The Home Edit Starter Solution from The Container Store.
I spend a lot of time organizing clothing and closets. Along the way, I have come up with a few tips I wanted to share. It goes without saying that any closet spruce-up needs to start with a purge. Go through each category and ruthlessly purge out the items you no longer need, want or wear and toss them in a bag for donation. Once that's done, move on with these tips and your closet will be spruced up in no time!
Tip #1: Return the Wire Hangers
Wire hangers bend out of shape easily, get tangled, and don't hold clothes nicely. If you are used to getting your hangers free from the dry cleaner, it's time to upgrade. I recommend switching to velvet hangers. They're affordable, super-slim (so they maximize the space in your closet) and hold items with skinny straps. Trust me, you won't miss those wire hangers! Most dry cleaners will happily accept them back.
Tip #2: Use the Space You Have
If you have lots of hanging space and very little drawer or shelf space, don't be shy about hanging things like tees and jeans. You can even purchase a hanging shelf for folded items or a rod expander to increase your short hanging space.
If you are long on shelving space but have no drawers, consider using open bins to hold things like socks and underwear. Just don't make the bins too deep or things will get lost at the bottom. There is no "right" way to organize a closet. My advice is to use the space you have!
Tip #3: Organize in Zones
Organizing your closet into zones helps keep what you need at hand and everything else out of the way.
If your shelves are a mess of disorganized stuff, consider dividing up the space. Clear shelf dividers are an easy way to delineate areas for different items such as shirts and pants. A large drawer is in dire need of drawer organizers when used for small items like bras and underwear. See if you can find other areas where dividing up the space would make it more manageable.
Tip #5: Organize By Color
Once you have edited your closet completely, group all items of a category together. For example, all blouses together, all dresses together, all jackets together. Then, I love to organize each category by color going from white, through the color spectrum to black. It makes your closet look neat and makes it easy to find what you are looking for.
Tip #6: Use Hooks
I love hooks in a closet! Whether it's over the rod, over the door or on the wall to hold your outfit for the next day, hooks are essential in the closet.
Tip # 7: Upgrade the Shelf and Rod
I see so many closets that are just a shelf and a rod. Now, this closet design (a favorite of contractors I have noticed) can work, but if your closet really needs an upgrade, consider getting a custom closet from The Container Store. When we hear the words 'custom closet' I know that sounds expensive, but it doesn't have to be!
Elfa is The Container Store's most affordable closet solution and my favorite. If you want a little more from your closet design, go for Elfa Decor which adds wooden drawers, shelves, and trim. If you want to go all out on your closet consider Avera or Lauren, The Container Store's highest-end closets that are absolutely gorgeous. You can see all of these designs at their website, plus all closet systems are 10-25% off right now!
Tip #8: Create-A-Closet
If you are in a space with no closet at all, consider an armoire or garment rack. For a minimal wardrobe, this IRIS garment rack even has shelves and would look great in any space!
If you need a pro to help with your closet, book your free assessment today!
I have long been a fan of Marine Layer. With super-soft clothes in great styles, it fits my life perfectly. When I recently learned of Marine Layer's t-shirt recycling program, Re-Spun, I was hooked! Drop-off (or send in) old t-shirts of any variety and in any condition and they will send you a $5 Marine Layer credit for each shirt (up to $25, but no limit on donations.)
They sort the tees by color, break them down to the fiber level, add recycled plastic bottles to the fibers to create their recycled yarn, and create a brand new(ish) shirt using sustainable methods. No water, dye or new materials are used! Pretty amazing!
So far they have collected 100,000 tees and plan to keep going. On the Re-Spun FAQ page to the question "How long will you be collecting T-shirts?" Their answer is:
"Forever. (Or at least until we go out of business.) But seriously. We want Re-Spun to be a core part of what we do — and t-shirts are just the beginning. We're working hard to expand the program to other kinds of products. Stay tuned."
If you want to find out more or get a prepaid mailer, visit the Re-Spun site. If you want to drop off your tees in store, check out all of their locations. I had no idea there were so many!
Marine Layer (SF Locations):
2106 Chestnut St.
San Francisco, CA 94123
498 Hayes St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
If you enjoyed reading about interesting ways to repurpose items, take a look at my recent post about La Casa de las Madres.
All images from The Real Real Instagram feed.
When it's time to clear out your closet, most items happily to go Goodwill. However, if you have some luxury items that need a new home, let me introduce you to The Real Real.
The Real Real is an online luxury consignment site. Authentication is so important to this company that they put "real" in their name twice! They have everything from apparel to jewelry to handbags and more. Whether you are looking to sell or buy the process is simple. If you have just a few items to sell, they can send you a Consignment Kit or you can visit their SF offices. If you have more items, call Miranda to book an in-home appointment and review everything at once. If you happen to be in LA or New York, stop by their beautiful clothing consignment shops!
If you also have luxury home items that you are looking to sell, you're in luck! The Real Real recently added home consignments to their business. With everything from furniture to lighting to artwork, it's a virtual estate sale, with all the work taken off your hands. Give The Real Real a try and let me know what you think!
The Real Real
If you enjoyed this post take a look at Organize Your Closet with StyleBook.
One of my fabulously well-dressed clients recently informed me about StyleBook. What is StyleBook, you ask? It's an app that helps you virtually organize your real closet.
In the app, you can snap photos of your clothing, categorize individual pieces, and create virtual "looks". You can also put outfits on your calendar, create a packing list, save fashion inspiration, and shop at your favorite brands directly from the app.
If you're a person that loves all things fashion, this may be the app for you! If like me, your wardrobe is minimal and consists of too many pairs of jeans and t-shirts, it may be overkill. It's not a quick process, but I can see how it would pay off over time. StyleBook would be very handy when out shopping because you have your whole wardrobe at your fingertips! Finding items that work with what you already have would be a snap. It may even inspire me to upgrade from my jeans and t-shirts!
Give StyleBook a try and let me know what you think!
If you enjoyed this, check out my post about the West Portal Goodwill Boutique!
The mission of La Casa de las Madres is to help victims of domestic violence of all ages, 24 hours a day, 356 days a year. They help survivors to transform lives through emergency response, support services, and prevention education. La Casa De Las Madres works in partnership with Community Thrift to directly help those in need.
Their website states:
"When you take your in-kind donation to the Community Thrift Store and make it in La Casa’s name, your contribution will transform into shopping vouchers that La Casa provides to the women and families in our programs. These vouchers are redeemed for necessities at the thrift store, providing a direct link between your donation and our program participants."
La Casa also has a wonderful Adopt-a-Room program! If you have gently used furniture and home decor, consider donating them to this wonderful organization.
Their website states:
"The Adopt a Room Program allows donors to decorate our shelter rooms with a homey touch and purchase items such as linens, draperies, paintings, and lighting fixtures. Generous donors have furnished bedrooms, equipped our kitchen, and created a colorful mural on the living room walls. Let your creativity take off and enhance a single or family room with your choice of theme and color scheme."
LA CASA DE LAS MADRES
1269 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
COMMUNITY THRIFT STORE
623 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
The SF-Marin Food Bank operates under the mission to end hunger in San Francisco and Marin. One out of every four of our neighbors is at risk of hunger. Your donation greatly supports the immediate distribution of food throughout San Francisco and Marin as well as longer-term strategies that address hunger and empower our neighbors in need. Their website states:
"Our mission is to end hunger in San Francisco and Marin. Since 1987, the Food Bank has pioneered many successful models aimed at ending hunger. With your support, we continue to innovate and expand to provide more food to neighbors in need."
There are many ways to help the SF-Marin Food Bank! You could host a food drive, help with sorting and distribution or donate food directly at one of their many green barrels around the city. My favorite is the one at Rainbow Grocery!
Items they especially need:
The SF-Marin Food Bank
Do you know my favorite go-to site for giving away items that can't go to my usual donation organizations? Nextdoor!
Nextdoor a free social network designed to connect neighbors. They have a "For Sale and Free" section that I love. Simply post the item you want to give away, snap a photo, do a write-up and select how widely you want your post to be seen. It's so easy with the app! Interested neighbors will message you arrange to pick it up. Alternately, can put it in a sheltered outdoor spot by your home so they can pick it up at their convenience.
Their website states:
"Building connections in the real world is a universal human need. That truth, and the reality that neighborhoods are one of the most important and useful communities in our lives, have been a guiding principle for Nextdoor since it was founded in 2011."
I love the feeling of posting something - whether it's a box of legos, a ton of paper plates, or a bunny cage - and having a delighted neighbor show up, clearly happy they scored the item for free!
When working with a client recently we came upon her collection of vintage Laura Ashley dresses and I was instantly taken down memory late. If you are a child of the '80s, as I am, you either had or wanted a Laura Ashley dress.
For those who don't remember, these Little House on the Prarie-style dresses were all the rage in middle and high school. With floral patterns, high necklines, long sleeves, and tea-length hems, these dresses are the opposite of risqué, covering nearly every inch of your body. I can see how parents of teenagers would be on-board with this look! If you can't get enough Laura Ashley, this recent Guardian article gives a nice history of the company. Do you have any Laura Ashley gems still in your closet?
I was recently dropping off some client donations at the West Portal Goodwill Boutique and was struck by how absolutely adorable it was! With a nicely designed interior, great displays and a beautiful selection of clothing if felt much nicer than your standard Goodwill. If you're in the neighborhood, I encourage you to take a look!
West Portal Goodwill Boutique
61 W Portal Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94127
White & Birch Elfa Decor Pantry from The Container Store.
Getting organized and staying that way is possible, even though it doesn't always seem that way. When your pantry is a jumbled mess, finding what you need can take just as long as cooking it. Straightening up your pantry can save you from a kitchen organizing headache! Keep even the tiniest pantry easily accessible and clutter-free with these below tips and space-saving ideas.
Tip 1: Don't Overstock
When working in a client's pantry, we often find - in the deep corner of a shelf - food from a previous decade. The key to avoiding this fate is to keep your pantry full of stuff you need, nothing you don't.
First, take everything out and lay it out on your kitchen table or counter. Start grouping items in categories that make sense to you. Place all the pasta together, all snacks together or all the baking ingredients together. Toss anything that is expired and start a donate bag for items you know you will never eat. Ten cans of black beans, anyone?
Erin Becker is the owner of PICK IT UP, a