3 Tips For Maximizing Closet Space

3 Tips For Maximizing Closet Space: Take The Guess Work Out Of Folding  

The number one rule for doing anything domestic is to stick to what works best for your house and your situation.  Take folding.  Now, I can teach you five different ways to fold a shirt, but is that folded shirt technique going to work for you and yourstorage situation?

Here are some things to consider when planning your closet.

Storage Space

How much space do you have?  This will determine whether you will fold in squares(Half) or rectangles (thirds).   I have a very small linen closet at home, so I fold my towels in halves so that I can stack them higher than if I were to fold them in thirds.

Recognition

It's important that you can recognize the folded item without unfolding it.  For shirts this means that you are able to see the front and the neckline.  For jeans it means that you are able to see the tab and the pocket – two important identifiers. Also consider storing items you don't wear as often up high this works especially good for shoes. Clean boxes with the shoe picture on the front  is a great time saver.

Size of Item

Small items like underwear and socks often require some creative solutions.  Especially women’s intimates.  I have two approaches to folding and storing these items:

  • Try adding tissue to create more bulk and help the item hold its fold.
  • Consider laying these items flat instead of folding them.
  • Socks can be more easily identified when stored in a sock organizer available at any home goods store.

10 Steps To De-clutter Like A Pro

De-clutter Like A Pro

I know you are tired of hearing the word “de-clutter” but extra items sprawled about a room detract from the calming energy needed for a healthy and relaxing environment.  Furniture pieces that become catch-alls for junk make me sad.  My friends accuse me of being a minimalist.  Guilty as charged.  I look at it this way, you probably spent some time selecting that piece of furniture, right?  Why hide its beauty with junk? This includes everything from desks to chairs and even your rug!

So you ask “How do I identify clutter?”  Well... I have 10 guidelines for you to follow: 

  1. if it has a logo get rid of it. 
  2. you got it for free, get rid of it.
  3. or you haven’t touched in the last six months, you might consider getting rid of it.
  4. Try no more than 3 items per tabletop. Be it candlesticks, a tray, frames etc.
  5. Utilize your wall space. If you find you have a crowded dresser maybe a shelf above your dresser can help.
  6. Use zip lock bags to group similar items and then tuck those items into storage.
  7. If you are a paper junkie a corkboard may do you good.
  8. If you have a crazy shelf that reveals all your dirty secrets try adding baskets in the cubby holes of the shelf.
  9. If you have lots of books, make them more presentable by taking off the protective covers.  PLUS they look better on the shelf.
  10. While you’re at it, wipe down all those hidden dusty old surfaces for a polished look.

How To Create A Kitchen Desk (Even If You Don't Have A Lot of Space)

The Kitchen Desk

The kitchen desk is essential in all homes.  Think of how many times you've need a pen, piece of paper or a pair of scissors to do some activity happening the kitchen.  Some of us are fortunate enough to have a built-in workspace.  But for those of us who don’t, I suggest transforming a drawer, cabinet oropen counter space into your "kitchen office" to stock the items listed below.

  • Pad of Paper – to write recipes and grocery lists
  • Pens and Pencils – for labeling and writing
  • Sharpies – to label items like zip-lock bags
  • Calculator – to use for calculations and measurements
  • White Labels - for labeling
  • Scissors/Shears – to clip coupons, prep flower arrangements… you name it
  • Zippered Storage Bag – to keep loose items together
  • Small box of binder clips – great for clipping items together and closing small baggies
  • Post-its notes - for reminders
  • A copy of The HouseBook Journal - to hold all information that pertains to your house in one easy to find location.

If space is  limited try storing these items in a file box in a cabinet or under the sink.  Preparedness and accessibility is key in running an organized home.

These basic office items incorporated into the kitchen will solve many a domestic bind.

 

How To Organize Your Kitchen So Everything Is Easy To Find

Kitchen Mapping:  How To Organize Your Kitchen So Everything Is Easy To Find

So you just moved into a new place, and it’s time to unpack all your kitchen accouterments.  Flatware, place settings, glassware, trinkets… where do you start?  A true sign of a healthy kitchen is the accessibility of all items.  Have you ever heard of the kitchen triangle?  It’s an architectural rule for how an effective kitchen should be laid out.

The classic kitchen triangle regulates work flow.  The three "points" of the triangle are:  sink, stove/oven, and refrigerator.  In planning a kitchen, the cook should be able to move unimpeded between the three points, and the distances between those points should not be far.”

So, does you kitchen fit the mold?  If not, I can still help:

  • Store drinking glasses in a cabinet close to the refrigerator.  It’s the obvious place that people check first.
  • If you have a dishwasher, place settings should be stored near it and as close to your flatware as possible.  This makes for easy unloading and organizing.
  • Items like oven mitts and heat coasters should be stored closet to the stove.
  • Mixing bowls should be stored close to the sink or in an island area.  It’s best to also keep measuring cups and other such devices in the same area.
  • Use large zip lock bags to organize items that need to stay together.  An example would be the parts of a food processor.  There is nothing more annoying than searching for that blade in crowded drawers.
  • Speaking of crowded drawers, don’t have them.  Purge old items and stow infrequently used items in cabinets below.

Having a simple layout plan for your kitchen will make for a happy home –You might even cook more often.

 

12 Ways to Beautify Your Closet: The Quick Closet Upgrade

My clients love the way I make specific aspects of their home feel special.  I’d say I get the most joy out of transforming clothing closets.  Small adjustments made in any closet can create a big impact on how you feel about your clothes.  The key, of course, is organization.

Here are some of the Dare To Be Domestic items I use to spice up any closet…

Hanger upgrades - to a thin velvet hanger. They save space and look great.

Tissue paper - get that feeling of trying your clothing on for the first time by folding items with tissue. Not only does it feel good but it it helps thin item alike t-shirts and sweaters hold their fold.

White board - is a great way to keep track of things you have at the cleaners and items you lend to friends.

Color coordinating - helps you easily find items no matter how big your closet is.

Hang intimates - allows you to see what you have and remind you to use those item ignored items.

Proper seating - try adding an ottoman or chair in your closet to add both style and function.

Full body mirror - this is a given but often ignored item. If you arelimited don space try on the back of your door or a freestanding option.

Rolling rack - a rolling rack is a good way to store seasonal clotting without having to put them in boxes or under a bed. It's also a good way to plan outfits and roll them in and out of your closet or simply to add more space.

Accessories storage - Easily convert a top dresser into accessory storage with dividers and bins.

Shoe bags - for packing and storage of cloth shoes that can easily collect dust. Also are a necessity for packing.

Extra buttons - use a box or jar for collecting extra buttons and replacement parts for your cloting and shoes.

Tags - are a great way to remind you of issues having to do with your clothing.

Make everyday in your closet a special day!

 

HOW I GOT MY HOUSE IN ORDER WITH THE HOUSEBOOK

We all live busy lives and more often than not we let small things slip into an area I call the “void area”.  This is where “things” become piles on desks, unopened letters find there way deep into drawers and our filing cabinets become graveyards for everything. There is no rhyme, reason or system in the void area.  Whether you live in an apartment, townhome or large estate the mayhem is all the same.

It wasn’t until I started using the HouseBook did I realize how much energy I was wasting in trying to manage my home.  The HouseBook, workbook and home journal, is made up of worksheets that cover all parts of your home from the serial numbers on your cable boxes to the make and model of your washer and dryer.

Starting with the HouseBook was simple and pretty much became habit once I began.

It all began with my HouseBook, a pen, letter opener, file folders and a hole punch. First, I started by gathering the piles of unopened mail hidden all around my home. As I opened the mail pertaining to my home, I would fill in the related worksheets in HouseBook with items like account numbers, contact info and any information I’d been holding in my head.  If the correspondence I was looking at was the most recent I would three hole pinch it and place it in the HouseBook.

Next I went through my phone and transcribed any home related numbers I had into the HouseBook; after all technology goes down but a trustworthy hardcopy will always be around.

Another priceless feature of the HouseBook are the logs.  They include paint, electronic, serial number, equipment and the list goes on… So I headed to my attic to find the paint codes of the colors used through out my home.  Not only was I getting organized but this allowed me to get rid of the old paint cans that I was holding scared to loose that all important paint code. This was a big space saver.

Not only is getting started with the HouseBook easy and stress relieving, the possibilities are endless for its use.  Now whenever I have an emergency or a question related to me home I know exactly where to look and so does everyone else in my home.

The HouseBook is great for all homeowners new and old, renters, estate managers and assistants. It also makes a great housewarming and realtor to client gift.

 

Managing Your Neighbors for the Holidays and Beyond

If you own or even rent a house you most likely will have neighbors. And with neighbors come “neighbor issues”.  I’ve experienced everything from fencing issues, lake front issues, dog issues, and some have ended up in court battles.  But there are ways to avoid making your neighbors your enemy.  As an estate manager I find it extremely important to become part of your neighborhood. Here are my few trusted tips for meeting your neighbors for this holiday season and beyond.

Introduce Yourself

It’s always great to have a formal introduction of yourself when you make a move into a new neighborhood.  Many people wait for their neighbor to come over and say hi, but the truth is this rarely happens.  You are the new kid on the block and it’s best if you say hi first - the earlier the better.  I always make it a habit to make face contact with the neighbors the first week of the job.  Simply walk over and give akind knock on the door introducing myself as the Neighbor or in my case Estate Manager.  I hand them my business card and tell them to feel free to contact me for any reason at any time.  It’s also great to exchange contact info. 

Exchange Contact Information

Give your neighbor a phone number preferable a cell number and your email.  A phone call complaint always comes off better than one where they might have to walk over and knock.  No one wants to seem like the jerk who barges over during the middle of a party.

Invite Neighbors to your Parties

At minimum inform neighbors of your parties and let them know if it’s a private or family affair.  If not for the noise complaints they might want to know if parking in or around their property will be affected.

Send Holiday Cards

Add neighbors to your holiday gift/card list.  I have implemented this with many clients who don’t get the importance of sending a simple card to business associates, neighbors and family alike.

Keep Notes

I like to keep a note of things that are issues between my client and their neighbors.  Sometime it best to write them down before you present the problem.  Often it will help you realize maybe it’s not such a big deal.