fbpx
A Move Gone Right

A Move Gone Right

A move gone right  – one of our latest projects helping one of our clients move.

First, kudos to this client of ours for two main reasons: (1) She first called us to declutter and organize her whole house (she knew she was moving in the future), and (2) After we organized her place, she maintained the house and the order within in top shape.

Organizing Before Packing

These two things were of great importance, especially because she was moving. And as counterintuitive as it sounds, organizing the home before packing for moving is crucial. This is because:

  • It’s the only way to decide what to keep and what to let go confidently.
  • Organizing the home before the move allows packing by category, which leads to a smoother unpacking and new home set-up process.

Organizing the home is critical before packing for moving, especially if the homeowner shows the house while living there.

Living in the House to Sell Complicates Things

Showing the house to sell while living in it is a different animal altogether – from packing itineraries to staging parameters to navigating living in a home while tiptoeing around.

Trying to sell, stage, and show a house while living in it is far more complicated in every aspect. But our client navigated this process like a champ! And what’s more, packing her home for the move was simpler than expected because of the preemptive strategy and planning employed.

Preemptively Planning and Working Together

As mentioned, she had the home meticulously organized by us and then professionally cleaned by a company we recommended months before putting the house on the market.

Some months later, we worked together again when she was ready for a staging and home prep consultation. She followed our advice quickly and thoroughly.

When it was time to pre-pack the home as part of the staging phase (to show the house with fewer contents), she had us help her with that as well.

The final packing took place three days before closing.

The Timing Of It All

One of the critical aspects of planning a smooth move is considering the different levels of packing the person or family will need, according to what the process looks like for them.

Our client already had conducted a preliminary pack to stage the home. The moving company placed her belongings in a local storage facility.

Given the timing of the closing, we needed to pack her last belongings four days before closing to provide time for the movers to pick up the boxes and furniture, plus allow an extra day for the make-ready cleaning.

So, we had two days to finish packing her house, and that was it? No, not so fast.

This client would spend two days in her empty house and two more days in a hotel before finalizing the house sale.

Although she would hit the road immediately after closing, she’d need an extra night in a hotel somewhere along the route. Also, she was going to a rented house for 30 days until her new home was ready (new build).

The Many Packing Levels

So, each one of these details informed and directed our packing efforts. It was more complex than packing everything on sight and go. There were several packing levels to consider:

  1. Items packed in the preliminary stage – these were taken to a local storage by the moving company.
  2. Items packed in the last few days and picked up by the moving company to be added to her local storage for the time being (including her car).
  3. Items the client needed during a month-long stay at a rented house until her new is available. These things would be packed in more accessible bags/boxes and loaded into her van.
  4. What she needed for the last couple of days in her empty home, the local hotel until the closing, and the hotel on her way to her new state – to be packed using her suitcases and carry-on bags. She was supposed to operate exclusively with the stuff in her suitcases and carry-ons for 6-7 days.

We considered all these things in our master plan. Our client was able to follow the plan, and when everything was said and done, she happily went on her way to her new life adventure.

It’s Complex But Not A Nightmare

I wanted to share this experience and process to illustrate the things I usually discuss in a real-world scenario.

The moving process, in its many dimensions and details, is complicated. But with the right planning and execution, it does not need to be a nightmare.

The next time you plan to move, call an expert in moving management so you can get help navigating this cumbersome process from A to Z.

 

The Mess The Organizer Made

The Mess The Organizer Made

What could be the mess the Organizer made? Allow me to explain.

People overbuy for many reasons and often end up with so much stuff they can’t see what they own. Other times, it’s a matter of not letting go. But whatever the reason, there’s usually a severe problem with space, although the problem lies in how much stuff we accumulate.

There is a need to fill every inch of space available. When there are available drawers in a spare room, they get filled with the most random collection of things because of open storage space.

What We Find

Too often, clients call us to organize a room in their home and insist there needs to be more storage space in the area they want to manage. 

But upon assessing the project, almost invariably, we realize three things:

  1. inefficient use of the space
  2. the space contains unwanted things that have not left the home
  3. much of what the project space includes does not belong there

No wonder there is no space for what does belong in that area.

Once unwanted items are out of that area, and we allocate and organize what is to keep, the client marvels at all the space they have.

But then they turn around and see the mess in their living room. 😂

Okay, So This Is How It Happens

No one expects to end up with a mess in other areas of the house when they engage an organizer to work on their home. That’s for sure.
During the organizing process, what we remove from an area of the home accumulates somewhere else while we work on the project’s primary goal.

Once we organize the project area, whatever is out of that space will require some decisions – what stays, what goes, and the best place to allocate what remains.

Often, we need to repeat the organizing process in areas of the home the client did not contemplate in the project initially. If things removed from one space are to be kept but belong to another area of the house, we need to find the proper space for them wherever they should go.

But when there is no evident storage space for these items where they belong, we must discover or create such storage space. And for that, the whole process repeats itself (remove what does not belong in the other areas and what might be unwanted/unused).

It Always Works Out

As Organizers, we want to delight the client, take care of everything, and leave their home looking perfect. And we know it will all work out in the end. (Because it always does!)

In the meantime, invariably, it’ll get worse before it gets better. So, take a deep breath and play along. The mess the Organizer made will go away.

A Real Case Example

See this example. The first picture is the living area “before.” The second picture is the living room after organizing the first three bedrooms. It might seem as if the pictures are inverted, right? That’s the mess we made! But here’s the other thing: often, a home’s chaos seems contained and controlled. You might not see it, but the clutter monster lurks behind closet doors and inside drawers.

Before picture in the organizing process

Before picture

in the organizing process

“During” picture

Let’s Go Shopping!

Let’s Go Shopping!

We are thrilled to take you on a shopping experience like no other- introducing Shop with Us*, our website’s newest development.

Shop with Us is a carefully selected collection of what will elevate your daily life and home experience.

Some clients ask what’s reasonable to have in a home without excess or deficiencies. For these people, the shop may serve as a guide or validation of their home’s inventory.

Others have the deer-in-headlights syndrome when visiting certain stores. They might face innumerable options without knowing what works best for what or why, or what systems go together. For this group, the shop offers a confident buying experience since items are divided by home space and the best organizing and style solutions had been pre-selected. 

This is an eclectic shop – From the mundane (like cleaning and home miscellaneous) to the sublime (design elements for the sensory experience you want at home). Each piece of the puzzle is equally important in developing the elevated lifestyle you crave. We bring you an intentionally driven purchasing experience without confusion, straight to what each space needs.

Some clients have jumped with us into the unknown (without a parachute) to start a new chapter in their lives. We’ve witness the healing power of starting anew. (Have you ever noticed it’s easier building something from nothing than fixing or transforming something else?). But despite its benefits, starting over from virtually nothing is only for some. However, our experience with those brave souls led us to consider, source, and create new homes and lifestyles for them.

Please note that before acquiring organizing solutions or deal with home design, we must let go of the excess – physical or otherwise. It’s not our intention that you accumulate more stuff or shop for the sake of shopping. Buying storage solutions, containers, or design elements without the proper context will only result in additional clutter. The goal here is to transform your home experience into a streamlined, simpler, organized, exquisite, and fulfilling one.

So, if you have yet to eliminate the clutter in your home and life or you look at this shop collection without a clue of what to get or why, let’s backtrack the process. We’ll happily walk you to a simpler, more organized, stylish, and fulfilling home through design, virtual organization, in-person consultation, or hands-on assistance.

We are constantly learning and growing, and would certainly appreciate your contribution to this shopping experience. Let us know of products that speak to you or diverse uses you give to some mainstream products. Please share your ideas for this shop with us for everyone’s benefit. We’d love your opinion on this new initiative.

Please know that if the items in our shop are not to your taste, you may still use this store as a checklist for all the essentials and charm of a minimalistic, styled, and cozy home. But also, we’d happily create a custom look just for your home, if that’s something that appeals to you. Just contact us!

Shop With Us here.

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualified purchases

Your Dream Closet – Make It Happen!

Your Dream Closet – Make It Happen!

As Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases through affiliate links.

The Dream Closet

The closet is where you start many mornings. An efficient closet system is crucial to making your life easier, especially in a rush. Keeping your closet tidy, clean, and easy to browse through makes a difference in how you start your day.

This particular space should be your inspiration, not a morning drag.

So, let’s organize your closet and make it inviting. Respect your shoes and love your clothes. Give your closet contents the care and attention it deserves.

First Things First – Out With The Clutter

A thorough purge is critical. Your closet should support the person you are now in your life. It should be something other than the dumping ground for clothes that have fit in 15 years.

The closet is not some storage space for everything no one wants or knows where to place. It is impressive that people keep things in their bedroom closets just because they have space available. The space available is good! Be at peace with empty space rather than rush to stuff items that should not be in that space (and then complain about lack of room in the closet). Learn what your closet should contain and let all other items find their proper place in the home.

First, go through the contents of your closet and remove anything from the space other than clothes, shoes, handbags, travel bags, accessories, and other things you wear. Leave in suitcases, though.

Once everything that does not belong in your closet is out of the area and reallocated, it is time to sort through what should go there.

Discard clothes that don’t make you feel fabulous. Discard what looks old, dated, damaged beyond repair, or does not fit you. You will not wear these things, no matter how long you keep them. Besides, having a closet full of petite clothing or something you don’t like wearing does not support you. Rather than inspire you, these clothes will subconsciously remind you of everything you can’t wear. There are better ways to start the day than that.

You’ll be amazed at the space you get back if you objectively look at your clothes and purge.

And from now on, stay on top of your closet management. When you realize that a clothing item is unflattering, unwanted, in bad shape, or no longer fit, remove it from your closet immediately. Practice keeping a basket or nice-looking bag in your closet to place these items at once.

Assess The Space & Inventory Your Stuff

Consider the type of item you’ll hang versus what you’ll fold, the number of items in each category, and the area where each group should go. These elements determine the type of containers, sizes, and style. So, this step comes before buying any storage solutions.

A common mistake is to buy containers before doing the work with decluttering, sorting, organizing, and allocating spaces for your things. First, you must assess what you’ll need to contain and where these things will live. To determine this, you must remove what does not belong in the closet and re-evaluate the clothing. This is the only way to know, realistically, how many hangers you need, how much long hanging, short hanging, or double hanging space you’ll need, for example.

In considering storage space available, it is common to overlook vertical space. However, some walls and behind doors are suitable areas where we can store many items. Just ensure that things placed behind doors don’t interfere with those doors opening freely.

Crafting The Closet – Must-Haves

Lighting

Chandeliers, track lights, light inside closets, and under-shelf illumination are some options that make a closet look magical. At a basic level, the closet space needs good lighting. The lighting system you choose must increase functionality but also enhance the ambiance. That ambiance is all in the lighting! Usually, a mix of yellow light and white light works best.

Body-Length Mirror

A body-length mirror is a must in every closet. It serves a practical purpose because you must see the whole outfit on your body. But a long mirror also helps create that elegant atmosphere we all admire in amazing closets. The location of this mirror will depend on the space available. It can be installed on a wall, behind the closet door, or free-standing against the wall. However, the larger, thicker frame, the more elegant your mirror will look.

Closet Organization

Design Elements and Lighting Are Important

The Personal Touch

There must be space to express who you are. Make the closet your special place where you are glad to be. Use framed pictures or knickknacks that remind you of notable people and moments. Use these strategically and tastefully.

Wastebasket

A wastebasket is necessary for every closet (and in every home space, actually!). Get a wastebasket that complements the space décor. To make things easier, consider a trashcan with no lid.

Hamper

Have one hamper per person sharing the closet. Make the hampers look good in the space. 

If closet space is limited, place hampers in the bedroom. However, hampers should preferably be where you change clothes. 

Note that hampers and laundry baskets are not the same and have different purposes. Your laundry process determines how the closet remains organized or not.

Seating

You may need a place to sit to put on your shoes. This seat could be as simple as the tiniest ottoman or stool to the most oversized armchair (space and style permitting). Ensure your seating option fits the room in style, size, and color.

Hangers

The difference in having all the hangers look the same is incredible.

We recommend space-saving hangers because they prevent clothes from falling off the hangers or losing their shape. In addition, they save at least one-third of the space in your closet (just by switching hangers!).

And if you get the appropriate clips to transform these hangers into a skirt or dressy short hangers, all hangers will look the same in the space.

Having the same hangers throughout prevents hangers from tangling and provides a more efficient experience in your closet.

Sports shorts usually go in drawers, but dressy and cargo shorts should go on hangers to avoid wrinkles and save space in your drawers.

Pro Tip: Use two space-saving hangers for heavy clothing such as coats or jackets. That way, your hanger collection remains uniform.

Garment Bags 

Some pieces of clothing deserve the protection of a garment bag. However, avoid plastic garment bags because plastic is detrimental to the fabric. Instead, replace plastic garment bags with fabric ones.

People seem surprised to learn they should remove plastic covers from their clothes when they bring them home from the cleaners. This is because the plastic used by cleaners is detrimental to the fabric. The plastic also traps the chemical residues of the cleaning process. 

Drawer Dividers

If you have drawers, you need drawer dividers. It is that simple.

Dividers make a considerable difference in the maintenance of drawers and hold us accountable for the amount of stuff we keep in those drawers.

Measure drawers before buying dividers because these come in different widths and lengths to fit every kind of drawer. Keep in mind that drawer dividers come in various colors to match the inside of your drawers.

Closet Organization

Organization Baskets for Closet

Baskets, Bins, Containers

Accessories may end up in baskets or containers. So, where will those be? Use baskets to contain anything folded on shelves and small accessories. But you want solutions that look like they belong in the closet, not like a random selection of last-minute solutions. Use the same type of basket throughout the closet. Using baskets on shelves and niches will give your closet a uniform, elevated look.

When choosing baskets, bins, or containers for the closet, measure the spaces where these will go to ensure the right fit. You must also assess the areas to determine materials, color schemes, style, and what these will hold.

Best Practices – To Hang or To Fold

Hanging

Go for it if you can hang most of what you usually fold. It is easier to see all your clothing when everything is on hangers. And thus, you wear more of your clothes more often. Putting the laundry away by hanging it is also easier than folding it. But, of course, underwear, PJs, sportswear, swimsuits, and socks should go in drawers.

In hanging your clothes, classify them by type and then by color. For example, place all casual tops, jackets and blazers, skirts, denim, slacks, etc., together. You will efficiently select your outfits and enjoy how everything looks on hangers.

Place all your hangers in the same direction. Then, when hanging back those pieces, have the hanger facing the opposite direction. This system will let you know that you wore that item. In addition, the method lets you notice what you do not regularly use, giving you a clue on what to discard. It also helps you rotate your wardrobe more often and get creative with mixing and matching your wardrobe pieces.

Pro Tip: Always place empty hangers in a single location to avoid having to fish them out when putting laundry away. Also, your closet will look better if you isolate empty hangers.

Pro Tip: When clothes come home from the cleaners, switch out the hangers! Cleaners always hang clothes facing left, which is the opposite direction of what most people desire (if right-handed). Also, they use wire hangers, which lose their shape, get rusty, get tangled, and make the clothes lose shape. Wire hangers are the least desirable kind of hangers. Besides, you want your hangers to match your closet. And by the way, the cleaners would like their hangers back!

Folding

Whether you have drawers in your closet or a dresser in the bedroom, some clothing categories are better suited to live in your drawers. These categories are loungewear, sleepwear, sportswear (including swimsuits), underwear, and socks.

Drawer dividers have a stellar role when dealing with these categories. They will keep the contents of your drawers organized and manageable.

Spend the necessary time to fold things appropriately, though. There are also options in terms of folding. You can go Konmari-style or roll each piece of clothing. The rolling method is quick and avoids wrinkling of the clothes.

And whether you believe that the dryer “eats socks” or socks run away from you, your missing socks are probably not coming back. So, stop wasting space and effort keeping an assortment of unmatched socks. Socks are cheap, and your time trying to match them is much more valuable than the cost of a replacement pack.

Also, consider donating all your mismatched socks to a shelter. Did you know that socks are among the items shelters need the most? And when the weather is cold, having socks on your feet is invaluable. Nobody would complain of mismatched socks at that point.

If seasonal clothes take up too much space, consider packing them in air-tight bags to store underneath the bed or on a higher shelf. Since those bags get random shapes when extracting the air, consider placing them in bins that fit the area where you will store them. Bins stack neatly.

Organizing Your Closet Stuff

Accessories

Organize accessories in soft baskets that go well with the closet décor. These baskets are ideal for collecting items in some closets’ built-in niches. If you do not have those in your closet, these baskets can live on shelves. They will still provide an easier way to group accessories by category and allow easy access by pulling out the needed basket.

Consider dedicating at least one of those baskets or bins to small items needed where you get dressed, such as the lint roller, extra bra straps, collar stays, chaffing tape, heel tape, body and cloth tape, insoles, handbag replacement items (like small hand sanitizer, breath mints, mini note pad), and the like.

Closet Organization

Handbags on Display

Handbags

Handbags stored in a drawer or a closet cubby or wilted on a shelf can quickly lose shape or become ruined by creases or rubbing against each other. However, you can preserve your bags and make them look fabulous.

You can stuff your handbags with quilted shapers that preserve their shape, protecting your investment and giving the closet that coveted boutique look. In addition, it will be a more joyful experience to look at your bags while deciding which one you will take out for that day.

If you like that idea but feel the investment is for someone else, achieve the same result by inflating Ziplock bags to the appropriate size and stuffing them with them. Packing paper and bubble wrap do an excellent job as well.

You could also place your bags on special purse hangers or place your folded handbags in baskets or bins on your closet shelves. However, this last alternative is better for synthetic material bags.

Boots

There are many products in the market to preserve the shape of your boots. But the same company that makes the quilted stuffers for handbags also makes them for boots. Also, try these. However, rolled magazines and stuffing paper will also work (not very luxuriously, but they work – ensure they are not visible inside the boots).

When no shelving or cubby space is available to display your boots, hang them with special boot hangers.

Shoes

Closet Organization

Shoe Lover

Shoes should be off the floor, preferably on shelves. This way, they are easier to access and don’t get lost in the infinite depths of your closet, gathering dust. You are more likely to rotate their use this way as well.

Some closets already have unique shelving or cubbies for shoes. But if this is not your case, you can incorporate a shoe rack that makes selecting your shoes more accessible.

Sometimes, removing a closet rod and making space for a shoe wall makes sense. We know of an excellent company that specializes in walls of shoes! 😊

When space is an issue with the closet, a clever shoe solution is the over-the-door hanging shoe bag. This bag utilizes the door space to store your shoes. Please note this alternative works best when the shoe collection is small!

If your closet has shelves, particularly the highest shelf, you should have stackable shoe boxes. These protect your shoes from dust but let you see the contents. You might incorporate shoe boxes with lids or boxes with front lids that eliminate the need to remove boxes above to get that fabulous pair you want to take for a stroll. The shoe box option most uses the vertical space above your highest shelf.

Scarves 

Closet Organization

Scarves on an old fashion shoe rack

Scarves can go on hangers in your closet, in front, or behind your tops section.

Hanging your scarves prevents wrinkles and gives them greater visibility so that you might use them more often. Try using a hanger per piece.

There are specialty hangers for scarves that make a beautiful display.

You may choose to store your scarves in a drawer. If so, fold them neatly or roll them to avoid wrinkles. Then, place them in a divided drawer container or insert, preferably in a shallow drawer.

And how about repurposing an old shoe rack to create a formidable scarf display? We did that for a client once, and the result was exciting.

Belts & Ties

You need special hangers for belts and ties if you or your partner wear belts or ties. But belts bunched on a wire hanger or ties sliding off improvised solutions don’t work.

Organized Closet

Tie Hanger

Closet Organization

Belt Organization Alternative

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drawer space permitting, you could roll each one of these items and place them in a shallow drawer fitted with the right divided drawer insert. Rolled ties and belts in a drawer create a colorful, accessible display.

When the drawer option is deep, make two or three layers of inserts per drawer.

Hats

If you own large hats, consider using hat boxes. These preserve your hats’ shape and protect them from dust.

When space is a concern, use wall space to install hooks to hang your hats. This idea works great for caps as well.

Jewelry

Closet Organization

Jewelry Trays

Would you prefer your jewelry in stackable trays in your closet or your dresser in the bedroom? Or would you rather have a utility board on the wall to enjoy an artsy jewelry display?

If your closet is ample, you might have space to create a jewelry section. There are countless ideas to design this space so that you can enjoy your jewelry. Just check on Pinterest and be overwhelmed!

On the other hand, if your closet lacks the space to include jewelry, consider using stackable trays. Stackable trays are versatile, adaptable to your needs, and sit over your dresser or another flat area.

Before you decide on a jewelry system, though, make sure to edit your jewelry collection. All too often, jewelry is a forgotten category of items, and we tend to accumulate it without purging it.

After deciding what is still relevant, select the system that will hold the kind, size, and amount of jewelry pieces you keep. The critical factor is to have all your jewelry in one area, preferably using a single storage system.

Travel Bags & Suitcases

Only put away your suitcases and bags after emptying them first. The amount of trash collected from our clients’ handbags and suitcases is astonishing. Things get easily lost this way. Emptying suitcases and bags after every trip makes packing easier for the next one. It is easier to start fresh than to grapple with all the junk and expired products that remain in the bags from your last trip.

Befriend Your Closet

Avoid a closet that laughs at you in the morning and yells, “Ha! Good luck finding something nice to wear here.” Instead, every day, your closet should invite you in. But it is up to you to make this happen.

Keeping it in order is essential for your peace of mind regardless of your closet size. Getting ready in the morning sets the tone for your day.

Start your day with a beautiful and organized closet.

Not sure you can do this on your own? You don’t have to! Contact My Space Reclaimed, LLC, to get professional organizing assistance.

#FriscoProfessionalOrganizer #ClosetGoals #ClosetOrganization #FriscoOrganizer #SpaceOrganizer #HomeOrganizerFrisco #ProfessionalOrganizerFrisco #ClosetDesign #HomeDesign #HomeOrganizationServices

 

 

The Mari Kondo / Container Store Alliance

The Mari Kondo / Container Store Alliance

My point about Mari Kondo’s method is that she is not in a professional organization. Not really. 

If you need systems to improve organization and efficiency, need to uncover the root causes for your disorganization, or need to break free from a life of disorganization, you need a Professional Organizer. Mari Kondo can’t help you there.

This might still be true – I am not sure of that at this moment- I have not revisited the criteria I used at that time to reach my conclusions. 

However, Mari Kondo has bent the knee to the value of aesthetics and design, as indicated by her alliance with The Container Store. 

Before, she had nothing to say about containers other than “containers and pretty baskets are unnecessary.” Nothing seemed important in her process beyond decluttering. However, Organizers know what comes after decluttering is essential.

Oh! But things have changed. The first thing you see on The Container Store’s website is Mari Kondo’s merchandise. I remember when she did not want anything to do with the store and vice versa. 

This alliance with The Container Store does not make Mari Kondo a Professional Organizer. However, she now conceded that systems bring efficiency, the proper containers keep the clutter at bay, and sound design promotes the maintenance of the space. (Those “pretty baskets” command some respect, right?)