Protecting Your Winter Wears

Richards Moth Away

Despite having a glorious 90-degree day in March this year, we can now confidently say that the warmer, summer weather will soon be here to stay for the season.

While you begin to slowly transition your wardrobe from winter to summer, give some consideration to properly storing and protecting your winter wears by following the steps below.

Steps to Safely Storing Your Winter Wears

  1. Launder or dry clean all garments, blankets and linens to remove dirt, stains and to ensure there are no moth larva in the fibers
  2. Place the cleaned and neatly folded items into a garment box or bag.  Wool, cashmere or garments containing a blend of either fiber should be placed in sealed plastic bags or bins to prevent unwelcome guests from dropping by over the summer.  Cotton and other fabrics should be stored in containers that can breath to prevent trapping any moisture, which can lead to mildew.  If you are using a cardboard box, you also want to be sure there is no acid or coloring in the cardboard that could possibly ruin your items during storage
  3. Place a moth repellent item such as cedar blocks, a cedar sachet or my personal favorite Moth Away in the storage container
  4. Store your protected items in a cool, dry location such as the top shelf of a closet

By following these simple steps, your cold-weather comforts will be clean, fresh and ready to go when the winter season hits.

P.S. – Moth Away has quickly become one of my closet staples.  This all natural repellent not only  protects your clothing, but it keeps it smelling fresh.  The peppermint, rosemary, thyme and clove combination smells wonderful and provides a burst of calming scent every time I open my storage containers.

Get Your Tote Bags Organized

Over the past several years companies have done an excellent job of taking the eco-friendly, reusable tote bag and making it not only functional, but stylish and fun too.  However, these must-have, useful bags can very easily become a cumbersome mess as you start to collect them.  The colorful collection you accumulate as event gift bags and from different stores, typically end up getting tossed around your car or your cabinets – you may even frequently forget them when you walk out the door.

Lucky for us, Julie Zizka seems to have had similar frustrations and has created the perfect solution – The Tote Buddy.  This super simple product allows you to organize and neatly store your tote bags so they will no longer be a cluttery mess, and will always be ready for your trip to the store.   The Tote Buddy works with a various size totes and is available for purchase on the company’s website.

Now, why didn’t I think of that?

A Place to Sit & Store Your Shoes

Accentuated by the bright and bold colors they are known for, Lilly Pulitzer will be debuting a home furnishings line with HFI this Summer.  The line will consist of 200+ pieces and one amazing Shoe-Storage Ottoman, which Real Simple just noted as “Destined to be a Classic” – I couldn’t agree more!  The ottoman should retail for around $599 and will be a great addition to bedrooms, walk-in closets and those compact New York City studio apartments where you can never have enough shoe storage.

The Go-To Shelving, Closet & Drawer System

As  a professional organizer, there are certain products and services that I consider my go-to resources – my tried-and-true favorites.  Resources make my list for reasons such as quality, efficiency, ease-of-use, value and company customer service.  For the past several years, one of my favorite products on this list is the Container Store’s Elfa shelving and drawer system.

From creating a versatile closet system to a functional home office work station, there are endless possibilities for this system.  The various Elfa components allow you to create customizable solutions to fit your closet, kitchen, garage, pantry, office and playroom.  Whether you are looking for drawers to house snacks in the pantry, or racks for shoes in your closet, Elfa has the answer to help you get your belongings more organized.  In addition, the versatility of the system will allow you to continue to edit your storage solution as your needs change.  Maybe right now you need a system to organize all your children’s toys, but in the future you will need it to organize their clothing… not a problem.  You can reconfigure the components you already have (including bringing pieces back to the Container Store to have them cut to fit) and you can buy new components to add-on to your current system.  This makes Elfa a great value solution, as you will be able to continue to benefit from your investment for years to come.   You can even take the system with you if you move into a new home and reconfigure it for the new space.  So while it is built to look like a permanent system, its semi-permanent nature will allow you to easily take it with you so you can continue to keep yourself super organized.

From the beginning phases of designing your solution at the store to the installation in your home, the experience is seamless.  I strongly recommend that you check out Elfa to help you get organized in 2011.  Plus, if you shop before February 15, you can save 30% on your system and installation.  A deal that only happens once a year!

Example of a walk-in closet solution with double-hanging for clothes, drawers for shirts, sweaters and undergarments, and top-shelf storage for purses and seasonal items
The jewelry tray component allows you to keep earings, pins, rings and clips separated and visible
The pull-out tie rack component allows you to keep your ties organized and easily accessible
Two different shoe components allow you to maximize storage for both high heel shoes and flats
Several shelves create a simple storage solution for a home office closet

The Container Store’s Elfa Shelving & Drawer Storage System


Holiday Storage: Start Prepping Now

While I know that most of us are just starting to pull out our holiday decor to decorate our home and tree(s), I want talk about packing it all away.  Yes, that is right.  I want you to think about the end of this wonderful holiday season and the dreaded task of de-decorating.

Now, I am not trying to rush to the end of the season due to a lack of love for it; after all, this is one of my favorite times of year.  However, I want you to think about the end of the season so you can start prepping for it now in order to save time and make things flow more smoothly in the future.

While you are unpacking your ornaments and holiday decor this year, take note of the condition of your storage containers – What is broken?  What needs to be replaced? What needs better moisture protection?  What valuables could be better protected?  Make a list and start shopping for these items and containers as you are doing your holiday shopping.  Since you will already be out shopping or flipping through catalogs, it is the perfect time to gather the new ornament boxes, light boxes, wreath boxes, etc. that you will need to store your items safely at the end of the season.  Starting to shop for the items now will save you time and prevent you from making special trips in the future, which will make the de-decorating process much easier and ensure there are no excuses not to have the proper materials to pack away your holiday decor in an organized manner.  Plus, if you start gathering the storage items now, it will give you ample time to watch for sales on the items that you need and allow enough time for delivery on the items that you order online or through a catalog.

To help you get started, here are a couple of products that I love for holiday storage.  I recommend trying to purchase any storage items in the appropriate holiday colors to make it even easier to quickly identify your holiday items within your storage area.

Snap N’ Stack Ornament Storage Box

The Snap N’ Stack Ornament Storage Box helps keep your ornaments safe and easily accessible.  The separate snap-on layers allow you to access each layer of ornaments independently so you don’t have to worry about taking all of the ornaments out from one layer before getting to the next (as many other storage containers do).  These boxes also serve as great storage solutions for ribbon, bows, gift tags, and other small holiday items.

Wing-Lid Light Storage Box

The Wing-Lid Light Storage Box allows you to not only keep your lights safe from breaking, but it more importantly keeps them tangle free!  The container comes with four, plastic Light Cord Wraps that allow you to easily store your lights at the end of the season and quickly pull them out to begin decorating next season.  These containers also serve as a great storage solution for holiday garland.

A Versatile & Portable Shelving Solution

Here is a new product that I am very excited to try – the iLean.  It is one of the easiest to use and most versatile shelving/storage solutions that I have seen.  The iLean is portable, requires no assembly and seems to have an endless number of uses.  It can be used at home, the office,  outside… even at a tailgating party!  The iLean can transform from shelving, to a desk, to an easel with just a few simple adjustments.  It is great for anyone who is looking for a flexible, semi-permanent solution.

The iLean Store

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