Home Neat Home: Clothes + Closets

January 25, 2011

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First thing’s first: if your closet is overstuffed, you have too many clothes! Simplifying is always the solution to organization.

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I honestly do think one of the keys to neatness is having less stuff than your space allows. That sucks for those of us who have teeny closets in old houses.

Rather than give up all of my clothes (or keep them stored in rotating seasonal bins!) when I moved from a walk-in closet to a 1940s tiny one, I decided to make my space bigger – I turned a room into a closet :)

Sometimes thinking outside of the [closet] box leads to new possibilities.

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[I don’t recommend my Target clothing rack – it’s a POS and sometimes falls apart on me]

This solution meant that I could have more clothes. But you know what? I still felt frazzled every time I walked into the room. If you give yourself more space, you’ll get more stuff. And I did not need to be buying more stuff!

So I weeded through my closet TWICE and really made myself consider each item seriously.

Get Rid Of It If…

You wear it once a year. You have no idea how many things I wore once a year so I felt I needed to keep them for that ONE day. I am here to tell you folks that once a year is not enough to warrant closet space! I only wore them once a year for a reason: I didn’t love them.

It’s a beautiful, yet uncomfortable, item. Maybe you just love a shirt’s pattern or the style, but it doesn’t feel comfortable when you wear it. If it doesn’t make you feel fabulous, give it away. Even if you really, really, really love the idea of the piece. I had a lot of tops that I loved but were just so uncomfortable/shifty/small that I never wore them. Same with shoes – if they are so uncomfortable that you never wear them they aren’t worth the space no matter how cute they are.

It doesn’t fit. Too big or too small, it’s not worth the space. Most classic rule of closets.

It’s stained or ripped or otherwise damaged beyond repair. Case in point: your favorite underwear has a hole in them. You know you have some! You want to throw those away. *Exception are those items that are ripped or stained but you still wear all the time like a favorite old sweatshirt or jeans.

I promise having a closet of only clothes that you LOVE will make your life happier.

Once you have made space, keep the space available! It’s so much easier to get clothes in and out if you have some wiggle room in there.

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My pants are stacked on a Linens n Things shelving unit. They are one of the only things I fold. (RIP LnT :( )

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When we moved into our house, I found this great shelf unit in our basement. It was the perfect width to fit on the back wall of my closet and act as a dresser. I would ideally like to paint it white, but it was so heavy getting up the stairs I just can’t see taking it down to paint! When the weather is warm I might throw open the windows and paint inside, but not sure that would be such a great idea either.

I keep beauty stuff on top, intimates next, then a row of workout clothes, pajamas, long-sleeved shirts and on the bottom are summer shorts and t-shirts and thick running pants.

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Another example of how you have to invest in some organizing baskets for maximum neatness. I gawked at the $15 price tag on these a few years ago, but I bit the bullet and bought four of them and have gotten TONS of good use!

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Here’s a time-saving secret: I never fold laundry!! Things that aren’t affected by wrinkles like workout clothes and PJs just get stuffed into my “drawers.” It saves me SO much time to simply sort my laundry into like piles of clothes and slide them into the drawers.

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The top of my shelves have my makeup, lotions and hair stuff. I had a few of these vases leftover from my wedding (the green balls were on our tables as centerpieces!) and at our old house they sat in a box. When we moved to Cville, I decided to store something in them. They ended up being perfect for the Queen Room for headbands, lotions and my hair dryer

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Finally a good way to store headbands!

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Makeup clutter is closed away into a box

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The one small closet in the room is filled with summer clothes, shoes and purses. Every inch is used!

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Another new uses for old things was to turn an antique desk into a jewelry and perfume center. My grandmother gave me this desk when they moved out of their house, and it was too delicate to be of much office use at our old out. But it’s perfect for jewelry!

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Another inheritance: a little chest that stores bathing suits and little extras!

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I also LOVE the blue ribbon I tied to my light that makes turning it on and off so much fun. There’s no light switch in the room – just a metal pull. The ribbon is so much more fun than getting on my tip-toes to reach the pull.

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Storage For Him

Matt gets the real closet in the master bedroom! Sadly, it’s pretty small – that’s why!

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He doesn’t have a ton of clothes, so he’s able to keep it pretty neat.

Although for the longest time, his shoes were overflowing into the room and made the door unable to close. I finally took over the situation and turned this brown shelf on its side and put his laundry basket on TOP – meaning he had all the floor space for shoes. Problem solved!! (He was pretty please with my solution :) )

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After his hoodies ended up on the floor over and over again for a few months, I bought him some over-the-door hooks and he has been very happy with those too.

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Hooks are the best!!

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He also has full use of our dresser (which we shared at our old house)

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As much as I love clothes, I do think they are overrated. Have you seen those magazine articles that showcase: “The only 5 pairs of pants you need.” That simplicity is tempting! But I know for me, 5 pairs is a bit unrealistic. However, the message is clear: love everything you wear.

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{ 156 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday January 25, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Organizing my closet is at the top of my to-do list!

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2 Alina @ Duty Free Foodie January 25, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I love these tips! I’ll be moving soon and I hope to avoid the too-many-clothes problem by paring down next time. It got so bad at one point a few months ago that I realized I had now fully expanded to TWO closets and they were still overstuffed. It’s just so hard to get rid of stuff you only wear once a year!!

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3 Darcy @ She Sings at the Table January 25, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I’m feeling inspired to do some closet consolidating! There are definitely too many things in my there I’m holding onto just because I like the “idea” of them….

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4 Stacy @ Every Little Thing January 25, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Clothes are definitely overrated. I wish people would go through their closets more often!

And please, donate donate donate! Women’s shelters can even use gently worn bras.

I have also turned our guest room into my closet :)

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5 Amanda (Eating Up) January 25, 2011 at 12:09 pm

LNT is online now! It’s not dead. http://lnt.com/

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6 KathEats January 25, 2011 at 12:10 pm

OMG!

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7 Kelly January 25, 2011 at 12:10 pm

I definitely plan on getting creative like you did when we move into our new old house. Not that I have any room now either. My clothes are on seasonal rotation in our storage unit. Thanks for sharing your ideas! :)

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8 Natasaha January 25, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I also live in a small house. The closets are horrible. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) I don’t have an extra room to make a closet out of. One day my children will be gone and I can do it then. But no rush :)

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9 Erin (Travel Eat Repeat) January 25, 2011 at 12:12 pm

I’m pretty good about weeding through my closet and giving away things I don’t wear often, but there are a few expensive sweaters that are ‘too nice’ to get rid of but I haven’t worn in years. Decisions, decisions.

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10 jtbrown January 25, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I love your storage options and such.

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11 Valerie @ City|Life|Eats January 25, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I totally do not fold things like pajamas and just stuff them into a drawer. Works perfectly. Same with tank tops and gym clothes.

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12 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 25, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I really like what you’ve done with the space Kath! I’m a big fan of bins and I really like your beige cloth ones. Recently I did a closet clean-out and totally agree with your tips. It felt so good to get rid of stuff I hadn’t worn in ages!

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13 Ana January 25, 2011 at 12:20 pm

yes yes yes! I simplified my clothes, getting rid of almost 50% recently (mostly stuff I’d kept around because it was “cute”, but was WAY too young for me, so I never wore it)
I also got some closet organizing gear (shelving, additional closet rod, shoe racks, because my closet, though medium-sized, was useless with only one small closet rod and NO shelving.

i’d have completely agreed with you that 5 pairs of pants is not enough until this year, when i realized that i do not and will not ever fit back into my work pants after having a baby (i think my hips expanded?), and i hate the new styles of pants i’ve seen around.

so i have my 2 pairs of jeans (1 skinny, 1 regular), and 2 pairs of work pants that still fit, and I wear a lot of skirts and dresses with tights & boots-so I can use my “spring/summer” clothes in the fall/winter. i ended up buying 4 more pairs of tights, but they take up much less room than pants!!

I also created a “maybe” pile, of things I don’t seem to wear much, but I can’t bring myself to let go of just yet. If I wear and like it this season, it stays, if it is still in the pile, it goes to the goodwill.

my husband nixed my idea of turning a spare room into a walk-in closet. its a gym now, so i guess its honestly better for us.

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14 Melissa @ HerGreenLife January 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm

I’m also down to two pair of work pants that still fit, but I’m still in the expanding stage (baby’s due in July). I haven’t bought any maternity clothes yet, but my days are numbered. Still, I plan to keep my purchases as minimal as possible, and only buy used.

The question will be do I hand on to the maternity clothes for pregnancy #2, or donate them all right away and just get new [used] clothes when that time comes.

If you think 5 pairs of pants is extremely limited, check out the “Six Items or Less” concept — six total items of clothing (not including undergarments, pajamas, etc.). I plan to base my Europe packing around that idea. Maybe after the trip, I’ll be inspired to get rid of even more clothes at home!

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15 sheila I January 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Heck No!! Maternity clothes can be expensive. Definitely hold on to them! My boys were born in opposite seasons, but I still got so much use from the ones from my first son.

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16 RhodeyGirl January 25, 2011 at 12:20 pm

My mom had a tiny closet, but every piece in it was fabulous, designer, and fit her perfectly. She would wear the same outfit 3 days in a row just like they do in Italy, and she always looked incredible.

…I wish I could be just like her!

One thought- doesn’t the lack of folding mean that your workout clothes and such take up more space in those baskets than they need to?

Also, when you have the bit of extra money, invest in those fake suede-like hangers. They do not deform the clothes in any way, and the hanging space will look even neater with row upon row of the same exact hanger. They have them at Tj Maxx all the time for cheap!

I love this series!

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17 KathEats January 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm

They don’t take up too much space because I can cram them in if need be!

I would love to get all new hangers :mrgreen:

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18 Susan January 25, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Those hangers allow you to fit more stuff in your closet, too. :) When they were on sale at Costco last year, I stocked up!

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19 Natalia - a side of simple January 25, 2011 at 12:21 pm

I have a ribbon hanging to turn on my fan, too! Being short gives me an excuse to add some decoration :) The basket idea on the shelves makes everything look SO tidy! And I’m such a fan of that print you have of the girl in the dress on your nighstand. Is it a family heirloom?

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20 KathEats January 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm

It was made when I was born – it’s my name!

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21 Natalia - a side of simple January 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Ah! I see it now! What a great keepsake!

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22 Jess (Sweet Potato) January 25, 2011 at 12:21 pm

These posts are so inspiring. We have a small, old house with miniscule closests as well. I would love a room sized closet! Also, I love your use of the glass vases!

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23 Liz @ Tip Top Shape January 25, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Your closet room is fantastic!! I definitely agree that you should give it away if you don’t wear it often. I had a lot of stuff that I thought I loved, but then realized that I rarely wore it. Moving it out gave me a lot more room.

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24 Jess January 25, 2011 at 12:22 pm

mu husband’s shoes are driving me crazy, they make the hall closet a disaster. i love your idea of the bookshelf on its side to house the shoes. i’m gonna try this, i hope the hus thinks it’s as good as an idea as matt does:D

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25 Emily @ One Sweet Vegan January 25, 2011 at 12:25 pm

My sister’s mother-in-law does the same drawings as the one you have in your “Like With Like” photo. She passed her binder of work on to me and I was JUST looking at it yesterday while doing my closet organizing. What a coincidence! :-)
I love your closet room. What a great idea!

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26 megan @ whatmegansmaking January 25, 2011 at 12:26 pm

oh my goodness, thank you for this post. I need your tips, our clothes and closets are disasters. A combination of too many clothes, not willing to get rid of old things, and tiny closets. Can’t wait to reorganize!

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27 Stephanie @ Thorns Have Roses January 25, 2011 at 12:26 pm

I LOVE the pullswitch idea! You did such a great job organizing your stuff. If you feel like organizing mine too…let me know!! :)

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28 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) January 25, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I am definitely a get rid of it kind of gal when it comes to cleaning out things. If you don’t wear it, it goes!

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29 Nicole January 25, 2011 at 12:29 pm

I want you to come organize my closet!

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30 Lisa January 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm

I need to organize my jewelry – I think you just inspired me! I have so many beautiful pieces but it takes so long to find them :(

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31 Ellie @ The Mommyist January 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Some day I won’t have to share a tiny closet with my husband. Someday…

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32 Sarah January 25, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I love the “use every corner” idea. It not only gives you more storage space, but it gives you easier storage, too. It literally takes two seconds to hang something on a hook, as opposed to folding and putting away.

I always cringe at the cost of storage baskets, but I’ve found that thrift stores and goodwill are a great place to find them at low low prices!

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33 Sarah (Sarah Learns) January 25, 2011 at 12:33 pm

i just did a MAJOR overhaul of my closet + dresser. i got rid of a ridiculous amount of things. it actually made me feel very frivolous having so much that i wasn’t using. but it’s SO refreshing to be able to open my closet now and see things i actually wear and not feel guilty for having so much that i don’t use.

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34 dana @ my little celebration January 25, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Awesome ideas! I’m seriously going to be utilizing some of these ideas, especially when my husband and I finally move out of an apartment and into a REAL HOME. can’t wait!

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35 Amanda-The Nutritionist Reviews January 25, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Another great post! Thanks.

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36 Estela @ Weekly Bite January 25, 2011 at 12:39 pm

I just cleaned out my entire closet. Our home was built in 1930, so it had teeny tiny closets. When we ‘tastefully’ renovated our home, we added a large master closet decked out with the Container Store Elfa closet system. We LOVE it!! I have a place for everything. But still, I need to find clever storage ideas for all sorts of random odds and ends. Love your ideas :)

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37 natalie (the sweets life) January 25, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I’m so jealous! I need a closet ROOM! Closet space in our current house is a bit of a disaster…I have clothing in three different rooms :( Great, informative post Kath!

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38 Brittany (Eating Bird Food) January 25, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I’m loving these organizational posts Kath! I need to take your advice and turn our small room into a closet for myself. Living in old houses with small closets is not fun, but there are definitely ways to improvise. :)

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39 Gita January 25, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I have a few dresses and tops – very nice to look at, like the idea of wearing them, want to hold on to them – yet rarely wear them:( Simply because I do not feel comfortable in them. Yikes – Need to be strong. You did a great job organizing.

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40 Elizabeth@The Sweet Life January 25, 2011 at 12:47 pm

GREAT tips. so fun to get a glimpse into your home!

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41 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 25, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Love the organizational tips! Right now, our closet space is definitely too small for the two of us. HOpefully someday I’ll have a huge room sized walk in closet!

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42 Heather (heathers dish) January 25, 2011 at 12:49 pm

I love the closet room! And these tips are awesome…I need all the help I can get!

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43 Emily (Savory and Savage) January 25, 2011 at 12:52 pm

That post made me feel guilty and inspired at the same time:-) Good work!
I am putting -going through my closet- on my to do list. I so need to stop hording items (like that too cute t-shirt that barely fit me back in high school) and get organized. All of the pictures looked so calm and appealing I definitely need more of that in my apartment…

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44 nicole January 25, 2011 at 12:54 pm

This is my favorite in your series and is something that I should really put into practice! I have a walk-in closet but I still have two dressers and have a hard time finding a space for everything, somehow. I guess since I’m not going to get the Sex and the City movie closet any time soon :( I should learn to make the most of it and get organized. Thank you for this post!
And I love all of your striped shirts!

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45 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) January 25, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I remember being so inspired when I slept in that room!! I was up late just admiring your organization. I have clothes that don’t fit, that I haven’t worn since middle school (EEEK!!), and take up space. I really need to just clothes my eyes, give em away to someone who needs them and FORGETTABOUTIT!!!!

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46 sarah (the SHU box) January 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm

middle school :)

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47 Vanessa January 25, 2011 at 12:57 pm

What I wouldn’t give for a room just for my clothes! I am way past my grace period to weed through my clothes. It’s really hard for me to give my old clothes away. I justify it by saying to myself “I’ll fit into this again someday. I know I will.” Bad, bad, bad!! Love your organizational posts by the way!

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48 steph January 25, 2011 at 1:06 pm

o_o
I have 2 pairs of pants and 2 pairs of jeans and 2 pairs of lululemons
FML

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49 Jessica January 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm

I’ve got a post coming up this Monday about organizing and de-cluttering my closets! Small world :)

Jessica

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50 amber's notebook January 25, 2011 at 1:11 pm

great tips Kath!

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51 Christin@purplebirdblog January 25, 2011 at 1:11 pm

I have a similar shelf with boxes reality as your clothes, but mine is for my craft supplies in my office! I love it!

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52 Michele @ Healthy Cultivations January 25, 2011 at 1:11 pm

I fully agree with the suggestion to leave extra space. Without it, clutter will only start to build again just as soon as we bring in something new. Plus, that extra space is light and airy, which helps rooms feel larger.

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53 Gretchen January 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Hi Kath,
I just stumbled onto your blog this weekend, it’s awesome! I have two pages of meal ideas in my little journal here, some I plan to adapt for my two 18-month old kids.

Could you share a bit about what it’s like to live in an “old” house vs. newer construction? I know there are compromises (small or no closets), but what are some of the things you REALLY like? I am just starting to house hunt and can’t decide which way to go…

Thanks!

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54 KathEats January 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Welcome!!

The #1 overwhelming reason for an old house is charm. There’s so much of it.

I actually grew up in a house built in 1833 and man oh man did I hate it! I was obsessed with brand new homes when I was little. As I got older, and when we bought our first house (built in 1982) I realized how much I missed the charm in the newer homes. The Craftsman we’re renting now has tons of it, and I love living here so much more than our 80s house.

But I think I’ve decided whenever we buy again that I want a new house built with charm in mind. The kind you find in Better Homes + Gardens – new materials built in an old way. I would be OK with an older house that had been renovated up to modern times, but I think I want new, modern features.

The struggle is going to be finding one because those kinds of houses are custom and expensive!

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55 Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf January 25, 2011 at 1:15 pm

I love this!

My husband and I live in an older house with a whole lot of tiny closets. Our bedroom has three closets, two of which we use for clothes! I’ve got an overhead shelf in my closet and I’ve gotten into a habit of throwing clothes up there when I know I’ll never wear them again, or SHOULDN’T ever wear them again. It’s temporary storage until I can have my sisters sort through them.

I have a lot of clothes, but mostly clothes I can’t or shouldn’t wear. I have a TON of giveaway tshirts from high school and college, and very little more age-appropriate casual wear. I have one pair of jeans, one pair of black slacks, one pair of grey plaid slacks, one pair of corduroy khakis, and a pair of wool brown slacks. Most of the pants are actually too big, but I can’t really afford to replace them!

That’s a good idea, though–hanging up everything but what can stand being tossed into my drawers. Of course, this means I need to buy more hangers…

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56 Holly @ couchpotatoathlete January 25, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Jason and I just redid our whole closet and I loved getting rid of stuff – why keep clothes that don’t fit? I don’t wear them, so whats the point?!?!

I “need” to have a closet though — I couldn’t have an open room like yours — I like to have things put away or I just get stressed and tense. Even if it is organized, I need clear space!

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57 Rachel January 25, 2011 at 1:22 pm

that is funny b/c I really do have only five pairs of pants.

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58 Christine (The Raw Project) January 25, 2011 at 1:25 pm

I’ve been good about minimizing my closet, when something new comes in, something old goes out. I love the feeling of decluttering and getting rid of stuff, it makes my house feel more manageable.

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59 Allison @ Happy Tales January 25, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Kath, you need to have your own show on HGTV…. and that’s in addition to the foodnetwork show I already think you deserve!

Seriously… all of these tips AND pictures are soooooooo helpful!!!! Can you come back to Charlotte for a day and hold my hand as I go through this?! lol…

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60 KathEats January 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm
61 MaryBe@AccidentallyVegan January 25, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I love this post. LOVE it!

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62 Paige(Running Around Normal) January 25, 2011 at 1:28 pm

This post is awesome! Provided with some helpful tips, but mostly just inspiration to organize my own closet!!!

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63 bitt January 25, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I only really use about 5 pairs of pants, but keep a few more I suppose.

I think I have one of those argyle sox you have.

I like the tip about something beautiful but uncomfortable. I tried on a top I liked recently but it was very very itchy. Not worth the price if it was going to drive my crazy.

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64 Annie@stronghealthyfit January 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I love your organization posts! So inspiring :-)
You have a LOT of jeans!! I have 2 pairs.

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65 bobbi January 25, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Wow Kath! We are so alike. I do the same think with my PJ’s and Workout clothes. I have two full closets (very small ones) and a full dresser!! I get rid of clothes all the time and still have so much. Because I live in California I don’t store any of them so they are always taking up room. We really want to buy a bed that has drawers underneath and get rid of our two dressers in our rooms to make space….Oh the organization madness :) Love these posts!

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66 Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen January 25, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I love this – especially the whole “if it doesn’t make you feel fabulous give it away” part – so true.

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67 Heather January 25, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Kath, do you have pictures of your wedding centerpieces somewhere? I’ve been dying to do something with moss and would love to see what you did for inspiration.

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68 KathEats January 25, 2011 at 2:44 pm

There’s one in this post – I put coffee beans in the candleholders and put the green balls on the tables

http://www.katheats.com/three-years-ago/

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69 Hope January 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm

I love this post! I really need to go through my closet and give some things away. I need to try and organize it better. My boyfriend and I share a walk in closet so space is kind of tight. I need to come up with a better way organizing it. Thank you for some great tips! :)

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70 Kori January 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Terrific post, Kath!! I’ve been slowly going through my closet and getting rid of clothes that I haven’t worn and don’t plan on wearing this or any other winter. :) It actually feels good to rid myself of the old and look forward to the new and improved [soon post undergrad :)] wardrobe. Keep these wonderful “Home Neat Home” posts coming!!!

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71 Tara @ Padded Tush Stats January 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm

OK, the no folding thing made me feel a little better about how perfect you are…but come on Kath, I want to see your “Monica Geller Closet.” You’ve gotta have it somewhere…you just seem like you have it together too much ;)
Thanks again for the inspiration!

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72 KathEats January 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm

I don’t know what a Monica Geller Closet is!!

But really, no, there is no stash!

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73 Tara @ Padded Tush Stats January 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm

It’s from Friends. Monica, who is the neat freak, has this closet that is TOTALLY thrashed and she crams stuff into it. None of her friends even knew about this closet. It was a secret she kept the whole time. http://www.tv.com/friends/the-one-with-the-secret-closet/episode/111568/summary.html

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74 Caroline January 25, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I love these organization posts…they are so helpful! Thanks!

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75 Jess @ atasteofconfidence January 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Everything looks great! I agree with you, though- clothes are overrated.

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76 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) January 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm

I have two pairs of real pants and a few workout pants. I’m a minimalist!

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77 Allie January 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm

You are super organized! I agree about only wearing what you love :o)

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78 anne January 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm

I agree about clothes being overrated. I’ve heard somewhere that you wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time.

Love this series! Keep up the great work!

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79 Ilana January 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm

This post couldn’t be better timed for me. I have a week before I start school again and in that week I am doing project: reorganize my life, starting with my closet. Love your tips. You’re just as good as Martha.

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80 Kathy @ newlywedindc January 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Great post! I totally agree about the importance of getting rid of clothes that don’t fit or you don’t wear…I’m guilty of hanging onto things for way too long, I think partially because I feel wasteful getting rid of things I paid good money for.

However, I do take issue with your point that you should be be able to keep all your clothes in your closet/dresser without using seasonal storage bins. I live in a 1-bedroom apartment with my husband, and we have ONE closet for both of us to share, plus we each have a dresser. I mean one closet total in the apartment: this is where we have to keep everyday clothes, winter coats, professional suits, cocktail dresses, everything. So things are a bit tight in there, and I’ve done my best to keep it pared down, but I have to keep my summer/winter clothes in storage bins (which are stored in the corner of our bedroom, ugh). I just don’t have the luxury of an extra room for clothing, but there is also no way I can keep summer and winter clothes in the closet year round. This is why we are moving when our lease is up :) But, not everyone has that option, either.

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81 KathEats January 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Bins are definitely a great solution!

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82 Kathy @ newlywedindc January 25, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Btw, I didn’t meant to sound bitchy/defensive…after re-reading I realize my tone is a little tough, should have re-read! I really do love this series. :) Maybe I should do a post about living in small spaces…if I figure out a good system!

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83 lynn (The Actors Diet) January 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm

i get the bigger closet too. i wish i could turn our office into one!

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84 Katy (The Singing Runner) January 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm

This is really inspiring me to really clean up my apartment! :D

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85 Justeen @ Blissful Baking January 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Your closet is so organized! Love it!

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86 melisa January 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Hey Kath! Loving the organization tips! One tip I have is to install hooks in your bathroom for hair appliances. I have one for my hair dryer and one for my curling iron and it’s great because they don’t clutter the counter!

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87 Fancy January 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Ok I have a problem and would love advice! We do not wear shoes in our home (new carpet) so I bought us racks for our garage for our shoes. HOWEVER…I miss not having them in my bedroom so I can put them on with whatever I am wearing! I can’t figure out how to store them…they are SO messy in the garage because it’s so easy just to toss them on the rug when we get home but I hate how it looks and it’s so cluttered and messy! HELP!

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88 KathEats January 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm

I think you just need a nice catch-all bin

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89 Susan January 25, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Couldn’t you just take off your shoes before coming into the house and carry them in?

Otherwise, a couple of big baskets would work. I have one by the front door for running and casual shoes.

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90 Fancy January 25, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Kath, this may be a dumb question…but…what’s a catch-all bin???? I tried googling it and can’t figure it out???

Susan, thank you for your advice :)

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91 KathEats January 25, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Just a big basket that catches it all! It’s not a brand or anyhting

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92 Fancy January 26, 2011 at 6:01 pm

LOL thanks Kath :)

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93 Samantha January 25, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Less is MORE <3

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94 Ros January 25, 2011 at 3:34 pm

I’m moving into a bigger space next month, but this post has inspired me to purge what I don’t love – now.

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95 Chelsea January 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm

First things first-I can’t believe you don’t fold! I hate folding but I hate messy drawers even more! You picture almost gave me a panic attack BUT that’s why you are you and I am me :)

Second-I saw in your hotel pictures that you store your Bare Minerals upside down and you do it here too. Why? Doesn’t all that powder cause issues? I’m constantly trying to get the powder to go back under the little sifter thing.

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96 Chelsea January 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm

That sounded bitchy-sorry. I want to be enlightened on your Bare Minerals and how you use them :)

Oh and on the pants thing. Discounting workout pants, I have 2 pairs. Yes, that’s right, 2 pairs of pants. Light colored jeans and dark colored jeans. Same style even. I can never find pants that fit right…

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97 Susan January 25, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I store my BM upside down so I can see the colors easier. Otherwise it’s a pain to lift each container up to see what’s in it.

What I’ve done with my containers is to leave the sticker on and just poke a hole through it. Before I came up with this idea, I popped the lids off, got the powder back in the main compartment and then taped up all but one hole.

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98 KathEats January 25, 2011 at 9:45 pm

I learned it from Emily Daily Garnish! It’s to see the colors/type of product better. I usually just tap them on the counter right-side-up before opening and it leaves just enough product for my brush! Easier than tipping and tapping :)

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99 Amy January 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Great series! Does anyone have an inspiration blog for doing similiar organization in kids’ rooms? I just feel overwhelmed with the outgrown clothing, the current sizes and the incoming sizes. Keep or donate? Same thing with toys. I know my little one thrives in a clutter-free environment but his stuff just seems to multiply!

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100 KathEats January 25, 2011 at 9:45 pm

I don’t know of any, but I think some good storage bins to tuck them away until you actually need them would be a good idea. Attic? Basement?

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101 Taysa January 26, 2011 at 1:45 pm

I really like zerowastehome.blogspot.com for inspiration. Her lifestyle might be too extreme for some people, but she still has really good tips for dealing with too much stuff, including kids.

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102 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm

I thought I was the only person who didnt fold ‘no need to fold’ clothing!! Eric always thinks im nuts, but I swear it saves tons of time. Maybe a year over the course of my life?! lol. jk.

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103 Bronwyn Coyne January 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Oooh love it. So neat and pretty. haha. I’m such a sucker for organization. I do think it’s time I did a sort of “mid-winter” cleaning/downsizing…. I have a lot of clothing I’m not loving these days.

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104 Stacey (The Home-Cooked Vegan) January 25, 2011 at 4:27 pm

What great tips! I love how you took antique items and turned them into storage bins! This post makes me want to go through my closet and give stuff away (and that’s a good thing!).
PS. Those tiny closets in old houses can be a real pain!

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105 Kristina January 25, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Great ideas! Turning a room into a closet = brilliant… someday…when I have an extra room. I also need to be more heartless when it comes to getting rid of clothes I never wear, my drawers are stuffed full, but every time I think of getting rid of something I go “well, what if some day I really REALLY need this random totally not work appropriate party shirt that I haven’t worn for 2 years?”. Thanks for encouraging me to do some serious closet cleaning!

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106 mary (what's cookin' with mary) January 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm

I’m loving all your organization posts!! It’s been inspiring me to do the same at my house. So far, the kitchen is done!

You make REALLY good use of your space. I need to take notes. I love that you don’t fold your clothes !!! I admit, it made me laugh.

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107 Janine Farrow January 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm

I love this!
I am a new reader and am already in love with your blog – I have been thinking about going back to school my self for nutrition or to become an RD and you’re very inspiring!

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108 KathEats January 25, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Thanks!

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109 Samantha January 25, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Really loving the Home Neat Home series! Thanks to you, yesterday I decided to stop ignoring the clutter hiding behind the cabinet doors in my kitchen and completely clean it out. We move, on average, every 1.5-2 years (military) and sometimes things go in multiple shipments, etc. which means over the years we’ve re-purchased a ton of kitchen items we thought were lost or didn’t arrive on time. As a result, I had ELEVEN spatulas, 5 spaghetti ladles, three not complete sets of measuring cups, etc. After a trip to the store for organizational tools, and many hours, I ended up donating FIVE garbage bags full of pots and pans, utensils, water bottles, and other kitchen miscellany to the thrift store and now have a streamlined, easy to navigate kitchen again. My two sons love that they can grab one of their cups or plates for a snack, and not make a mound of tupperware tumble in the process. Thanks KERF!

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110 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin January 25, 2011 at 5:37 pm

I have so many clothes that I know I should get rid of, but I just can’t part with them just in case I decide to wear them again!

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111 sarah (the SHU box) January 25, 2011 at 5:43 pm

another fabulous post :) i need to practice what i preach in the realm of NOT keeping clothes that i might wear ‘someday’!

oh, and i love folding laundry. i can’t let go!

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112 jeddie k. January 25, 2011 at 5:43 pm

i use shot glasses for makeup storage too!! for my mini eyeliners =]

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113 Mary @ Bites and Bliss January 25, 2011 at 6:04 pm

If you’d like another closet to organize, I’m willing to lend mine to you. :D In all seriousness though..the thing’s a disaster. This is helping to motive me to actually do something about it.

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114 kaila @ healthy helper! January 25, 2011 at 6:05 pm

i love being organized, but sometime I just don’t have the time! ;) One trick i came up with though that has proved to be really helpful in organizing jewelry is using a small metal dish rack (from target or the like) for bracelets! It works so well, you just put them around the columns that you would normally put the dishes in between. It’s affordable and keeps bracelets from getting tangles and/or lost!!! I love little tricks like this!

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115 Maria @ The Fitted Apron January 25, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Is that all the makeup you have? I wish I could away with that amount. I’m always looking for the latest greatest cosmetic. You have me beat by jewelry though.

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116 KathEats January 25, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Yeah, I’m a minimalist. One of everything! I do have an eyeshadow palate tucked into the shelves for extra :)

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117 Susan January 25, 2011 at 11:10 pm

It makes it easier to get ready in the morning. I am a cosmetics collector. I always get sucked into those bare minerals kits when I go to the store. The guest bathroom is filled with my make-up.

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118 Frannie January 25, 2011 at 6:38 pm

I have that Target rack and it is a POS! It falls apart ALL.THE.TIME.

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119 Nicole January 25, 2011 at 7:02 pm

I just wanted to pop in quickly and say that your comment – the one about not loving a piece, but loving the idea of it – gosh, that really spoke to me! It’s like being in love with the idea of being in love, huh? LOL But seriously…I can already think of things in my closet that need to go based on that!

Great post. Thanks! :)

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120 Jessica January 25, 2011 at 7:14 pm

This was very helpful Kath, while my closet is neat and organized I really need to get rid of the items I rarely wear. The “keep or toss” breakdown you listed is def in a way that I can think through and feel comfortable with discarding some items. There are a lot of things I only wear once a year or I like but aren’t really comfortable. I’m my pregnancy is over and I can get back into my normal clothes, I’m flagging this post of yours so that I can start the process.

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121 Hannah January 25, 2011 at 7:27 pm

New blog idea… Kath Cleans Real Houses!

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122 KathEats January 25, 2011 at 9:47 pm

I’d love it! I love organization more than I love food! For real!

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123 Halley (Blunder Construction) January 25, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I am all about not folding my laundry, and just shoving PJs and the like into drawers. Love this series.

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124 Allison @ OneWhiteTulip January 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm

I really need to get rid of some clothes! We only have one closet in our teeny apartment, and it’s just not working! Our problem is we are both pretty thrifty so we hate to throw any clothes away, haha. But we keep accumulating (slowly but surely).

Don’t worry Kath, I don’t fold clothes either! i just shove them in designated drawers, haha. Although I have noticed I can fit more in my drawers when they’re folded. Oh well!

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125 wendy January 25, 2011 at 8:02 pm

oh my goodness, trying to talk my hubby into clearing his closets is a nightmare.
I literally have to take every item out and go through it with him so he will actually chuck something out (hes a hoarder grr )
We started it yesterday, i managed to get him to fill two black bags to get rid of, but we havent tackled the drawers and bottoms of the wardrobes yet (yikes)
We are in need of some storage either baskets or plastic bins to help organise things a bit better so thats next on my list of things to buy.

some great tips here, thankyou x

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126 Sally January 25, 2011 at 8:27 pm

I love your Queen room! I live in a one bedroom apartment with one small closet (it has a support beam in the center) and my husband. He ended up taking the closet plus he has a small dresser and I ended up getting a stand-alone IKEA wardrobe that has a hang bar as well as shelves. I definitely recommend a wardrobe for living spaces that are short on closets, especially if you have pets or kids and don’t want all of your clothes to be exposed.

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127 Madeline - Greens and Jeans January 25, 2011 at 8:33 pm

I moved from a “new” apartment with HUGE closets to an older apartment that I LOVE but has tiny closets. Besides my addiction to boots (it’s a problem), I have to thank my mom for making me stick to the rule that when you buy something you have to get rid of something! She had us do it when we were little and I’ve stuck with it. It keeps my closet and dressers from getting too out of control.

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128 Susan January 25, 2011 at 9:10 pm

I do the same thing! I also go through my closet periodically and offer things to friends or donate them.

The one thing I have a hard time with is exercise clothes. I haven’t purged that stuff in years.

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129 Michelle January 25, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Kath, I am mesmerized by these posts! Are you doing one on the bathroom?

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130 KathEats January 25, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Yup!

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131 Megan @ MegGoesNomNom January 25, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Lots of great tips! I love that you made a ROOM into a closet. Yes! Also love the antique desk-turned-perfume/jewelry vanity. Cute cute. ALSO love the over-the-door hooks for the boy hoodies. My hubby is well-known for tossing those bad boys on the floor constantly, and that is a great, man-friendly idea!

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132 carly January 25, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Loved this post! I’d love to see how you organize your “keepsakes”. I have a lot of random little things that represent a special memory such as dinner date recipes from special meals with my husband, random notes, concert ticket stubs, cards, ect. I’m trying to think of a good way to organize them. Any thoughts?

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133 KathEats January 25, 2011 at 9:49 pm

I think those are all clutter! I mean, it’s nice to look at a concert ticket, but whenever you want to remember the night you look at the ticket, but the memory is still in your head! Maybe have a small cute box for JUST the REALLY REALLY good stuff to compromise with yourself?

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134 carly January 25, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Haha! That’s what my super organized husband thinks too… keep the memory in your head & pictures on the computer. I really could part with some of it and keep my favs :) Do you keep any b-day cards/notes/thank you/etc. you get? Can’t wait for more organization posts!

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135 MegsFitness February 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Or, you could try scrap booking :) Combine ticket stubs with pics from the event and a small story about your favorite part of your memory and you’ve got a great place to keep all those keep-sakes. My memory sucks :( Short term and long term so I take pictures and scrap book to keep memories and things like this aren’t clutter at all (to me). Just make sure, like Kath said, to pare it down and only keep the really special ones. Who cares about the casual date to see Tangled? But WOW, the road trip to Chicago to see our favorite bands? Keeper.

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136 Lindsey January 25, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Love it! I like your saying “love everything you wear” because I don’t always follow that motto. I’ll keep things because I think one day I’m going to love to wear it, sadly those items usually stay in the closet with the tags on.

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137 Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] January 25, 2011 at 10:46 pm

I use a personalized shot glass on my desk as a tack holder :)

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138 Alaina January 25, 2011 at 11:53 pm

I loooove organization!! I have so many baskets that I put my stuff in. :-)

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139 Dee January 26, 2011 at 9:40 am

Another fantastic article! May I ask where you got the bag hooks?

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140 KathEats January 26, 2011 at 9:55 am

Do you mean the ones that my purses are on? That is leftover from college, and i’m sure it was just one of the bed, bath stores.

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141 Amber K January 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm

I’m all about simplicity. I own 6 t-shirts, 4 sweaters, 4 hoodies, 2 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of khakis, 1 pair of PJ pants, 4 pairs of shorts, 1 LBD, 3 pairs of leggings, and 5 pairs of shoes. That’s all I could ever need!

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142 Taysa January 26, 2011 at 1:42 pm

I have been on a path to simplifying my life for the last three years. I have slightly more clothes than I need for a week, but that’s it. 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of cords, 2 black work pants, 1 pair of capris. 5 pairs–it’s perfect!

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143 Kristi January 26, 2011 at 3:35 pm

If you must love everything in your closet then I see that you love vertical striped tops in fun colors! Also, I can’t believe you don’t fold your laundry…I pictured you as a very neat and crisp tri-folded towels kind of girl. But I agree, folding is a pain…luckily my husband does that job!

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144 Jessica January 26, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Have you read “The Happiness Project?” I think you would love it!

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145 KathEats January 26, 2011 at 7:34 pm

I haven’t!

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146 Kelly - meatlesswithaman.blogspot.com January 26, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Hey Kath!

I’m loving your Home Neat Home “series”.

One of my goals for this year is to go through every closet, cabinet, and drawer before January 31st and reorganize, donate unwanted goods, and throw away old items. It’s been REALLY fun and such a great feeling. I’ve made three trips to Goodwill with bags of clothes, shoes, beddings, purses, etc. I’m embarrassed to say how much crap I’ve thrown away. WOW does it feel good to declutter and SIMPLIFY.

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147 klm January 26, 2011 at 10:41 pm

i love the KM!!

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148 Kym January 26, 2011 at 11:09 pm

I usually love your posts, but I guess I’m the only one who sees using an entire room + the tiny closet in that room as your closet to be having too much stuff. Especially if your husband can fit all of his stuff in 1 of the tiny closets + 1 dresser. It looks like you have 15 pairs of jeans alone…things like that I really don’t understand. I do actually have only 5 pairs of pants – 4 slacks for work and 1 pair of jeans.

I don’t mean for this to come off bitchy, I just found it a little hypocritical to talk about paring down and then displaying your entire-room closet.

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149 KathEats January 27, 2011 at 7:12 am

Well these posts are about neatness and organization – not about living in small spaces. And also, my point was to fit yourself to the space, not necessarily for us all to live off of as few clothes as possible. And lastly, we have no other purpose for the room (it doubles as a guest room, actually) so it’s not a waste.

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150 Steph January 27, 2011 at 6:51 pm

What a great room to have, lucky girl!
Where did you get the jewelery organizer in that drawer?

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151 KathEats January 27, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Linens and Things, back in the day

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152 Christie {Nourishing Eats} February 14, 2011 at 9:41 am

I recently moved my closet into our guest bedroom closet which used to be our “junk” closet. I put in pretty shelves and baskets and got rid of everything that I never actually wore. It is so tempting to the keep the things that you think are pretty but actually, you don’t wear them. But, I bit the bullet and got rid of them. The awesome thing is that I never, ever, in a million years imagined that I could have a closet in such a tiny space but I actually love it. It is the best closet I’ve ever had. Now, if I have nothing to wear, it is because it is dirty :D

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153 Gail March 3, 2011 at 4:57 pm

I stumbled upon you blog purely by accident (I was researching breweries near CVille!), and I just wanted to let you know that you have started me on an organisational kick! I have way too many clothes, which I somehow managed to get from the UK to CVille when I moved here, and haven’t gone through them in a while. Goodwill is going to be getting a nice big pressie from me. I even found a place to donate old bras. We’ll be moving (again) this summer so my husband is very pleased at this current trend :)

Thanks!

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154 KathEats March 3, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Thanks for stopping by!

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155 Ashley November 14, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Hello Kath… It’s been a while since I’ve visited your blog and I thought of you this morning when a friend asked me for a list of things she really *needs* in preparation for having her first baby next month (I had a baby in January). I thought you had a list like that at one point and I found it helpful when creating my registry – but I can’t find it. One post led to another and I ended up searching for your posts on organization for closets. My closet has been a horrendous disaster since before I had the baby so as you can imagine it has only gotten exponentially worse! I am guessing you no longer have your “queen room” (this isn’t even i your current house, right?)… I would love to see how you managed the transition from a whole-room closet to what I assume is a normal-size closet in your new house. Hope you’re having fun with that little guy! He’s adorable!!

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156 KathEats November 14, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Haha the list post is on babykerf.com!

I now have an ikea closet that fits everything but dresses. You can see it if you go to the top navigation lifestyle…home neat home…cottage kerf…bedrooms

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