Monday, February 23, 2009

Living Better With Less... Waste

Being conscience not to overuse your products is an example of what I mean by living better with less. By only using what you actually need helps you get the most out of what you buy. Liquid cleansers with pumps are easy to overuse since one full pump is usually way more than you need to clean your hands or face. This concept is simple but I've noticed many times friends and clients using multiple pumps to wash their lightly soiled hands but then wonder why they go through it so quickly.

Generally speaking I prefer bar soaps but I do adore the whole Savon De Marseille line. Not only are they gentle and wonderfully scented, they come in a simple but beautiful reusable glass bottle.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Just A Reminder...

A few friends have mentioned they didn't realize that there are links embedded in the posts. Any bolded text has a link.... click away!! And sorry for any confusion :)

Sale Alert NYC

(image from

I just read on Daily Candy that Hable Construction is closing their West Village shop and are selling their wonderful wares up to 50% off. I've mentioned I love their open bins. If you're in NYC it's worth checking it out:

when: now thru feb 28. tues-sat noon-7pm; sun, noon-6pm
where: 117 perry street, b/t hudson & greenwich (877.422.5304)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Final Touches To Complete Your Closet Make-Over

(click on bolded text for link) Installing a mirror and light to your closet not only makes it more functional but look super chic as well. You can get a full length mirror almost anywhere for about $20. My brother just purchased several from Ikea and I was really impressed with the minimal mounting hardware it came with. Don't forget to install a hook above it.

As for lighting, if you own your place it may be worth having a licensed electrician install one. If you rent, hang one yourself. I prefer plug in lights but if that's not an option for you, use LED battery operated ones so you don't have to change the batteries so often. In the closet above I used a cord kit with a small paper lantern. By placing a small hook on the ceiling then one in the corner (closest to the door) I guided the cord under the door to the nearest outlet.

Adding a thin carpet to the floor of your closet adds the final touch (see pic in shoe storage post). It also helps keep the dust bunnies at bay.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cheat Your Way To A Neat Closet: Shoe Storage

(click on bolded text for link) OK, first, any extreme weather shoes or boots should live in your coat closet so they don't take any valuable room in your clothes closet. Your remaining shoes should be separated by season and special occasion. The off-season ones can be placed in an underbed shoe bag, stacked in clear plastic shoe boxes, or placed in shoe bags or ziplocks and carefully placed in a box. The clear plastic shoe boxes are great to keep your special occasion shoes handy but safe.

If you don't have off-season shoes (I'm in NYC so I tend to forget some of you don't have seasons), you could use any of the previously mentioned pieces if you don't have room in your clothes closet. If you do have room, depending on how big your closet is and how many shoes you have, I love the simple ones (two stacked) shown in the first pic. I like the fact that the shelves are solid instead of the open wire ones which are good for men's shoes but not necessarily for women who wear heals. What I don't like is the space between shelves is not high enough for my taller heals and I'm only a size 6 1/2. But this is a simple enough design to make on your own to your specific dimensions.

Over the door ones aren't my first choice since they can be bulky and I like to have a mirror and hook on the door instead. But if you must, the one in the second pic is a new favorite for those who have 30 pairs of current season shoes. The canvas over the door ones are ok but only store one shoe per pocket so only hold about 12 pairs. I also like this one in black fabric.

If you have a lot of shoes I love the idea of using a bookcase for shoe storage. I also love these drawers and the software to print out your own labels. Or these ($$$) boxes which come in many colors and have a slot on the front for you to put a picture.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Have I Not Mentioned This Already?

Have I not said that you should separate out the seasons in your clothes closet??
This is the no-brainer of closet organization. Some of your wardrobe may be considered all year round but the rest should be sorted into spring/summer and fall/winter (including your shoes) and stored away for the off-season for the following reasons:
  • gives you more room to store the clothes you currently wear
  • allows you to see all of what you can wear now, keeping you from being distracted by what you cannot
  • forces you to handle all your clothes, reacquainting you with what you have and what you should purge
  • did I mention it gives you more room in your closet??

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Cheat Your Way To A Neat Closet: Bins and Boxes

(photo by lucas allen / domino)

Open bins and boxes can be used for anything and everything in the closet. If you don't have drawers, they are perfect for socks, underwear, bras, undershirts, pajamas, etc (as long as you keep the category per box down to 2 or less). Open bins on shelves are great for keeping t-shirts, tank tops, and even jeans together without having to worry about keeping piles neat. They're prefect in multiples to keep your closet from looking cluttered while helping to store many different things. The bins in my closet hold off season shoes, extra hangers, extra blankets and my humidify/fan. Here's some of my favorites (click on bold text):

Lidded Boxes

Open Bin

Warning $$$

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cheat Your Way To A Neat Closet: Hooks

One thing that's a no-brainer for any closet, no matter what the size, is installing hooks. Trust me, you'll find a use for them... Here are some of my favorites (click on bold text):

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cheat Your Way To A Neat Closet: Matching Hangers

Now that you've cleared out the unwanted pieces from your closet, it's time to get it in proper order. Group like things together; tops, pants, skirts and so on, and put in color order from light to dark. If you have a colorful wardrobe, rainbow order looks best. Some people subdivide by type; all camisoles together, then all t-shirts, button-downs. Separating your business and casual clothes is a good idea if you have enough in either category.

Having matching hangers not only helps your closet look neater but it makes it easier for you to see what you have. When looking for hangers, remember you can have different hangers for different types of clothing. I have a client who uses wood hangers for her jackets, padded canvas hangers for delicate tops, tubular metal (with and without notches) for the other tops and wood hangers with clips for skirts and pants. Since her closet is sorted by type of clothing, it looks and functions great. Here are some of my affordable favorites, in no particular order (click on bold text for link):

>Heavy Duty Plastic Hangers are always a safe bet.

>Padded Canvas Hangers* are fantastic if you have the room! I prefer the canvas over satin because the canvas holds the item in place, even thin spaghetti straps which the satin ones don't do. I purchased mine years ago at Kmart as part of the Martha Stewart line but can't seem to find them online. They are sold elsewhere and seem to be less expensive at and the most expensive at the container store at $3 each.

>Metal Tubular Hangers* are my personal favorite and suggest getting a mix of notched and non-notched if you have thin strapped tops and dresses. I purchased mine from as I feel their quality is better than a lot of the metal hangers found else where and are most expensive at the container store at $5 each.

A friend just bought the ones from Ikea and so far has no complaints.

>Add-On Wood Pant and Skirt Hangers* are sold in Bed Bath & Beyond stores, but aren't on their website. Note of caution: avoid turning the hanger hook or the suspended hook as they will eventually come off and have to be glued back in.

>Huggable Hangers can be found almost anywhere these days. I would suggest getting the suit hangers (the ones with the bottom bar) or the shirt hangers and use different type of skirt hangers. The clips they sell with them aren't great. Container Store sells black, ivory and platinum.

More colors at Bed Bath & Beyond...

HSN has a ton of colors...

* ones I use in my closet