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Get Organized: Closets, Offices, and All-Purpose Spaces

Get Organized: Closets, Offices, and All-Purpose Spaces
December 2008

We polled a handful of readers on just what that project would be and asked Julie Ann Oldham of Clean Slate Professional Organization to offer a hand in getting them started:

Sorted Affairs

Every closet I have (three walk-ins) is stuffed with my extra clothes. We recently downsized and I feel like we’re bursting at the seams. Katharine Krueger, Daniel Island “My favorite spaces to organize are clothes closets. We tend to wear 20 percent of our clothes 80 percent of the time. With this in mind, pull everything out of your closets and sort the items into three categories: keep, mend/dry clean, and donate. Since you have three walk-ins full of clothes, I would challenge you to donate 50 percent. Yes, I said 50 percent. You should keep only quality items that are in good condition. Ideally you will store all in-season clothes in your master bedroom closet and all off-season clothes in one other closet.”

Office Space

I would love to redo our office. I envision a brighter, more inviting space in which we’d do more than just duck in and check email, but I don’t even know where to start. Emmi McBroom, Charleston “In any home office, you must avoid the biggest organizational pitfall: allowing bills, paperwork, and pictures to pile up. The first step is to create a filing system with center-cut files and typed labels organized in alphabetical order. Then get a set of stacking in-boxes—one slot each for: incoming mail, needs immediate attention, as time permits, and to file. Then set aside 10 minutes per day to clear off the desk and time each week to stay on top of your filing. This is the most important piece of advice I can offer in the way of decluttering an office space and maintaining all of your hard work.”

Walls of Fame

I would love to tackle our all-purpose room. It serves as the kids’ trophy room, game room, and my storage center for gifts, art supplies, and more. Jeanette Blankenship, Summerville “I suggest you create ‘zones’ in this room, aligning each zone with a separate wall. For your gift and craft zone, has a great wall-mounted gift wrap cabinet that you can hang over a table. Use this for crafting and wrapping projects. Place empty bins under the table to serve as storage for gifts that you purchase ahead of time. A separate wall might house a bookshelf for the kids’ trophies so they can be stored while on display. Corral your games in a similar way—give them a wall and storage space of their own, but don’t let them overflow out of that space.”