what I do

what I do

Monday, November 22, 2010

The switch

Cookie Mag
Mellem Bakken
Cottage Living
Country Living
I've been working the last week on three little girls' bedrooms. It has been a huge undertaking and it is times like these that I wish I had an assistant (or an intern). The youngest sister was moving from the room that was her nursery to the room next door where she would share with one of her sisters. The oldest sister would move into the previous nursery so that she could have a room to herself. And the middle sister would stay in the same room but switch sides and closets. Before the painters came to paint, everything had to be removed from the rooms.
Elizabeth Sullivan
Day ONE: the closet(s) switch
Moving the girls' closets was fairly easy. I took everything out of the first closet and hung the clothes on a temporary clothes rack. After the closet was emptied, I adjusted the shelving and clothing rods for the next occupant and then just moved her things over. I pulled the hanging clothes out in groups of color and hung them so that color groups were together. Things that did not belong in the closet (toys, etc.) I put in large storage boxes to go through with the client.

After the second closet was emptied, I repeated the same process - I adjusted the shelves and rods for the next (and shorter) occupant and moved her things over from the adjoining room in color groups. And last, I took the clothes from the first closet that I had emptied out and put it in the now empty closet in the adjoining room.
Then I assessed everything - noting where things needed to be adjusted and added. I took measurements of shelves to purchase boxes and bins for things like scarves and hats and belts and swimsuits that didn't fit in the dressers.
Maxine Brady
Day TWO: Refining the closets 
I started the day at The Container Store and purchased all the necessary boxes and bins that I needed. I had previously researched what I needed online and so I came with a list of what I knew I wanted and then with my measurements filled in from there. I always pick up more than I think I will need as it is easier to return un-needed items then to have to stop working to pick up more supplies. Putting the boxes together (most had to be constructed) took the longest time (where that assistant would have been handy) and after they were all put together I re-arranged and labeled what went inside.

The Container Store
Day THREE: Removing all the toys
The next step was to remove all the toys and small furniture that filled the rooms. I brought a large number of large storage boxes with me - the plastic see through kind with lids - and put all the kid's toys and stuff in them and labeled them so that I would know what belonged to who. I also removed everything on the walls (shelves, artwork, bulletin boards, etc.) and separated them into what would be re-used and what would not.

Real Simple
Day FOUR: The painting
This day was spent overseeing the painters and decorating the main living space for Thanksgiving.

Day FIVE: The big move in day
This was the day we had been planning and looking forward to for weeks. It was a long day that started with the painters finishing up (the drywall patching did not dry and they had to come back from the day before) the electrician hanging the new light fixtures and the new mattresses being delivered. It went like clockwork and by the time I put together a few lamps and small furniture pieces it was all ready to be decorated.
House Beautiful
The beds were made with the new bedding, the new furniture moved in, the lamps placed and artwork hung. They were the perfect 'model home' looking rooms (just like I like them) - no clutter!  But we still hadn't brought in the toys and stuffed animals and trophies and treasures that every little girl wants to surround herself with. 
Ima Mobili
(There were some things that didn't go so well ... the painters had broken one of the legs of the bed when they moved it and that had to be repaired. My husband saved the day and came over and repaired it and while he was there, earthquake proofed all the furniture (bolted them to the walls). Thank you honey!!!  

Day SIX: Bringing back the toys
This was the longest and hardest day. Everything in those storage boxes had to have a home found for it or let go. It was liberating and painful (for the client) and time consuming. We went through every item and decided whether it would be kept, given away (or thrown away) or stored. (This can be the hardest part for a client and I will address the reasons why tomorrow).

Real Simple
What comes NEXT:
So the big room switch was successful and went fairly easily. I have a list of things that need to be added still - a large bulletin board I will paint and cover with fabric, some pillows to be made, a mirror and a rug to be ordered, and five storage boxes that still need to be gone through. But what is great is that each girl has a new space that is fresh and pretty and uncluttered. It is a new start for all three of these very special little girls.
Family Living
Tip of the Day: When you are organizing your clothes closet, one way to simplify is to categorize your clothes by how often you wear them. Most of us wear 20% of our wardrobe most of the time. You can have three categories: the clothes you wear all the time, novelty items that are not part of your basic wardrobe and clothes that you wear rarely. Clothes that you wear rarely can be hung in garment bags to keep them separate. 


Robbie said...

Can I be your assistant next time? Thanks for the tips, I will be putting my closet back together in a few days so this is helpful.

Noelle at Gray Paint Decor said...

Wow! You have been busy!! And still you had time to pull all of these lovely images for your post. You're inspiring me to tackle our closets...