Even though I live in a pretty organized, nicely decorated home in bucolic Bucks County, Pennsylvania.... I still had a secret Hoarders closet in the hallway that I've been in denial about.
Part of my work for our books, TV segments and magazine stories is that I take everyday objects and transform them into new and exciting things. I call it Upcycling. But all of the work that goes into making these things makes it impossible to re-create every time we do a TV segment with them or a shoot a web video for Michaels stores or whatever. So, I have to save not only the beauty finished upcycled projects, but all the process materials and swap-outs to show the steps to make each project. Over time, all of this STUFF added up into piles of things ranging from Christmas decorations, Valentines, Halloween treat bags, artwork for the walls, throws, pillows and more boxes you can imagine filled with crafting supplies and raw materials.
While my home is pretty organized and so am I, I definitely would never say I find joy in spending a weekend purging closets and reorganizing. That's why I hired a pro to do this who even admits to being OCD 4 Life.
Organizer Jeffery Calandra was the go-to guy for this project. Jeffrey came in and somehow not only organized the prop closet from hell, he also did it on budget and in less than 48 hours. Plus, since I had a Lowe's Home Improvement gift card burning in my pocket, he also went there and got the supplies (all usual open stock stuff, nothing expensive or special order) needed to make it happen.
Lesson #1 - Visibility is key - if you can't find it, you can't use it: He did clever things like taking the closet doors off to open up space and expose props so they could be found.
Lesson #2 - Gather like items together (but don't hide them - see through storage is the way to go) to maximize both space and findability: He used metro shelving in unusual ways so it could stack artwork upright and clear storage bins holding seasonal props.
Lesson # 3 - Hooks really help - don't overlook the vertical space on walls and ceilings in storage areas: He also made use of the ceiling to hang props from my forthcoming book (Upcycled Celebrations), which were once just on the floor.
And truth be told: I left the country while he did this. It was amazing that you could just give him a key and come back to organized bliss......
LOTS MORE INFO:
Thanks Danny and Jeffrey!
Images: Danny Seo