Posted in Closet, Success Stories

A Birthday Present!

Kate emailed from Massachusetts. She had worked with a professional organizer there. She and her brother wanted to give their mother similar help for her birthday. Would I be available? We talked on the phone, she sent a check and, soon, I arrived at their parents’ lovely home.

Mary had admitted to being a bit nervous, but soon she was smiling and laughing as we worked on a hallway closet. She had emptied some of its contents onto the floor and the stairs.

The hallway floor, with items from the closet
Before

Explaining my professional organizer’s tried-and-true method of working top-to-bottom, we first cleared the closet’s shelf. There were some objects wrapped in paper. What were they? We soon discovered that they were candles. We set them aside for her local son and his family. We pulled other items to discard or donate. What was left? Empty space! How rare! With time, some items might “migrate” there but, for the moment, there was space for the eyes to rest.

Closet shelf clutter before we cleared it
Before
Closet shelf clutter cleared with empty space available!
After

Next, to the other side of the shelf. We emptied most of it, placing just a few things there, including a pretty hat box. More empty space! Below it, we hung many of Mary’s tote bags. (She has a lifetime supply.) We set some aside for donation and a few to leave in her car for grocery shopping. That cleared much of the floor space.

A cluttered shelf before we cleared it
Before
More clutter cleared, and more empty space!
After

We looked online for boot and shoe trays for the closet floor, which she would add later.

When we were done, the floor and stairs were cleared.

The hallway floor and stairs after we cleared their clutter
After

What might be next? Mary wasn’t sure yet, but she was pleased with the first part of her children’s birthday present.

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Closet, Success Stories

A Shared Closet Cleared

Etienne and Paul share a closet, which could present some challenges. She and I decided to make the space work better for both of them.

We started with Paul’s folded clothes on a shelf. We pulled out some items, refolded, and put them back. I suggested placing everything with the fold facing out. It’s a subtle, though powerful, thing to do, reducing “visual noise.” It looked neater and there was more storage room, if needed.

A closet shelf before we cleared its clutter and reorganized it
Before
Shelf cluttered cleared, with more space available
After

Next, we worked on Etienne’s shelf, with relatively little already on it. Even so, folding and clearing clutter made more space available.

A closet shelf, before we cleared its clutter
Before
Shelf clutter cleared, with more space available
After

Below the shelf, the rod holding Etienne’s other clothes could use some attention. We consolidated dresses and slacks and, as much as possible, hung long items together.

Etienne's hanging clothes before we rearranged them
Before
Hanging clothes much easier to see and choose!
After

Below, we pulled everything out, off the closet floor, hanging some items and placing shoes in the cubbie holes to the left.

A cluttered closet floor
Before
A cleared closet floor, with "visual noise" gone
After

With a bit of time left over, we cleared the top of Etienne’s dresser. It would be much nicer to look at from across the room, in bed. Relaxing and restful, too!

The dresser before we cleared its clutter
Before
Clutter cleared from the dresser top
After

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Closet, Success Stories

Clearing a Closet

Pogo and Sylvie have a lovely home. They’re selling it, and plan to move in just under two months to another house, reducing square footage by about 1,000 feet. In a phone conversation, Pogo asked me to “hold their feet to the fire,” encouraging them to get rid of excess items. Okay!

Arriving, I asked where to focus our work. Sylvie quickly suggested the basement. It has a closet that was chock-full of housewares, very neatly arranged. They entertain a lot. There were some duplicates. We would work our way across the shelves, separating out items for family, for donation, to sell, to discard, or to recycle. Example – we set aside several vases for a local florist that picks up flowers left over from events, then freshens them for donation to nursing homes and other facilities. While the program is on hold, amid COVID-19, vase donations are still accepted.

Front view of the closet before we cleared it
Before
The closet, after we cleared it
After
Shelves on the left, before we cleared them
Before
Shelves cleared of extra items
After
Shelves on the right with some extra items, including candles
Before
Cleared shelves!
After

What might be next? They weren’t certain – maybe helping in their new home. In the meantime, though, both Pogo and Sylvie were pleased with our process. Success!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Closet, Success Stories

Hallway Closet Clutter Cleared!

During the morning of our “double session” day together, and after clearing the living room, Josh and I worked on a hall closet. It held paper towels, two lunch boxes, a “lifetime” supply of plastic grocery store bags. Clogging its space most were central vacuum parts. The system didn’t work well. Sarah coiled its long hose, securing it with a strong plastic twist tie. We would put the parts downstairs. We removed a couple of other vacuums that didn’t work well.

Josh hammered some nails into its walls, to hold cleaning items. We placed “front and center” the best vacuum, which the family uses the most. The closet wasn’t full, which was good!

A very full closet before we cleared its clutter
Before
A cleared closet, with fewer items
After

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Closet, Success Stories

A Quick Fix for a Closet

Jonathan and I are working our way around his apartment. This session included work in a closet. It held a variety of items – kayak paddles, bike tires, crutches, a table leaf, sketch pads, weights, brooms, kite string, flower pots, a tennis racket, a life preserver and a brightly colored safety vest.

A closet with sports equipment and other stuff before we cleared its clutter
Before

We pulled everything out from the bottom, wiped down the paddles, and strategized about where to put back all items. We placed the paddles along the left side, and the crutches, table leaf and brooms on the right. Against the back wall – the sketch pads and bike tires. In a red plastic bin retrieved from another room, we placed the flower pots, weights, and kite string. We hung the safety vest.

On the shelf, we placed the life preserver and tennis racket horizontally. Not bad for half an hour’s work! The best part – Jonathan was pleased.

A closet, cleared of clutter and reorganized
After

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Closet, Success Stories

A Little Girl’s Closet Organized

Ava is a wide-eyed and artistic little girl. She doesn’t always say much, but it’s clear that she doesn’t miss much happening around her, either.

Her dad, Mike, and I spent some time organizing her closet. First, we pulled items from its shelf. Some went into the laundry, and others were set aside for other rooms.

Next, I told Mike about previous work in other closets. A few clients and I separated hanging clothes into sections for work and play, making it easier for them to get dressed, and maybe in less time, too. If there was enough room, we also arranged clothes by seasons.

Since Ava isn’t working yet, we hung her clothes according to the seasons. Easy peasy!

Ava's closet before we organized it
Before
Now, Ava's closet is organized!
After

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Closet, Success Stories

Planning in a Challenging Closet

Molly won a 90-minute session with De-clutter Me! at a one-day conference for women business owners. After her winning raffle ticket was pulled, she said that she had put her request “out to the universe.” That’s very powerful spirituality!

I arrived on a rainy afternoon. Where to work? She wanted to focus on a small, irregularly-shaped closet under a staircase. It was narrow and short, with a slanted “ceiling.” It had one low shelf, which was hidden by a variety of housewares on and in front of it.

We began by pulling everything out. Each item was considered to keep, discard, donate, recycle, or give away. Next, we talked about how to use the space. I measured it. We looked online at a variety of shelving units, discussing their relative merits. We also considered over-the-door storage, which could hold lightweight stuff. Hooks on the walls’ sides could store additional items, to make good use of every available inch. With some additional storage options, this little closet will be more useful.

The closet before we planned its transformation
Before

Next, we thoughtfully returned some items to the closet, making sure that all could be easily seen and reached.

In the front red fabric bag – a tablecloth, lots of plastic cutlery and an American flag, supplies used for the Fourth of July. In the blue, rectangular box at the back – a big carving knife and fork, perfect for upcoming holiday meals. Other items include a huge skillet, a food processor, a pewter pitcher, placemats, and other things she may want to use.

The closet after we planned its transformation
After

As we finished our time together, Molly looked relieved as she smiled.

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Closet, Success Stories

It’s Like a New Closet!

In two sessions, Mike and I cleared clutter from and organized the house front closet. The family uses the front door, so we carefully considered winter coats, hats, gloves, boots, and also protecting the carpet from snow and ice. We used my professional organizer’s fail-safe method of working top-to-bottom.

Directly across from the closet was a slim, desk-type piece. I suggested that a bench with storage space might work better. Mike said that there might be a piano bench in the house. It was there for our second session. He said that it already was helpful. Great!

We must have been thinking alike because, as I was also formulating the thought, Mike said that a thin plastic piece, like those placed under desk chairs in offices, might protect the carpet.

We started with the top shelf, pulling some items for the laundry. We stored an air mattress and its pump on the left. We folded and placed some blankets in the middle, with their folds pointed out, to minimize visual noise.

Closet top shelf before we organized it
Before
Folded items and extra space!
After

Next, we touched everything hanging on the rod itself. Some things would go into the laundry, too. We arranged others by size.

Jackets and coats in disarray
Before
Organized jackets and coats are easier to find!
After

I had a brain storm! The closet doors’ insides were practically begging to be used. I suggested to Mike that hooks might work on the left. He found some, with two hooks on each. Almost magically, the parts to screw in were just the right length to use the door’s thickness without poking through to the outside. We hung some hats and scarves at the top, adding a second row of hooks between the upper ones, so the lower ones wouldn’t “conflict” with those above them. On the lower part of the door, we placed hooks that young Ava would be able to reach easily.

We hung hooks to organize hats, scarves, mittens, and umbrellas
The closet door!

On to the closet floor. It held a variety of items. We pulled them out, including what felt like a never-ending collection of boots and flip flops!

The closet floor before we organized it
Before
Quite the collection of boots and flip flops!
Boots and flip flops!

Mike found a floor shoe rack. We put boots on its top, with flip flops on the floor since, as the season is changing, they won’t be needed much more. Talking about access to them, we placed the carpet steam cleaner and vacuum on the closet floor. Mike assured me that he would be able to reach them.

Organized boots and flip flops
After

With the closet’s other door available, we talked about a hanging shoes bag, with clear pockets. Smiling, Mike said he will get one. Success!

In our next session, we will organize the garage.

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Closet, Success Stories

“Taming” the Cedar Closet and Clearing its Clutter!

A bit wide-eyed, Etienne asked if it was time for the cedar closet. What could be so terrible? Were monsters lurking inside it, poised to attack? Would we have to tame the closet? Maybe so.

What was in it? There were a few bags of clothes given to daughter Margaux, which she quickly said could be donated. There also were hanging women’s clothes, ski boots, rolls of holiday wrapping paper, framed art pieces, a rolled carpet remnant. It was a varied assortment of stuff that the family had successfully avoided, since the closet had become unpleasant to see. We would use my professional organizer’s method of working our way around it, top-to-bottom.

Maybe I said that de-cluttering and organizing the closet would be a bit like the old phrase about making sausage or legislation. The process might look ugly, but the end result would be worth the effort. We began by pulling out everything from the closet floor, which made walking around the small upstairs hallway both challenging and amusing.

We found a shelf, similar in shape and size to two others, put it up and to good use, displaying a fun Advent calendar and a “trunk” (really a box), in which the Harry Potter books had been sent to Margaux. (Brilliant packaging!)

Son (and brother) Jack magically appeared to help haul stuff downstairs. Etienne and I discussed the framed art pieces. To the basement? It can be damp at times, so we opted instead to keep them in the closet and neatly stacked them. We more tightly rolled the carpet remnant and set it on the floor.

The closet looked scary before we organized it
Before
Now organized, the closet even had empty floor space!
After

When we were done, there actually was visible floor space! And, while there hadn’t been any real monsters to defeat, we had cleared some clutter and changed chaos to calm. Another success with Etienne!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Closet, Success Stories

A Professional Organizer’s “Touch” in a Full Linen Closet

Natalie was unsure about working together on her linen closet. Did it really need a professional organizer? Yes. I shared a tip that is both subtle and powerful. We would fold sheets, etc., and place them on shelves with the folds pointed out. We would set aside some items for donation and others to be discarded.

Before and after photos follow, starting with the top left of the closet, and ending with its bottom right.

Before
After
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As we finished, Natalie smiled and admitted that having a professional organizer help with the closet was a good decision, after all. It looks much neater, eliminating (what a former client called) visual noise. Success!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.