At-Home Master ClassHome Organization by Clos-ette's Melanie Fowler
How to organize a better home office
Find a space that can be private. Establish boundaries around that space—from your children, spouse, dogs, whomever. You're going to need privacy to work—and focus—from home.
We just don't have the real estate for filing anymore; it's become obsolete. The more you can scan and throw into an app, like Dropbox, the better.
You don't need those business cards from the early 2000s—take the time to scan them—or that huge stash of rubber bands you've squirreled away. People hoard the weirdest things, from old papers to pencil cases. Edit all that out.
Create organization. Do you need a docking station? Boxes for stationery and checkbooks? I still love to write by hand, so I keep my stationery and other stuff I need for work in boxes, separated and labeled.
How to organize your closet
Always start with an edit. Be ruthless. If there's a stain on something and you've sent it to the dry cleaners three times and it's not coming out, get rid of it! And don't hang on to sizes you don't fit into anymore. I'm a big believer in giving away things—gift these items to your daughter, niece or family friend.
Think about what looks good on you. Less is more. Be realistic about what you wear. If you're quarantined at home right now, try things on, ask your partner, your kids—they know what looks good on you. (Tell them to be truthful but loving!)
Shoes with shoes, bags with bags, tops with tops, dresses with dresses, coats with coats, and so on. Then, I like to organize light to dark, left to right.
Use the same hangers throughout. I like lighter hangers because it shows off the clothes better, but at least make them monotone—white, ivory, black. You can buy these in bulk on Amazon or The Container Store.
Get the drawer inserts, the jewelry organizer, the tie and belt racks, the purse stuffers (Fabrinique has my favorites)... Get the boot trees so your boots stand straight. I love the ones from Dasco, but if you need custom inserts—call Clos-ette! We make them. If you have cabinet seams, drill in a valet rod; if you don't, surface-mount it. These are easy DIY projects.
If you are low on space, there are two different ways to organize your shoes. If you have more shelf space—that is, it's longer vs. deeper—place one pair with the toe forward, the other with the heel forward. If your space is deeper but not as wide, then put one shoe in the front and the matching pair in the back, behind it.
With my clients, it's definitely the hoarding and editing. Think of organizing your home and life like a good diet and exercise routine. You have to start with the foundation, which is the diet. Then editing is the exercise part, right? Learn how to keep things in shape and do the physical part of it—the organizing. It will be painful at first—just like people have a hard time converting from processed foods to natural—but then you'll want to do it more. It's just getting over the initial hump.