Sunday, August 30, 2015

Organization 101

I've mentioned my Aunt Deb several times before on the blog, but today she'll be taking center stage as we take her crash course on organization.

Before we get started, though, I just have to say a few things.

I have always loved organizing.  Color-coding.  Things lined up.  A place for everything and everything in its place.

I definitely get it from my Aunt Deb.  Ever since I can remember, she has been a pro organizer.  She has systems in place, labels on everything, and a knack for making it all look pretty while still functional.

She's lived in several homes, and all of them have been super duper organized from top to bottom.  I was always in awe.  I loved just walking around looking at all the organization.  It made me giddy, and it still does.

Recently, she downsized from a 2700 square foot house to a 1200 square foot apartment (temporarily, as she'll be relocating to sunny Florida soon!).  This downsize was surely a challenge, but she nailed it -- and I have proof.

I asked her if she'd mind if I shared some pictures of her work, along with any other tips and tricks she swears by.

My Aunt Deb loves to shop like I do (well, probably more), and she loves her clothes, make-up, and accessories.  She's always been super stylish and perfectly put together.

In her last home, her closet was literally a room, which was perfect for her.  She was able to keep her clothes for all seasons in there.

Her apartment closet obviously isn't nearly as big, but she's made it work.

I mean, don't her clothes look beautiful?  I love how she uses all of the same color/style of hangers.  Just makes it look so pretty.  And she has space between her clothes.  I need that.  I shove everything together and then struggle every time I try to pull something out.

When I asked her about how she organizes her closet, she gave me a detailed explanation.

She sorts by style and color.  With her tops, she first separates them into categories: sleeveless, short sleeve, long sleeve.  Second, she sorts by color.

Other categories include office clothes (dresses, skirts, slacks, suits), casual clothes (jeans, slacks, tops, and play/workout clothes.

She uses those awesome, thin, velvet-y hangers that you can find at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, T.J. Maxx, Marshall's, and HSN.  I have a set of them and LOVE them, but I definitely need more.

Aunt Debbie swears by these stacking shelves, too, as you can see in one of the earlier pictures. These make it easier to access all of your clothes so you don't have to pull a huge pile down looking for something.  It keeps the stacks neatly in place, too.

These sorter cubbies can be used for a variety of things -- anything from your accessories like scarves and purses to your shoes.

Here's one of Aunt Deb's in action:

I really should get something like that for my flip flops and sandals.  I like the idea of being able to easily see the shoes.  If I don't see them, I won't wear them.

Okay -- moving on.

My Aunt Deb actually uses a vanity to put her make-up on in the AM instead of the bathroom.  For her, the bathroom mirror is too far away.  She told me that she needs that vanity space to get ready in the morning.

Her vanity has three drawers:

1)  blush and lipsticks
2)  eye shadows
3)  mascara, cotton swabs, some brushes.

Her bathroom, though, is still quite functional.  She uses dividers and containers to keep things sorted.

Below her bathroom sinks are turntables (aka "lazy Susans") and shoebox-type containers.

Here's her linen closet, also very organized:

And her laundry area:

And her bedside table.  So pretty and quaint.

I don't have any pictures of her desk area (I can get some, though!), but -- as you can imagine -- that's also organized.  She told me that she LOVES her two-drawer file cabinet because, in her words, she's a "filing nut."  She categories there as well: income tax, medical, investments, bills, warranties/receipts/invoices, important documents, etc.

She also told me that she believes few rooms should be without a clothes tree.  For example, in her spare workroom, it holds her ironing and mending.  It can hold school bags, sports bags, etc.

See it there on the right?

Her best piece of advice?  "Bottom line -- have a container for everything!"

Her organization puts mine to shame.  I have a lot of work to do... like looking for a clothes tree - ha! (Where do they sell those things?)  I'd also love to hear what some of your best organizational tips are.

In other news, we all start our official first day of school tomorrow.  I still can't believe today is our end of summer.  Soon our Sundays will be full of menu planning, grocery shopping, lunch preparations, etc.  Yuck.

Anyway, hope the rest of your weekend is fun!


1 comment:

  1. Wow, 2700 square feet down to 1200 and she's that organized?! My living space would look like a disaster! I need to do some major purging and do an organization overhaul.