Organize Your Closet and Keep it That Way
August 15, 2016
Easy Steps to Organize Your Closet and Keep it in Tip-Top Shape
Organizing your closet involves two major steps: organizing and maintaining. The latter is actually the easier part; the maintenance part is where some folks run into trouble. I’m sure some of you will know what I mean if you’ve spent lots of time building your dream closet, only to find it in a disarray six months later because you never changed the habits that made the chaos to begin with. The following is a useful list of easy steps to first organize, and then maintain your closet, which requires very little time investment if you perform the rituals regularly and faithfully.
Organize Your Closet
1. Remove clothing, shoes and other Items and perform a storage needs assessment.
2. Donate or toss items you haven’t worn in a year, do not want, or no longer fit into.
3. Assess storage requirements for folded garments and hanging ones.
4. Purchase additional storage to accommodate your clothing, shoes and accessories (think hangers, belt racks, hanger valets, shoe boxes or shoe racks, etc).
5. Install new closet accessories and components.
6. Establish a system for hanging and folded storage (arrange by color, style length, frequency of use, etc.).
7. Return clothing and shoes to your closet.
8. Admire your handiwork.
Maintain Your Closet
Having achieved the extreme order you want in your closet, now you need to keep it that way. In the past, you may have gone through the organizing process, only to find your closet returned to it’s chaotic state, but this doesn’t have to happen, provided you work at the art of maintenance and good habits.
1. Closet Rules
Establish closet rules and follow them. Yes, rules are fun to break, but not in this instance. Use the rest of the points to help establish your own guidelines, which will likely be more detailed, numerous and elaborate.
2. Put it Away Now
Return every article to its proper location in your closet (clothing, shoes, etc.).
3. Observe a Buy-Toss Ratio
Adopt a new-garment-toss-garment policy (if you buy something new, you must part with something old). This gives you a mental shopping check so you don’t acquire too much again.
4. Hanger Maintenance
Remove empty hangers from your closet as soon as you remove the garments for wearing.
5. Scheduled Mini-Closet Maintenance (5 Minutes Minimum)
Have a once-a-week, Saturday morning closet clean up (re-order clothes by color, garment-type, etc.).
6. Periodic and Seasonal Closet Assessments
If you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it. Easy-peasy.
7. Size Checks
If it’s too big, get rid of it. If it’s really too small, get rid of it.
Once you organize your closet, it really isn’t that hard to keep it that way if you create a schedule of closet maintenance practices and stick with them. Organizing is a way of thinking and forming good habits as much as it is a physical action. You’ll find as you repeat habits, it becomes like second nature, and you’ll enjoy the benefits that result from your improved closet organizing and maintenance routines.
You may want to check out our huge closet accessories selection, as well as our freedomRail closet systems.
freedomRail pear closet system shown. Photo courtesy of Organized Living
August 2, 2016
Summer is nearly over but there’s plenty to look forward to as the school year approaches, including things to learn, and new friends and experiences. Locker accessories are a great way to express yourself and make a personal statement before and after classes – and during those pit stops throughout the day.
The new school year sparks mixed feelings as the fun of summer comes to a close. Pre-fall, back-to-school shopping excursions minimize the “vacation over” blues, with locker accessories being one of the more fun and affordable indulgences. Here are seven inexpensive locker accessories to help kids get in the groove of school life:
1. Hanging Locker Organizer – available in black, pink or blue and has everything you need for book, supply, shoe, coat and accessory storage in one simple product. Mesh pockets provide expandable side storage, and it’s both durable and lightweight. It hangs from hooks, a rod, or from actual locker shelves, making it an indispensable locker accessory.
2. Magnetic Locker Bin – comes in a variety of colors and patterns – plus it adds instant bling to your locker as a way of making a personal statement. Use it as a pencil cup, for cell phone storage, or to store a variety of other supplies.
3. Magnetic Locker Wallpaper – available in a range of fun colors and patterns, this locker wallpaper is a fun way to transform dingy gray lockers from drab to fab. The magnetic back makes it a cinch to install and just as easy to remove – no sticky adhesive or mess to clean up.
4. Magnetic Locker Mirror – always look your best with a mirror hung right where you need it. Whether it’s eye makeup, a hair check, or after-lunch braces inspection, a magnetic mirror is an essential locker accessory.
5. Expandable Locker Shelf – adds convenient storage to most-sized lockers. It’s lightweight, made of plastic, and available in pink, blue or black to suit your taste. Why live with the standard storage of most lockers when you can customize it to your liking?
6. Magnetic Flowers – add a fun blast of color to your locker interior – plus you can use it to hold notes, photos and homework assignments. They measure 6 inches in diameter and come in pink or purple.
7. Magnetic Dry Erase Board – use as a reminder board, to-do list, or write poems, love letters, or even plan tweets. Great thing is – it’s temporary – or leave it there the whole semester. Dry erase boards are one of the most-needed, appreciated and fun locker accessories.
Ease the disappointment of summer’s end with something to look forward to – locker decorating – with only a few small indulgences from Organize-it’s Back-To-School Collection. Locker decorating is a fun way to express yourself and distinguish your locker from everyone elses’.
by Laurie Halbritter
*Also check out the following for helpful, back-to-school tips and products:
- College Dorm List – blog post
- Our Pinterest Back-to-School Essentials Board for lots of inspiration
- A Downloadable, Back-to-School PDF Checklist for dorm living
Ask Our Organizer also has ideas about lockers. Read about it here.
College Dorm List
July 25, 2016
College Dorm List – Back to School Ideas
Whether you are a freshman or a returning student, getting ready for college in the fall can be a bit nerve-racking, exciting, and fun – all at once. Preparing for dorm living now and compiling a college dorm list can ease some of the discomfort. The following is our essential dorm list to get you started now on your exciting fall adventure.
1. Bed Risers
Dorm rooms are notorious for being small and having limited storage space. First thing to do if you have a freestanding bed is to add storage underneath. Use inexpensive bed risers to add extra height to your bed and more storage clearance underneath. They’re made from a variety of materials and colors to suit your needs. Elevating the bed gives you tons of under-the-bed storage options.
2. Under Bed Storage Containers
Shoes, clothes, books, jackets, linens and tons of other stuff can be stashed under your bed, provided you have room. Canvas chests, lidded plastic containers, and even containers with wheels are available for easy access to your goods. If you have a freestanding bed, you won’t want to miss out on the storage space beneath it. Under-bed storage containers are lifesavers for dorm living.
3. In-Closet Hanging Storage
You’ll want plenty of standard hangers to organize your clothes, but other in-closet storage hangers make the closet more versatile. Hanging cubes add convenient in-closet shelf space for jeans and sweaters. Scarf and belt organizers help get you dressed in a hurry while freeing up drawer space. Tiered hangers are really great for space-saving hanging storage of slacks and jeans. Usually, in dorm rooms, closet space is at a premium, so think about ways to optimize your closet using hanging storage solutions.
Umbra’s Little Black Dress line of organizers are great for storing jewelry, cosmetics, accessories and all kinds of smaller items. They are cleverly designed and feature tons of clear vinyl pockets for easy viewing and accessibility. The mini version is perfect for smaller storage needs and great for weekend getaways as you can roll it up and throw it in your luggage.
4. Over-Door Organizers
When space is at a premium, over-door storage hangers are lifesavers. A single shoe rack can store up to 36 pairs of shoes, freeing valuable shelf and floor space in your closet and living areas. Sharing with a roommate is a good idea, depending on your combined collection size. For the sports-minded, the Perfect Cap Rack makes for easy storage of baseball caps and again, it’s OK to share.
Over-cabinet-door hair care racks are another life saver for rooms with bathrooms. Made in a variety of configurations, these lightweight storage racks are designed to store hairdryers and curling irons – plus, some even have onboard shelves for storing hairspray, styling gels and other hair products. If no cabinet door is available, this wall-mount rack provides plenty of storage for all of your hairstyling accessories.
5. Makeup Organizers
Makeup organizers help keep your purse and vanity less cluttered by consolidating everything in one place. This two-tiered pink spinning rack holds a ton of makeup, nail polish and other supplies and is made from attractive pink mesh with a spinning mechanism for absolute accessibility. For smaller cosmetic storage needs, you can’t beat the clear acrylic two-drawer cosmetic holder. At only 7.25-inches wide, it takes up very little space on your counter or dresser, and the clear finish makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.
6. Device Chargers
Device charging stations are lifesavers, and not only keep your digital goods ready to use, but help prevent you from misplacing them, provided you make a habit of storing them in the station during your down time. Cell phones, iPods, tablets, mp3 players and other digital toys are likely candidates for this must-have college item.
7. Laptop and Tablet Stands
Whether you’re chilling while watching a movie, chatting on Facebook, or doing homework, Laptop and tablet stands hold your device upright at the angle you need. Whether you need a dedicated laptop cart, a squishy lap desk, or a bamboo tablet stand for your iPad, we have it.
Next on your college dorm list is backpacks. Backpacks are your portable workstations. They can be makeup bags, device holders, book bags and the portable refrigerators that keep you fed while on campus. A backpack, while essential to your campus experience, can also be a personal statement. Whether you want to strut your stuff in bold hot pink or prefer a subdued, earthy, low-key style, you’re sure to find something you like at Organize-It. Lots of pockets for writing utensils and compartments for devices and water bottles are must-haves. If you do a lot of walking, consider one with wheels. Laptop backpacks are designed with extra-secure storage to keep your devices safe. And leather ones are available as an upscale option.
10. Bulletin Boards
Bulletin boards make fantastic visual reminders for your new class schedule, things to do, and places to be. They are the hub by which you can communicate with your roomies, schedule events, and just write goofy stuff. Erasable, magnetic, stainless steel and corkboard ones are available. Choose something that suits your style. They also make a great way to temporarily decorate, hang your latest selfies, and share your inspired and not-so-inspired thoughts.
11. Laundry Bags
There is no surviving the dorm without a laundry bag. Baskets are nice, but when space is at a premium, it’s great having something that collapses and folds out of the way. For small needs, this compact, colorful laundry tote is great as it has carrying handles and takes up little space. It’s about 21 inches high and the sides expand, so it holds more than one might think. On heavy laundry days, this 33-inch high canvas laundry bag with strap has the heft and volume you need. Plus it has a heavy-duty shoulder strap and a smart, black and white design that makes dirty clothes look almost fashionable.
Getting your living space together is going to make staying organized for classes easier and we carry just about anything you need to get settled into your dorm life and start your semester off on the right foot. Be sure to make a college dorm list of your own as you prepare for your bold new life.
Also see our Pinterest College Essentials board for dorm organizing ideas and everything college related and check our blog archive for more back-to-school ideas. And we have a dorm food checklist here. And, finally, read about 10 dorm storage ideas for under 10 bucks here.