Thursday, January 9, 2014

Closet Confidential

Show me your closets and I'll show you your secrets.

                                            - Charlotte Adams 

As much as I love to complain about January weather, I have to admit that without January my closets, cupboards and dressers would be impenetrable and more dangerous than a barefoot trip through the Amazon jungle.  What better use of your time when it’s minus a zillion with snow drifts than to tackle the accumulated junk of the past year? Me, I’ve got nothing better to do (except read and I’ll do that as a reward after I’m done). This is, after all, a picture of my back yard this week.

While I’m admitting things to the world, this is probably a good time to let you know that I’m not naturally organized. Oh sure, I had five books with professional organizer Charlotte Adams, but I didn’t organize her: she organized me.  I loved this character (so what if she was a tad on the bossy side?) because she had what I didn’t: a natural gift for sorting out the chaos that ‘stuff’ brings into our lives. A big part of my stuff consisted of books, magazine and guides on organizing. They helped a lot. And so did Charlotte. Many of you have written to ask if there will be more Charlotte Adams books, and that is my plan. Even though it may take a while, Charlotte will be back.
One of my favorite books in the series was Closet Confidential (book 4). Charlotte passed on ‘her’ best tips for closet clear-outs, one at the head of each chapter. I still refer back to them every January when I start the annual digout.
 At any rate, I thought you might appreciate three of Charlotte’s suggestions for reclaiming your closet space. They really helped me and maybe you’ll find them useful too.
·         Before you start organizing, select a charity that you feel good about and make a decision to donate your surplus clothing to them. It will make parting with items so much easier. They’re going to a good home.

Cheap and cheerful does the trick!
·        Ditch your mismatched hangers. Invest in inexpensive but sturdy hangers, all the same color and size. Your closet will look neater and more organized instantly, even if you do nothing else! Then do get rid of the mismatched hangers. Someone will want them, but you won’t. I bought these  in packages of three for a dollar at our local dollar store five years ago and replaced all mine. They’re still going strong and looking good. I fully expect them to outlive me.

·         Play classic rock music (or your favorite lively tunes if that’s not to your liking). The lively beat will keep your energy up and make it seem like fun. I’m happy to have The Beach Boys and The Beatles help me whip those closets into shape. 

Charlotte has dozens more hints. Let me know if you’d like her to show up here at Cozy Chicks every now and then. She’d try not to be too bossy, but you know ...

 And also please tell me (and Charlotte) your favorite tip for create order in your home.
Can’t wait to hear! 

After your comments, if you’d like a chuckle, check out the trailer for Closet Confidential – you can meet the famous princess dachshunds. 

Here are the five Charlotte Adams books, in order of publication, if that's your thing. Charlotte would approve.



Anonymous said...

Good "blog". Love the books.

Dr. Mary Kennedy said...

Mary Jane, this is a fantastic blog. I remember back in school when the nuns would tell us "a cluttered purse is the sign of a cluttered mind." (I confess, guilty on both counts). I found a good use for those "unwanted hangers." I save them and give them to animal welfare groups that run flea markets to raise money for the shelter pets. They use them to display clothing donations and they also love plastic laundry baskets (for sweaters and shirts) and little plastic containers or baskets (for jewelry, etc) Every items helps, and they even use trick or treat containers and tin cookie boxes. Goodwill needs the same sort of items and really appreciates them.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Thanks! I love knowing that you love the books!

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Mary, this is a great idea! I will start adding them to my donation baskets. It's good for the environment too.


Aurian said...

Great post Mary Jane, I will have to read this series asap, as my closet is in dire need of cleaning.

Karen in Ohio said...

I like to donate to the St. Vincent de Paul Society. It's a Catholic charity, and they do not overpay their CEO, unlike Goodwill.

They also take food items, as they provide food for homeless and disadvantaged families.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Thanks, Aurian! Hope you and Charlotte hit it off!


Mary Jane Maffini said...

Karen, we have them here too. They are an amazing group. When there's a fire or other disaster, they are so helpful. They have a drop-off just down the road from us and they are one of the first places we donate things to. I don't think they take food here, but I'll find out.




Nancy said...

I'm so glad to hear that Charlotte will be back!

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Me too! Now I just have to write it.

Hugs and thanks, Nancy.


SueAnn said...

I have read the first in this series and have the other four in a pile ready to read....When we moved from our home of 22 yrs, I had a rule of thumb...if we had not seen nor touched a "thing" in 22 did not come with us! Just about killed poor hubby..the original pack rat....hate to see a grown man cry! the best...!!! I have colored hangers for all of the household..that way, when I iron, I know for sure which white shirt goes in what closet!!!! Hate to say..I am so organized.......and am married to the MOST unorganized man on earth.....!!!!my penace!!!

Shel said...

Also happy to hear that Charlotte will be reappearing! I also agree with Charlotte's tip about music - I have a "cleaning" playlist on my phone that I use when I'm organizing anything. With what I call "small house, big furniture syndrome" , I have to try to stay organized or someone would turn me in to that awful Hoarders TV show! It isn't that my closets are crowded - it's that there is only ONE closet in the entire house! No linen cabinet, no coat closet, nothing. My only hope is to someday dehumidify and de-cobweb the basement and turn it into one huge closet...