hangers and organize by color. Or, install a towel bar (or two or three), and hang scarves over the bar by color.
3) How can I keep my (and the kids) gloves from losing their pair? What is a clever way to store them in a closet? I store gloves in the pockets of the coats. It becomes rote for you and your children to always put the gloves in the pocket when taking them off. You’ll save space (no need to allocate closet space to gloves) and time (no need to search for “matching gloves”).
4) How can I best store bulky winter boots in a closet space? Limit the number of bulky winter boots to one or two pairs per family member. Often, clients will store these on the floor of the closet, but another alternative is to put them on a high shelf. Boots are light and easy to grab when they’re stored on a high shelf, and they’re also typically not worn often (unless you live in a place where it snows often).
5) Is there a way to save hanging space with bulky winter coats? If you have a number of short coats, the best space saver is having double hanging (two hanging rods). You literally double your hanging space.
6) How can I store throw blankets in a closet without creating a blanket avalanche every time I try to remove one? If you have multiple throw blankets in a closet, consider how many you really need. If you have no more than 4, they shouldn’t topple. Throw blankets are meant to be thrown over the side of a couch, chair, or bed. Blankets that are stored should be folded to the same width with the fold to the outside and stacked by color.
As we endure the 7th week of sheltering at home, many of us have become pyschologically fatigued. In order to remain productive and upbeat, check out my 5 tips for staying productive while staying at home.
1. Make your bed. As Charles Duhigg notes in his book The Power of Habit, “making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity [and] a greater sense of well being…” Completing one small task paves the way for larger accomplishments during the day.
2. Minimize clutter in your home. Studies by Princeton’s Neuroscience Institute and the UCLA Center for Everyday Family Living show that clutter can decrease productivity and increase anxiety. Start by purging what you don’t need and clearing countertops in kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms.
Continue reading “Staying Organized While Staying Home” »
Kermit the Frog famously sings that “it’s not easy being green,” but it’s easier than you think when you get organized. In honor of Earth Day, here are some of my tips (first published 5 years ago) for going green:
- Reduce paper clutter by unsubscribing from catalogs and junk mail lists and opt to receive bank statements and bills online.
- Donate items in good condition.
- Buy less. The fewer possessions you have, the less time you’ll spend maintaining them.
- Buy bamboo organizing products instead of plastic and non-toxic cleaning products.
- Give experiences as gifts. A movie, a day at the zoo, or a baseball game can be more meaningful than a physical gift and don’t create clutter.
- When you shop, bring your own bag or carry purchases without a bag.
- Unplug electronics that are not in use.
- Recycle batteries, ink cartridges, and cell phones.
Also, check out ecoATM,a nationwide network of automated recycling kiosks that gives consumers instant cash for their mobile devices, tablets and MP3 players.
By: Barbara Reich and Erica Keswin, Founders of Never Caught Up, LLC
Every year, as the weather grows warmer, there’s a flurry of interest in spring cleaning. Morning television segments, news articles, and blog posts will all feature the latest organizing tips, cleaning short cuts, and advice on how to get to those hard-to-reach areas. That spring cleaning is “business as usual.” But, there’s another kind of spring cleaning that no one talks about…that is, spring cleaning your friends.
Continue reading “Spring Cleaning Your Friends” »
Now that a new school year is right around the corner, it’s a great time to really clean out your children’s rooms! You’ve had a brief respite from the influx of papers, toys, school notices, clothing, trophies, school projects, and books, that need to be constantly addressed, so before it starts up again, take stock of your children’s stuff. While a child’s room shouldn’t be as sterile as an operating room, no one can relax, let alone study, in an environment that’s filled with clutter. And you and your child shouldn’t lose countless hours looking for things, trying to decide what to do with things, and moving things around.
So, what can you do to eliminate the stress of a child’s room that is overflowing? The first step is to get you and your child/ren comfortable with having less. You can throw away, give away, or recycle, but you have to ruthlessly pare down. Here are my 10 tips for de-cluttering your child’s room. Continue reading “Summer Organizing – Before It’s Too Late” »
If you’re lucky enough to be taking some vacation time this summer while your housekeeper is working at home, here are some summer projects s/he can tackle while you’re gone.
- Polish all silver.
- Remove everything from the refrigerator and wipe down all shelves and products before returning to the space.
- Remove everything from the pantry, and wipe down all shelves and products before returning to the space.
- Take everything out of the coat closet. Set aside any missing gloves or boots that may be too small.
- Take any winter shoes that need to be cleaned or repaired to the shoe maker.
- Go through children’s closets, setting aside anything that’s too small, stained, or beyond repair.
- Deep clean the house. Clean light fixtures, the top of the refrigerator, behind the freezer drawer, wipe down moldings, and window casings
- Dust all books and bookshelves.
- Look at all sports equipment and separate what has become too small.
- Shampoo carpets.
- Put printed photos in photo albums.
Being green not only helps the environment, but it can also help you get rid of the clutter in your life. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Go paperless. Opt for emailed bank statements, utility bills, credit card bills and credit card statements. This will stop the paper coming into your house, and save trees!
- Reduce paper clutter by unsubscribing from catalogs and junk mail lists.
- Donate items in good condition.
- Think before you buy. The fewer possessions you have, the less time you’ll spend maintaining them. Buy quality items over quantity.
- Buy non-toxic cleaning products.
- Give experiences as gifts. A movie, a day at the zoo, or a baseball game can be more meaningful and don’t create clutter.
- Buy bamboo. Bamboo, the fastest growing plant on earth, is becoming one of the most significant and versatile natural resources. Look for it in fabrics and other household items. Drawer organizers can now be found in bamboo rather than plastic.
- Bring your own bag or carry your purchases without a bag.
- Unplug electronics that are not in use.
- Recycle batteries and ink cartridges.
- Sell old electronics like cell phones, tablets and MP3 players at the ecoATM.
Even though the temperatures in New York City are still hovering in the 40’s, I have to believe that spring is right around the corner. And if spring is near, then it’s time for SPRING CLEANING. Sometimes purging is emotionally draining because of the sentiments surrounding your possessions, but here are 10 items you can get rid of RIGHT NOW without another thought!
- Clothing that’s too small, stained, torn, or beyond repair.
- Clothing that’s never been worn.
- Any toiletries, cosmetics, or medications in your bathroom that have expired.
- Food that’s expired.
- Socks without mates.
- Tupperware bottoms without tops.
- Old holiday cards from friends and family.
- Books you didn’t enjoy and will never read again.
- The old sponge in your kitchen sink.
- Your old toothbrush.
Now that summer is upon us, it’s time to prepare your vacation house for a wonderful season. Here are my tips for getting your house in tip top shape:
- Make sure all appliances, large and small, are in working order.
- Replace light bulbs as necessary.
- Wash all linens and towels. Inspect for holes and stains.
- Open windows to let fresh air into the house.
- Put a load of dishes, silverware, and kitchenware into the dishwasher.
- Tend to broken window screens and wash all windows.
- Wipe cupboards, fridge shelves, stovetop, and appliances clean.
- Take outdoor furniture out of storage and check for damage. Replace if necessary.
- Check expiration dates on sunblock and other toiletries. Replace anything that has expired.
- Check the wi-fi connection, cable, and music system.
- Purchase flowers for the porch and the indoors.
- Stock up on food and beverages.
- Pour yourself a glass of wine and settle in for a great summer!