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Organizing Your Closet – Sorting and Storing Your Linens

This is the fifth video in a nine-part series of “How to Organize Your Closet Like a Pro” and we’ll take a look at organizing your linens.

I love living in the city. However, with city life, you often find a lack of storage space. In this home, there was a lack of closet storage. So the homeowner decided to store sheets, towels, blankets, tablecloths, and material in his master bedroom closet. As you can imagine, the closet was over flowing!

underbed-storage+1In this 4 minute video, I demonstrate the basic steps you can follow to sort your household linens. Because this homeowner was short on space, we had to find a new home for the towels. In order to redistribute them to another area of the home, I suggested we add a shelf in the linen closet/laundry room conveniently located outside the main bathroom. By adding a shelf here, we were able to move the bath towels closer to the bathroom. Several old blankets were donated, and we used large sweater bags from The Container Store to keep items clean and organized in the closet. Finally, we made use of the space under his bed and stored some of the linens that were not frequently used in the Underbed Containers from The Container Store.

Do you have a creative way you store linens? How many blankets and sheets do you think you should have for each bed in your home? Please share your comments below.

If you’ve missed the first four videos in this how-to video series, please review these posts. If you have any questions about the process, or if you get stuck, please let us know by leaving a comment below.

Organizing Your Closet – A How-To Series

Organizing Your Closet – Measuring and Planning Your New Closet

Closet Organizing – Removing the Old Closet

Closet Organizing – How to Sort & Downsize Your Closet Clutter

3 Tips to Turn the Bedroom into an Organized Retreat & Beat The Bedroom Blues

messy_mens_bedroom-3A cluttered home adds to the stress of daily life, and most often when we tackle organizing our home, we focus on the public rooms, such as the kitchen and family room, because we fear the dreaded unannounced guest. We often neglect the bedrooms. It’s easy to close the bedroom door, but at the end of the day, we are restless in our cluttered bedrooms.

Do you find that when you enter your bedroom that you are faced with a mound of clothes, a mess on the nightstand, and a pile of shoes on the floor? And each day you finally force yourself out of bed, are you rushed in the mornings searching through piles for something clean and wrinkle-free to wear?  If so, here are three easy, cost-effective tips to help you organize your bedroom.

Get clothes off the floor. If you find yourself throwing clothes on the floor or using the treadmill as your closet, then add a bedroom valet or garment holder to your room. The accessories provide an easy way to preserve and organize your clothes until you are ready to put them away. The racks in The Art of Storage collection are affordable and stylish. These storage pieces features six loops at varying heights to allow for versatile garment draping options and the valet also includes a non-slip pants holder and coin tray.

valet-3De-clutter every surface. Overcrowding the surfaces of your dressers and nightstands with knick-knacks presents a cluttered look and makes it more difficult to dust. Select the top two or three non-essential items that are special to you to feature in your bedroom. The others can go into storage, be displayed in another room or maybe be rotated every few months. Remember – less is more.

Use under-the-bed space. Store out-of-season clothes and other items in containers made of plastic, canvas, or wood. Plastic containers are ideal if you have the ability to stack them. If you store linens in wood boxes, opt for cedar, which helps deter moths. Line the containers with plain unbleached muslin to counter the wood’s acidity and protect your linens. Use canvas bags that zip shut for delicate items such as cashmere sweaters, which need circulating air. Make sure all clothing and blankets are cleaned before storing.

valet_tray-3A peaceful, clutter-free bedroom is ideal for a restful night’s sleep and piles of clothes don’t create the relaxing oasis you desire. A basic rule of thumb for clothing is if it is clean enough to wear again, it’s clean enough to hang up. Using The Art of Storage valet is a perfect way to store the clothes you’ll wear again soon and the coin tray is a convenient place to empty your pockets at the end of the day.

Beating the bedroom blues is possible – and once you tackle this task, you’ll feel the results immediately. Everyone deserves a calm and peaceful place to relax and re-energize.

Closet Organizing – How to Sort & Downsize Your Closet Clutter

closet movie4This is the fourth video in a nine-part series of “How to Organize Your Closet Like a Pro”.  In this 5 minute video, I’ll show you how a professional organizer sorts through clutter found in a closet.  Treasurers buried in this closet include an old “Born To Kvetch” desk calendar, tons of stationary, $150 of new gift cards, unopened mail, magazines, unused electronics, trash, you name it! We’ll sort these items into suggested three categories; Keep, Donate, and Trash. The homeowner will need to review the piles we’ve sorted and make the final decisions on what items he’ll keep. The bottom line, most of what we found in the various bins did not belong in his bedroom closet.

Additionally, in this video, I highlight a photo scanning service called, Scan My Photos. They’ll scan approximately 2000, 4″ x 6″ photos at 300 DPI and return them to you with a DVD of the images for $124.95. Check here for the full details on this service. Scan My Photos isn’t the only memory preservation company available online. In a future blog post, I’ll do a side-by-side comparison of this company with similar vendors.

I hope you’re enjoying this how-to video series.  If you missed the prior three videos in the “How to Organize Your Closet Like A Pro” series, you can view the following posts.

Organizing Your Closet – A How-To Series

Organizing Your Closet – Measuring and Planning Your New Closet

Closet Organizing – Removing the Old Closet

Closet Organizing – Removing The Old Closet

closet movie3This is the third video in a nine-part series of “How to Organize Your Closet Like a Pro”. In this 2 minute 40 second video, I’ll cover the tools necessary to remove the existing shelf and pole.  We’re prepping this closet for a new elfa® system from The Container Store.  The video show you step-by-step how to remove the basic shelf and pole system found in most homes and to patch the holes.  Additionally, I cover the tools you need to do this quickly and safely.  This is a must watch for any person who wants to install a new closet system them self.

If you missed the first two videos in this series of “How to Organize Your Closet Like A Pro”, you can view them here.

Organizing Your Closet – A How-To Series

Organizing Your Closet – Measuring and Planning Your New Closet

Organizing Your Closet – Measuring & Planning A New Closet

closet-movie2Organizing your closet is possible for you to do at home. However, knowing how to measure and plan your space is the difficult part. In this how-to series, I’ll show you how to measure your space, measure your clothes and how to come up with a custom closet design for yourself. This is part 2 of a 9 part series on how to organize you closet like a professional.

I’ll be sharing one video post per day until all 9 videos are shared here on declutteryou.com. Please leave your questions and comments below. I look forward to our conversations.

If you missed the first video, please view this post.

Organizing Your Closet, A How-To Series

clutter-closet+1Recently I filmed a series of how-to videos for MonkeySee.com, a website where you can learn how to do, just about anything.  They contacted me to film a series called, “How To Organize Your Closet, Like a Pro“.  This nine-part series, shows all the steps I take when organizing a closet.  We event show you how I ripped out the existing closet, and installed a new elfa® system from The Container Store.  This is a must-watch video series for the DIY organizer.

Today, I’m sharing with you, Part One of this series.  You’ll see how I turned this cluttered closet into a space perfect for this home owner. Watch out for falling ironing boards, closet organizing is hazardous work!  This video is only 2 minutes and 15 seconds.  The others are only three to five minutes in length.  I encourage you to watch the videos and leave your comments and questions below. I’ll be posting the rest of the series here on DeClutterYou.com soon.

For more information on closet organizing, please check out these two previous posts:

Fashion Meets Eco-Friendly Shopping in DC

fashion1-2I’m a huge fan of Goodwill for many reasons.  Mainly because it’s a convenient way for my clients to donate items that have outgrown their home.  And by doing so, they support Goodwill’s mission to educate, train, employ and place people with disabilities and disadvantages.  By supporting Goodwill of Greater DC, we’re assisting people right here in our own area.

Goodwill will be hosting a Trunk Show in DC and is calling all fashionistas, designers, and eco-friendly shoppers to attend and shop ’til they drop! Goodwill of Greater Washington’s Travelin’ Trunk Show will be returning to Greater Goods on Saturday, June 27th from 12:00 – 3:00 PM.





Greater Goods is located at 1626 U Street NW in Washington, DC 20009. If you’ve not had the chance to visit this very cool, eco-friendly store, now you have two reasons to check out the Trunk Show!

Goodwill will have racks and racks of contemporary and vintage fashions along with donated fabrics and buttons. So, if you’re in the market for some vintage fashion or some fabric to make your own creations, please check out this event on June 27th.

Goodwill also will be accepting donations from your home or closet. All proceeds from this event will support Goodwill’s mission to educate, train, employ, and place people with disabilities and disadvantages throughout the greater DC area.  For more information on Goodwill’s mission and fashion events, visit this website, or read their fashion blog.

Get Organized At Home With These Helpful Products & Services

I recently attend the National Association of Professional Organizers Washington, DC – Metro Chapter’s June meeting.  Members featured new products and resources from the NAPO Conference in Orlando, Florida which I attended this past April. One by one, members demonstrated various products and explained the highlights of some new services. Everything shown was new, unique or a great resource. Below is a list of eight items featured. I’ll blog about the other five items in a future post.  Thank you to all the companies who donated their product.  Each product was given away as a ‘door prize’ at the end of the meeting!  Read on to discover which item I won.

Shelf Improvement Rollout Shelves
+glideout5Shelf Improvement makes glide out shelves which only require four screws to mount and have a “2 minute” estimated installation time.  They were very solid in construction and had beautiful dovetail corners.  I was very impressed with the quality and price.  The glide out shelves are $79.00 plus $10 shipping for any size.  The widths available are: 10″-30″ wide increasing in 1″ increments and the depths are 21.5″, 18.5″, or 16.5″.  If you’re a do-it yourself type, check out these glide out shelves.

Clearly Noted
notecards5These designer note cards were created specifically for Professional Organizers.  They are the concept of my friend and colleague, Jill Revitsky of Discover Organizing from Pittsburgh, PA. The designs are fresh, unique and feminine in style.  They’re also very reasonably priced at $15.30 for a 6-pack.  If you’re an organizer and need stylish stationary to stay in touch with your clients, buy these cards!

+savemypix5The owners of SaveMyPix.com, Maxx & Monica attend the meeting as guests.  Their unique service will scan your precious photos, old slides, and convert your old VHS Tapes and 8 mm film to DVD.  I love the idea of their service called – Stuff ‘n Send. A prepaid box which will hold up to 1600 photos. The photos are scanned at 300 DPI and returned on your choice of digital medium for the current sale price $99.95. They really couldn’t make it any easier.  Make this your Father’s day gift!

Brother P-Touch 1230PC
+brother5This easy to use label machine connects to your PC via USB.  You do not have to load software on your PC because it’s preloaded on the machine.  You can conveniently design durable, laminated labels up to ½” wide using your PC keyboard and monitor.  The labels print on their TZ label tape which comes in white, clear, and various other colors.  You can load additional logos or any True Type Font on the machine.  Brother says it’s “Perfect for home or home office labeling needs.”  I won this label machine in the ‘door prize raffle’ at the end of the meeting but I’m a Mac user – so, it’s not so perfect in my opinion.  For PC users, at $49.99, you could use this label machine – a bargain in my opinion.

List Planit
+listplanit5Jen Tankersley has branded her company as “List to Put Your World in Order”, and I agree!  List Planit has over 400 attractive, printable lists and planning pages for you to manage life.  They’re conveniently organized on their site by categories – life, business, kitchen, finance, etc.  They have three types of membership – print, download, or professional ranging from $20 – $50 yearly. That’s If you like paper lists, I highly recommend this service.

Time Timer®
+timetimer5If you saw the episode of Time Makeover on The Fine Living Network when I worked with the Lucchesi family, you would have learned about the very cool, Time Timer®.  Their products demonstrate how much time has elapsed.  If you see the color red on the face, that shows you how much time remains.  If you have trouble managing time or if you’re teaching the concept of time, there is no better tool than a Time Timer®. Their website boasts “This innovative tool constantly reinforces the sense of elapsed time in order to promote better time management.”  You can buy the 3″, 8″ or 12″ version or their handy wrist watch style.  They even have a new PC/Mac software that runs on your computer screen.  I’ve been using it since April to help manage the time I spend on Facebook and Twitter.  Prices start at $30 and I recommend you purchase the timers with the optional audible signal.

Recipe Nest® by Recipe Relish
+reciperelish5I’m in love with this concept because I frequently tear recipes out magazines, dreaming of the day I’ll learn to cook.  The Recipe Nest® is perfect because it’s designed to store full-page recipes from your printer or from magazines.  They’re organized with tabbed dividers.  No more trying to punch holes in the flimsy magazine paper!  The built-in easel easily folds out and works with the clip-on the front to display the recipe you’re using.  This keeps my dirty hands off the recipe when cooking and I use a plastic sheet protector, or you can buy the specially designed ‘Recipe Sleeve,’ to keep the recipe clean as you cook.  The surface of the Recipe Nest® is also spill proof, so you can splash and splatter all you want!  There are great colors to choose from and the Recipe Nest® easily fits inside most kitchen cabinets or on a bookshelf.  Choose the color that matches your unique style.  Mine is Kiwi Green!  This is perfect for anyone who likes to cook at $38.95.

Easy Find Lid Food Storage Containers by Rubbermaid
+rubbermaid5I blogged about these Easy Find Lid Food Storage Containers by Rubbermaid back in September 2008 which I featured them on a WUSA 9 TV Appearance.

Their unique design allows you to snap the lid to the base of the containers.  You’ll never lose a lid again!  They come as small as .05 cup up to 2.5 gallons and all sizes in between.  With this graduated size design, they easily nest together. I’m a huge fan of square storage containers because they optimize your storage space.  Yes, you can microwave and freeze meals in these containers.  A 20 piece set is around $15.99.  I’ve seen them for sale at Target, Harris Teeter and Giant.

We had five more products featured at the meeting which I’ll feature in a different blog post.  Did you find anything above that would be helpful to you at home or that would make the perfect gift for anyone?  Please leave a comment below to share your thoughts and ideas.

Three Steps to Organize Your Kitchen – What’s Hiding In Your Kitchen?

As a professional organizer, I’ve been in a few hundred homes, and one thing I’ve discovered is the kitchen is an easy place for clutter to pile up.  Does your kitchen have clutter? If you’re like most Americans, it does!  Keep reading, below are three steps to organizing your kitchen.

mikey_waffle-3You know the kitchen clutter I’m talking about – the plastic grocery store bags that multiply overnight, the mismatched plastic ware, the bread machine you ‘should’ use, or the ‘obligation’ purchase you made at that last Pampered Chef party. The clutter sometimes lands on the kitchen counter but often the disorganization lurks behind the cabinet doors or in the deep, dark pantry.  Because it’s out of site, out of mind, the it easy to forget about the clutter. But, the time will come when you need to find something specific and you’ll have to dig.

ginsu2-3You may be on your hands and knees digging in the back of the cabinet, or you’re dropping cans of soup on your toe as you forage past the Mickey Mouse shaped waffle maker, the Ginsu Knives, and the battery powered flour sifter. Either way, it’s frustrating! I’ve seen counter clutter so deep that it has caused personal injury!  Save the digging for the garden this summer and organize your kitchen.

Use my ’3-P’ kitchen organizing method to start process – Pull, Purge, Place.

Pull – Start in one area of your kitchen and pull all the items from the cabinets. When was the last time you wiped down those shelves?  While you are working, clean the shelves! As you place items on the counter, group the similar items together.  You may need a small folding table or your dining room table to have a larger working space.

Purge – Now that you are able to see all of your dishes, plastic ware, kitchen gadgets, pots and pans, etc., it’s time to purge! Kitchen clutter is usually not about having enough storage space. It’s commonly about too much stuff. With that in mind, keep the items you use most often. Beware of multiple items. How many potholders, spatulas, and frying pans can you use at once? If you’ve not used an item in the last year, do you really need it?  Do you have two items that are different but serve a similar purpose? NOTE – Things not to save include; take out containers, plastic ware missing it’s bottom or top, plastic stadium cups, rusty pans – you get the idea.  Give your surplus items to a student moving into their first apartment, have a garage sale, or donate the items to charity.

kitchen-clutter3-3Place – When placing the items back in the cabinets, designate a home. For example: coffee maker near the sink with the mugs close by, glasses by the dishwasher, pots by the stove, knives in the food prep area, and so forth.  Your kitchen items should be stored in the area they are used.  Resist the urge to pile everything back into the drawers.  Use drawer organizers to divide utensils in the drawers.  The goal is to be able to open a drawer and see everything inside.

My ’3-P’ method is a good self-help method for organizing your kitchen.  You may need to add accessories to your counter top, drawer glide outs or shelves to maximize your kitchen.  If you have a specific kitchen clutter problem, leave us a comment below, we’ll be happy to help.

Happy cooking, from my kitchen to yours – LOL.  (OK – I laugh because I only prepare food, I don’t cook!)