Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Master Bedroom Closet Makeover--Part 2

After MUCH research of different closet systems, my husband and I decided to put a hold on this closet remodel project. It is very expensive and we weren't sure what exactly we wanted. We will attempt to do this again come this winter. So now I organized the closet with what items we have on hand now. I bought nothing new.

These are the steps I have taken so far:

Organizing a closet this size with this much in it, was going to be a multi-step project. The first step was to take before pics and make a plan. After the before pictures were taken, my next step was to go through each item, getting rid of clothes and shoes that my husband and I no longer wear. I made three piles: sell, donate, and throw away. For me, this took about 1-2 hours.

Next I started with the top shelf. I reorganized my husband's sweaters, sweatshirts, and t-shirts. I made two folded stacks of sweaters, two folded stacks of sweaters, and several stacks of like-color t-shirts. I labeled each stack by sticking a label below on the shelf marking what the pile had in it. This was mainly so my husband could keep things organized as well. He has about 3/4 of the top shelf for his items. The other 1/4 of the top shelf has my sweaters and t-shirts. I have my sweaters folded in stacks of hooded sweaters, turtlenecks, warmer sweaters, light sweaters, etc. I have my stacks labeled as well the same as my husband's (see pictures). For the summer my sweaters are the top shelf, and in winter I put them where my shorts and summer bottoms are kept.
After the entire top wrap around shelf was neat and organized, I went to the shelves in our closet. The top shelf had my husband's jeans and khakis on them. I decided to hang my husband's pants and khakis because he would make a mess of the stacks finding the pair he wanted. I used that top shelf now for my husband's work clothes (pants and t-shirts), again labeled.
The next two shelves had my sweaters on them. Now they have been moved for the summer to the wrap around shelf in the closet. The one shelf has my work-out shorts, capris, and long pants on them, labeled. The next shelf down has my shorts and summer cardigans, labeled. The bottom shelf has my jeans and capri jeans on it. I have not organized this shelf yet, and it will be talked about in part three of the closet makeover.

I also used my husband's tie hanger for my scarves. My husband no longer has a job that requires him to wear ties, and MANY were outdated. The ones that we kept, I hung on a regular hanger. The belts that we kept are hung on a regular hanger, one for my husband's belts and two for mine.

Wrap-around shelf, (left to right) my husband's t-shirts color-coordinated, my t-shirts, my sweaters. Please note that each stack is labeled.

More detailed picture of my sweaters and labels.

My hanger with scarves on it, top shelf with work-out clothes and next shelf with shorts and cardigans on it.

Top shelf, my husband's work pants, t-shirts, and caps. Next shelf my work-out shorts, capris, leggings, and long pants.

Wrap-around shelf, my husband's sweatshirts, lounge pants, sweaters, and sweatshirts. Please note labels. Also, hanging are my husband's khakis and jeans.

What I have done so far took me approximately 3-4 hours. Please see pictures above for details on my progress. I am now working on the rest of things, which will probably take me two more posts to finish.
By tackling small sections, it helped me to not get over-whelmed by the amount of work it is taking to overhaul our closet. Moreover, you can start and stop more easily and work on this project over several weeks, if needed.
If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, TAKE A BREAK!!!
When you have finished your closet project, you will be much less stressed and feel better that you are organized and can find things easily!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Organized Travel--Packing Tips

My family and I travel frequently and sometimes at the last moment! I have a system for making it easier and faster to pack for our family trips. Please keep in mind that my husband and I have two children, ages 9 and 1. Here are the things that I do to keep traveling organized:

  1. Luggage/bags: I keep our large luggage and travel bags in one spot in our basement. If you do not have a basement, store them anywhere you have extra space. Place smaller bags inside larger ones to take up less space. I keep our smaller weekend/overnight travel bags in our master bedroom closet. It makes it easy for last minute road trips.
  2. Childrens' Toiletries: For the children, I have a small basket with their travel needs in it. I put their things into a small, clear pouch. I try to use refillable, travel-size containers whenever possible. Some things I keep in the pouch are travel-size shampoo, body wash, body powder, vaseline, and diaper rash cream. I have a thermometer and medicine dropper in it as well. I also put any medicine in there that either of the boys may need. You never know when they can get sick! I try to always plan ahead!
  3. Adults' Toiletries: I do the same thing for us. I have travel necessities in a clear zip-lock bag. I usually end up bringing the large version of shampoo, etc. for us. For me it just seems easier, especially on longer trips.
  4. Childrens' Clothes: A few days before we leave, I check the weather to the destination that we are going. This helps me prepare what to pack. I lay the boys' clothing out by outfits into neat stacks. Each stack represents one day. I try to pack clothing that can mix with different outfits.
  5. Adults' Clothes: I am the worst at overpacking! I have learned now that traveling with children, I really needed to downsize my own clothing and shoes! Now I plan all my outfits, including shoes and jewerly, and lay them into neat stacks just like the boys' clothes. I try to stick to a similar color scheme with interchangable pieces for different outfits. This helps me to only pack a few pairs of shoes verses needing a separate piece of luggage just for my shoes! My husband seems to never overpack and usually takes up the least amount space of all of us!
  6. Misc.: About a week before we leave, I make a list of items that I can potentially forget. The day before we leave, I check off the items off my list. If they are not in the luggage, they go in a pile near the door. Items such as, passports, cell phone chargers, camera chargers, any documents needed, diaper bag, baby front carrier, etc. go in the pile near the door.

I am very organized, so usually finding things at the last minute are easy for me. I rarely forget anything! If you keep the travel items in the same area all the time, you will not have to search for anything. This makes last minute travel a breeze and not stressful at all! If you have any other tips you would like to share, please post a comment!