Archive for the ‘General Organizing Tips’ Category

Complete List of Spring Decluttering and Organizing Project

By CSC - March 20th, 2017

Wiping surface down with cleaner

Spring is here! This is a time when many people begin decluttering, organizing, and cleaning. To help you make the most of your time, we’ve compiled a list of project ideas to complete to get your home in tip-top order. Find tips organized by area below.

In the Kitchen

Scrub off grime and dirt and get organized in your pantry. Get more information on each project by clicking the link.

Fridge and Freezer Declutter and Organizing: Say goodbye to freezer burns and make room for spring crops. Get tips to declutter and organize your fridge and freezer.

10 Tips for a Better-Organized Kitchen: In ten easy steps and you’ll have a kitchen that makes cooking easy.

3 Projects to Get Your Kitchen Organized: Tackle these three pantry projects to make it easy to find spices, ingredients, and tools.

Organized custom closet in white

In Bedrooms

Bedroom closets are often another source of frustration. It’s a great time to switch out seasonal clothes, mend items, and declutter unworn clothing and accessories!

Organizing a Kid’s Closet: Get your whole family organized this spring. Start in your child’s closet with these tips.

Shoe Storage Tips: Shoes, shoes, and more shoes. If you love shoes, you’ll want to see how to make the most of your space.

Linen Clear Out: Pay attention to your linen closet. Spend a few minutes sorting things out and check it off your to-do list.

Lighting: Being able to see your space is key to staying organized. Find out how to light your closet.

In the Office

Get a Clutter-Free Home Office: Stay focused and re-evaluate your home office. Find tips to get a clutter-free office.

7 Tasks to an Organized Office: Start making a habit out of staying organized. Find seven projects to organize your home office.

Quick Office Organization: Short on time? You still have plenty of time to get organized. Find quick tasks here.

Entryway & Outdoor Areas

Spring is an ideal time to clean your entryway and prepare your yard for get-togethers.

Entryway Spruce Up: Doing a quick spruce up could be all you need to fix up your entryway.

Organizing Your Shed: Simple steps to take to a more organized shed.

customized garage cabinet organizer

Miscellaneous Areas & Tips

The Medicine Cabinet: This area can often become neglected over time. Luckily, this easy decluttering project can get you organized fast.

Easy Purge: Don’t know where to start decluttering? This article is for you!

Visual Decluttering Project: Clutter can be more than physical stuff. Cut down on the visual clutter with this how-to.

Closet & Storage Concepts is proud to offer quality custom closet, pantry, office, and Murphy bed products. Find a location near you to get started.

Top photo: © Choreograph.

Organizing Resolutions to Work Towards in 2017

By - December 31st, 2016

Getting in shape or eating better are common resolutions for the New Year, but have you considered making a resolution to get organized? Doing so can help you make the most of your time and your home. Here are a few resolutions that could be worth your while.

Paper files and clutter

Stop Paper Clutter

Choosing paperless statements helps cut down on paper clutter. Personal finance apps like Mint can help you get a handle on your money this year. Save time writing checks and balancing your checkbook each week by streamlining your paperwork and bills. Enroll in automatic bill payments to cut down on the check writing (and having to buy checks!).

Get the Whole Family Involved

Getting organized throughout your home doesn’t have to be a single-person task. Work towards involving the family in your organization and storage goals. Not only will it help keep your home neater, it can give everyone a chance to spend time with each other. Give kids small tasks around the home or help them to develop an organizing plan that works for their room. You can even help them organize their school papers to help them finish out the year strong and hit their goals!

Men's closet with hanging organizer

Make Better Organizing Habits

Make a resolution to develop new organizing habits that save you time and keep your home clean. Making a habit to follow through with projects and chores can make sure that you actually get organized and aren’t stuck with a bunch of half-completed projects. For example, after washing and folding your laundry, make sure to follow through and put items away properly. This will stop mountains of clothes piling up and make getting ready in the morning less stressful.

Keep Your Car Clean

Getting organized doesn’t have to just be about your home. Try to organize all aspects of your life such as your car. Do weekly spot checks and vacuum at least once a month. You can find more car organizing tips on our blog.

Waste Less Food

Many Americans tend to buy more than they can eat and let food expire. Resolve to waste less food and save money by getting organized. Using a meal planner and making a grocery list are proven ways to stick to a diet and only buy the food you know you will cook and consume. To store all of your items it may be necessary to purge and re-organize. Make sure your pantry is up to the task with a custom storage solution from Closet & Storage Concepts.

Metal garbage bin

Declutter the Entire Home

Decluttering can help you maximize your time and make the most of your life. It doesn’t have to be done in one day or even one week. Try working in small steps to accomplish a more organized home throughout the year. Try focusing on certain areas in your home. For example, in January you can focus on the entryway, February the pantry, March your closet, and so on. We have a great guide where you can find ideas.

Achieve your New Year resolutions by visiting your local Closet & Storage Concepts! Find a location near you today.

Photos: (1), (2), (3). All under public domain (CC0 1.0).

4 Organization Tips for Hosting Holiday Meals

By CSC - November 18th, 2016

Holiday meal dining table

Hosting big family meals at the holidays can be very fun – or very stressful. The key to a successful gathering is organization and planning. So, whether you’re hosting twenty people for Thanksgiving or five people for New Year’s Eve, here are a few tips from Closet & Storage Concepts to make the process easier:

1. Plan the menu ahead of time.

If you’ll be doing all the cooking yourself, plan your menu far in advance. For example, print the recipes you plan to make and paperclip them together as a reminder. However, if your guests will also be bringing dishes to share, be sure to communicate clearly ahead of time. You can assign each person a specific menu item or simply a course (appetizer, dessert, side dish, etc.), but be sure to make a note of who is bringing what.

2. Take stock and make a grocery list.

Once you have your menu, write out a list of all the ingredients you need. Then check your fridge and pantry to see what you already have and what you need to buy. Having a clean, organized pantry makes this step a lot easier, but if yours isn’t up to par, give Closet & Storage Concepts a call! Our experts will work with you to design a custom storage system for your pantry.

3. Schedule your prep.

Start your prep a few days before the event. Do your grocery shopping and make sure you have decorations and place settings. As you get closer, plan out tasks you can do ahead of time – chopping vegetables, baking desserts, etc. And when the big day arrives, write out all your tasks based on priority so that everything gets done on time.

4. Don’t forget leftovers!

If the meal is a success, then chances are that your guests will want to take leftovers home with them. Be a gracious host by thinking ahead and buying cheap plastic or disposable containers for your guests’ use. That way, you won’t have to worry about loaning out precious containers that you may never get back.

If you plan ahead and follow these tips, your holiday meal is sure to be a success! But if you want some extra help, contact the experts at your local Closet & Storage Concepts – they can design the perfect pantry or storage system to streamline the holiday hosting experience.

Photo by James DeMers, licensed under Creative Commons CCO 1.0.

10 Tips for a Better-Organized Kitchen

By CSC - November 11th, 2016

kitchen organization storage closet

Are you tired of spending your valuable time searching for the right measuring cup or mixing spoon? At Closet & Storage Concepts, we tell our customers that they can have the kind of kitchen seen in magazines—simple, efficient, and free from clutter—by taking small steps. Here are 10 simple tips for a better-organized kitchen:

1. Organize your kitchenware by frequency of use.

The things you use most often—your favorite saucepan, spices, utensils—should be in easy-to-reach cabinets. High shelves should be reserved for less commonly used items, like seasonal dinnerware.

2. Hang your potholders, dishtowels, and aprons from pegs on your wall.

If your kitchen allows it, pots can also be hung to free up space underneath your stove.

3. Keep your tupperware organized by size.

There are few things more frustrating than finding the perfect sized Pyrex for your leftover goulash and having to endlessly hunt for its lid. If you keep your containers and lids separate, consider organizing lids by size or color.

4. Pull-out shelf organizers can transform your cabinets.

They make it easy to find that egg skillet hiding behind your spaghetti pot.

5. Master dishwasher loading by grouping like items.

Keep your forks, knives, and spoons in their own groups, so they can be unloaded quickly.

6. Harness the mysterious power of magnets.

They can be used to mount your knives on the wall, freeing up valuable drawer and counter space. You can also mount just about anything to the side of your refrigerator, including tin foil, plastic wrap, and small spice jars.

7. Make a list of kitchen essentials, hang that list from your fridge, and mark ingredients that you deplete.

You’ve just made a handy shopping list!

8. Hang tools on the backs of cabinet doors.

This is a great solution for oft-used tools, such as measuring cups, spatulas, and whisks. Adding a corkboard gives you a place to display your favorite recipes.

9. Use bins to consolidate small items.

This works especially well for your junk drawer, where loose paper clips and rubber bands abound. In your pantry, group ingredients by function. A “baking” basket could include flour, sugar, baking soda, and yeast.

10. Maintain your kitchen as a space for cooking.

Kitchen counters often become the first place that we set down papers, bills, and keys. Consider reorganizing your entryway with shelves and cabinets to keep your kitchen clutter-free.

A well organized home gives you more time to enjoy the most important things in life: friends and family. Give us a call today for more information!

Photo by shadowfirearts, licensed through Creative Commons Zero (CC0 1.0).

Creative Kid Costume Storage Ideas

By - October 31st, 2016

Halloween trick-or-treating

From fairy tales to space odysseys, costumes can help bring the stories from your kids’ imagination to life. Halloween costumes can be used multiple times for playtime, but if you’re worried about where and how to store them, don’t fret! Closet and Storage Concepts is here to help.

Use Hooks

If floor space is it a premium where your kids play, one solution would be to use your wall space. Hooks can be very effective with this and can help store costumes that have multiple pieces. Hooks can also be re-installed at different heights as kids age. Choose from a wide range of finishes and colors to fit any space.

Try a Pegboard

Another way to use your wall space would be to try a pegboard or slatted wall system. While we usually use these in a craft room or in a garage, there’s no reason why we couldn’t adapt it for a playroom! Notch baskets and hooks into your pegboard to hold capes, fairy wings, or shoes and other accessories. The hooks and baskets can be moved around as costumes change.

Try a Trunk

A storage chest can double as a bench for reading stories. Just toss some blankets and some thick pillows on top! Using a trunk keeps costumes out of sight. This is particularly helpful if a playroom is also a main entertaining area for guests. When using a storage trunk, be sure that little ones will help to put away costumes when playtime is over, or those costumes may end up scattered on the floor. Storage bins that divide the trunk into sections can help sort costumes.

Girls reach-in closet with dress up clothes

Use Their Closet

Dedicate a section for costumes. This can help minimize the number of costumes you store around your home. You can do this in a few different ways.

Fabric cubbies that sit can be installed in a hanging area can be used to create vertical space. And when they outgrow the costumes, they can be used to store clothing items like jeans and sweaters.

You could also try dedicating a hanging area specifically for costumes. We recommend using a double hanging area. This is great for very small children as their clothes are generally shorter. You can use one hanging area for regular everyday clothes and the other hanging area for costumes. As they grow, the double hanging area can be used for separates like blouses, button-ups, and pants.

Adjustable wood or infused melamine shelves also give your home extra value. They are sturdier and are visually more appealing than the typical wire systems found in many homes.

No matter how many costumes and characters you need to store, you can get organized with Closet and Storage Concepts. Contact your local team of storage experts to see how we can help your whole family make room for life.

How to Prepare for Holiday Guests? Start With The Entryway

By CSC - October 19th, 2016

custom entryway organization system closet and storage conceptsThe holiday season is quickly approaching. With it comes valuable time spent with family and friends, delicious food, and possibly a bit of anxiety when it comes to preparing your home for guests.

There are usually a few places within every home that experience reoccurring clutter. For many families those places are the entryway, kitchen counters, and perhaps a living room coffee table. Inconveniently, these are also parts of the home that holiday guests are almost guaranteed to see.

As you prepare for the holidays don’t hide your clutter simply because it’s an easy solution. Now is as good a time as any to implement lasting storage and organization solutions. Here we’ll be focusing on the entryway, a part of the home notorious for accumulating weekly clutter. We encourage you to read on!

Why Is My Entryway Messy All The Time?

As its name suggests, the entryway is the entrance into a home. For many people this space signifies the formal start and end to their day. When you think about it, it’s not such a surprise that entryways are often messy. This place by the door is where we empty our hands after a long day. The home is a place of relaxation, and therefore dumping everything at the door as you walk inside can be a form of triumph. In most entryways one can find shoes, jackets, backpacks, keys, mail, and other knickknacks.

Organizing Your Entryway

Part of organizing your entryway successfully is thinking realistically. It’s reasonable that after a long day you’d prefer to leave everything at the door rather than put it carefully away in closets and cupboards. The key to entryway organization is capitalizing on the moment you enter your home. If you’re going to leave your jacket, shoes, bags, and mail at the door they need a place to go, and that place needs to be easy to access.

This is where a custom organization system from Closet and Storage Concepts can come in. Although some items left at an entryway are the same for everyone, we all have different preferences and eccentricities, which influence what we carry with us each day. Thus, a custom organization system that fits your habits can be extremely beneficial.

We recommend a combination of visible and hidden storage, as well as designated shelves and drawers for specific items. One of our designers can work with you to create an entryway storage system that is reflective of your needs. For instance, say you’d like to have a space for ingoing and outgoing mail, a hanger for your keys, or a drawer for cold weather gear. These are all elements that our designers can incorporate. We’ll also create a three-dimensional model of your custom storage system before we start building anything.

Here at Closet and Storage Concepts we look forward to helping you get organized for the holidays. We would love to create a built-in storage system for your family that will stay clean long after your holiday guests have departed. Call us today, we’re happy to help!

Dorm Room Storage Tips

By - August 17th, 2016

Dorm Sweet Dorm Sign

All across the country, kids are heading back to campus! If it’s your first year at college, a soon-to-be graduate, or the proud parent of a college student, we’re here to help you make the most of your (or your child’s) dorm room. Dorm rooms are often known for being stuffy, small, and cramped. Don’t worry, it’s all a part of that quintessential college experience! Get tips below to help you make the most of your space, giving you time to enjoy college and study.

Under-Bed Storage

Utilize valuable floor space starting with your bed. Risers are perfect to help you sneak in a few extra inches of storage space. Cloth bins can store bulky and seasonal items like sweatshirts, games and puzzles, and smaller sporting equipment (think swim goggles or biking gloves). Shoes can also be stored underneath a bed. Keep booties, sneakers, and flats in a covered storage box to keep them dust free. Under-the-bed storage can also be used to store extra bedding and linens.

Cabinet Solutions

Make existing cabinets and armoires in your dorm room more efficient. Consider attaching magnetic strips along the inside of the door to keep stray bobby bins or even some tools like nail clippers and tweezers. Little cubbies and holders attached to the door can also free up shelving space in your cabinet. Be sure to use damage-free strips to hang them.

You can also use magazine racks and paper filing racks in your cabinets to keep baking sheets, pans, and plastic containers. This keeps items neatly stacked in your cabinets. Using expandable and stackable racks doubles your cabinet space in a cost-effective way – perfect for students on a shoestring budget.

Sharing is Caring

If you’re sharing a room with someone, this tip is especially important. Sharing certain belongings (like a TV, toaster, or kettle) can help cut down on costs. Communicating with your roommate ahead of time will also prevent duplicate purchases and items being brought into the dorm room, which means less clutter to deal with. Sharing organization tips or even bins or organizers can help you meet new people – which is just one part of the college experience!

Keep it Personal

This will be your home for at least nine months of the year! Make sure it speaks to you and feels personal. A few personal photos sprinkled in with other mementos can help make the transition away from home (for first timers) smoother and more relaxed. Finding bedding to brighten up a drab dorm room, or other décor items can help turn your space into a place you love coming back to.

Check out our other posts to get even more organizing tips for your entire room. Have other tips or want to know more? Let us know!

Closet and Storage Concepts are experts in custom closets, built-in office furniture, Murphy beds, and other custom home storage products. We have over 10 locally owned and operated locations nationwide.

Featured image, by slgckgc, used under Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0).

Simple Steps for Organizing Your Garden Shed

By CSC - June 30th, 2016

Garden Shed Organization
This is a favorite time of year for green thumbs. The garden is in bloom and fresh veggies are sprouting from the earth, fresh and ready for your summer salad or a quick char on the grill. Nature’s abundance in the summer is something to look forward to, but managing a garden can quickly become a tedious chore if you don’t have the right tools for the job and storage space to help you stay organized.

If you are ready to create the garden shed of your dreams, read on for some inspiration.

Start with a Sturdy Surface

The most important and heavily used space in your shed will be the potting bench. Gardening will be a joy with a level and sturdy surface and tools within reach. Consider using a mesh hardware cloth as a tabletop in place of, or in addition to, a solid surface. This will allow excess dirt and water to filter through to the floor and keep your potting bench mess free. Attaching a magnetic strip to the work surface is also a great way to keep your small shovels, spades and shears close at hand.

Add Ample Storage

No garden shed would be complete without hooks and shelving for tools and supplies. A pegboard can be a great option if you have a lot of items to hang. You won’t have to hammer nails in the wall, and it’s easy to move items around if necessary. When you have everything hung just where you want it, consider outlining the tools on the wall so you will always be able to put things back in their proper spot.

Shelving is also essential in a garden shed. If low to the ground, consider sliding shelves to avoid bending and reaching for hard to see items. Having closed lid storage containers is also important for toxic chemicals like pesticides. Installing an exhaust fan in the shed can help keep the air clear and prevent mold and mildew from growing inside.

Don’t Forget the Little Details

Once you have the essential work surface and storage you need for a functional garden shed, think about the details that will really help you become a master gardener. Keep a large calendar or blackboard on the wall to remind you of important planting and harvesting dates. Hang small rods on the wall for your spools of twine and wire. And, if possible, consider installing a little sink to fill your watering can and wash up when you’re done.

Getting organized and creating the shed you’ve always wanted will inspire you to get outside this summer and get a little dirty in the garden. Whether you plant flowers, herbs, or vegetables, use these tips to have some fun in the garden this summer.

For more garage and work space organizing solutions, give your local Closet & Storage Concepts team a call.

Photo by PublicDomainPictures, under Public Domain (CC0 1.0)

How to Pack Light For a Vacation Getaway

By - June 17th, 2016

Travel duffle bag

With summer just around the corner, we know that many of our readers and fans are heading out on a summer getaway. To stay organized and meet those pesky airplane luggage weight limits, we know that many of you may be looking for ways that you can pack light while still having enough options for all of the adventures you’ll be going on this summer.

Prep, Prep, Prep

While it’s great to pack light, you also wouldn’t want to forget any essential items. Travel disasters can be averted in the planning stages. For example, if you’re going outside of the continental US you’re likely going to need travel adapters and your passport, plus your wallet.

Making a list of your items can help prevent over packing, by giving you an overview and visualization of how many items you’re planning on bringing. If you see a list of half your whole wardrobe, you’re likely packing too much.

Make Combinations

Choosing clothing is often the most difficult part of packing for any trip. You’ll want to tailor your clothes to the activities and weather of your destination. Going to a beach in Mexico? You’ll likely want cover-ups and lots of bathing suits. Hiking through southern China? Don’t forget the socks and hiking boots.

In addition, to pack light (and smart!) it’s best to make combinations of outfits you actually want to wear rather than thinking about items individually. Think how different tops can be made into new outfits with a different skirt or pair of jeans. In addition, adding jewelry or other accessories can help to make any outfit new again. To see how many combinations you can create, take a picture of each outfit you create. This way you always have a reference for an outfit at your fingertips.

Go for the Smaller Bag

One of the easiest ways to not over pack is by going with a smaller bag. It’s also a great way to challenge yourself to see how much you can actually under pack. Be sure to pick a suitcase that is durable and light. Before leaving for your trip try to weigh your bags to be sure you meet the weight requirements for your airline.

Prevent Duplicate Items

Have you ever brought along your hair dryer only to discover that your hotel, hostel, or Airbnb had provided one? Think of what you could have packed or brought back instead of the hairdryer you barely used! Plan for this by checking ahead to see what types of amenities the place you’re staying at has and prevent bringing unnecessary items along. You’ll thank yourself when you can bring home more souvenirs.

Toiletry Pare Down

A weekend trip down to the beach likely won’t require a full-sized bottle of conditioner, even if you’re packing for a family of four. Be sure to decant your favorite products into travel-friendly containers. In addition, especially to our female readers, look for skincare and makeup items that can do double duty. This helps to limit the items you bring and the space they take up! Should you feel the absolute need to bring or buy travel sized mascaras or other beauty products, just remember that you’ll have to store them in your home after you return.

If you’re having trouble finding clothes you want to pack in your wardrobe, be sure to bring organization to your closet! Call in the experts at Closet & Storage Concepts today to help you make the most of your summer and your home. Our local designers can’t wait to work with you.

Pre-Summer Organizing To-Do List

By - June 7th, 2016

Summer is just around the corner! If you’re looking for ways to get organized and clean up before going away on vacation or the summer lull hits, here are a few ideas.

Plan For Summer Getaways

US passport in holder for summer trips

If you’re going on a trip this summer, get a jumpstart. Start with your packing list. Take inventory of what you already have and want to take and make a list of things you need. When packing, take photos of outfits you can make with your items to reduce the number of pieces you bring, and don’t forget to leave room for souvenirs!

Begin making arrangements with friends and family especially if someone will be dropping you off or picking you up from a train station or airport. Gather travel documents and make sure your passport is not expiring well in advance. Make a copy of your travel plans, passport, and credit cards and leave it in a safe or with someone you trust should you lose anything while on vacation. Get the kids organized early by helping them draft a list of items they want to bring along.

Photo under public domain (CC0 1.0).

Clean the Grill

If you haven’t already, it’s time to get cleaning and ready for barbeques.

If your grates simply can’t be cleaned with a little scraping power, try pre-soaking them in a large bucket of soapy water. Clean along the hood and walls for a deep clean. Don’t forget to disconnect the propane tank before hand to avoid any disasters. Should your grill be built-in to a cabinet or island, make sure the cabinets surrounding it are clean too! It will be better to get everything cleaned and ready to go in one go before guests arrive. Wash the grill tools and sweep out any debris that could have made it’s way into the cabinets during winter and spring.

Patio Cleaning

Speaking of barbeques, is your patio up to the task? If your patio has been buried by snow, it’s time for a spruce up. Simply dusting items off and adding a new table runner could do the trick. Also consider adding more storage like a bench that creates additional seating space and also stores pillows and outdoor supplies when not in use.

Tend to the Shed

Organized shed with flowers

Summer is often a time to complete outdoor home projects like painting or landscaping. If you pushed off organizing your shed earlier this spring, it’s time to tackle it now to make completing any summertime projects that much easier. Refresh your stockpile with items you need such as fertilizer or simply sharpen the shears. If everything is in disarray and you’re tripping over the lawn equipment, or stubbing your toes, it may be time to organize your shed. Clean everything up by utilizing proper hanging and shelving areas. Create separate zones for different items to keep the shed organized for multiple uses and projects. If your lawn equipment is at home in the garage, get a custom solution to fit your unique situation. This will help you fully utilize your space.

Start your summer off on the right foot by getting organized and cleaning beforehand. When you’re in need of more organization help call in the experts at Closet & Storage Concepts. Our local designers can’t wait to work with you.

Photo by Tino Rossini, used under Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY2.0).

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