Every woman dreams about the perfect closet! One where you feel like you are shopping in your favorite boutique yet everything is free and in your size! As a closet-organizer, I know the impact that a well designed and well organized closet has on a client’s life. Each day just starts out better, as you are able to choose and accessorize the perfect outfit in a well-lit and glamorous space. When I organize closets for my clients we can make huge improvements by just editing and re-organizing the contents. But sometimes a closet needs more TLC thank I can give it. Sometimes a closet needs to be re-modeled.
I recently met a wonderful woman, Martha Dahlman, and a local business event. When she told me where she worked I said that I had to come and visit her at work. She took me on a tour of the Tailored Living showroom. As a closet organizer I was like a kid in a candy store! As a woman I was like a kid in a candy store! I didn’t want to leave. I would have been happy just curling up near the granite-covered closet island with the build in ironing board and staying there for hours.
The first thing that caught my eye was the array of finishes and moldings available to customize your dream closet. The second thing that caught my eye were the lighted clothing racks. I am dying for them! Have you ever been in your own closet trying searching for a particular black sweater in a sea of black sweaters? No more struggling to find anything when you have racks with lighting in them. When you turn them on, they softly light the tops of all of your clothing hung on the hangers. Then the lights automatically turn off for you. Dreamy!
Tailored Living offers a myriad of designs, finishes and services for almost every room in your house. I even got an eye-full of the possible makeovers for my garage and kitchen. I was inspired for sure! I recently had a home-decor client of mine ask if I knew of anyone that designs custom Hide-a-beds, or Murphy bed. Well, I do now. Yes, Tailored Living can do that too.
Clearly I was in heaven. But don’t take my word for it. Learn more at Tailored Living on Facebook, Tailored Living on-line, or stop in for a visit. If you are in the DC area they are conveniently located near the Reston Town Center. Tell them Meredith sent you! And if you decide to upgrade your closet you may just get my organizing services thrown in for free! Ask Martha for details.
See you in your new closet!
Can you use a closet makeover? If you answered “Yes!” you are not alone. I recently received a comment on this very blog from a woman named Jill. She was inquiring about my closet services and hoped to have me out to her home to organize her closet. After exchanging a few emails we scheduled an appointment and I met her at her house. We got right to work.
Jill has a great sense of style and knows what colors and styles look great on her so we didn’t spend too much time on those topics. We spent most of our time analyzing the clothes she has and loves, discussing their condition and new ways to wear them. Some clothing got sent to a “dry clean” pile because I may have detected a spot or stain. Some got sent to a “charity” pile. These items were ones that she no longer is enjoying yet they still have life left in them. That way she can bless someone less fortunate with her still-wearable clothes.
The clothes we were left with were those that she still enjoys wearing and that still look great on her. We organized them in a logical way in her closet. I recommend hanging items in “like groups”. I put her tanks and blouses together in order of sleeve legnth, color, and whether it’s for work or play. We started on one end with tanks, then short sleeves, then long. We hung her “work only” clothing in one area. As some shirts could be work on both occasions, those were hung with her everyday shirts. The end goal is that when she is getting dressed she can ignore the “work only” clothing and go straight to the everyday clothing.
We stored out of season clothing in a corner of the closet so that the first clothes she sees are those that she will wear most often. She had a great hanging accessory organizer. We purged that as well as a shoe bin.
My goal is always to leave my clients with a new happy place…their newly organized closet. My wish is that each morning their closet greets them like a new best friend waiting to meet them for coffee. I want getting dressed to be effortless and accessorizing a breeze.
I just heard from Jill and she is enjoying her new closet. She said she enjoyed having me and may have me back as the season’s change to do the same thing to her winter wardrobe. Did I mention she is smart too? -Meredith
DETANGLE, PURGE and ORGANIZE!
How is everyone doing? I hope you are ready for another challenge! We are organizing our jewelry today! Let’s dive right in and start detangling!
I love the look of a perfectly coordinated outfit, right down to the rings on your fingers. But accessorizing can be a hassle, adding extra time to your morning routine trying to find the mate to an earring or realizing that the scarf you wanted to wear is crumpled up in the bottom of your scarf drawer. If things are out in the open and arranged nicely it’s easy to add accessories and to give you a polished look.
I use belt and tie racks to arrange necklaces and scarves. They hang items without getting tangled or wrinkled. And I can see them all at once so I can grab one and go! I put silver/cool toned necklaces on one side and gold/warm tones on the other which saves me time while I am hunting for just the right pieces.
Jewelry hanging organizers are great for earrings, rings, bracelets, pins and hair accessories. I color coordinate each side as well so that means I only have to look in one area for what I need.
I recommend you make a special place near your kitchen to place your most worn jewelry, either a corner of a drawer or maybe a cute tray on a counter. I put ring holders near all the sinks I frequent for hand washing so my rings are not misplaced or washed down the drain. Having ring holders or cute, decorative trays to hold your jewelry makes it easy to find your fave’s and they will never be misplaced.
Remember, purge and get rid of the pieces you don’t use or need anymore. Donate them to someone who will treasure your treasures! -Meredith
My brushes at a shoot with Goodhart Photography.
Treat yourself to a more organized life! This is our third post in our organization challenge for 2013. You are doing so well! Don’t stop now. Keep baby-stepping forward. If you are just joining us now, you can easily jump in. Just start where we are and when you are done with this step, go scroll down and look at the last posts.
We started by purging up to 10 items from our closets. And then donating them to a friend or someone in need. The second challenge was to dare to look under your bed. Cleaning our the dark corners of our lives really frees us. Peace is our goal!
Organizing our makeup is our next challenge.
Please clean out your drawers, bins, baskets and Kaboodles! It’s time to get rid of anything that is crusty, discolored, or has an odor that should not be there. Make up has a shelf life and once it is expired it can be unhealthy, growing bacteria that you do not want to come into contact with your face.
As you go though your makeup consider this – dry products last longer than liquid or cream products. I always encourage clients to ditch their mascaras once they no longer seem moist and smooth. If your mascara is cakey and dry then it is past it’s prime.
If you use applicators that come with the products they should be washed whenever the makeup buildup prevents the makeup from going on smoothly. If at all possible, I recommend you trashing them and treating yourself to a makeup brush instead. Weather you have a Target, Ulta, and makeup counter budget, you can find a brush that works for you. Check out my previous post on how to keep them clean: Makeup Brush Care.
Look for anything that appears to have changed color or texture or smell since you bought it. Don’t worry about how long you have had it. It’s more about the condition it is in today. I have had some eye shadows for years and some mascaras only last a few weeks. Good luck and invite your friends to do this with you! Please click below on the Facebook tab and share this post on your Facebook page. We need to encourage each other. I would love it if all us girls were getting more organized together! Especially the teens and tweens! Leave me a comment so I can hear how this is going! -Meredith
New Year – New Closet! Stay with me friends! We can do this! Each week I am going to encourage you to address another part of your life! Even if your home is not cluttered, everyone can use a nudge to re-organize some part of their life. In my last post I encouraged us all to remove a few unused items from our closets. I hope you all gave it a shot. Getting dressed each morning in an organized room or closet is such a great way to start the day!
This time I encourage you to clean under your bed! I know, it can be scary! But if you are someone that stores things under your bed I want you to revisit that dark and dusty space and clean it out a bit. This week take a few minutes to pull things out and sort out the items into 2 piles: keep and donate. Try to get rid of about 25% of what is under there. Store the rest back under the bed. Utilizing under the bed space is a wise use of space but it needs to be cleaned from time to time. Hopefully knowing there is now less stuff under the bed will help you sleep even better tonight!
Take what you don’t need and donate it to a friend who could use a treat, or give it to a person in need. Well done everyone! Check back next week so we can keep up the great work!
Happy New Year! I love the feeling of a fresh start, where hope springs eternal! Ideas of revamping your life abound! Yet, the reality of implementing them can be elusive. That got me thinking. The things I have had success with in my life are those that I gave myself to completely. I thought that this year I will attempt to serve as your Life Style Coach! I want to walk you through the steps of organizing and re-designing your life, well, the parts that you would like to make more organized and more stylish that is. With a coach at your side I believe that you can reach those stylish and organized goals that you have for yourself. And I want you to start with baby-steps.
The best place to start is in your closet. I want you to have an “ahhhhhh” feeling when you open your closet doors. Many of you dread each morning because you know you have a closet full of clothes yet you have nothing to wear! Your closet should be a blessing to you! I want you to open your closet and be at peace because you are able to easily find a flattering, well fitting outfit that you can accessorize with ease!
So, if you are ready, I would like to give you your first assignment.
This week, take a few minutes and remove 1-10 items from your closet that you no longer enjoy. There is no peace or joy when your closet is too full or it contains items that no longer serve you well. I want you to let go and get rid of 1 to 10 items of your choice. I suggest you use ask yourself “does this item bring me joy?” (it could be a shirt, a pair of shoes, an old sweater, a necklace you never wear, etc). If the answer is “no” then I am asking you to let it go. Consider giving it to a friend, a church or charity that could use the item(s). It feels amazing to know that the next time you go into your closet it will be less crowded, and that you will have blessed someone in the mean time.
You have one week! Please post your results! I will continue to walk with you and challenge you in different ways this year, all with the goal of a more stylish and organized life! Remember, baby-steps! We have an entire year to reach your goals! A new, more beautifully dressed, less stressed you awaits! -Meredith
Some say that accessories make the outfit. I know that I feel more put together when I am well accessorized. But I don’t always make time to add finishing touches. All of that changed when I bought a few key organization pieces. Now that things are organized and I can see what I have I can add key pieces in an instant.
I use a tie hanger for necklaces. A jewelry organizer from an accessory store is great for small pieces like earrings, pendants and pins. A few S-hooks are perfect for a few belts. And a felt lined scarf holder keeps my scarves organized without being wrinkled. I have a jewelry organizer with bigger pockets for bracelets and flowers that I use as hair accessories.
My super-chic girlfriend has a fantastic collection of jewelry. She uses similar jewelry organizers. Her organizers are juicy – stuffed to the brim with all kinds of treasures.
It’s time to get your accessories out of the drawers and bins so you can see them and get accessorized in an instant! -Meredith
A long-term client of mine is starting a new business venture and she hired me to come into her closet to style her wardrobe. I discussed her new position with her and we determined that her new position calls for her to be chic but not trendy, conservative but not boring, feminine but not flirty. Tasked with the job to style a few fabulous outfits from her current wardrobe, I went to work.
We started each look with an item I call an “anchor piece”. The anchor piece is the item of clothing around which all other pieces of the look are chosen. This can be a person’s favorite piece that they wear all of the time like a basic blazer. It can also be an item that has a lot of style or personality but doesn’t get worn often because it’s not clear how it should be styled. That means a waste of money, which I hate! So I was determined to utilize all of her strong, anchor pieces, whether they be her favorites or just pieces that I knew would make a statement.
Take a minute to take a close look at your own closet. Identify your anchor pieces. Make sure clothing is clean and that there are no visible signs of wear and tear. If there are, take them to a dry cleaner and or tailor to see if they can be freshened up or fixed.
This goes for jewelry as well. I love costume jewelry because it is a quick and affordable way to add style and trends to your personal style. But costume jewelry can often show wear and tear after just a few wearings. I did ask my client to pick up a few great jewelry pieces like a pair of silver and a pair of gold large, slim hoop earrings, a few cuffs, and fun statement pieces like a large, whimsical ring, to up the “diva ante” on an otherwise conservative outfit.
Needless to say she was thrilled and she felt like she had a new wardrobe. I left her with these photos, snapped with her phone, of each pairing so that she could see them easily and get dressed without stress. -Meredith
Am I the only one who cleans out my kitchen pantry only to find that I have 4 bottles of ketchup? When I am disorganized I tend to buy too much of one item because I can’t see that I already own a few. The same thing happens in my closet because when i am disorganized I forge to wear the things I can’t find which is a waste of time and money!
Prioritizing yourself, your closet and your wardrobe can ultimately save you time and money. Each time I organize a closet, the client feedback inevitably includes, “I had no idea I had so many pairs of jeans”, or “I had no idea i had so many necklaces….”. When a client can stand at her closet and look in and see her clothing organized by item and color that means they can choose a well styled outfit quickly and easily. They can see their entire wardrobe all at once, which means items will have a better chance at being used and enjoyed, making the most of your money.
When you know what you have – you know what you need. My clients can shop with confidence knowing exactly what they own and what they may have over purchased or where they may have gaps in their wardrobe. I always gently encourage my clients to donate any items they are no longer enjoying, either because it no longer suits their style or because they have too many of one item to get enjoyment from each. Based on the items that still work in their wardrobe I make suggestions on what to add, giving my clients confidence that the money they do spend in the future will be on the right pieces. My recommended future purchases will round out their wardrobes, maximizing the items they already have and enjoying getting dressed with ease. -Meredith
My closet client had a closet full of treasures! When I arrived it was in disarray and when I left it looked like a boutique!
My client’s main goal for hiring me was to feel peace again when she looks at her closet. She got her wish! Her closet is now organized in categories, just like a boutique, making getting dressed a joy! Watching a closet go from piles of clothing to your favorite place to shop is so rewarding. I am confident my client will enjoy peaceful mornings waking up to this closet!
After (just a few bins left to fill)
We started by organizing the loose piles of clothing. Then we went through the hanging items. We sorted everything into piles for different purposes. Some clothing stays in the closet, some goes into personal storage for either the next season or the next size you plan to be. Other clothing is set aside for charity donation and yet others are for consigning. Some go to the cleaners to see if set in stains can be removed and if not successfully cleaned they will not be allowed back into the closet. Some clothes that are stained or damaged beyond repair go straight to the trash.
Below is a before picture.
Next stop, her dresser drawers! -Meredith