Sunday, September 20, 2009

Apartment Progress... Coat Closet

I've designated the only closet in the apartment as the coat/storage closet; outerwear including scarves, hats, gloves, snow boots; off-season clothes, extra hangers, extra garment and shoe bags bags, ski clothes, and travel items.

I repainted the inside white, put flor tiles in to cover the hideous floor, rehung one hanging bar, and installed new shelf. I generally don't like an accordion door since you can't use the back for hooks but since this closet is deep I've hung six large hooks on either side for scarves, umbrellas, and selected shopping bags.

One note, the organizing "rule" about having all the hangers facing the same way is good BUT the most important thing is to have your clothes facing you. As you can see (click on image for large view), I have my dark blue and black coats on the left facing the right and my lighter colored coats on the right facing left. This way when I look into the closet everything is facing me.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Apartment Progress... Bathroom Transformation

- installed remaining shelf
- repainted walls white
- installed mirror across from medicine cabinet
- replaced medicine cabinet
- installed hooks (no longer on ikea's website)

- get curtain for shower stall
- repaint back wall

I love the two new mirrors across from each other. It brings in so much light! I also love the mirror that replaced the medicine cabinet. I don't miss the cabinet since I have a nice size vanity with plenty of storage for products. I hung it low and on a slight downward angle to make the most of it (and I'm pretty short and hate high hung mirrors). Even though the bathroom has new tile floors (the broker told me there would be an entire new bathroom, one of the many fibs I was told), they're NOT my taste so I covered as much of it with two bath mats that I cut to fit. I like to cover tile floors anyway; I don't like standing barefoot on tile.

I'm going to live with the changes for a little bit to see what else I'm going to do style-wise. I haven't looked at paint colors for the back wall yet and know what I want for the curtain (white linen gauze) but I haven't looked for it yet. But so far I'm pretty happy with what I've done considering when I moved in, this was the worst bathroom of the three apts I've lived in, and none of them were great!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Savings at Organize-It

Save 20% on any order of $100 or more at from now through September 25th. Use the code EM2S23 at checkout. The perfect time to get the perfect boxes for your season switch. I love the ones above...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Reader's Questions: Organizing The Past

(image courtesy of the artist chantal powell's flickr page. be sure to check out her website and her blog)

g.c. asks "I'm curious to know your opinion on the matter of keeping old love letters and letters from people who are no longer a part of your life. My bag includes letters from a former friend (who betrayed me), as well as former beaus. Aside from two of the beaus with whom I've stayed distant friends, I have no contact with the others. Part of me wants to keep them all, as they are a log of my past loves. However, I wonder what purpose that serves? I could justify keeping everything because 'it's just one piece of paper or one letter', but times that by 100 -- and you've got quite a stack of paper!"

My philosophy is to only take and keep things in your home that you love, use, and that add to your life in some way. There are so many things we can't control, things that make us feel bad, but we can control what we surround ourselves with in our home.

I suggest keeping only the things that bring back positive memories, or elicit some kind of a positive response. After time, memories become detached from certain physical things and contact with them doesn't bring up any memories - those things should be easy to let go of. As for the those that bring up bad memories I personally don't see any reason to keep them. Forgive, let go and move on.

I will add (as with anything else in your home), you may not be ready to let go of it and maybe that's ok. Keep it until you are, unless you believe that by holding onto it you are holding onto the pain which is affecting you in some way. Then this is a good time to go through the process of letting go. Some people burn old letters and things as a way to cleanse themselves or whatever... I just recycle them!

Thanks for the question :O)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What Does Being Organized Mean?

To me, being organized is so much more than just knowing what you have and where to find it. It's not about bins, boxes, labels, or neat piles. It's the act of simplifying to better use and enjoy the things you decide to take into your life; to make the experience of everyday routines like getting dressed and making your morning coffee that much easier and more enjoyable.

For example, with clothes storage you should be able to see everything you need to make an outfit at a glance, which is why I generally insist people separate out the seasons (in NYC it's really a no-brainer). Whenever possible I (re-)designate dresser drawers to house undergarments, pajamas, and work-out clothes. Sweaters, t-shirts, and pants (what most people have in their drawers) go into the closet like in the above pic. For that client, there's no more running around to get dressed in the morning which her husband appreciates as much as she does.

As for the kitchen, I love to designate an entire cabinet shelf for all coffee/tea items; mugs, teas, coffees, french press, sugar, honey and whatever else someone uses for the occasion. Since most clients think it's a crazy idea when they hear it, I usually just do it without telling them. When they see it they generally love it too! I've also cleared out the kitchen junk drawer for tea bags which works nicely too. Such a better purpose for a drawer than to hold 'junk'...

The pics show progress shots so forgive the unfinished looks :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

If You're In The NYC Area...

(image courtesy of

I'm really excited about RightRides upcoming social. The Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra will be performing, the same guys who do jazz parties on Governors Island.

There's going to be a silent auction where you can bid for not only my services, but a personal cooking class with a professional chef, yoga lessons, City Opera tickets among a lot of other wonderful things. It's going to be an amazing night of dancing, and overall celebration and I hope to see you there!! Get your tickets here.