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I have been hearing from friends on the East Coast that they have started to switch over their closets for the warmer months.  I have begun the process with clients as well.  Here on the East Coast we have had a burst of record heat.  96 degrees yesterday!  I am sure there will be many folks wanting to pull out the shorts this weekend!

If you have a system in place to do this, it will be less painful and take less time.  For several clients, we’ve got it down to a science!

The process and the storage will be different for everyone.  There are many variables that come into play — closet size, storage space, Spring/Summer activity wardrobe, and even “how hot do you get.”  My condo stays very cool, I tend to get cold easily.  So I still keep light sweaters out.  Only the turtleneck cashmere goes away.  But for some, they run hot and they won’t need to have any sweaters on hand.

A friend in NY lives in a small space so their off season clothing actually lives at a relative’s house.  It may not be the most convenient, but it is the most appropriate use of his space, and he has a “system.”  Yeah for him!

Ready to switch over?  Here’s how.

  • Go through your current closet/drawers.   Remove any items that are “out of season” for you.
  • Decide now if anything can be donated or consigned while it is fresh in your mind.
  • Make charity drop offs or schedule pick ups right away.
  • Store anything that will be great for consignment separate from everything else.  This way you will be organized come the Fall.  Mark your calender for Sept 1 to drop the clothing off.
  • Make sure items stored for the season are clean.
  • Move “off season” to your off season area.  Depending on your space it can be binned in an attic or basement, hung in covered racks in basement or attic, in an extra closet such as a guestroom, outside of your home if you live in the city and have a very small space.  For some it needs to be in the same closet.  If this is the case, put off season in the area that is hardest to get to.  Label bins by person for family members.

Now it is time for the Spring/Summer clothing

  • If you already store away, bring those bins/clothing to your closet.
  • Now is the time to try on the previous year’s items.  Especially children.
  • Anything that doesn’t fit or you no longer like?  Charity or consignment.
  • Make charity drop offs right away or schedule pick ups.
  • Bring to consignment right away.  The season has begun.
  • Put all clothing away.   Like items together.
  • Once you put your Spring/Summer items away, you will be able to see if you are missing any pieces from your wardrobe.  Make a list of anything you may “need” for the season.  This will keep you from buying unnecessary items.  It will also help you wear what you have by completing outfits.

This process can take a little time…but it will be worth it.  Dragging it out will only take longer in the long run.  Spending time looking for clothing will waste time.  Buying duplicates or items you really don’t need will waste time and money.  You get the idea…

Happy switching!

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Organize a Bargain

April 22, 2009

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One of my frequent haunts for organizing and decor products is Bed, Bath & Beyond.  Love the skinny hangers that make more room in your closet.  Clear containers, always a staple.  I keep all of the 20% off coupons they mail and publish in the paper in my glove compartment. I actually to this with gift cards and all coupons, that way I have them when I am out shopping.  When I run into BB&B  for myself or a client, I can always get items on sale!

You may or may not be aware that you can use as many coupons as you want/have at one time at BB&B.  I used 7 the other day for a client.  You can also use expired ones.

But…a little Birdie in the store told me that the corporate offices have been hinting around that they are going to get a little more picky when it comes to coupons.   They may change it to a “reasonable time frame” for expiration dates, more details to come “they say.”  So next time you are in, be sure to use your oldest ones first!

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Oprah Organizes – Again

February 18, 2009

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O is for Organizing

Set your DVR for Oprah for tomorrow (Thursday.)  Her guest will be organizing expert Peter Walsh.  It is part of their road show series.  You can get some excellent tips from Peter and if you feel that you are disorganized you will also see that you are not alone!

The Container Store is a sponsor.  You can check out their site for air time and also, check back after the show or on the Oprah site.  Last time they offered 20% coupons for the store.  Not sure if they will this time  Now remember, only buy what you NEED.

The Container Store – Clean Up Your Messy House Tour

Have fun watching and saving…and look for a fellow New England organizer Elizabeth Selders in the audience.  She was there an spoke on camera, hopefully she makes the final cut!

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I only recommend products that I really like. For closet systems I suggest either Elfa systems from The Container Store or full service closet design and installation from Brian McSharry of Closet & Storage Concepts.

Check out The Container Store’s annual January 30% off sale. http://www.containerstore.com

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Elfa is a great system. Strong and versatile enough that they’re store fixtures are from their own product lines. It is SUPER easy to install. They also have a new install service if you don’t want to fire up the power drill.

If you have wondered what the difference is between this and the similar product from Home Depot type stores? I did too, so I did a little comparison. The basic materials are the same price at all stores. The price difference come from the shelving. The Container Store shelves are almost double in price but they are much better quality. If you are doing a predominately hanging system, then this doesn’t even come into play.

But, the key advantage (and worth the extra shelf pricing in my mind) is that The Container Store is always fully stocked. You go in, you bring in your measurements, work with a designer. They give you one of those restaurant buzzers and it goes off when your order is ready. All cut EXACTLY to your measurements. All organized. In a cart and they even put it in your car!

At the other stores, they have limited sizing and you have to do all the cutting yourself and many times they don’t have full inventory. Many times I’ve tried, but I end up walking out empty handed.

But before you head out to buy a new closet system, you must go through your current closet, purge out what you do not want, and really measure and design the new space. How can you maximize space? How much short hanging do you need? How much long hanging? How many pairs of shoes do you need to store.

Need more time? It is good to plan. Atmosphere has a relationship with the Container Store allowing us to offer a 20% discount year round for projects we do.

Even if it is not time to re-design your closet, take a peak and see what can go…