Last month we had the pleasure of visiting the International Home and Housewares show. Of course there were tons of containers and organizing gadgets in every size, color and shape, but here’s one product we thought was unique that you might find useful: the Handbag Hangup. It’s great for keeping purses and bags visible and tidy. Handbags are always a challenge to organize because of the wide variety of sizes and shapes. Even when clients have custom shelving or cubbies designed, they still can look unkempt. Of course every closet and storage space is different, but if you have extra long hang space available, this might be a great solution. You can purchase the product single sided or double sided depending on how much you have to hang. The single sided version is perfect if you have open wall space available in your closet. Just put a nail in the wall and hang it (and your handbags) up!
It’s been a long winter and with the recent cold weather, we’re still wearing winter clothes–ugh. Problem is, we’re tired of the winter wear at this point, but if you shop in the stores, all you see is spring. Why not shop in your own closet? Doing a mid season closet clean out is a great alternative to an expensive shopping spree. It’s great to discover clothes and outfits in your own closet when you organize and look at things in a new way. Here are some closet clean-out tips:
- Thoroughly evaluate. Don’t just gaze over the sections of hanging clothes. Actually go item by item making a decision about each and every piece you touch. This kind of thorough evaluation will help give you a new perspective.
- Keep an Outgoing Bin. Make sure there’s a place in your closet for clothes you can eliminate/donate. This is especially helpful in kids closets where they are constantly outgrowing
- Re-Hang. The right hangers can make all the difference. Here’s a quick video about some of our favorite hanger choices.
- Look Up. Use every inch of vertical space in your closet. Keep a step stool handy to make access to those higher items easy.
- Put Away. It’s late enough in the season to put away things you would only wear during the holidays and in the fall. Start thinking spring and pull out some transitional items.
- Everything old is new again. You’ll be amazed what a fresh outlook the newly organized space will give! You’ll even be able to put together some new outfits once you re-arrange.
Laundry is an unavoidable drudgery, so getting it done quickly and efficiently is a must. Here are some tips to process laundry promptly.
- Sort it out.
Rather than putting all of the laundry into one hamper, sort it as you go with these terrific laundry sorters from Sterilite. They’re a great time saver–when one fills up, you can throw a load in right away. Eliminate the hassle of sorting like colors into piles on the floor (which sometime stay there longer than they should). Sort and wash as you go.
- Do it often.
Laundry may be your least favorite task, but the more often you do it, the easier it gets. Make it a small part of your daily routine rather than that monkey-on-your-back that will eventually consume a full day.
- Connect the socks.
Sorting socks can be a big time zapper. Ask family members to tie socks together or put them in a mesh hosiery wash bag so they stay together. Toss any loose socks into a container and have each person reclaim their own. If they don’t like doing it this way, maybe they’ll choose to start using a wash bag or putting them into the laundry connected.
- Make the best of the space you’re in.
If possible, add shelving, counters, cabinets and bright lighting in your laundry area. If doing laundry means going into a dark dungeon, you are going to put it off. Consider moving the machines upstairs or even into a walk-in closet.
- Hang it up.
Putting clothes back onto hangers is time consuming. Save time by waiting to hang up clothes until you’re in the closet. Just fold them over the side of the laundry basket and do the hanging up when you’re in the closet.
- Organize your closet.
It’s hard to put laundry away into an overly stuffed closet. Go through every item of clothing (good to do at least twice per year) and determine what can be eliminated. The more room you have to put things back, the easier it will be to get the laundry done.
- Hand it off.
Enlist the whole family when it comes to laundry. If kids are not of the age to do their own, they may be able to at least put it away. Sort each persons laundry into baskets and hand them off. The more you can delegate, the less you’ll have on your own plate!
With the change of seasons, the time is prime for making sure winter clothes are out, organized and ready to wear. Boots can be floppy and messy to store and have access to. One solution is to take pool noodles and cut them to help your boots stand up nicely. Take a noodle, you can get about 4 inserts by cutting the noodle with a bread knife. Stand the boots upright and they look much more organized in a row and also don’t flop over the other boots taking them out of viewing range. Keeping your closet organized is not only important because we want it to look tidy, but most closets store an abundance–usually more than they should. When you look in your closet, you want to be able to see what you need quickly and efficiently. Keeping boots upright and visible is one step towards having easier access to what you need.
Here’s a good way to help keep accessories together or add garments to an ensemble hanging on the rod in your closet. Take the pull-tab from an aluminum can and put one end around the hanger and use the other end to add a hanger to it! It’s a great way to keep outfits together or add accessories. If you use hangers from the cleaners, these tabs do come in handy. Now you can recycle those aluminum can tabs right into your closet!
When we help our clients get organized, one of the sticking points of not being able to eliminate something is it’s potential value. It’s hard to just toss or donate something that could be worth a lot of money. At Chaos to Order we are now helping our clients sell their items on eBay. Here are some things to consider if you would like us to sell your items:
- Our organizers work with you to help determine if something is right for auction.
- View the store. Items are on auction for 7 days, plus there is also an option to put it in the store for a flat “Buy it Now” price.
- Not everything sells, you have the option to have it donated after the auction, or it can be returned to you at your next organizing appointment.
- Consider the fees before listing. Chaos to Order charges 50% of net sold value for the service of listing, managing and shipping your items. Read our contract for the details.
- Selling on eBay is eco-friendly. You have the satisfaction of knowing your items are going into the hands of someone who wants it.
- Use our item questionnaire to give us specific details about your item and what you would like to see the bidding start at.
If you are interested in selling your items in our eBay store, call the office at (847) 825-8400.
Yesterday I spoke to a smart man who purchased what his wife would REALLY appreciate for Valentines Day. It’s one thing to buy her another lovely piece of clothing, but is last year’s gift lost in a corner of the closet? Maybe the perfect gift would be to really know what’s in that closet and get a full appreciation for all of the lovely things that already exist there. Getting the space fully functional with items that are currently worn and loved and removing anything that’s no longer considered lovely or fashionable–wouldn’t THAT be a fabulous gift? The gentleman I spoke with didn’t want to just add another item to an already overflowing closet, he wanted his wife to end her frustration with the chaos in the closet and feel the calm of a nice, organized space. The process of clearing through the closet with a professional organizer is really quite simple: the organizer quickly shows the client each item and they make a decision about whether it stays or goes. Once we know everything that’s left in the closet stays, we categorize and organize the rest, sorting fastidiously, changing hangers, folding meticulously, adding hooks and contriving creative ways to maximize the space. Would your Valentine love to have the space in their closet perfectly placed? You can purchase a Gift Certificate or just schedule the appointment today.
Do you need extra hanging space in your closet? What about in a storage or guest room? This nifty gadget is your answer. The Overdoor Valet Rod by Umbra is available at The Container Store and it’s very easy to install. Just put the two ends over the door and snap the rod on the holders. When it’s not in use, you can store it in the box and keep it on a top shelf. It’s also great if your packing for a trip and you need to pull clothes out of the closet to separate them. If you have tall ceilings and high doors you may need a step stool to reach the rod, but it’s a great way to get more hanging space quickly!
Do your kids (or even grownups) throw their coats and/or backpacks on the floor or a chair when in a rush as opposed to taking the time to put them on a hanger? Here’s a solution—get some S hooks. Make sure they are the right size to fit on the closet rod and hang them up. They also need to be good, sturdy S hooks so they don’t slip and fall off the rod. It’s easier to put a coat on a hook than it is a hanger and definitely quicker. As you see in the photo, backpacks work great on S hooks too. Remember, of course you can fit more in your closet when jackets and coats are properly stored on hangers, so don’t use this as a storage solution, but it’s a simple and easy quick fix for organization on the run.
There’s a chill in the air today Chicago, time to bring out some fall clothes. Do you know where your sweaters are? If you were in an organized mode last spring and put them away neatly, you’ll enjoy taking them out now, freshly folded and contained. If, however, you shoved them into a corner of the closet, this process may not be so fun—you may even need to make an extra visit to the cleaners. More to the cause of keeping good systems in order as you go. Our fastidious professional organizers are very busy this time of year weeding out the summer wardrobes and impeccably placing fall and winter clothes back into closets. Before you start shopping for a new fall wardrobe, give your existing wardrobe a once over. Go through what you have, weed out what’s not used and when you shop build upon what you currently have. If your closet needs to bring some Chaos to Order, you can schedule an appointment or give Karen a call in the office at 847-825-8400.
Spring is here and it’s time to let the sun shine in after a long winter. Open blinds, windows and doors to freshen up your home with spring air–it will energize you to start spring cleaning. Here are five quick tips to movtivate you:
- Clean one room at a time. Doing odds and ends in every room will leave you frustrated and feeling unaccomplished. Start in one room and finish it–even if you have the urge to move around.
- Clean out your refrigerator. Have a “Mustgo Night” where everything in the fridge must go. Wipe down the shelves, and don’t forget to vacuum the vents to keep your refrigerator running efficiently.
- Weed out your closets making decisions about each and every item. This should be done every spring and fall. Read more about our closet clean-out here.
- Lighten the load and divvy out chores to the entire family. Make the project fun by setting goals and giving rewards.
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew. When you’re motivated, don’t pull everything out of the closet or cabinets and then lose your steam. Instead, work one section or shelf at a time weeding out, containerizing, and wiping down.
This nifty little step stool is terrific. They are great to hang in a closet or pantry to help you reach anything that’s just a bit too high. If you’re vertically challenged, I recommend keeping them handy all around the house! They fold flat, are lightweight and easy to hang up on a simple hook. They are also sturdy, holding up to 300lbs.
My daughter loves the one shown here in her closet. I love it too because it enables her to hang up and (sometimes put away her clothes that hang on the higher rod. It’s easier to keep things organized if you can make the put-away process as simple as possible. This step stool does just that. No more searching around for the step stool, it can fit anywhere. You can find these step stools online, just search EZ Foldz Step Stool or pick one up at Bed Bath & Beyond. You will soon have easy access to all sorts of things that were once out of reach.