Summer Project List

blur-close-up-collage-196655School’s out and summer’s here! For many of us, summer signals a new slightly more relaxed schedule –  time off from school or work, weekend or week-long trips and fewer regular commitments. Despite the lack of structure, summer can still be a great time to get some of your organizing projects done. Start your summer off right by creating your summer project list. This should be a list of a few – no more than 5 – projects that you want to complete by the end of the season. It can be whatever you want, but I recommend choosing projects that give you some enjoyment to capture that spirit of summer fun!
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Managing Kids’ Art and Schoolwork

IMG-4793There are few certainties in life, but here’s one I’ve found to hold true: If you’ve got kids, you’ve got art and schoolwork…and lots of it! In my 12 years of parenting, I’ve seen lots of strategies, tried a few – and here’s what I’ve settled on…for the moment.

  1. Start the school year with a temporary storage box or bin. You’ll need one for each child (labeled so you don’t get confused) and they’ll need to be in an easy-to-access location. No worries if you didn’t have that in place this year. You can deal with this year’s memories and start the box method for this coming year.
  2. As art and schoolwork comes in the door, deal with it immediately…or at least weekly. Hang up a few gems, plop the best in your temporary storage box, and recycle the rest. Remember that less is more, but don’t put too much time/effort into this either. The point is to make it easy in the moment so everything ends up in one place. You will whittle it down later. If you want, write the month/year on the back of the keepers – but don’t let that slow you down from getting things into the box.
  3. Mid-way through the year – holiday break is a good time – weed through what you’ve saved so far. You’ll find that as time passes and more accumulates, it’s easier to curate your collection. This will also make sure you have enough room in the box for the rest of the year.
  4. At the end of the year, take everything out of the box and review the whole pile. Again, it’s easier to pick out the gems after some time has passed and you can see that whole collection – pick one snowflake, one family “portrait”, one writing sample, etc.
  5. Decide how you’re going to more permanently store the year’s memories and make it happen over the summer. There are lots of options, but some simple ideas are a file box with 1 hanging file folder per year or a binder using dividers for each year. There are high tech options too, like photo books or scanning services. Just don’t make it so complicated that it never gets done.

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3 Reasons to Consider a Closet System

843w-elfa-inspiration-reach-in-closets-05-BIf you’ve ever had the feeling that the shelf and rod your closet came with just aren’t making the most of your closet space, you’re right! While you can sometimes improve the situation with modular drawers and shelves, it might be worth considering a closet upgrade with a custom closet system. Here are 3 reasons why:

  1. They’re Custom! If done right, closet systems are customized to make the most of your space and your specific storage needs. Your designer will work with you to figure out your needs for hanging space, drawers or shelves, shoe and accessory storage and any other specific needs.
  2. Vertical Space – One of the major benefits of a closet system over a shelf and rod is that they make use of often wasted vertical space. Whether it’s 2 closet rods, shelving or drawers, a custom closet system will make use of every inch of your vertical space with a structured system, rather than stacked boxes on your top shelf or piled up shoes on the floor.
  3. Attractive to Home Buyers – Whether or not you’re considering selling your home, making improvements that enhance your home for both you and others who may live there in the future makes sense.

Fortunately, there are lots of custom closet options at different price points to fit your budget and your style. At neatspaces – we love closets! We can help figure out the right system and design for your space and needs.

Pro Tip: Stand ‘Em Up

Whether in a closet or a dresser, drawers are a great way to store your folded clothes. I almost always prefer drawers over folded clothing on shelves, simply because stacks of folded clothes tend to fall over on shelves unless you’re super careful removing an item and because drawers mean less visual clutter. That said, folded stacks of clothes in a drawer can quickly become a disaster too. For one, since you can’t see what’s down further in the stack, you tend to wear the same few items from the top over and over again. And while this is an interesting minimalist experiment, if you do decide to venture down to get something you remembered you own, you risk messing up your whole pile!

Enter the stand-up fold – or folding your clothes so that they can stand up instead of being stacked. This has the benefit that they can all be seen and accessed without messing up the whole drawer. If you are already folding your clothes for stacks, this usually just requires folding the item in half again or perhaps in thirds. Experiment to see what works best. Theses pics are a before and after from a drawer of t-shirts. For the stacks, they were simply folded in half length-wise. For the stand-up fold, I folded them in thirds, then in half again for the perfect stand. For full disclosure, I did the initial fold, but I’m finding the maintenance to be much better than the stacks. Sometimes a small organizational tweak is all you need to go from frustrating mess to lined up success!

Before: Stacks

Before: Stacks

 

After: Stand Up

After: Stand Up

 

Before: Disaster

Before: Disaster

 

After: Success!

After: Success!

We especially appreciate her attention to detail…

Jenn is an absolute professional who covers all aspects of the closet design process. My husband and I especially appreciate her attention to detail and ability to personalize our closet to our needs and lifestyle. We feel especially confident working with Jenn because she has years of experience in design and organizing. We definitely recommend Jenn and Neatspaces!

Noel S., Wellesley MA | May 2018

Celebrating 3 Years with The Container Store!

imageWe are so excited to be celebrating 3 amazing years as a Contained Home partner with The Container Store. We love providing Container Store customers with top quality organizing and design services and look forward to helping more customers in the coming year! As a Contained Home partner, we provide elfa and TCS Closets design services along with in-home organizing and product recommendations to help each customer achieve their goals!

Jenn has a great head for organization and closet design.

Jenn has a great head for organization and closet design. She was efficient but thorough in her closet measurements and her recommendations for design have worked out beautifully. We used the Elfa closet systems from the Container Store and I am very happy with their quality and value.

Jennifer P, Wellesley MA | March 2018

Their services came through with flying colors.

I was redoing my dressing room and was on a tight schedule. I called a few different closet companies. I liked the ability to see my clothing over having them in solid board drawer fronts but time was the determining factor. Jennifer, The Container Store and their services came through with flying colors. I highly recommend them. They know their product, are willing to communicate to be sure you are getting just what you desire. I needed one thing corrected and they were out within a few days willing and able. I recommend this company. I have renovated homes for 40 plus years. I had never hired out a closet but this was fabulous.

Darcy D, Newton, MA | February 2017

Efficient, organized and a pleasure to work with!

Jennifer did a great job designing a large mudroom closet for me. She was efficient, organized and a pleasure to work with. I recommend her.

Carol Edelman, Newton, MA | January 2017

Closet Feature: Maximize Style and Function with Elfa Drawer Fronts

Elfa, the customizable shelving and drawer system sold exclusively by The Container Store, is a long-time favorite of ours for highly functional, fabulous closets. Elfa can transform just about any space in your home from cluttered and chaotic to calm, cool and collected! We also love that The Container Store is always working to improve and expand this fan favorite.

One of our favorite new features, elfa Drawer Fronts, adds a new style option to this already great-looking line. The Drawer Fronts are available in all of the Décor finishes – White, Birch and Walnut – so whether you prefer a light or dark look, there’s an option to fit your style. They’re available in two popular drawer sizes, allowing us to maximize your vertical space and storage needs.

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