Wardrobe Closet Correction

Wardrobe Closet Correction

If your wardrobe closet is bursting at the seams, then you are likely suffering from Chronic Closet Fatigue. Even with the terrific closet solutions we can build, getting in and getting things out of the closet is a tiresome chore for some. Of course, reviewing your clothing and purging what you don’t wear is the obvious cure for the overstuffed wardrobe. But if an overstuffed closet is a chronic condition, there are things you can do beyond purging to be organized from the inside out.
1. Take a different approach to shopping. This includes shopping in stores and shopping online. Take a moment to consider how many times you have been to the mall or your favorite clothing store this month? How many purchases were made online? Do you shop for fun? Do you like to spend time browsing through stores? Although you may consider this an enjoyable pastime, this passive shopping style may be contributing to an overgrown closet. Instead, consider changing your shopping habits. First, cut down the amount of time you spend in clothing stores to no more than twice a month. Second, go to stores with a purpose and a plan such as, to replace a worn pair of shoes or to get an outfit for an upcoming event. Shopping with a purpose and at only certain times of the month will help combat mindless purchases from passive shopping.
2. Understand your personal style. Do you have a go-to outfit or outfits that look great every time? Without referencing a catalog, can you describe your ideal look? Do you know your color palette? Understanding how you like to dress and what you like to wear helps to cut down on trend purchases that aren’t right for you.
3. Do you suffer from discount-itis? Did you score a one-of-a kind find for a really great deal–that doesn’t look right with anything you have? This tends to happen when we shop sales and clearance items or are lured in by discount coupons. Shopping for deals rather than for items we need tends to create closet build up. We recommend reviewing your closets, and make outfits. Anything that can’t be paired should be removed.
4. Passing the fit test. Whether it is a jacket that is too tight across the shoulders, or a blouse that gaps at the buttons, clothing that feels awkward steals space and rarely gets used. So give it the comfy test and chuck it if it doesn’t pass.
5. Minimize to accessorize. Clothing accessories are often the most difficult items to store. And when we have too many belts and scarves, they aren’t likely to make it into rotation. Simplifying your accessory regimen is the best way to ensure that accessories will be worn. Pair together the accessories with your favorite outfits……these are your keepers.
6. Recognize that material has a shelf life and expiration date. Over time, materials begin to pill, fade, weaken, dull. If your knits look over laundered or your whites look not so white, the material just isn’t holding up. If it doesn’t look that great on a hanger, it won’t look that good on you. And this goes double for socks and undergarments.
7. Avoid keeping clothing until it “comes back into style again.” This is a myth. Old clothing generally looks…well, old.
8. Hanging clothing according to color helps us see if we are repeating purchases of the same color family. We tend to like certain shades and repeat the purchases. For a versatile wardrobe, keep your colors varied and recognize when you are over-indexing on a certain color.
9. Loving the clothing you own is an important mindset for reducing our desire to accumulate more. We tend to head to the stores when we become frustrated or disengaged with what is in our closet. Making smart purchases and feeling satisfied is the best deterrent for an overstuffed closet.

Confessions of a Great Kitchen

Confessions of a Great Kitchen

It amazes me to see, even in newly built homes, that certain nagging storage issues continue to plague us. When designing or renovating a kitchen, it is wise to spend time considering all the functions we carry out in the kitchen, and then consider ALL of our inventory to plan for specific storage solutions. For example, do you juice? recycle? compost? feed pets here? take supplements or make powder shakes? have oversized dishes or holiday dishes? save plastic or paper bags? are you an avid baker? do you can or grow herbs? is homework done here?

You see what I mean. The mundane details matter or these everyday things get shoved awkwardly away.

When planning with your designer or builder, take some time to review together a day in the life of your kitchen. Here are the top items I recommend addressing to customize storage to your needs:

1. Built-in, under-the-sink storage. For decades, the area under the sink has been a wasteland of difficult-to-use space. But building around the hardware and using the available vertical space transforms this hollow area to one of the most useful cabinets in the kitchen.

black_frame_under_the_sink

2. In fact, except for when planning for tall items, there really should be no wasted vertical space in cabinets. Make sure you do not have too many “top empty” lower cabinets.

3. Speaking of cabinet size, you can eliminate reaching into deep L-shaped cabinets or lazy susans by using angled glide-out shelving that practically delivers the items to you! Excellent for corded or heavy items.

4. Built-in vertical dividers. So necessary, I recommend them especially for 3 types of items: cutting boards, platters, and baking sheets. Make sure you have plenty!

5. Lid Storage! Lid Storage! Lid Storage! If you don’t use deep drawers or deep cabinets where the lids can sit atop the pans, then designed lid storage is a must! The options range from glide-outs to door hangers. You can’t go wrong here. And don’t forget the food-saver lids too.

6. How do you like your spices? If you cook, I recommend finding a way to keep your spices and measuring utensils together near the stove. There are excellent pull-out spice cabinets and cut-to-fit spice liners for drawers. This is my favorite type because the labels are visible:

black_frame_spices3

7. Do you serve the beverage trifecta: coffee/tea/juice? If you do, these activities deserve designated cabinetry and countertop space. The cabinets need to be ample enough to hold your large mug collection, to-go cups, water bottles, shaker bottles, and all the accoutrements you use to flavor your favorite drinks. Don’t forget that your blender and coffee maker should fit assembled on the counter, and have plenty of receptacles to power up when needed.

8. Are your mops, swiffers, and dust pan crisscrossing each other on the floor or hanging awkwardly on a hook? If these can’t be managed in the pantry, then well-camouflaged cabinetry is just the ticket:

black_frame_cleaning_closet

9. Adjustable drawer dividers in your utensil drawers render them highly versatile. Do separate cooking from baking and from grilling if space allows. There are also excellent hanging options for your backsplash if the look appeals to you.

10. If you collect, plastic bags, handled bags, or eco-friendly bags, a dedicated drawer might be necessary. I recommend a deep drawer to any of the wall-mounted products available.

11. If you recycle, there are countless built-in options to explore that make life so much easier.

12. Kitchen towels in use. Skip the over-the-door towel bars. These often look so much better tucked away discreetly with built in bars on the inside or our cabinet doors. Usually these are most useful near the sink and stove.

As you can see, your inventory and frequency of use matters when it comes to storage planning. Think of all the things you do and all of the things you have when finalizing your design plans. We are happy to help you consider your inventory and your storage potential. For more ideas, visit us at http://www.columbusclosets.com/index.php/pantry-storage/

The Cardinal Categories for Storing and Keeping

The Cardinal Categories for Storing and Keeping

Having ample storage space in our home is almost always considered a plus. However, storing and overkeeping can often go hand-in-hand. We can manage our storing habits by changing the criteria we use for keeping. We do this first by recognizing the keep-types that lead to problematic piles.

Keeping that becomes problematic generally involves one of the following well-intended behaviors:
1. Should Keeps.   As in, I should keep this “just in case.”
2. Might-Keeps.    As in, the kids might want this some day, or I might paint again some day.
3. Guilt-Keeps.    Holding on to an item or gift, usually from a family member or friend, who thinks you should have it.
4. Exasperation-Keeps.    Storing something away instead of dealing with it.

Adjusting our keep-type criteria will help us better decide what gets the valuable real-estate within our homes. We can rely on these four basic categories to keep us in check:
1. Use Currently/Later–like, extra household supplies, clothing kids can grow into, etc
2. Use Occasionally–for example, the extra-large roaster pan or the glue gun
3. Use Seasonally–decorations for holidays or outdoor furnishings, winter clothing, etc
4. Heirloom/Memorabilia–such as photos and special items to pass on
These categories help us focus on how and when we use the items we are storing, rather than holding on to items indefinitely. As you can see we are focusing on use and need, and not on long-term possibility. Categories of Use help us also to determine where things should be stored in our homes. Frequently used items are kept closer, and infrequently used items are stored in lesser visited areas.

Hopefully these tenets of organization are helpful to you as you consider enhancing the storage areas of your home. Happy Organizing!