From The Blog

  • How the Professionals Put Clothes Away

    Would you believe some people actually get paid good money to put clothes away?

    It’s true. Depending on the current state of your wardrobe, you’re either currently scheming to find a way to get that job, or trying to budget a way to afford their services, or maybe both.

    But wait! Before you pick up that phone, we’ve got a couple tips here to help you organize your clothes like the experts do, without asking expensive consultants for a second opinion! Before you start scanning Angie’s List for the best (or cheapest) closet organizer, try these tips first:

     

    Group like with like

    The best place to start keeping things tidy, whether in the closet or the dresser, is to keep like items together. Whatever your space constraints may be, make sure to always group shirts with shirts, pants with pants, and so on. (And if this leaves any empty space, that’s fine—avoiding ‘hybrid spaces’ is going to be better for your overall organization scheme.

     

    Fold like an expert

    Folding, rolling, getting mad and stuffing it into the drawer like a ball; whatever your preferred way of organizing bedroom dressers is, you’ve surely found yourself running out of space faster than anticipated in your drawers. One good way to prevent this is to learn the “KonMari” method of folding, a method of folding clothing developed by Marie Kondo, a Japanese organization specialist. There’s plenty of videos out there to help you get the gist, but here’s the important steps: 

    • Fold one side of the garment across the center
    • Fold the opposite side the same way, stopping before the edge, to form a rectangle
    • Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise once, then again

     After that, all you have to do is tuck it into a drawer vertically and voila! It’s a good way of quickly finding the top you wanted, all while creating more space in your drawers for everything that needs to go in there.

     

    Get flexible with your shelving

    Shelving in bedrooms and closets can go a long way towards holding items that either don’t fit in your drawers or simply need a little extra space to be properly arranged, but the shelves themselves may need a little extra arranging. Get some wall mounted shelves, wire shelves, or closet shelves and arrange them according to what you’re storing on them: tall boots should be kept on the bottom with enough room between them and the next shelf to make them easy to access, shelves of folded clothing need to be kept closer together to free up space elsewhere, and so on.

     

    Arrange items by frequency of use

    This idea has been gaining a lot more traction among organizers recently, although it may take a little extra creativity on your part. Instead of sorting your clothes by color, type, and so on, simply sort them by how often you wear them. Sure, those shoes are mega cute, but how often have you needed them lately? Your daily wear jacket doesn’t quite match your favorite sweater, but if you need to wear them both for work, why not just keep them both right up front? Even if you swear your color/style/size-based organization system already works, try moving them around based upon how often you wear them, or at least how often you’ll need them.

     

    Set ‘zones’ for everything

    Finally, take stock of some of the stuff in your room and make sure it all has an accessible station for it; gym clothes in this corner, jackets on this closet rail, and so on. This will have the double effect of giving your clothes a distinct home to prevent mess and crossover, and help your brain categorize where everything is to help you better remember where your clothes are and feel less anxiety about getting ready in the morning.

     

    Do you have any other tips for organizing that you’ve learned from the experts? Drop a comment below!

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  • How to Move Into a Smaller House

    Thanks to a number of factors—the economy, kids moving off to college, a simple need to relocate—more people than ever before are choosing to downsize into smaller homes to better suit their needs.

     In most cases, it’s a great call! Smaller homes generally come with a ton of benefits like lower mortgage payments, cheaper utility bills, and less overall ‘upkeep’, without that giant kitchen or rooms you never use.

     And while a lot of this might sound great in theory, even the most excited small-home buyers among us are faced with the reality of just how they’re going to move once they’ve made the decision to.

     Moving is never easy, but it gets much harder when you need to move into a space that has much less room than your previous home. Fret not, however—we’ve got some tips here that can help make any move a breeze! (Comparatively speaking.)

     

    Take inventory of what you’d really need to keep

    Any move is a good opportunity to purge some stuff you don’t feel like keeping around anymore, but this goes double for moves into a smaller home. A lot of experts suggest something like this: what would you replace if you lost it all in a fire? Maybe that question is a bit morbid, but it’s a great way to look at it. Make a list of everything you truly couldn’t go without or anything that would be impossible to replace (family heirlooms, etc), and everything that isn’t on the list could be considered for sale or donation somewhere.

     

    Figure out what’s sellable

    A lot of the things you don’t plan on taking with you could be turned into spare cash to help with the move. A lot of people hang onto “insurance” items; stuff they keep around in case of an emergency like that extra mattress in the garage or the unused couch in the guest bedroom that only exists in case something you own breaks. While it might be comforting to keep those around, selling them can help a lot in the short term and may even provide some extra cash for when you do need to replace that mattress.

     

    Another prime candidate for garage sales or Craigslist would be furniture that’s just too big for your new place. That giant leather sectional might have sounded like a good idea for your current living room, but if it’s not going to fit in your new one, out it goes. Likewise, you may have to sell some things to buy slightly more space-efficient furniture like end tables or bedroom dressers but the reduced headache will be worth it.

     

    Get some storage at the new placeand make it space-efficient

    There’s going to be a lot of things you take for granted in your current house that just can’t make the move into the new one, such as kitchen cabinets and closet space. Before you really get moved into your new home, take a close look at everything you want to bring with you and see how you’re going to fit it in there. If you need to take the time to hang up some wall mounted shelves before you can settle in and start unpacking the kitchen, or if you need to start deciding what goes in which closet before you can even unpack your clothes, you might save yourself a lot of time and hassle in the long run.

     

    Be vigilant about future clutter

    Once you’re all settled in and done with the move, it might feel nice to finally be done with everything. But decluttering requires pretty much constant attention, particularly if you’re in a much smaller space than you used to be. Make sure to be ruthless about what you bring in—if you start outfitting your house with collectables or knick knacks, know that you may have to get rid of something to free up the space. Keep an eye out for duplicates of stuff you don’t need multiples of (how many wine glasses and coffee mugs do you really need?), don’t get too caught up in hoarding clothes or magazines, and don’t be scared to just throw stuff out when you need to.

     

    Have you downsized your home recently? Got any success stories or major hassles you want to share? Drop a comment below!

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