Decorating and Organizing Tips: The Experts' Guide To Doing Things Faster

Decorating and Organizing Tips: The Experts' Guide To Doing Things Faster

Beth Zeigler
Oct 29, 2008

102908expert-01.jpgA copy of The Experts' Guide To Doing Things Faster was sent to us for our Thursday Giveaway tomorrow and we couldn't resist asking them to send an extra copy (we wanted our own to enjoy). In this Expert's Guide, you'll find "straightforward and creative strategies for being more efficient in every aspect of every day--in 100 compact chapters written by 100 of the worlds leading experts." We've handpicked our favorite organizing and decorating tips for you after the jump.

This book is quite the guide (think compact city guide but for your life). It includes subjects such as How To Recover From A Breakup to Packing to Politely Exiting A Conversation--all in the name of efficiency. We have handpicked our tips from the Home Section on decorating and organizing.

[Image from thesmartestfish]
Redecorate In this chapter, Evette Rios helps us out with a few tips on redecorating our space.
  • She forewarns that it's important to start with one area (step by step) or you run the risk of burning out before you're done. Break the project down into chunks and be realistic--it won't happen in one weekend.
  • Use what you've got and figure out a way to make it new again--recover or paint to give old furniture a new look.
  • Train your visions and think of yourself as the artistic director of your space. Evette says to do this by going to the library and looking at books and magazines, take digital pictures that inspire you and with educated eyes, every errand becomes an impromptu shopping trip. You'll be more aware of your surroundings and find things that enhance your new vision without having to think about it.
  • You'll also want to keep some tools handy such as measuring tape, a folder of your images, a paint fandex and what no decorator can live without--furniture glides.
  • Evette finishes off her chapter reminding us to be flexible and open to other options and to always trust our instincts.
[Image from berly816]
Organize Your Closet A few chapters later and we're learning how to quickly organize our closet from the current president of NAPO LA (National Association of Professional Organizers), John Trosko. He gives us seven strategies for optimizing our closet space.
  • John echos Evette's school of thought when it comes to organizing your entire closet. He says "organizing your closet should be a continual practice, not a one-time episode." Again, breaking down the process into smaller steps so to not get overwhelmed and give up before you really get started.
  • Because there are tons of ways to organize a closet, John tells us instead of pulling everything out of the closet, split the organizing into small tasks (top shelf, bottom shelf, closet rods, drawers, etc.). As you're going through your belongings, categorize items together.
  • The big purge. John says that all your clothes should have a purpose for today and tomorrow--not yesterday. It's important to set up bins to keep, donate, trash, mend and recycle. Because you will undoubtedly come across items that need to be returned to their proper home, you need to make a bin for that too. Because you don't want these relocations to distract you, it's important not to return them while you're organizing (a classic mistake which undermines your organizing mission).
  • Once you're done organizing, make a list of containers you'll need for your slimmer closet. Some that John can't live without; clothes hamper, shelf dividers, sewing kit, jars for buttons and several large containers for rotating seasonal clothing.
  • The next step to organizing your closet is to organize your clothes on how you use them. Clothes that you wear all the time should be very easy to locate with rarely used items stored in an out-of-the-way spot.
  • Once you're done organizing, John mentions that you might want to primp your closet and invest in a few optional decorative touches. Paint, new lights, and arranging items by color will help unify the visual look of your new space.
  • The most important step in the organizing process is maintenance. John notes that you must follow the habit of tidying everyday to maintain your new space. He finds that it's best to tidy prior to laundry day or during seasonal changes--your closet is somewhat emptier and you have space to move around.

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