A Better Reach-in Closet is not out of Reach

A Better Reach-in Closet is not out of Reach

We don’t want to treat all reach-in closets like they are exactly alike—but there are definitely features we like to include to vastly improve the storage potential of the standard bedroom reach-in. Most reach-ins have only one hang bar and one shelf that spans across the closet. This is both aggravating and boring. *Sigh* But here are a few storage ideas that we think will immediately upgrade your frustrated reach-in closet.

Let’s start with hanging clothes. We want at least one side to have double hang rods. This will house shirts, pants, and skirts–the majority of our clothes–and will take less than one-third of the width of a single hang rod. Also, if you have dresses or long coats or suits, we suggest space dedicated to a rod for medium-length clothes. Typically, the space required for medium hang is just a fraction of the space of the double hang. Depending on the amount of clothes for this space, you may even be able to get the medium hang on the interior walls of the closet as shown below.
Reach-in Closet

There could even be opportunity to wrap the inside wall of your reach-in with shelving like this–turning dead space into invaluable storage:

Reach-in Closet

We always try to illustrate an option that includes a hutch or drawer space. Drawers are almost always needed for undergarments, scarves, or other small accessories. If you have jewelry, watches or mobile devices, we like the idea of lining the top drawer with a custom fit jewelry liner. This gets the clutter off of our dresser tops and stored away.

Jewelry Storage

We don’t think drawers are needed for bulky clothes like sweaters or jeans, etc. Open cubbies at the top of the reach-in closet could be a better alternative to store bulk clothing, hats, purses and travel bags. Open cubbies can either go to the ceiling or just below the ceiling at about 11inches.

Drawers and Shelves for Storage

One of the more important improvements for a reach-in closet includes getting the shoes off the floor. Open shelving above the drawers, above the hanging clothes, or along the full length of the wall should remove the shoe clutter from your floor.

Closet Storage and Organization

For reach-ins, we find these space saving accessories to be a need more than a want: The telescoping belt rack and tie rack. Most reach-ins don’t have wall space for hooks. Having these built in is just so convenient.

Belt Storage

I’ve got to give honorable mention to this space-saving feature: a glide-out mirror. It not only saves floor space, but can make your dressing routine go much quicker!

Swivel mirror for wardrobe closet

So there you have it! A mini-diagram of a reach-in closet that stores more and also functions better overall! Storage can be functional and beautiful! We hope this helps you imagine the possibilities. For more ideas, visit us at http://www.columbusclosets.com/index.php/custom-closets/

Staying Focused to Beat Clutter

Staying Focused to Beat Clutter

As organizers, we work with clients who are overwhelmed with belongings for a variety of reasons. Sometimes there are challenges with space or challenges with time, there might be illness or family circumstances that require shifted attention, some may simply have acquired more than is desired. To tackle our overgrown piles, we have to dedicate several blocks of hours to sort, remove, repurpose etc. But for some, such an exercise is impossible. It is not for a lack of effort or desire. Decluttering often gets to the heart of the problem for those who have challenges with focused attention.

The act of sorting and decluttering requires the repetitive and focused actions of reviewing and categorizing items for long periods of time. In addition, there needs to be a plan and follow-through for the things which remain. For those who struggle with focus, the ability to perform unilateral repetitive tasks and to remain undistracted through completion is especially challenging. For clients with attention deficit conditions for example, usually after 25 minutes or so of sorting, clients will tell me they are feeling overwhelmed and are having difficulty remembering the sorting categories we established. Some will exhibit frustration and a lack of desire to continue, others may get sidetracked and spontaneously start doing a different task, others will complain of boredom.

This is because the ADD/ADHD mind is an active mind, capable of multitasking and moving along many activities in quick succession. The slow, observant pace of sorting is understimulating for minds seeking constant activity. The most important way to help friends or family members with focus challenges complete a sorting exercise is to allow them to talk through items being sorted. Telling stories or recalling memories associated with the items helps keep fast-paced minds engaged and active. As professionals, we use the stories being relayed to determine where items belong or whether items are important enough to save. We provide the sorting direction, and our clients provide the context.

Once the process of sorting is achieved, you will want to follow-through with finding homes for kept items. This type of follow-through is difficult for most clients–not just those with focus challenges. Logical placement and easy access is key in determining proper homes. Labelling and coding practices will be important reminders for those who struggle to remember placement. And I like to create a placement key as a written reminder of where we left things. As professionals, we hope to help you stay mindful and undistracted so you can achieve your goals and get your time back.

Conscientious Threads

Conscientious Threads

For all the donating I do for clients, I find myself marveling at the ability of charities such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, Volunteers of America, National Kidney Services to absorb all the incoming materials. From my perspective, the quantities have increased dramatically. Just this past Friday, I was at a Goodwill in Oakley, Ohio. At 11:30 in the morning, I pulled up to the back donation parking lot and realised all dozen bins were full, and 4 cars were waiting behind me. To Goodwill’s credit, when I went back after lunch, they had the bins under control and several more were available for use. Still, I couldn’t help but wonder if there is a limit to how much can be accepted, and-does our throw-away society test those limits?

This year especially, I have seen a striking increase in the amount of clothing being purged and donated. To illustrate our high consumption levels, the LA Times reports that we purchase 80 million pieces of clothing annually–a whopping 400% increase from a decade ago. And a statistic regarding our disposal practices from Wikipedia states that clothing is the fastest growing component of household waste and has risen 30% in the last 5 years. High consumption and High disposal is almost always a lethal environmental combination.

I began to wonder about something I had not considered before: the idea of sustainable clothing. Can it make a difference? And what is sustainable clothing and its associated best practices?

Sustainability from a pre-production standpoint means reducing the amount of resources needed to grow textile fibers–reducing the overall use of raw materials such as water or agrichemicals that are toxic to the environment. Sustainability post-production means practicing the three Rs: reusing, recycling, reducing.

According to Wikipedia, cotton is not a sustainable crop for a number of reasons and suggests these alternatives for sustainability:

    1. Organic Cotton uses no agrichemicals
    2. Soy fabrics are made from soy husks-a byproduct of soy production-and are fully biodegradable post-production
    3. Hemp fabric use less water to grow and is naturally pest resistant
    4. Bamboo uses less water, grows quickly, and is naturally pest resistant
    5. PET plastics–recycled plastic pellets that make polyester thread–30% less raw materials than virgin polyester

Post production, one of the fastest growing industries is textile recycling. Our fibers can be repurposed and upcycled to become insulation, stuffing, and other textile byproducts. Nearly 90% of clothing that goes to charities ends up recycled. If you have clothing that is not in good condition, simply mark the bag as “scrap material” and drop off at a local charity that practices textile recycling. Other post production best practices include buying less and purchasing better quality materials that last longer or that you will love longer.

At the end of the day, we vote with our wallets; and what we purchase or don’t purchase can a difference. Here is a list of sustainable brands and stores which follow sustainable practices: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/a-guide-to-buying-sustainable-fair-trade-and-vegan-clothing/