How to Organize Your Shoes

Closet space vs number of shoes! When your love of shoes surpasses the capacity to organize them in one place!

Whenever I do a closet re-org and we start on the shoes It’s not uncommon to hear ‘’I forgot I had those’’ or ‘’I’ve been looking for those for weeks”!  Amazing how easily shoes can hide in closet!

Sometimes the solution is right in front of you, but because you are used to how things have always been you can’t see it. If you’re stuck, contact me, even if you live outside the area I can do a virtual closet assessment. 🙂

In the meantime, here are some solutions that worked for my clients, perhaps one might work for you.

ADD SHELVES: My client just moved into her new home, it’s the first time she has had a closet big enough for all of her clothes and all of her shoes! She loves fashion and always has the perfect shoe for the outfit.  Lets face it, it’s all about the shoe, but if you can’t find it when you need it your what’s the point? Check your closet, is there any unused space that you can get creative with?  We had her handyman create shoe cubbies by attaching shelves from the wall to the existing closet system. Happy making!

New Built in Shelves for Closet Re-Org

Shoe shelves added to closet to keep flats & sandals organized.

RE-PURPOSE A BOOKCASE: When I organized Lisa’s closet, she had an empty bookcase stored in the back of her closet and shoes scattered all over the floor, I adjusted a few shelves and Voile!

Unused Bookcase for Shoe Shelves

Bookcase shelves added for shoe storage.

STACKABLE SHOE SHELVES:  I love this solution, because it is an easy fix, it keeps shoes organized so that you can see them and it’s easy to maintain. These are Container Store Flat Wire Stackables.

Stackable Shoe Shelves

Stack or not on the shelf above and on the floor below.

 

CLEAR SHOE BOXES: I love this solution because it keeps your shoes dust free and you can easily stack them however high you are willing to go (I suggest no higher than 3). Sterilite storage bins are my fave. Don’t forget to label them! My client Elaine is an artist, so we just stuck sticky notes on the boxes until she could create some fun labels. For flexible labeling I use Self adhesive business card holders, insert a card with the name and replace when you finally get rid of those stilettos and replace with a ”sensible” heel! 🙂

Shoe Bins - Closet Makover

An Organized Garage Means Space for Your Car!

Is your garage organized? If your answer is no and if it is so crammed with ”stuff” that you can’t fit your car in there, you are not alone.  About 60% of the people I know (friends, family, clients, neighbors)do not park their car in their garage due to that same reason.

Think about what it would be like if you could park your car in the garage. Winter weather is upon us, so why not make your mornings a little more pleasant and get into a dry, frost free car. If you have kids, how great would it be to load them in and out of the car without getting drenched or frozen while trying to get them buckled into their car seats!

My client is a city girl and having a garage in San Francisco is like winning the lottery! So when hers became so over run with stuff, she decided to hire me to clean up, clear out and make room for her car. She was tired of doing the 100+ yard dash from car to house in the cold rain, not to mention, she just wanted to get organized so that the things she actually needed were easily identifiable and accessible.

After

Before

 

 3 Must Have Items Before You Start 

  1. Clear Plastic Bins so you can see what’s in the bin.

  2.  Label Maker  to clearly label your bins.

  3. If you need more shelving, purchase Shelving Units to fit your needs and space.

My client is constantly taking things to and from her businesses and one of her major frustrations was forgetting to put items in her car that she needed to take with her.  We purchased a small shelving unit and placed it at the bottom of the stairs next to her car making it easy to load and unload and nothing left behind!

Whether you hire a professional like me or you do it yourself, I promise you it will be worth all the effort to just get it done before Thanksgiving. The holidays can be stressful enough and no one wants to blow a gasket over trying to find the twinkle lights or those extra chairs for Thanksgiving dinner!  Not to mention it won’t have to be on the New Years ”To Do” list….again!

 

Area Rugs – Size Matters

They say size doesn’t matter, but when it comes to rugs, it actually does! It can make or break the look of a room by making it feel smaller or larger.  I just received an update text and photo from Chris who’s living room was featured in my Help! Living Room Challenge post.

I got a bigger rug, I first thought it would go under the kitchen table, but was too big, so I switched them. I like it. It makes the room seem bigger. Crazy.”

Large Area Rug

Small Area Rug

It’s not Crazy that a larger rug would make the room look larger. One of the main reasons we use area rugs is to pull a room together, it’s the foundation of the room.

Here are 3 general rug guidelines. 

  1. All furniture on the rug
  2. Only the front legs of the furniture on the rug.
  3. All furniture off the rug (done when using a smaller rug)

Tip: Use painters tape and tape off the floor to the size of rug you are thinking about and you will see how your furniture will work on or around it. It’s easier to do that then it is to wag home a large rug and then have to return it.

Layering as a solution: Chris could have  have layered her small rug over a larger  neutral rug like this, which would have given her room a larger feel as well.

Small Floral Rug Layered Over Larger Sisal Rug

 

 

 

Chunky High Heels: Shoes You Can Wear All Night

‘’And no, you don’t have to cram your feet into uncomfortable heels for fashion’s sake.Trends are continuing to lean towards chunkier and shorter heel heights with slanted and curvy details. So you could spend the entire day strutting around in one of the biggest fall shoe trends without making your pinkie toes hate your guts”. – InStyle Magazine Fall Shoe Trends of 2017 (click on the link and see the trends).

For the 10 years I lived in NYC I could walk, dance and if I had to, chase down a cab in high heels!  I was in my thirties and basically if it was a fabulous shoe, no matter what the height, I would rock it! In full disclosure, I was also a lover of a great crocodile loafer.

In my forties my high heels turned into what I call ‘’valet parking’’ shoes. Worn ONLY when I went somewhere that valet parked my car and no long periods of standing or dancing was involved.

Now in my fifties having lived at the beach and now in Wine Country, rarely is there a call for a high heel. However, last year my husband and I attended a fundraiser in San Francisco and my outfit just wasn’t having anything but a high heel, so I dug out this classic and slipped it on….OUCH!!!

I figured it’s mainly a sit down dinner, so no big deal, I can handle it  for a few hours. Wrong!! There was a lot of standing and a long walk from rooftop cocktails to the event room. Once at the table, I slid off my shoes and prayed my feet wouldn’t swell.  They did but I managed to shove my now numb feet back into the shoes until we got to our hotel, then took them off and walked barefoot through the lobby. I had turned into my Mother…when did this happen??!!

It’s a year later, we are heading to the same event and I was ecstatic knowing I just might find a great ”on trend” chunky heel that would be stylish AND comfortable and I found this!

I’m proud to report they stayed on all night and I won’t lie and say I had ‘’happy feet’’ but at the end of the night I walked through the lobby with my shoes on and dignity in tact!

Check out Zappos and see what pair you think you would wear.

Ugly Purse Transformation

I am not a person who likes to change handbags. I invest in one really good bag every year or two and rarely switch my bags in daily life, partially because when I do, I lose things or everything I need doesn’t get transferred over (like the lipstick that fell to the bottom of the bag…Grrr!).

The exception is when I go out at night I might switch to a smaller bag. I was in need of a new small black bag with a strap, but didn’t want to spend a fortune; I went over to my local Nordstrom Rack in search of a deal.I took a quick swing through the handbag section and first glance saw nothing. However, this bag caught my eye, mainly because the beads were bright and to my eye a bit obnoxious.

Before

Looking again I thought ‘’Take those beads off and I have a fantastic basic black bag’’.I untied the ends, pulled off the beads and Voila! Original price $78 marked down twice to $ $27.30. Score!

purse

After

Next time you are shopping deals and find something you love, if only it didn’t have xyz on it, get creative and see if there is an easy way to alter it to make it work for you.

Tip:  Peruse the discount stores at least once every couple of weeks to find great deals. Things you would actually wear or use, don’t buy something because it’s a ‘’deal’’.  I’ve seen too many never worn items in closets that still have the discount store tags on them 2 years after they bought them.  Even at  $15.99, if you don’t LOVE it, you won’t wear it, so it’s NOT a deal!  These stores constantly switch up their merchandise and sometimes it just comes down to right timing whether you find something fabulous or not. Don’t settle, wait to find fabulous and I guarantee you will actually wear it and feel great about buying it!

Help! Living Room Challenge

A few weeks ago on a Saturday morning I received this 911 text and photo from a friend who had recently relocated to St.Louis and chose to downsize when buying their new home. With downsizing often comes furniture placement challenges like this one.

“Help! I’m attempting to rearrange this room. It is small and set up kind of awkward. I get like I needed to open it up more. I just can’t figure it out, especially with the bar and stools. There are just two.”

Chris Living Room

Before

Chris Living Room by Nancy Korbet

 

 

 

 

Me: Try moving the floral chair to the corner of the rug

 

 

           Chris:  You mean like this?Chris Living room by Nancy KorbetMe:  Yes! At some point you might want to think about getting a round coffee table, which would create a little more space to move around.  Also, I would pull the rug away from under the couch and show some hardwood.

Rug Tip: When opting for a smaller rug, keeping all legs of the furniture off and positioned around the edges of the rug is best. Rules were meant to be broken,but I think it’s good strategy for this situation.

Later that day……..

Chris Living Room- After by Nancy Korbet

After

  Chris: I’ve been wanting to get rid of that old table, so we went shopping and found this one at Pier One!

Now that is what I call instant gratification! See how even just moving a couple of things around in a room can make a big difference. If you have some ”stuck” areas, contact me and I lets see how we can work together virtually.

Saving What Can’t Be Replaced

We live a couple of miles from one of the Santa Rosa neighborhoods that was devastated by the Wildfires.  Though it was touch and go for many hours, in the end we didn’t get evacuated and our home is fine. This was not the case for so many others.

I wanted to share a story about a client I worked with a couple of months ago. Her husband was going to New York for a three month work project.  Getting their garage organized was a huge task they wanted accomplished before he left.  Along with typical garage items, their son had moved back home several months before and there was his stuff to go through as well as family photos and memorabilia to get sorted and in boxes. This ‘’family history’’ was really important to all of them, but especially to their adopted son who is now twenty something; his family is everything to him. It took two days, but mission accomplished!

Fast forward several weeks, my client was enjoying a wonderful long weekend in New York with her husband when they got a call from their son telling them about the wildfires and though he wasn’t being evacuated yet, it was feeling like he most certainly would at some point. He was going to pack the truck and what specifically did they want him to take from the house?  Her reply “More than anything just make sure you get out safe’’. But since he had time to load things, she said she was relieved to know EXACTLY where the boxes of family photos and memorabilia were in the garage and told him to grab those, everything else could be replaced. 

Eventually he did have to evacuate for a few days, but their home remained in tact.  My client arrived home from NY and discovered her son had taken framed family photos off the hallway wall, noticing he took only the photos where he was with other family members and left  the photos that were just of him.  She said her heart melted, knowing how much these documented moments with his family meant to him.

What would you take if you only had 15 minutes or less to pack?  Beside important documents, most people say photos and family memorabilia.  So, please take some time and get the important things organized so you know where they are and can grab and go, you will be happy you did.

These past several months throughout the country many are left with nothing except the daunting task of how to rebuild their lives from nothing.  What I know is the human spirit is strong and yet there are times when it may feel it’s all just too much to bear. That is why we must hold the light for those who feel theirs has dimmed. Be kind and keep in mind, you don’t know what someone has just been through.  I’ve watched as our community has reached out with overwhelming kindness, love and support to those in need.  It’s a long road ahead, so we must be diligent in making sure we keep this spirit of giving alive. 

 

Moving is Stressful

Moving PostCard

Whether you move across the street or across the country, moving is stressful. It can be an organizational challenge of a lifetime.

MOVING MANTRA:    I am happy to let go of all of my worn-out, unused, broken, it was a gift, but I don’t like it, items. Packing and unpacking will be much easier; I will feel less stressed and lighter because of it!

It’s just easier to sort through the clutter BEFORE you move. It takes time and money to pack and move things that you ultimately end up purging on the other end. That ugly vase you packed doesn’t turn beautiful at the new house…get rid of it!

Purging Emotional Items

We all have those items that hold meaning. The wedding gift my best friend gave us (haven’t used it in years), first nice item I bought for our home (totally worn out), family heirloom (not my taste). Give yourself permission to let go of it all.

  • If you gave a gift that wasn’t being used, you wouldn’t want that person to hang onto it. Use that same thinking when you are trying to let go of those unused gifts you’ve been given.
  • When you give away, donate; even sell something you aren’t using, think of how happy you’re making someone that can use it! A a great item for a great price or free, pure Joy!
  • If you continue to hold onto to the things you are not using or don’t want, it not only clutters your physical space, but it clutters your mind. Reduce your stress, release it.

5 Practical Stress Reducing Moving Tips

  1. Measure your new home before you move. Furniture that doesn’t fit on moving day can cause Major drama!
  2. Label your boxes clearly. Use a different color marker or label for each room. Put the labels in the same spot on all boxes (ex: upper left corner).
  3. Tape one of the labels on the outside of the room in the new house. It makes it easy for movers to place the boxes in the correct room.
  4. Make an essential box. Things you’ll need right away (cleaning supplies, tp, plates, wine opener, coffee maker,etc)
  5. Pack a personal Bag. Pack it as though you are going away for an overnight. (change of clothes, toiletries, electronics/chargers, important papers…etc)

If you are in The Bay Area, Sonoma County or Northern California contact nancykorbet.com and let me lend a hand.

Happy Move! Happy Home!

8 Simple Steps for Spring Closet Re-Org

Whether you truly have seasons where you live or not, the first weeks of Spring and Fall are great times to organize your closet and make your wardrobe current and fabulously functional. Even if you are pretty good at keeping your closet organized I bet there are hidden items in the back that are too worn out to wear or something you forgot about that you could be wearing!

I encourage everyone to Spring (pun intended) into action, walk into your closet and get busy!  If you find it hard doing it on your own, invite a friend (who can honestly and firmly) help you, or contact me  at nancykorbet.com let’s set up an appointment and just get it done!

8 Simple Steps to Your Closet Bliss:

1) Prepare 3 large garbage bags marked:Donate(someone in need would be grateful).Consignment (local Thrift store or check out thredup.com).Garbage (beyond use).

2) Look at every piece of clothing in your closet. Check for stains, holes or just worn out. If it can be repaired or cleaned, make a ‘’to fix’’ pile (don’t put it back in your closet).

3)  Try on everything to make sure it still fits. Don’t assume it does or doesn’t. Dress for your current body, not the one you used to have or hope to have.

4) If you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it. (exception: special occasion) A year turns into three quickly.The fewer clothes in your closet, the simpler your fashion life is.  Keep only the pieces that make you look and feel great, it makes getting dressed fun again!

5) If you have to keep an ‘’emotional item’’ (prom dress, first marathon run tee…etc) keep it but not in your closet. Store in a bin under your bed or another room. You can also keep the memory by taking a photo, but letting go of the item altogether.

6) Create new outfits.  Start with a basic dress create several looks by adding accessories and shoes or try bottoms then add different tops,cardigans,tees and accessories. See how much further you can stretch your wardrobe. Place a white sheet on your bed and photograph the new looks so you don’t forget; print them and tape them in your closet for quick reference.

7) Make a shopping list of pieces you are missing or need to replace in your wardrobe.  Photograph the list so you have it whenever you go shopping. It keeps you on track with purchasing only what you really need which saves you time and money.

8) Use good hangers. Huggable-Hangers are my favorite. They save space and prevent slipping. Even if you don’t use these,use only one kind and NO wire hangers.

Remember to keep only the clothes you feel great in. If you don’t like it on, you are not going to wear it ANYTIME!  Have fun and keep in mind, you are making room to express yourself effortlessly, everyday! 🙂