Archive for July, 2009

Closet Organizing – How to Install an elfa® Closet

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

I work with elfa® frequently and find it rather easy to install.  The product is affordable, very sturdy, and flexible enough to use in most any space.  If you enjoy simple, do-it yourself type projects, this how-to video demonstrates how you can install your own elfa® closet system from The Container Store. This is the eighth video in a nine-part series on how to organize your closet like a pro.

Be sure to review the seventh video in this series, where I explained the closet parts, tools, and important safety considerations.

What’s your biggest challenge in your bedroom closets?

Here are the previous videos in this how-to series.

Organizing Your Closet – A How-To Series
Organizing Your Closet – Measuring and Planning Your New Closet
Closet Organizing – Removing the Old Closet
Closet Organizing – How to Sort & Downsize Your Closet Clutter
Closet Organizing – Sorting & Storing Your Linens
Closet Organizing – Sorting & Organizing Your Clothes
Closet Organization – Steps to Install an elfa® Closet System

Electronics Recycling in Montgomery County Maryland – This Weekend!

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

In April 2008, the Consumer Electronics Association published a Market Research Report called: Trends in CE Reuse, Recycle and Removal which reported the average American Household has 24 electronic products per household. I don’t know about you, but as I look around my apartment, I have MANY more then 24! With that said, when it is time to recycle the items, we all must do our part to recycle the electronics.

This weekend, Montgomery County Division of Solid Waste Services is hosting another FREE electronics recycling event.

Sunday, July 26, 2009, 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.
Sherwood High School
300 Olney-Sandy Spring Road
Sandy Spring, MD 20860

(The event will be held in the parking lot behind the school and near the school’s stadium.)
They also accept electronics daily at their Solid Waste Transfer Station.
Full electronics drop-off event collection schedule can be found on their website.
Accepted items include:

    small electronic appliances
    calculators
    camcorders
    CDs and floppy disks
    CD players
    cell phones
    computers and computer-related products
    consumer electronics
    copiers
    cords and cables (including chargers)
    digital cameras
    electronic typewriters
    fax machines
    microwave ovens
    monitors
    personal digital assistant equipment
    printers
    projection equipment
    scanners
    telephones
    small electronic toys
    televisions
    VCRs

If you’re curious what exactly happens to the items after they’re collected – read this post.

Closet Organization – Steps to Install an elfa® Closet System

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

We’re excited so many of you have been following this how-to closet organizing video series.  Now that we’ve sorted all the ‘stuff’ from the closet, and removed the closet system that wasn’t working, we are ready to begin installing the new elfa® system from The Container Store.

In this video, I’ll show you the tools necessary to install the closet, explain the various hardware pieces, and share with you a few safety concerns.  This is a 3 minute video and it is the seventh in a series of nine videos.

If you have questions about any of the tools, or hardware, please do let me know. The eighth video will actually show the step-by-step process to install the closet. Installing an elfa® closet is an easy, DIY project for most anyone.

If you’re considering purchasing an elfa® closet, you can download this coupon and use it before July 12, 2009 to save 25%!

Here are the previously posted videos in the how-to organize your closet series.

Organizing Your Closet – A How-To Series

Organizing Your Closet – Measuring and Planning Your New Closet

Closet Organizing – Removing the Old Closet

Closet Organizing – How to Sort & Downsize Your Closet Clutter

Closet Organizing – Sorting & Storing Your Linens

Closet Organizing – Sorting & Organizing Your Clothes

Hiding Money at Home Can Bring A Wealth of Woes

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Recently I was interviewed by MSNBC for an article, “Money Hiders Risk A Wealth of Woes, Feelings of economic insecurity can lead to cash stashing“.

Most people have some cash available at home. However, I have found clients do not always take appropriate steps in securing their cash. As quoted in the article by MSNBC, I said.

“I’ve found money taped to the back of headboards, in clothes pockets, under loose floorboards, in fake books, and in shoe boxes,” says Scott Roewer, a certified professional organizer from Washington, D.C., who also does estate sales. “It’s amazing what people come up with to hide their money.”

Perhaps you’ve heard the story of a Tel Aviv woman who purchased a new mattress for her elderly mother and tossed out her lumpy mattress. What she didn’t know is her mother had stored her 1 million dollar life’s savings in the mattress, now buried at the dump.

I work with individuals of all ages, and find that all age-groups hide money. I typically urge my clients with cash or other valuables lying around their house to either deposit the cash in the bank, put the valuables or cash in a fireproof safe, and to tell someone where they’re hidden the items, even if they do it via a note in their will.

“I advise against hoarding cash,” he says. “I’ve seen instances of fire, robbery and accidental death where clients had money hidden but nobody knew and it was gone forever.”

Do you stash money at home or have any interesting stories to share about hoarding cash? What steps have you put in place so your money is not lost, forgotten about, or lost? You can read the entire MSNBC article here.

Closet Organizing – Sorting & Organizing Your Clothes

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

How many times have you said, “my closet just isn’t big enough”? Well the truth of the matter is, your closet is probably large enough, you simply have too much stuff! I’ve worked in a few hundred closets, and I find people use the wrong accessories to store their clothes, and don’t take the time to fold or hang items. Instead, they shove the clothes on shelves and expect their clothes to not be damage, wrinkle free, and they expect to find a ready to wear outfit in a timely manner.

In this fifth video of my “how to organize your closet like a pro” series, I’ll demonstrate the steps you can follow to sort your clothes. I also talk about the proper types of hangers to use, and how to avoid some common mistakes people make in their closets. Watching this video may just save your favorite outfit from damage!

I’ve previously posted five videos in this series. To view the other posts, please visit the links below. If you have any clothes storage tips you’d like to share, please comment below.

Organizing Your Closet – A How-To Series

Organizing Your Closet – Measuring and Planning Your New Closet

Closet Organizing – Removing the Old Closet

Closet Organizing – How to Sort & Downsize Your Closet Clutter

Closet Organizing – Sorting & Organizing Your Linens

Organizing Your Closet – Sorting and Storing Your Linens

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

This is the fifth video in a nine-part series of “How to Organize Your Closet Like a Pro” and we’ll take a look at organizing your linens.

I love living in the city. However, with city life, you often find a lack of storage space. In this home, there was a lack of closet storage. So the homeowner decided to store sheets, towels, blankets, tablecloths, and material in his master bedroom closet. As you can imagine, the closet was over flowing!

In this 4 minute video, I demonstrate the basic steps you can follow to sort your household linens. Because this homeowner was short on space, we had to find a new home for the towels. In order to redistribute them to another area of the home, I suggested we add a shelf in the linen closet/laundry room conveniently located outside the main bathroom. By adding a shelf here, we were able to move the bath towels closer to the bathroom. Several old blankets were donated, and we used large sweater bags from The Container Store to keep items clean and organized in the closet. Finally, we made use of the space under his bed and stored some of the linens that were not frequently used in the Underbed Containers from The Container Store.

Do you have a creative way you store linens? How many blankets and sheets do you think you should have for each bed in your home? Please share your comments below.

If you’ve missed the first four videos in this how-to video series, please review these posts. If you have any questions about the process, or if you get stuck, please let us know by leaving a comment below.

Organizing Your Closet – A How-To Series

Organizing Your Closet – Measuring and Planning Your New Closet

Closet Organizing – Removing the Old Closet

Closet Organizing – How to Sort & Downsize Your Closet Clutter

3 Tips to Turn the Bedroom into an Organized Retreat & Beat The Bedroom Blues

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

A cluttered home adds to the stress of daily life, and most often when we tackle organizing our home, we focus on the public rooms, such as the kitchen and family room, because we fear the dreaded unannounced guest. We often neglect the bedrooms. It’s easy to close the bedroom door, but at the end of the day, we are restless in our cluttered bedrooms.

Do you find that when you enter your bedroom that you are faced with a mound of clothes, a mess on the nightstand, and a pile of shoes on the floor? And each day you finally force yourself out of bed, are you rushed in the mornings searching through piles for something clean and wrinkle-free to wear?  If so, here are three easy, cost-effective tips to help you organize your bedroom.

Art of Storage, Clothes Valet

Get clothes off the floor. If you find yourself throwing clothes on the floor or using the treadmill as your closet, then add a bedroom valet or garment holder to your room. The accessories provide an easy way to preserve and organize your clothes until you are ready to put them away. The racks in The Art of Storage collection are affordable and stylish. These storage pieces features six loops at varying heights to allow for versatile garment draping options and the valet also includes a non-slip pants holder and coin tray.

De-clutter every surface. Overcrowding the surfaces of your dressers and nightstands with knick-knacks presents a cluttered look and makes it more difficult to dust. Select the top two or three non-essential items that are special to you to feature in your bedroom. The others can go into storage, be displayed in another room or maybe be rotated every few months. Remember – less is more.

Use under-the-bed space. Store out-of-season clothes and other items in containers made of plastic, canvas, or wood. Plastic containers are ideal if you have the ability to stack them. If you store linens in wood boxes, opt for cedar, which helps deter moths. Line the containers with plain unbleached muslin to counter the wood’s acidity and protect your linens. Use canvas bags that zip shut for delicate items such as cashmere sweaters, which need circulating air. Make sure all clothing and blankets are cleaned before storing.

A peaceful, clutter-free bedroom is ideal for a restful night’s sleep and piles of clothes don’t create the relaxing oasis you desire. A basic rule of thumb for clothing is if it is clean enough to wear again, it’s clean enough to hang up. Using The Art of Storage valet is a perfect way to store the clothes you’ll wear again soon and the coin tray is a convenient place to empty your pockets at the end of the day.

Beating the bedroom blues is possible – and once you tackle this task, you’ll feel the results immediately. Everyone deserves a calm and peaceful place to relax and re-energize.

Closet Organizing – How to Sort & Downsize Your Closet Clutter

Monday, July 6th, 2009

This is the fourth video in a nine-part series of “How to Organize Your Closet Like a Pro”.  In this 5 minute video, I’ll show you how a professional organizer sorts through clutter found in a closet.  Treasurers buried in this closet include an old “Born To Kvetch” desk calendar, tons of stationary, $150 of new gift cards, unopened mail, magazines, unused electronics, trash, you name it! We’ll sort these items into suggested three categories; Keep, Donate, and Trash. The homeowner will need to review the piles we’ve sorted and make the final decisions on what items he’ll keep. The bottom line, most of what we found in the various bins did not belong in his bedroom closet.

Additionally, in this video, I highlight a photo scanning service called, Scan My Photos. They’ll scan approximately 2000, 4″ x 6″ photos at 300 DPI and return them to you with a DVD of the images for $124.95. Check here for the full details on this service. Scan My Photos isn’t the only memory preservation company available online. In a future blog post, I’ll do a side-by-side comparison of this company with similar vendors.

I hope you’re enjoying this how-to video series.  If you missed the prior three videos in the “How to Organize Your Closet Like A Pro” series, you can view the following posts.

Organizing Your Closet – A How-To Series

Organizing Your Closet – Measuring and Planning Your New Closet

Closet Organizing – Removing the Old Closet

Closet Organizing – Removing The Old Closet

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

This is the third video in a nine-part series of “How to Organize Your Closet Like a Pro”. In this 2 minute 40 second video, I’ll cover the tools necessary to remove the existing shelf and pole.  We’re prepping this closet for a new elfa® system from The Container Store.  The video show you step-by-step how to remove the basic shelf and pole system found in most homes and to patch the holes.  Additionally, I cover the tools you need to do this quickly and safely.  This is a must watch for any person who wants to install a new closet system them self.

If you missed the first two videos in this series of “How to Organize Your Closet Like A Pro”, you can view them here.

Organizing Your Closet – A How-To Series

Organizing Your Closet – Measuring and Planning Your New Closet

Get Organized & Save Money

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Oprah has once again teamed up with the awesome folks at The Container Store to offer you 25% off everything in the store now through, Sunday, July 12.  You’ll need to download this coupon to take in to the store or to use online.  Be sure to measure your spaces and make your shopping list before you go.  Know what you’re shopping for so you don’t buy items that clutter your living space.