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Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Five Books To Help Get You Organized

Becky

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Vitra Uten Silo

Alright you all, there is just a week left in January and if you’re anything like I am, you probably ran out of that New Year’s resolution organizing steam about a week ago!

Did you get anything done? A closet cleaned? A junk drawer straightened? Tell me you at least took one box to the Goodwill or labeled something? If not, don’t fret;  it’s a good time to give yourself a kick in the bum and  try again! True confessions: I currently have two toppling stacks of tax receipts and files in the middle of my floor. I was hoping looking at the mess would make me work on them but instead I’ve learned not to see them.

One way to get your organizational juices flowing is by picking up a good book. Here are five tried and true tomes that will help you get inspired:

1. Good Things for Organizing by Martha Stewart Living Magazine. Say what you want about Martha, but she didn’t get where she is today by being disorganized.

2. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I loved this book because I could totally relate, skip around and read it out of order and enjoy seeing how Rubin’s life improved as she organized her life and priorities. She has another book out now called Happier At Home that I can’t recommend as I haven’t read it yet, but based on how much I enjoyed The Happiness Project, I’m betting it’s a good one!

3. Speaking of happiness and books, The Happy Home Book. Nayar digs deep into all sorts of topics, from how to live a sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle to ancient traditions like Vastu. Though packed with all sorts of information, her writing style is accessible and makes this a very enjoyable read.

4. Peruse Real Simple 869 New Uses For Old Things before you get started. You may come across some junk that might just be useful during your cleanouts. Plus, some of the ideas might get you excited to start sorting and see if you can unearth any of the “old things” and use them in new ways.

5. If you’re finally ready to get serious, get your hands on a copy of Unclutter Your Life In One Week by Erin Rooney Doland. Be warned: The amount of things Doland expects your to accomplish in one day is exhausting. I read this book as Unclutter Your Life In One Month and tried to get a day or two’s worth of Doland’s tasks accomplished in one week. It’s a great step-by-step guide that will take you through the entire house.

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Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Set Your DVRs: Million Dollar Closets Premieres This Week

Becky

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I’m so excited to announce that Hatch: The Design Public Blog friend and guest poster Lisa Adams will be starring in a new show on HGTV called Million Dollar Closets. Lisa, the owner and designer behind LA Closet Design, will be going to the homes of celebs like Whitney Port, and Kris, Kylie and Kendall Jenner (you know, they are part of that clan that is more known for the name Kardashian).

I first discovered Lisa’s work several years ago and I’ve been dreaming of turning my entire upstairs into one big L.A. Closet Design closet ever since! In fact, I keep a giveaway basket in the closet at Lisa’s suggestion; whenever I realize I’m still keeping a pair of jeans with the shortest rise in history in the closet or realize something just isn’t my color, I toss it in there and thank Lisa. When it’s full, I take it to Goodwill.

Lisa approaches designing, organizing and styling a closet like it’s an exclusive boutique. She works with her clients to see how they live and what their storage and organizational needs are, and then customizes a closet from the big cabinets to lighted clothing rods, from built-in ironing boards to specialized accessory drawers and racks.

The show will air on HGTV on May 18th at 8 p.m. EST. It’s a great way to get re-inspired for organizing (I don’t know about you, but I’ve lost that New Year’s vim and vigor for organizing and cleaning out that I had back in January!). Be sure to set your DVRs!

All images property of LA Closet Design

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Monday, January 23rd, 2012

2012 Organizing Resolutions: Tackling the Closet

Becky

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So…last week I gave you five easy-peasy organizational projects to get you back on that new year’s resolution wagon. If you skipped that post, go back and dip your toes in with it. Now that February is fast approaching, let’s get something a little bit more substantial done. I’ll be adding projects each week to keep you on the organizational track.

image via L.A. Closet Design

Today’s project is not about color-coding or getting perfectly organized, it’s about cleanliness. Hopefully by now you’ve tackled each little drawer or box one at a time. If not, tackle that. You can do them at a rate of one a day as your project time, then wait for the weekend to tackle the closet cleaning.

You Will Need: Stepladder, featherduster, wipes or cleaning solution and a cloth, the vacuum with attachments. If your closet is carpeted, baking soda, if not, some sort of mop or swiffer getup, wastebasket, shopping bag, notebook, pen.

DwellStudio Baby Storage Bin, $50-100

  • Take every last thing out of your closet and put it in another room. Ignore it all for now; make sure you’ve left yourself a place to sleep tonight in case you run out of steam.
  • Grab a feather duster and a stepladder, and to to town, from where the walls hit the ceiling to the light fixture. Work your way from the top to the bottom.
  • Grab your cleaning agent of choice, be it vinegar, bleachy wipes or soap and water, and wipe down all your shelves.
  • Pick up any detritus like dry cleaning and price tags, cedar balls that have lost their scent, renegade mis-matched socks, etc. and toss it in the wastebasket you’ve brought into the closet.
  • If your vacuum is carpeted, sprinkle it with baking soda; leave for 1/2 hour.
  • Regardless of whether or not your closet is carpeted, turn on that vacuum and go to town.
  • If the closet is mop-able, you know what to do.
  • Grab any extra hangers and/or plastic dry cleaning bags and put them in the shopping bag to recycle next time you go to the dry cleaner’s.
  • If the mood strikes you, pull out your giveaway container and sort through your clothing – do that whole KEEP/TOSS/GIVEAWAY/REPAIR sorting thing. If you’re exhausted from all of that cleaning, forget it, you can sort another day –put everything back in and call it a day!

DESU DESIGN Symbol Coat Rack, $435

Speaking of that sorting day, keep your notebook open with your pen out so that you can sketch out ideas for how to improve your freshly cleaned closet and keep a running list of things you may need to make it happen (new hooks, shoe racks, baskets, scented drawer liners, new lighting, etc.) While you’re out shopping for that stuff, pick up some cedar blocks to keep things fresh.

Lights Up! Flush Mount Lamp, starting at $148

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Friday, January 13th, 2012

Five Easy Organizing Projects for 2012

Becky

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Harummph. Have you lost steam after the initial resolution excitement and are at the point of giving up? Don’t do it! Do a small project that will give you a sense of satisfaction and give you your confidence back! Here are some ideas:

ONE: Instead of saying “I’m going to completely reorganize the 10,000 pictures I have in iPhoto into properly titled albums and make books and cards and upload half of them to Flickr and – and – and –,” grab one box of old-school actual photos and fill one old-fashioned album.

Don’t these beautiful cloth-colored KOLO photo albums make you miss photo albums?

TWO: Instead of tackling that entire closet, tackle one measly drawer, or one simple task like your jewelry. For inspiration, check out Closet Designer to the Stars Lisa Adams’ guest posts. She’s incredible!

This offer is also good for simply sorting out your notecards and other types of cards. I love this cabinet that Lockette has organized in her studio:

photo by Lockette

THREE: Get that Dopp kit or cosmetic bag ready for your next trip. Seriously, is there anything worse than trying to throw that stuff together at the last minute? I always forget my face stuff or my contact case or something else very important. Also, one of the only pleasurable things about a trip to CVS is perusing the travel-size aisle. While you’re at it, clean our your bag and toss all of those ancient hotel conditioners that have 1/2″ left in the bottom, the unraveled Q-Tips and the Advil that escaped the bottle and has stained the inside brown. Better yet, toss the whole thing and get a new bag.

photo: Flowie

photo: Blu Dot

FOUR: As for the office, so maybe you didn’t revamp that filing system and sort every single file, putting every piece of paper in alphabetical then chronological order. Take on a drawer and make sure you have a handy spot for your stapler, your writing utensils, your scissors and your post-its, either in said drawer or in an office organizer.

photo: Vitra

FIVE: Tackle the fridge. I know it isn’t fun or sexy, but it is hygenic, healthy and extremely satisfying when you are done. Wait for the day before you hit the grocery store, so that it will be as empty as possible. Besides, this is a much easier task than tackling the pantry!

photo from bigchill.com

If you’re not psyched to do this, watch an episode of Hoarders. If that doesn’t motivate you, take all the pictures and magnets off your fridge and reorganize those!

Also, I’ve recommended both of these books before, but they really do get your ready to get cracking on projects, I promise:

Unclutter Your Life in One Week! by Erin Doland

The Happy Home Project by Jean Nayar

Let us know if you accomplish any of these, and what other projects you are tackling. I’ll be back next week with five more easy-peasy instant gratification projects!

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Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Organization Wednesday: 5 Tips for Making Your Closet Summer-Ready and Organized

Becky

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Thanks so much to Lisa Adams, owner and founder of L.A. Closet Design for sharing her expertise with us today! Take it away, Lisa!

Summer Stress Saver: 5 Tips for Making Your Closet Summer-Ready and Organized

Summer is time for relaxation. Lazy afternoons basking in the sun, spontaneous voyages to the beach, pina coladas at arm’s reach. Summer means many wonderful and adventurous things. One thing the spontaneity of summer shouldn’t include? Navigating the tangled jungle of your closet. Here are a few tips for making sure your closet jives with the serenity of the season.

1. Start with a clean slate.
It’s July now. If there are still remnants of wool, fur, or fleece in the main parts of your closet, something is wrong. Take the time to divide and prioritize your closet space, making sure that your cold-weather adornments are neatly packed away in the less accessible parts of your closet or in another storage place in your living space. Same goes for your trusty boots and Uggs. Let them have a break and give your gladiator sandals and Rainbows a bit of air and wiggle room.

2. Banish the hoarder in you.
You know that voice in the back of your head that whispers: “Well, give it some time, maybe you’ll wear it soon…” “I mean, you do plan to diet next week…” “But maybe it’ll come back in style…” This voice may masquerade as a friend, but alas, she is not. In order to add a healthy dose of pragmatism to your wardrobe, mark how often you wear each article of clothing by the hanger positioning. Start with all hangers facing the same way, then turn the hanger around each time you wear something. When summer draws to a close, the articles that are still hung in the original position should probably be tossed. It may hurt at first, but it’ll get easier. I promise.

3. Be ready to roll.
Summer usually brings about certain activities or excursions. Days at the beach, trips to the lake, or timely weekend trips are all things that might manifest themselves during the dog days of mid-year. What will prevent your closet from meandering into mayhem as you frantically try to pack or leave for a day out is to have a small part of your closet devoted to the summer activity of your choosing. For instance, if you love to go to the beach, have your beach tote ready, stocked with bathing suit, cover up, sunscreen, hat, and your other must-have summer wears. Not only will this prevent the tornado of time shortage and stress from waging war on your closet, but it will also ensure that you don’t forget a crucial item.

4. Have it in the bag.
Summer calls for the transition from structured, heavy bags to lightweight totes and slouchy hobo cross-shoulders. Keep your fall and winter purses intact by stuffing them with bubble wrap or tissue to keep their shape, then stash them with the rest of your winter goods. Ideally, it’s best to have a couple hooks devoted to your bags so that you can efficiently and easily switch from day to day or make the seamless transition from day casual to nighttime chic. If you stick with this organizational tactic, you’ll never again be throwing the contents of your closet or room every which way in search of that one bag that perfectly complements your seasonal duds.

5. Be Future-focused.
Divide your closet into 3 sections: spring-to-summer choices, solely summer apparel, and summer-to-fall transitions. That way, when the warm breeze starts carrying a chill, you only have to take out the preceding section of your closet, then moving those seasonal clothes into storage and trading out your winter wear that has been hibernating the past few months. The summer-to-fall part of your closet will be ready as the appetizer to the main course of hearty sweaters and coats that accompany the chill of the winter months. Planning for seasons—and the transitional times in between—will ensure that you always keep one step ahead of the weather.

Just five simple rules. Abide by them, and you will not only find yourself more organized, but also more free to enjoy the relaxing respite of the season. After all, summer should de-clutter your mind and de-stress your lifestyle…why not do the same for your closet?

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