An interior design blog with furniture reviews, interior decorating tips, DIY projects, and home furniture guides.

Posts Tagged ‘personal organizing’

From the Design Files of Heather B – Can’t Get Organized

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Design Question

Hi Heather! I hope you can help me! I need help organizing my bedroom! It’s not just my mother nagging me about my messy room anymore. Now it seems that no matter what I do, I can’t find anything and it seems that I’m spending more time looking for stuff than relaxing or studying. When I get ready to go somewhere it’s very frustrating because I have so many pairs of shoes they’re all in piles on the floor of the closet or stuck under the bed. Not only is my closet small, all of the drawers of my dresser are crammed full. I am hoping that you could give me some ideas on how to organize my room so there is more room me and I can find stuff better. I could also use some ideas as to how to organize my make-up and my (many) bottles of nail polish and perfume. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! Danielle.

Design Answer

Hi Danielle. Especially when you don’t have enough storage space, things can seem to get out of control pretty quickly. The bottom line is you will need storage solutions that provide a place for everything so that you will have easy access to your clothes, shoes, make-up, etc. Since you didn’t mention a budget, I will keep my suggestions “budget conscious” but it sounds like you might need to splurge on a closet organizer of some kind as well as a couple of other storage solutions.

Storage Solutions for Clothes

The first thing I suggest that you do is sort through the clothes in your closet and in dresser drawers. I’m sure you will find items of clothing you have grown out of or no longer like to wear for whatever reason. After donating and tossing, I’m willing to bet that you will find some “spare” room.

How are your dresser drawers arranged? If everything is jumbled in together, you might try separating your clothes into like with like – all of your underwear in one drawer; tees, camis and shells in another; sweaters in a drawer of their own. When you group and store the same types of clothing together they lie flat so that you can fit more items into each drawer.

If there is room in your budget (and room in your bedroom) for a lingerie chest, this is a piece of bedroom accent furniture that is very versatile. A lingerie chest typically stands taller than it is wide, which means it can hold almost as much as your dresser but won’t take up as much floor space.

Is there another closet in your home that you can use? If the answer is yes, sort your clothes into seasonal, and keep what you are currently wearing in your bedroom. Store your summer clothes and shoes in the spare closet.

Storage Solutions for Shoes

Again, as with your clothes, go through your shoes – donate any pairs you haven’t worn in a year or toss ones that can’t be repaired.

Under the bed is a great place for shoes! Clear storage bins that will slide easily under you bed will allow you to see what’s inside while keeping them out of the way.

How small is your closet? See if some type of shoe rack will fit – it could help you organize the shoes you wear most often.

Storage Solutions for Make-up

Dollar stores are great places to find bargain storage solutions. Baskets can be your friend: choose ones that will easily hold items like blush, lip gloss tubes, mascara, etc. without being too big. You can sometimes find really good inexpensive items like small metal bins or pails that will be ideal for cotton puffs, make-up brushes, pencils and whatever else you need to hide away but keep organized and handy.

Thanks for writing in Danielle. Keep sending me your design questions. I love hearing from you.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Organizing a Small Closet

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Design Question

My husband and I live in a small two-bedroom house. Both bedrooms are approximately the same size; the bedroom we share is only marginally bigger than the second bedroom which is used as a home office. There is also a futon in the second room for guests. In each bedroom there is one small closet and we have reached critical mass in terms of having adequate space for our clothes, shoes and other personal items. The other closet is filled with seasonal items, including Christmas decorations. Ideally I would like to be able to store more things in both these closets, without having to work my way through a jumbled, disorganized mess. Do you have any tips on organizing a small closet?

Design Answer

Unless we’re talking about living spaces with walk-in closets, most of us never seem to have enough storage space. But there are some easy ways to pump up the storage volume of even a small bedroom closet. Because you will be storing a variety of items, when considering how to organize a small closet space, think general or multipurpose storage such as utility shelving, storage cubes, and multi-use hangers. Follow these simple steps to a new and better bedroom closet.

Step #1: Spring Clean (no matter what the season)

No matter if you’re a pack rat or not, we all have things in our closet that we no longer need, use or want. Before investing in closet organizers, a utility shelving system or storage bins, decide what stays and what goes. The best way to do this is to get medium sized cardboard boxes (you don’t want them to be too heavy when they are full) and label them Keep, Donate and Trash.

Pull everything out of the closet and sort it into like with like – belts with belts; Christmas decorations with other Christmas decorations, etc. As your sorting them into their categories, separate them again into Keep, Donate and Trash piles. Once everything has sorted, remove the Donate items and throw away the Trash. What’s left is what needs to go back into the closet. This is also a good opportunity to wipe down the walls and vacuum/wash the floor.

Step #2: Map out a Storage Solutions Plan

Inventory what you currently have in the space in terms of available shelving, etc. Especially if you have top shelves, plan on reserving them for items you won’t be using everyday, like your Christmas decorations, for example, in the second bedroom closet. If the space between the top of the shelf and the ceiling is substantial, you might consider adding cubbies, the top of which would act as a shelf while giving you more storage options.

Take measurements. Particularly if you’ve decided to purchase some kind of closet organization system, knowing exactly how much space you have will come in handy.

If you are not going the closet organization system route, decide what storage solutions would be most useful to you such as a shoe rack, storage cubes or thigh or hip height utility shelving that will leave room for hanging blouses, suit jackets, etc.

Plan on using the door. A row of hooks on the inside of your closet doors instantly increases your storage options. If hooks don’t appeal to you, how about an accessory bag, shoe bag or tie or belt rack?

Step #3: Multiple Garment and Accessory Hangers

You can maximize your closet space by using multiple pant, multiple skirt and/or multiple blouse hangers. Simply put, this means that you can technically hang seven pairs of pants on one hanger instead of seven hangers which takes up more room. Accessory hangers follow the same concept as multiple garment hangers, but are designed specifically for belts, ties and/or scarves.

Thanks for writing in. Come back next Monday when I answer another interior design question. Keep sending me those emails and don’t forget to include pictures if you can.

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