Tag Archives: Notebook

Reorganise your Closet!

9 Oct

Personal Note: “Reorganising your closet it a big task and a huge topic. I tried to limit myself to the important points and hope you’ll get inspired to rethink your storage habits.

 In my next posts I will show you how easy it is to make your own beautiful storage boxes. So, stay tuned and have a happy and wonderful day!”   Beate


Reorganise your Closet!


Your closet should be a source of joy and inspiration since it is the place you go each morning to prepare yourself for a new day. Before you de-clutter your wardrobe, re-think and reorganise your closet to make better use of the existing space!

Before you take everything out, open the doors and have a good look at the shelves, rods and dividers. Is it functional? Is it working for you and your items? Is it practical? Does it give you enough space?  Can you reach the most frequently used items easily? Can you see or know where most items are, or are things hiding behind other stuff, on piles, in un-labeled boxes or cluttered drawers? Are your coat hangers overloaded?

Look at your closet with fresh eyes and take some photos of the existing situation. Glue them into a little notebook “My Closet” and start sketching your ideal closet system. Take and note measurements of the length of hanging clothes, of existing boxes or baskets you want to re-use, spaces that need more storage containers. Can you add more shelves? Can you heighten or lower or add or take out hanging rods. Can you combine shorter and longer clothes and group differently? Is it dark in your closet? Can you paint the inside in a light colour or add some lighting? How does it smell? Can you add hooks, hanging fabric compartments, drawers, baskets, boxes or specialized tie or belt racks? Where do you keep your lingerie, your shoes, your handbags, your scarves, your belts, your hats tight now?  Can you colour-coordinate your closet for a more un-cluttered look? Do you need new and better quality cloth hangers?

Take time to think about, how you could improve your existing space. Get out some storage solution books from your local library, surf the internet for tips or take some time to visit shops and see what clever solutions are out there to suit your budget. Take or cut out ideas from magazines, furniture catalogues, or get creative by making your own boxes, labels, drawer dividers and so on. If you have to buy new storage systems and items, wait for bargains and specials or invest in it step by step. Take your notebook with you each time you go shopping and add notes the moment you see something interesting or inspiring.

Make it you personal project, create a plan and a to-do list!  Sometimes ideas and solutions take time…

Here are some tips to get the space right:

  • Ideally you want some kind of system to hide the majority of your clothing, shoes and accessories behind closed doors.


  • Limit the number of hanging rods to the amount of clothes you really need to hang and consider their heights in relation to the groups of clothes (blouses and tops, dresses, coats, skirts, pants…)


  • Fill the rest of the space with shelves, drawers, baskets or add a ready-made tower system.


  • Invest in solid wooden or good quality hangers (wait for that special or buy step by step) or find some practical plastic hangers (often boutiques sell their well designed hangers in bundles for a couple of dollars) and keep with the same type or brand for a cleaner, more organized look.


  • Use peg hangers for trousers and skirts, instead of holding them by their hanging loops or hang trousers over a foam or fabric covered bar hanger.


  • Some good pairs of wooden or padded plastic shoe trees keep your shoes in shape. If on a tight budget, use newspaper.


  • Store shoes either on a shelf, in their original boxes (you might glue a photo on the front), in clear plastic shoe boxes (buy on the internet or storage shops) or in the new calico hanging bags that have little compartments. Maybe you can create an extra shoe shelf in the laundry, under the stairs or buy a special shoe cupboard for the entrance area, which looks good and hides the shoes nicely. Maybe have drawers on wheels made with compartments for your shoes to fit under your bed.


  • Reorganising is also the time to clean your entire closet, the shelves, drawers, baskets and boxes.


  • Vacuum packing is now widely available.  Bags with a special round rubber holes that allows the vacuum cleaner nozzle to be inserted in, to suck out all the air, are practical to store clothes not used all the time (winter or summer, Wedding etc).


  • Reserve the hard to reach space at the top of your closet things you don’t’ need often.  (I have a little wooden stool in my closet to quickly reach the top shelves, if I need to).


  • Use the space on the inside of your closet doors and install hooks, racks or  fabric organizers to hold ties, scarves, belts, umbrellas, gloves, etc.  


I really enjoyed the planning time, when we renovated our house and created a new built-in closet behind sliding doors. Because it is very small (only 2.20m wide and I have to share the space with my husband, I had to organize it properly (and get rid of clutter!) to fit everything in there.

Here is one of my first sketches:











If you wish to read more about reorganising your closet, these are some interesting books:

  • 168 Feng Shui ways to Declutter your Home by Lillian Too
  • The Western Guide to Feng ShuiCreating Balance, Harmony and Prosperity in your Environment by Terah Kathryn Collins
  • StorageStylish solutions for every room in your home by Joanna Copestick & Meryl Lloyd
  • Complete Home StorageGetting organized by Barbara J. Braasch & Lisa Stockwell Kessler
  • Simple Storage Solutions – effective storage, drawers & cupboards… by Elizabeth Hillliard
  • 101 Ideas for Bedrooms – ideas, facts, expert solutions by Suzanne Davy

15.) Deutsche Gruendlichkeit!

7 Oct
Personal Note: “While I am preparing the next post about re-organising your wardrobe, here is another short story for my German friends and readers from our Immigration-to-New Zealand-Days …
So, stay tuned and have a wonderful and happy day!”   Beate

Deutsche Gruendlichkeit!

Unser neues Leben am Ende der Welt – Neuseeland  29. November 1999

Heute hat der Brieftraeger endlich mal ein Brieflein in unsere Letterbox geworfen. Freudig bin ich rausgerannt und fand einen Fragebogen bezueglich unserer 137 Kartons of „household goods“, die immer noch im Container uebers Meer schippern. Der Neuseelaendische Zoll will nun alles ganz genau wissen. Was ist bloss in den vielen Kartons? Man wundert sich, ob wir Weihnachtsschmuck eingepackt haben (wenn ja, aus welchem Material),  Gartengeraete (wenn ja,  haengt da noch Erde dran?), lebende Tiere oder Tierprodukte (wenn ja, von welchem Saeugetier),  getrocknete Blumen und Pflanzen (wenn ja welche Sorten, wie alt, gefriergetrocknet),  Lebensmittel (wenn ja, wann ist das Verfallsdatum),  Rattengift (wenn ja, hat es schon mal geholfen), Wein (wenn ja, aus welcher Traube), Haus, Auto, Boot, Geschenke, Waffen, Munition, Atomkraftwerk,  Drogen (wenn ja, wie teuer), Holz (wenn ja, aus welchem Tropischen Regenwald?),  Schlangen (wenn ja, welche Muster), Krokotaschen (wenn ja, wer ist der Designer), Sportschuhe (wenn ja, welche Groesse und welche Duftnote), Staubsauger (wenn ja, ist im Staubsaugerbeutel noch Staub drin?), Elefanten, Popkorn (wenn ja, mit Butter oder Zucker?),  ausgestopfte Haustiere und „Ornaments“. Habe leider keine Ahnung was „ornaments“ sind, steht auch nicht im Woerterbuch. Oh, Du heiliger Salat!  

Wie gut, dass ich in Deutschland hochschwanger und in geheimer Mission (wie ein Eichhoernchen bei den Wintervorbereitungen) alles persoenlich eingepackt und in weiser Vorahnung ein Notebook angelegt habe, in dem jeder einzelne Karton numeriert und jedes einzelne, noch so winzige  Teil unseres gesamten Hab und Gutes aufgelistet ist. (Mann weiss ja nie…) Das nennt man Deutsche Gruendlichkeit und jahrelange Erfahrung in Buero-Organisation! So hat es nur ungefaehr drei Stunden gedauert, die siebenundzwanzig Seiten des Zoll-Fragebogen auszufuellen. Mit bestem Wissen und Gewissen (und einer Hand auf der Bibel von der Vermieterin) habe ich die kleinen Kreuzchen gerecht auf allen Seiten verteilt und die Akte an die staatliche Zollbehoerde zurueckgesendet.

Dank des Telefonates am speateren Abend mit meiner Schwester, deren Freundin in Berlin eine Freundin in Amerika hat, deren Freundin aus Australien eine Freundin hat, die auch nach Neuseeland ausgewandert ist, weiss ich jetzt, dass „ornaments“ so viel heisst wie Wohnaccessoires, Krimskrams  oder Dekoration. Gemeint ist das ganze Zeug, das im Regal Staub ansammelt und dass man eigentlich ueberhaupt nicht braucht, aber irgendwie dran haengt und es durch die ganze Welt mitschleppt. Dinge wie Holzskulpturen, getrocknete Blumen, Rattan-Koerbe, Wandschmuck, Elfenbein, Kruemelkacke in Glasbehaeltern, gehaekelte Toilettenrollen-Tarnung, Muscheln von allen Kontinenten, Kleine Dackelfiguren mit losem Kopf, Sandbilder aus Mallorca, die kleinen Automodelle in limitierter Auflage und alles andere,  wonach die Zollbeamten gerne  suchen. Hatte mal vorsorglich ja angekreuzt!  

Ich hoffe nur, dass die offensichtlich sehr besorgte Behoerde jetzt nicht jedes einzelne Teil bei der Ankunft im Hafen sehen will und dabei den echten Nerzkragen an meinem alten Wintermantel findet oder das Schlangenetui fuer meinen Lippenstift, oder das Brotkoerbchen aus echtem Bambusgeflecht und meine selbstgebastelten Weihnachtsterne aus Stroh….

Fortsetzung folgt…

(c) Beate Minderjahn