Closet

  1. Storing Blankets and Other Overnight Visitor Accommodations

    Love it or hate it, we all have company sometimes.

    Relatives come to visit, kids come home from college with baskets of laundry in tow, holiday parties last a little too long and someone needs a couch to sleep on, it happens to everyone.

    While it’s always a good idea to keep some extra accommodations around for company like towels, blankets, and the like, it can be hard to find a place to keep them, particularly if they need to be separate from the rest of your linens for whatever reason.

    If you find yourself frequently trying to find space for your guest accommodations (particularly if you don’t have the luxury of a guest room to keep them in), here’s a couple of tips we’ve pulled together to keep everything nice and tidy:

     

    Figure out where your guests are going to stay.

    A good first step to planning storage of your extra blankets is to figure out where your guests are most likely to stay. Is everyone staying on a pull-out couch bed in the living room? Do you have a guest room or an unused extra bedroom (after the kids have moved out, for example) that they can stay in? Identifying your visitors’ likely nesting place will help inform a lot of the storage decisions you make from there.

     

    Make an inventory of your guest accommodations.

    From there, you’ll want to take stock of what accommodations you have to provide. Do you have a full bed with its own set of sheets and pillows, or just a guest blanket and spare pillow? Will towels or bathing supplies be provided? Ask yourselves these questions as soon as you can to help eliminate any mystery.

     

    Identify extra room in the guest area.

    A good way to keep your guest accommodations close at hand is to see if there’s any extra room in the area they’re sleeping in. If you have a guest room available, try to set aside the bottom drawer or two of a bedroom dresser to hang onto everything. Wall shelves are a good touch in situations like this as well since they’re up and out of the way, and if worse comes to worse there’s always the bathroom or hallway closet.

     

    Find out-of-the-way areas.

    Of course, if you’re too busy trying to store blankets for the people that live in your house, this might be a bit more daunting a task, so identifying any extra space you may have is critical here. Room under the bed? Space in the basement? Unused shelf in the kids’ closets? Just leaving them draped across the couch before it becomes a pull-out? You might have to use a little imagination to find just the right hiding place for these blankets.

     

    Keep your blankets clean in storage.

    Of course, if a blanket is being stashed in the closet, it’s bound to get a little...funky if it’s not used properly. Take it out for seasonal washings even if it hasn’t been used, try to keep an air freshener and a moisture trap in the closet to prevent mildew or moldy odors, and when you know you’re going to need them, try to give them a wash (or at least a quick Febreze-ing) before they’re unveiled.

     

    Wash after use.

    Finally, whatever blankets and pillowcases you might have lent out to your guests, don’t think anyone will be offended by you washing them right afterwards. They might wind up staying in storage longer than you think, and a good washing will prevent unwanted smells and/or reduce wear and tear in the long run.

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  2. So You Don't Have A Closet: Now What?

    It happens more often than you might expect. You’ve moved into your new apartment or dream house, or maybe you’re off on an extended stay somewhere far away for school or work.

    You walk into your new (or temporary) living quarters and look around, only to make a horrifying discovery: you don’t have a closet!

    It’s okay! Now isn’t the time to panic. Instead, now is a great opportunity to look into some alternate clothing organization strategies and see just how you can get your bedroom organized without a closet. (Don’t be scared, we’re right here to help!)

     

    Get some storage furniture

    The first step is to review your surroundings and see what you have (other than a bed and nightstands) to work with. Take stock of any storage options you might have like shelves or clothing tacks, and then work from there—bedroom dressers are always a good call in places like this, so you might just have an excuse to pick up that vintage armoire you’d been eyeing.

     

    Look under the bed

    Speaking of beds, no bedroom is complete without one (it’s right there in the name!) and you can use this to your advantage. If your bed sits high enough to hold some plastic storage bins or other flat clothing storage boxes, use those to keep less-frequently worn things like dress clothes, seasonal outfits, and the like. (And if it doesn’t sit high enough, a lot of places sell bed risers for exactly this purpose.)

     

    Get some shelves

    By now you might not have a lot more floor space to devote to this plan, so the next step is to use wall shelving. Keep anything folded up there like shirts, pants, or even shoes (if there’s no room elsewhere for those), and in a pinch you can devote your shelf brackets to a space for hanging clothes like dresses and blazers. Speaking of…

     

    Look for hanging space

    You don’t have to be a diehard “do-it-yourself” type to make the most of this step—you just need a little imagination. A lot of wall shelves let you slide a bar in between the brackets or hang it off the bottom to simulate the closet racks you might have seen if, you know, you had a closet.

     

    Use the door

    Over the door storage is a perfect solution for situations like this. Hang something up over the back of your bedroom door for coats, hats, accessories, bags, or anything else that doesn’t fit on your other storage options.

     

    Have you ever had to deal with a room that didn’t have a closet? Leave a comment below and tell us what you did!

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  3. It's That Time: Signs You Need to Start Decluttering

    Sometimes when it comes to big decluttering projects, all we need is one good push.

    Maybe you’re waiting for an omen. Maybe you’re holding off until the next time you move. Maybe it doesn’t dawn on you until you find yourself buried under a pile of boxes that fell out of the closet.

    But sometimes it’s the little things. Sometimes it’s the stuff you move a million times a day, that drawer of nice flatware you keep saving for “special occasions”, or that aforementioned closet. Whatever the case, there could be a million small indicators around your house that you should start looking into a big decluttering project, and you might find yourself feeling that much better when it’s done. Here’s a few of the biggest signs that you have ‘too much clutter’:

     

    Getting stressed about getting dressed

    Most people have more clothes than they’re really going to need, but there’s still such thing as too darn many clothes. Do you find yourself getting anxious in the morning because you’re not sure what to wear, or maybe you’re worried about saving your favorite shirt for ‘just the right occasion’? This can be a sign to clean out your closet, move some things into your bedroom dresser, and get on with your new life—a life of scaled-down clothing options.

     

    Buried under bags

    We’ve all seen that drawer or cabinet chock full of plastic bags from the grocery store. Who knows when we’re going to need them for lunch or sudden clean-up of a pet mess, right? Go ahead and start throwing those out—it’s not like you’re never going to the grocery store again, and this will be much easier for everyone.

     

    The case of the un-closing cabinet

    Do you have a kitchen cabinet that just won’t stay shut no matter what you do? (And before you ask, wiseguy, we assume you’ve checked all the hinges and handles.) It’s time to get that stuff organized and moved. Go through your worst cabinets and see what can be tossed out—spoiled food, cups you’ll never use again, that bowl with the crack in it—and keep the rest tidier with the use of cabinet organizers and strategically-placed wall mounted shelves in the kitchen.

     

    (School) days gone by

    Nostalgia can be a powerful drug, and it can lead to keeping a lot more stuff around the house than we really need to—namely old paperwork from school. Sure, maybe you did really well on that report the first time you saw Citizen Kane, but do you really need to clutter up your filing cabinet with that pleasant memory? Unless it’s something really important like a photo from Grandparents’ Day, don’t be shy about chucking out your old school work to make room.

     

    Mystery boxes

    Speaking of moving, while some people take that as a good time to declutter, some people take it as a sign to keep even more stuff around. Do you have a few boxes that came with you from your old house that haven’t been opened or touched since you moved? Are you worried they’re going to stay packed until you move again? That’s probably a sign you can start getting rid of whatever’s in those boxes.

     

    Have you been stuck with a lot of clutter that you were recently inspired to get rid of? Leave a comment below!

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  4. Sweater Storage Strategies

    The humble sweater: whether for fashion, business wear, comfort, or just plain warmth, the sweater is one of the most versatile garments around today.

    This, of course, probably means you own more than a few and need somewhere to store them, especially this time of year when spring is trying its hardest to creep around the corner. Sweaters stand out among cold-weather clothes simply by being a little harder to put away than normal items—too bulky for many drawers and too heavy to hang up, they can turn into a pain before you know it.

    When it comes time to put your sweaters away, avoid that yearly ritual of folding, stacking, and cramming sweaters into your already-overtaxed drawers with a few of our helpful Sweater Storage Strategies:

     

    Tips for Drawers:

    • Try rolling sweaters instead of folding them: fold the arms to the back, roll up from the bottom edge to the collar, and place the rolled edge up in the drawer (lined up single file) so you can tell each sweater apart. (Be careful not to let V-neck collars get snagged on anything!)
    • Sort your rolled sweaters by whatever system works best for you: type, color, style, even when you wear them (winter sweaters vs lighter stuff) to keep them easier to access when the cold weather comes back around—or for those freak days we have every May where it drops back down to 50° again.

    Tips for Closets

    • One thing to avoid when storing sweaters in the closet is using hangers; these can lead to a horrible condition many experts refer to as “hanger burn” that leads to wrinkles, puckers, creases, and worst of all ruined collars. Don’t fall for hangers that try to claim they’re designed for knits.
    • Instead, we suggest using a flatter storage system to avoid running the risk of damage. Take some sweater storage bins or garment bags and line the floor of your closet with them to provide an easy, flat storage solution for sweaters (that can be used to store other knicknacks when sweaters come back into season)
    • Not enough space on the floor? Get some closet shelves lined against the back or side walls of your closet. This provides flat space to safely lay all of your sweaters where they can be easily accessed whenever needed.

    Tips for Everywhere Else

    • Already out of closet space? (We get it.) As long as your home is temperature controlled and pest-free, anywhere can be converted into a space for sweaters. Set some rust-proof wire shelves up in the attic to keep them nicely out of the way, or down in the basement so long as it doesn’t get too musty. (Some of those moisture traps would be perfect here.)
    • Space under the stairs? Perfect place for some storage bins. Drawers in the stairs? Even better, just remember what we told you earlier about arranging them in that area.

     

    Got any other out-of-the-ordinary tips for sweater storage? Drop a comment below!

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  5. How to Declutter Your Closet (And Make A Little Money While You're At It)

    ‘Decluttering’ has been a hot topic in the world of home organization and design lately, and while there’s been plenty written about the effect decluttering can have on your mental well-being and stress levels, there’s another place it can start to have a positive impact on your life: your wallet!

    Starting a closet purge is the first step towards learning to let go of a bunch of stuff you don’t need anymore, and a great way to get all of it out of your house is to sell it! Consignment shops like Plato’s Closet or websites like Poshmark make it easier than ever to get cash for the gently-worn clothes you’re not going to wear anymore, and will go a long way towards freeing up space in your home. Let’s start by getting your closet decluttered, and then we’ll help you figure out what to do with it all:

     

    Decluttering

    • Start by going through everything in the closet and asking yourself a few crucial questions, like:

    ○     Do I love this?

    ○     Am I going to wear it?

    ○     Does it still fit?

    ○     Does it project the image I want? Can I wear this in front of other people? (This one tends to be a real deal-breaker for a lot of indecisive thinkers.)

     

    • Once you’ve found an answer for those questions, start finding other places to keep them all. Set up a storage bin or even just a big cardboard box to separate the stuff that’s getting sold or donated from what you’re keeping, and make sure to keep the box somewhere you’re not likely to lose it.

     

    • As for everything you’re keeping (which hopefully isn’t much), it’s time to make your closet a little cleaner and easier to get through. Put up some closet wall shelves and sort your remaining clothes by type, size, seasonality, or whatever works best for you—just remember to make a plan and stick with it. Otherwise you’ll find yourself in this mess again sooner than you know it.

     

    Getting rid of it all

    • From here, let’s decide what you want to do with the clothes you plan to get rid of:

    ○     Can you sell it directly? Is there anyone you know that’s always buying clothes for craft projects or just likes thrifting? Can you unload some of it more quickly that way?

    ○     Where can you take it to in town? Does your city have a lot of consignment shops or resale stores you can take them to first? This tends to be the easiest method, and you’ll usually end up walking out of the store with money you didn’t have before.

    ○     What about a yard sale? It might not always be the right time of year, weather-wise, but a great resource for selling off unwanted clothes is to throw some tables in the driveway and hold a yard sale. It’s the reason your parents held them, and you’d be surprised how much less stuff you’ll have afterwards.

     

    • Finally, just remember to keep all of your stuff separated. If you’re taking them to a store to sell, a lot of them require clothing to be freshly washed and bagged neatly, so break out the laundry bags and get folding. Otherwise, you’ll at least want to separate items by type (shirts, bottoms, etc) to make them easier for your friends/potential customers/both to sift through.

     

    Have you sold a bunch of your old clothes lately? Got any tips for people who need to do the same? Drop a comment below!

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