Holiday decorations are back in storage but the new year can bring another home project -- organization.
A recent Associated Press home article noted New Year's resolutions to lose weight or get organized can fall prey to old habits before the new year is a month old.
Galeen Royce, designer at Ideal Closet, Ideal Corners, said business picked up after New Year's Day. Most of Ideal Closet's work comes with new construction, but about 20 percent of the business is going into existing closets for a makeover.
Whether people choose a custom designer or go to a discount store for do-it-yourself bins, the design is the place to start, Royce said.
For space starved closets, storage bins on casters create drawer space below hanging clothes. And over-the-door hanging storage shelves create extra room for books, belts, scarves and miscellaneous items that can neatly disappear behind a closet door. (Dispatch Photos by Renee Richardson)
Royce is working on an installation this week with a walk-in closet with angled walls that made it a challenge. For Royce the first question is how to make such storage space functional.
It starts by evaluating the space and designing a new closet concept. Royce uses a computer design program, but paper and pencil work fine for the average homeowner. Royce said she was able to design a new closet that provided more hanging room and moved items that were too high to be accessible without a stepladder to lower spots.
If a closet has a high shelf or an inaccessible location, use it for items that are rarely used but are too good for the throw pile. Then look at how clothes are stored. Are pants hung over a hanger or clipped by the cuffs? Could a stacked hanging area provide double closet space for shirts, blouses and pants and keep them all within reach and sight?
Royce said she has been in closets where shoes are piled upon each other at the bottom and sweaters stacked and falling all over. Some closets have sweater shelves behind hanging clothes, which can mean an entire winter season without wearing them because they are not handy and not even visible in the morning get ready rush.
If people cannot access closet items readily, the closet is not functional, Royce said.
"People did not think about how they function and they still don't," Royce said of closet design in homes.
In many older homes the issue is a lack of closet and storage space. Bins can be handy options. Flat, lidded bins provide under bed storage for extra linens or blankets.
A shoe tree or hanging shoe storage can clean up the jumbled mess on the closet floor and make pairs easier to find. Small, clear storage drawers on casters provide considerable storage room below hanging clothes and can be used for socks, belts, scarves, T-shirts and the like.
New color schemes are also giving homeowners choices in the laminated closet organizers. Royce uses colors in maple, cherry, pear, white, off-white and gray. In larger closet makeovers, dressers can be built into closet designs, or drawers added to shelves to get rid of a cluttered appearance.
Royce said the important thing is that people will use whatever they end up with and it should allow them greatest access and function in their closet space.
The Associated Press also noted weatherization, interior improvements and repairs, even value-added projects such as decks or additions, are likely candidates for home improvement projects, according to The Home Service Store.
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