Making a House an Organized Home: Operation Linen Closet

March 30, 2010

You followed along for a month as we moved out….now I am eager to share all of the organizing adventures of moving in!

Today’s focus: ┬áThe Linen Closet.

pre-move-in linen closet. it goes back pretty deep.

I wrote quite a bit in The Moving Diaries about organizing things before you pack them so they’d be ready to be put away when you get to your new home. The one exception is The Linen Closet — I used the contents as padding in boxes of fragile items so sheets, towels, robes, blankets and pillows were scattered between the MANY boxes. Every time one of my wonderful unpacking helpers found something like that I told them to just stick it in the linen closet and I’d deal with it later.

this had to be dealt with...

Maybe your linen closet looks a little like this? Here’s how I tackled the situation:

1. Empty the closet and as you’re doing so, sort the contents into categories that make sense for you (your towels, guest towels, your sheets, guest sheets, etc…)

this part of the couch was holding guest sheets & towels, beach towels and extra throw blankets. The entire living room was in play.

2. Prioritize your categories — which ones will you need to access frequently? Which can be stored in the deeper recesses of the closet (because you rarely reach for them…)?

because we change our duvet/comforter seasonally, they can be stored in the back

3. Create homes for your categories — and label accordingly! I love labels because it means that no one can say “I dont know where this goes” or “I don’t know where to find that.”

name that shelf!

4. Containerize! I’m sure that some of the things you want to store in your linen closet might not fold so nicely (or stack up so neatly on a shelf…). For a linen closet where decor is not really an issue, I like clear plastic containers (like these from The Container Store) so that you can see what’s inside. Of course, I still label my boxes.

pretty boxes all in a row.

I was able to complete this project in about 2 hours. It’s ok if it takes you longer — i just want you to realize that you don’t need to commit days of your life to your organizing projects. Just find an hour or two and take care of something!

In the end, you’ll be left with a more functional space — like this finished product!

neat, tidy, and best of all....organized!

A recent visitor said “Now THIS is what a closet should look like!” I couldn’t agree more, Lisa. I couldn’t agree more.


Unclear on the Day Number: The Move Update

March 4, 2010

Can it really only be Thursday? I’ve been on overdrive since Monday morning, and it feels like that could have been weeks ago. But all the hard work is definitely paying off. More on that later.

Now, a look at moving day:

they're here, they're here! (and on time too!)

Mover’s, Not Shakers! arrived promptly at 8:30. I signed some paperwork (we opted not to purchase extra insurance by the way) and from that moment on, our team of 4 guys got to work emptying the apartment.

hauling boxes, wrapping furniture - these guys were HARD workers.

within an hour and a half, the apartment was already this empty.

and in the bedroom - there was nothing left but the mattress.

well - empty except for that TV (with a note on it for someone to take it and keep it!)

11:30 am: we say goodbye to 201 E. 19th Street. It's a bit of a sad day for RB and me, Scott and Sue, and maybe most of all, Usdin.

here we come.

we meet the van in Brooklyn at 12:30 to begin the load out.

getting the last boxes out of the truck - and the view from our new bedroom.

While I continued to supervise the load-out, RB went back over to the old apartment. Our team had no problem getting the anxiety-inducing armoire out the door and down to the basement. All that was left was to get it uptown to Aunt Linda’s. Once again, Ross (resident man with the van – and all around great friend) saved the day. He and RB loaded it up and brought it uptown – crisis averted.

Movers, Not Shakers! finished at around 2:30 – 6 hours to move us start to finish. And that’s when the real work began. (and when we got so busy that there was no time for picture taking).

Within the next few hours our helpers arrived. JoePa, Barbara, Mark and Linda were STARS. With their help, we got all this accomplished on the first day:

  • New TV installed (JoePa & Barb picked it up for us on their way to BK, Mark set it up)
  • Kitchen entirely unpacked (and pretty well set-up!)
  • Dining Room laid out – and half unpacked
  • Bedroom completely set up
  • Clothing unpacked
  • Living room furniture secured to the walls
  • Empty boxes/packing paper stored in the basement (we’re saving these for Jared and Tara who are moving in the next few weeks)

By midnight, RB and I were basically zombies, but a good night sleep brought a fresh wave of energy (and fresh set of help – big thanks to Jeffrey and the Tanta!). RB went back to work, but I pressed on — books unpacked in the office, desk set up, living room tchotchkes and picture frames displayed on the shelves, utility closet on its way to organized…..and finally, cable/internet/and phone installed. (p.s. – in the old apartment, I made a list of all the shows I had programmed on to record on our DVR — and re-set it up on the new box immediately).

Those first two days did a lot to help us feel settled. We would not be so far ahead if it weren’t for the help of our families – so I want to thank them all again.

I hope The Moving Diaries gave you some good info on how to prepare for your own move.

And now I’m going to take some time to take care of the rest of it — I’ll be back to the blog soon to update you on our progress — with plenty of before & after pictures, tips and tricks to organizing every area of your home!

Until then – happy organizing!

And Now Something Completely Different….

March 3, 2010

Before I get back to my regularly scheduled “move update” programming, I thought you might like a little change of pace —

Check out my monthly column on The Beauty Bean — this month, I talk about getting your gym back in order.