Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Organizing Tips for September

This month marks a shift in the thinking and planning for many of us.  Summer vacations are behind us, we look forward to cooler temperatures and we plan for the upcoming holidays.  Below are some strategies to help us make in organizing clothing, bedrooms and closets.

Most of us have attachments to our clothing, especially those that were expensive.  I have had great success with a local consignment store and recommend them.  It is less hassle than a yard sale and you will get some return on your financial investment. 

Of course, I also recommend donating to worthy charities.  Not only will you make your space more livable, but you will be helping those who simply cannot afford purchasing clothing otherwise.  It will be a double blessing!
o       In the closet, remove all empty hangers first.  Look at each piece of clothing and make a decision to sort as follows:
o       It fits, I wear it—leave it in the closet
o       It does not fit—donate/sell pile.  It will probably be out of style when it does fit.
o       It needs repair--if it is useful, place in a repair pile.  If not repaired in one month, remove it.
o       I do not wear it or like it—donate/sell pile
o       I am not sure--place in separate pile, label and date.  If not worn in one year, donate/sell.
o       Clean the closet area, and reconfigure the rods, shelves if needed or desired.
o       Additional hanging space can be made by installing an adjustable hanging rod.
o       Replace wire hangers with more suitable ones but save a few if needed in garment bags when traveling.  Orderly Places has a tip sheet on types of closet hangers.
o       On closet shelves, clamp on dividers can be used to separate clothing or they can be placed in suitable containers.
o       Use hanging racks for the backs of doors or on rods to store bulky or specialty items.
o       As you return items, sort the clothes you will wear and keep by type-blouses, pants, dresses, skirts, etc. Sub sort these by colors as much as possible.  Place items worn together with each other.  This makes it easier to know what you have and find items easier.
o       Look at what you have and make a list of items you really need but are not there for future purchases.  Determine to buy only what is on your list.  One suggestion is to limit the number of prints and multi color designs and use mainly solids.  This allows more flexibility in creating outfits and using accessories.
o       Clothing in drawers or chests or on shelving should be organized with the same process as with closets.  Use dividers or containers to separate categories, colors, etc. in the drawers.
o       Some clothing can be rolled rather than folded to make sorting and access easier.
o       Shoes can be stored on hanging sorters or under shorter clothing in racks or shelves.  If they are stored in boxes, use clear plastic or label with pictures or descriptions.  I also recommend sturdy under the bed containers for off season shoes.
o       Evaluate the accessories you have to determine if they are still usable.  I had quite a collection of scarves back when Oprah made them popular and finally gave them up after taking my own advice.  If they ever make a comeback, they will be different, I am sure.

Additional unrelated tips:
In the next month or so, stock up on cold and flu products.  It is often difficult to find those you prefer when they are needed most.

This is a good time to purchase a calendar/planner if you use the write in type.  I prefer one that shows a week at a glance with the days divided into hourly spaces.  This is one of the best ways to schedule, plan and use time to the greatest use since you can see available hours in each day.

As much as I hate it, now is the time to plan for the holidays.  Pencil in some activities, gifts, meals, etc. in your planner.  More tips will follow in the months to come.