return to previous page
Together: Summer Organizing Tips
Cape Cod Parent and Child
June • July 2006
By Nicole Gabai
President of B. Organized!
Yay! You made
it through the winter and your coats and winter gear are now neatly
tucked away for the season, right? Now you’ve pulled out all the
light-weight summer jackets, the beach towels, the flip-flops and
beach bags, right? Excellent! Now where will it all go? There’s
probably lot’s of visitors coming and going all summer long and
there are inevitably lots of items to keep track of.
approach this new season here are a few pointers to keep in mind:
-The use of
“zones” is very important, no matter what area you are
organizing. It’s a way to categorize sections of your home so that
order is in groups which are then broken down into manageable
containers. This allows for a logical system that your kids and
guests can follow.
to mark containers where possible will be helpful to everyone. A
simple label-maker is a great way to create a system that lasts.
along the wall are a great place to hang damp towels. In the winter,
this area can be used for hanging coats and outerwear.
Most of the
messy closets I have seen in my 8 years of organizing for a living
are caused by the same basic problems: people don’t put things
away properly when they are in a hurry and they tend to collect lots
of unused items.
only wear 20% of the clothes in their closets, so the very first
thing you want to get a handle on when organizing your entry closet
is the “sorting” process. Hold up each jacket and ask yourself
“Do I actually wear this?” and ask the same question for your
kids clothes. “Do I love it? Does it love me? Is it flattering? Is
it in good condition and still in style?” These are all key
questions to ask yourself.
It helps to
get a friend involved in this process with you. A friend will keep
you motivated and focused and keep you from getting distracted when
you find that old box of photos under the shoes and tossed sweaters.
a mudroom, you can turn a back entry or a side or garage entry
way into an efficient mudroom with the right accessories: a
peg rack on the wall is perfect for backpacks to dog leashes
and it’s kid accessible when installed 28 inches from the
floor. Keep umbrellas, baseball bats or other sporting gear
out from underfoot by using an extra-large galvanized umbrella
stand from the Container Store, $49. Shoes and boots are
easily organized on sturdy stackable chrome racks for $40 from
Hold Everything. Dirt and snow stay at the door with a steel
doormat, $38 from the Museum of Useful Things.
the summer months, place a large container on the back porch
or put by the pool. Make sure it’s big enough to hold all
your children’s outdoor toys and insist on a daily clean up
a cooler with ice, drinks, snacks and wipes so the kids don’t
need to go in and out of the house as much.
up an outdoor supply box filled with hats, caps, sunscreen,
sunglasses, extra flip flops, towels, bug repellent and a
small first aid kit. Keep it near the door.
sure to set aside at least 5-10 minutes at the end of the day
figure out what you’re keeping, put the piles into categories that
you can hang together. Blazers and light jackets should hang
together as should windbreakers and rain gear. A good way to sort
and hang each member of the family’s jackets separately is to use
your label-maker and print a long label with each person’s name on
it and attach that to the top of a hanger as a place holder.
Most of us
have a mismatched assortment of hangers, plastic, wire cheapies from
the dry cleaners or sturdy wooden ones. When lined up together, the
different sizes and styles actually encourage a mess because all
your clothes sit differently on the hangers. If you can afford it,
buy matching hangers – it will make all the difference in the
world. The uniformity makes your closet look more organized
season is all about shorter jackets and cover-ups, you want to
maximize your floor space and leave room for shoe shelves below.
Ideally, you want to look for flat shelves, which come in 2 shelf
tall styles on which you can place two units on top of each other
and add more side by side as needed. This is the best way to store
flip flops, sandals and even athletic shoes. Horizontal metal racks
are OK too, just make sure to avoid the kind where the shoes fit
over a bended metal wire. Those tend to be very cumbersome and hard
to place and remove shoes. Also, they don’t allow you to maximize
the height under the jackets.
between the top shelf and ceiling is often wasted. You can maximize
the height in the closet by adding a shelf or shelf dividers on the
existing shelf so items such as baseball caps and beach hats can be
piled up and wont topple over. You can also use a couple of clear
drawers stacked on top of each other. I love these because they make
it easy to identify what’s inside. The plastic drawers are also
great in the winter months for storing mittens, hats and gloves.
Very important: remember to measure your space very carefully before
you go out and buy any containers! You will avoid extensive returns.
door is excellent for added storage. Use pocket bags for suntan
lotions, storing extra flip flops and any other small items and you
can hang your beach bags on the outside of the closet door by
applying hooks to the back of the door.
checklists are great to help family members remember those
last-minute items they need to take with them as the walk out the
door, ie: keys, wallet, backpack, lunch, briefcase.
THE SAND IN
outside the house by placing a small tub of water by the door for
rinsing feet before you go inside. Keep a towel handy to dry off and
keep a plastic tray by the door as you walk in the house from the
beach for all flip flops and beach shoes.
sunny weather and the much anticipated days outdoors! The lazy days
of summer don’t have to become the messy days of summer. A few
basic tools and containers are all you need to keep everyone in sync
with your warm weather system.
organizing and happy summer!
Gabai is the president and founder of B. Organized!, a company
specializing in innovative solutions for your home (including
basements and attics), office (especially paper intensive
environments) and children’s rooms. The company also handles
moves and relocations. She has owned the company for seven years
and was previously based in New York City. She is now based in
Falmouth and can be reached at
email@example.com or 508.532.2715. In addition to working
closely with her clients, providing customized solutions, Nicole
also presents workshops and seminars on how to get yourself
organized. Her work is widely recognized throughout the northeast,
from Maine to New York, Connecticut and New Jersey to Tennessee
and Miami and internationally in Peru and Mexico.
return to previous page