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.

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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.

Posted in Closet, Pantry, Success Stories

Skinny Closet/Pantry Clutter Gone!

Etienne and Paul’s family kitchen is tiny. So is a closet that they use as a pantry. As usual, with my professional organizer’s method of working top-to-bottom, we rearranged it, putting “like with like.” We also kept closely in mind Paul’s professional background as a chef. The major cook in the family, we stored items where he would find them easily.

The following two “after” photos don’t do the effort justice, as the shelves are much more organized than they appear to be.

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The next two sets of “before” and “after” photos show the lower part of the pantry, which held a mixture of foods and appliances. One is a waffle iron dating from the 1940s (yes!) that the family enjoys using.

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Our time used up, and with Etienne smiling brightly, we discussed where to focus next. How about the mud room? Okay!

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

Closet Clutter Cleared!

Arriving for another session in Jae and Armand’s wonderful centuries-old house, I asked Jae what we would do. She quickly replied, “The closet!” Next to the kitchen, its clutter could use some attention. I explained my professional organizer’s typical method. We would work our way around it, from top-to-bottom. She smiled and agreed.

We started on some shelves, pulling winter items, some to donated, and others to be washed and made ready for their next uses. When done there, the bottom shelf was rearranged and the top one was completely clear! That’s relatively rare and, in a way, a feast for the eyes, allowing them to rest.

Before
After

We moved next to the jackets hanging below the shelves, moving some around and making them all easier to reach. What’s the hose? It’s for the vacuum, and we’ll see it in more photos. As with the shelves above, there was room left over. Bonus points!

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After

Next to the shelves and the hanging items are some hooks. Hats, a beautiful scarf of Jae’s, a green bag that ended up on the shelves – all moved around to make room for a few hats, and the vacuum hose. As with the shelves and the hanging items, there was room left over. Great for any needed expansion, and to allow other items to “migrate” there.

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After

The floor! It held recycling, the vacuum and a number of other items that had landed there. We separated out trash and recycling, and made room for the vacuum to be reached easier.

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Next, a set of shelves, holding mostly Armand’s shoes and boots, and some of Jae’s, too. We moved some around, with winter stuff on the bottom. I advised placing laces inside whenever possible. It’s a good habit to get into, especially in the winter, to keep laces dry. It’s also less visual noise. More empty shelves! More bonus points! We also consolidated some laundry supplies.

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After

When we were done, Jae looked relieved and smiled brightly. 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 Bedroom, Closet, Success Stories

Next Stop – Sue’s Closet!

As Sue prepares to leave her current home (or not!), we next tackled the bedroom closet. It was packed full. Its top shelves held clear bins with varied clothes, including winter and summer tops. The bins were labelled, though their contents didn’t always match the labels. Some bins were cracked or otherwise broken, which we would toss. Using my professional organizer’s tried-and-true method, we worked top-to-bottom.

Standing on her step stool, I started pulling out the top shelves’ bins. Using her trusty label maker, Sue typed new label names, then printed them. I folded and folded, and rolled and rolled, placing “like-with-like.” We strategized about the bottom of the closet, where we would place bins that were salvageable, plus some new ones, which she bought some time ago. (Handy!) Winter clothes would go on the sides, with the middle reserved for items to wear now. We also set aside things she would wear on an upcoming seaside vacation.

We put some things on the lower of the top shelves, leaving the top one completely empty. No visual noise! Better for showing the house to potential buyers!

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Next, we worked on the bottom of the closet. As with the top shelves’ contents, we set aside some to donate or discard. Beyond better organizing it, I wanted to leave the floor clear. If the house were to be shown, it would look better. Plus, it might encourage Sue to keep it that way.

As with the top shelves’ contents, we set aside some to donate or discard.

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Now, Sue could easily find things to wear. If she decides to stay in the house, it will be a snap to move summer clothes to the sides, and winter’s to the middle. If she does decide to move, the already-labelled bins will be easy to pack. Bonus points – since they’re mostly the same size and shape, that will make it even easier.

When we were done, the only item on the floor was the step stool. Another Success Story! Next? The downstairs bookshelves? Okay!

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

Closet Clutter Cleared!

Responding to a Front Porch Forum posting, Amy contacted De-clutter Me! in November. She was interested in a holiday gift certificate for her mother. Would that be possible? Sure! She sent a check then, in turn, I sent the gift certificate. Her mother would prefer after the holidays, then there was another delay for a warm-weather vacation.

Finally, her mother and I met. Bridget wanted to focus on an upstairs closet in the house she and her husband have shared for some 40 years. Working top to bottom, we pulled out boxes of their (now adult) children’s old t-shirts and other items for them to inspect, then to either keep or discard, AWAY from their parents’ closet. We set aside some sewing patterns for her daughter-in-law, and consolidated other patterns and sewing supplies. We re-positioned comforters and three suitcases. We grouped long dresses together, to both save space and make the closet look better. We set aside other items to be donated.

Along the way, we listened to some great music and also enjoyed a lively discussion about books.

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AFTER

The closet clutter cleared, Bridget said that she was pleased, and would recommend De-clutter Me! to her reading group and bridge club friends.

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 Bedroom, Closet, Success Stories

“I Love Having You Here!”

At the end of our last session together, Andrea said that, next, she would want to work in her bedroom, including in the closet, so she could hide Christmas presents there.

First, though, the dresser and the corner area next to it. There was a bin holding clean clothes, which only needed to be put away. The hooks (actually pretty mounted stones) held pajamas, and a string of Tibetan prayer flags. I suggested that Andrea might enjoy them in her home office. She promptly hung them in one of its windows. They can be seen from the front porch, too. Bonus points!

We then focused on the dresser. On the top – some papers that really belonged in her office, so we placed them there for her to file later on. We cleared other items, and moved to the side a sweet photo of her in her first apartment. We lifted some books from the floor, partially solving the “problem” of too many books in the bedroom. We’ll work on that more at another time.

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AFTER

Next, the closet. We switched some dresses from one rod to another, then turned our attention to the floor. We pulled out some things to be discarded or donated, and an art piece that her daughter made years ago. Will she want it? That’s to be determined. What’s that strange white thing? Andrea told me it’s a back support. Really? I thought it more looks like it belongs in a “Star Wars” movie.

BEFORE
AFTER

At some point while we worked together, Andrea said, “I love having you here!” As the saying goes, it doesn’t get much better than that!

She was getting tired, so we quit the closet work. In our last little bit of time, we organized the drawers in the living room piece holding stereo equipment.

Next? Perhaps work in her daughter’s bedroom, as she will be home from college for semester break.

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.