Wednesday, June 29, 2011

(2 of 3) Ready to do something about that unusable space?

Then we’re going to rip that shelf and single bar out and get started designing you a new closet from scratch….and at about a ¼ of the price a contractor would charge you. (And even ¼ of the price of places that sell closet organizers.) If you have the basic tools and can get your hands on and a miter saw, (or at worst case scenario, a good circular saw) then you’re in business.

First we’re going to sit down with a piece of paper and a pencil (Grab a ruler if you want to feel extra fancy.) and start to design your lay out. Think of different things that you would like to store in the closet that might otherwise be crammed in a drawer. (Swim suits, belts, hats, pants, long johns, your terrible towels.)

(Figure out an affordable way to get your hands on bins or baskets that match. A big reason I love IKEA)

Now start drawing....

I’m currently working on my master bedroom closet, and this is what my general design looks like so far:

I decided that we would have 6 cubes that run down the center with 3 clothes bars. Because we have a large mudroom downstairs, I have decided that what works best for OUR family is to have all of the shoes downstairs near the door. (It's just so much easier) so I decided that shoe shelves weren't necessary in our closet. We also have a lot of pants so I decided that instead of a fourth clothes bar that I would build more cubes, to the left of the center cubes, to house sweaters and pants.

I also figured that if we were to ever sell the house, that the extra cubes could be used for shoe storage if someone preferred them upstairs.)

(And don’t assume that you can’t do this if you have an oddly shaped closet. You just have to get extra creative.)

Now to start removing your existing closet….

Depending on what you have in there, find a place to house whatever you currently have in your closet. And get it completely empty.

**Removing existing rack:

(If you have a wire rack) Careful removing your wire rack system as it is installed with anchors and will destroy your walls if you’re not careful. Most other types of shelving or bars are most likely installed with just screws or nails. Just be sure to do it gently as to not destroy your walls.)

Fill holes with a dry wall compound. Wait for it to dry. It will shrink so a second coat is almost always a must. After second coat use a block sander and sand it until smooth. (or if you have textured walls, sand accordingly.)**

*Prime any spot that has new drywall compound.*

*Paint closet the color of your choice. (Most of the time I suggest a neutral paint color just because it isn’t often that you are painting and repainting your closet. I also ALWAYS suggest a semi-gloss in the closet as well. Much more durable and easier to clean.)*

And now you have your blank slate.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

(1 of 3) Biggest space waster in a home is.......(DRUM ROLL PLEASE)


Something SO frustrating to me!

I don't get it. Contractors build these beautiful homes...and throw in a wire rack . A WIRE RACK! Hanging it at about 2 feet down from the top of the 8 foot wall!! Unless you or your significant other are 12 feet tall and need the 6 foot space to hang their GINORMOUS clothes're killing off about 4 feet of usable closet space!

People often get overwhelmed by the dead space and start filling it with mismatched bins and baskets to house their belts or their ties…or shoes. Or folded pants and shirts on the top rack that are hard to reach and almost always end up bring all of them down if you try to grab for one. looking like this:

And often, a standard closet just doesn’t have enough hanging space. (especially if shared by a husband and a wife.)

When I’m doing a closet, my thoughts are usually “what needs to be in the closet that would free up space in the actual bedroom? (Especially in a kids bedroom. )
FOR EXAMPLE….In my kids room, I hang every shirt. (T-shirts, dress shirts, long sleeved t-shirts and sweatshirts.) Everything else has it’s place in a dresser drawer. (pants, shorts, jammies, socks and undies.) I originally started doing this because I was finding that a lot of shirts weren’t getting worn because there were just piles of them in their drawers and as long as the laundry was kept…it seemed that the only shirts being worn were the ones on the top. I tried rotating them…but even that didn’t work. So I decided to start hanging them. This way I could see all of my options…and make sure to get use out of every shirt. Then i realized how much space I was saving in the bedroom because I was able to eliminate a dresser.

... .. . ..And that’s when it clicked.

Then I found myself REALLY enjoying making up closet designs that would work best for us. How I could properly utilize the closet space in each room. It was a challenge for me. (And I was floored at how affordable it was as well. )

But don’t worry….i’m gonna give you some ideas that will help deal with that unusable space.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

grey is the new neutral....

You don't have to paint your entire house a different shade of tan anymore.
Grey is just as neutral as any of those.

And, unlike greens and's hard to mess up a grey. (It especially looks rich and clean if you pair it with white trim.)

It matches almost every other color so that choosing accents shouldn't be tricky.

Monday, June 20, 2011

never underestimate .. .. . the power of hangers that match.

Are you one of those people that has an array of colored hangers? Or, lest I say, metal hangers direct from the laundromat? Or even those plastic ones that come directly from the store in which your shirt was purchased? Complete with the size labeled on the top? If so, then this little excerpt is for you....

People pay me to organize their closets. And the experience I have in the "hanger department" is almost always the same. I suggest that they get hangers that match, and they try and argue with me that it's a waste of money when they have plenty of hangers already. This to me is one of those things that takes an organized closet up about 5 notches.

I generally take around 10 hangers that match and hang the clients clothes on them. and on the opposite side I'll take their mismatched hangers and do the same. It's within seconds that the decision is made to move forward in the matching hanger purchase. Why? Because it looks better. Plain and simple.

There's something to be said about opening your closet door and your eye not be broken up by the chaos of different shapes and sizes...or colors and textures.

Something as simple and inexpensive as a hanger.... ... . .....WHO KNEW?

** You can go to Walmart and get matching plastic hangers, color of your choice, for around 10/$1. (And if you wait until they have their "college line" out you'll have more color options at a cheaper price. You can even keep an ear out for clothing stores that are going out of business. They will most likely start selling those things off...and your chances of getting a nicer wooden hanger or thick metal hanger just went up. (Depending on your style) **