St. Petersburg Times Online: Home and Garden

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Special order for closets

By JUDY STARK

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 24, 2000


The clutterless closet
Feeling disorganized? It's probably time to closet yourself with your closet. Small, inexpensive changes can bring order and a sense of well being that percolate into other aspects of daily life.
Specialty closets may make life simpler around your house. Consider these:

KIDS' CLOSET: Install rods at lower levels so children can reach their clothing. Use plastic stacking drawers. Little kids can draw or cut out a picture of what goes in each drawer and tape it in place so they know what belongs where. Use open, lidless containers for small toys. Kids are tossers; they're not going to take off a lid, replace an item and put the lid back on. Use floor space for big toys (doll strollers, trucks).

CORE CLOSET: Designate a closet in the main area of your home as the "core closet" for all the family basics that otherwise are scattered around: batteries, candles, flashlights, light bulbs, sewing supplies, notepad, camera and film, scissors, tape, "all the things you need and have but can't find," suggests organizer Ann Cueva. "Go around and gather these things up and put them in one place. Clean out your junk drawers." All family members will know where these things are kept, and they won't go out and buy more of something simply because they can't find the ones you already have.

LOST AND FOUND: Cueva has designated an area under the stairs in her own home for all the bits and pieces that tend to get lost or in the way or are in transition: kids' shoes and socks, the casserole dish that needs to be returned to a neighbor.

GAME CLOSET: Here's an efficient way to store all those bulky board games. Get rid of the boxes, which are no doubt crushed and broken and take up most of the space. Stand the boards up on end and label them on the outside. Then place each game's pieces, dice, cards, etc., in one drawer of an 18- or 24-drawer plastic organizer, the kind that's sold for storing nuts and bolts and small parts. Label each drawer: CLUE, MONOPOLY, CANDYLAND, CHECKERS. When people want to play a game, they select the board and pull out the appropriate drawer.

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