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Finding the right
contractor or Interior
Design firm...
The Dos & Donts for a
home owner in desperate
need of a home
renovation...
How can home owners
look out for con-artists
disguising themselves as
Interior Designers
and
what can they do if they
have been duped?
Add or expand your closet space with helpful tips and
tricks from Scott McGillivray

If you live in a condo or an older house, you know that closet
space is at a premium. Adding a closet or expanding an existing
one will help to increase the functionality and value of your home.
Or, if it’s a low-cost, flexible solution you’re after, stand-alone
wardrobes are always an option.
Adding and Increasing
You’d be surprised where you can squeeze in closet space.
Consider, for instance, the often overlooked area underneath your
staircase. With a little ingenuity, you can really gain some valuable
extra storage. If it’s your bedroom closet that’s lacking, you may be
able to get away with widening or deepening it – or even building a
new one – by expanding into an adjacent room. Just be sure the
other space is large enough to give up that square footage without
losing its functionality.
Faking it
The easiest and most affordable way to increase closet space is by adding stand-alone wardrobes along a wall. What’
s great about this solution is that they’re a non-permanent addition, so when it comes time to sell, buyers will be able
to visualize the space as either having the extra storage or not.

Converting
A lot of people ask me if converting a small bedroom into a walk-in closet is worth it. It’s the simplest and most obvious
solution to a lack of closet space in a house, but before you commit to this type of reno, there’s something to consider
first. Does your home have four (or more) bedrooms? The most appealing type of property to the majority of
prospective buyers is a detached house with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Bringing your home down to two
bedrooms eliminates a large portion of the home-buying population, so any value you gain by adding the big closet is
erased. However, if you plan on staying in your home for the next 20 years and this is a “just for you” renovation, go
for it.
Personalized baskets
Trying to find matching socks, locate a hairbrush,
or search for a pair of mittens can be a pain --
that's why these cotton-lined wicker baskets are
ideal for both children and adults.
Super stylish fabric storage
Almost too stylish to stash away in your closet, these fabric covered boxes and
great looking hanging systems are fantastic for storing winter sweaters, boots and
hats and other items that are clogging your closet. Sitting on top of a closet shelf
or stacked on top of each other, the boxes offer a ton of additional storage space
and are a delight to look at, too. Or, use the hanging system to store your
favourite purses and bags.
Read Another Article
Home renovation is a
necessary process
to transform an
empty or problematic
living space into a
dream home. It is
immensely personal
because the interior
designer or
contractor has to be
aware of your living
Have you
experienced this in
your home?
You and your family
were sound asleep
only to be awaken
by thunderous
cracking noises and
when you came out
to your living room to
investigate,
Keeping your closet free of clutter is easy with these 5 closet organizing ideas.

Do you dream about having everything at hand, impeccably folded, well organized,
pressed, crisp and ready to wear from your closet? Or, do you wish you wouldn’t have to
nag your kids to pick up their pajamas or to hang up their school sweater? With some of
these closet storage solutions, you can make your life a lot easier – and your closet a lot
less cluttered.
Multi-tasking hanger
No more digging around to find
something that has fallen to the
back of your closet. This funky
hanger looks simple, but is
extremely useful. It can store up to
28 different items from scarves
and shawls to belts and ties with
the space of a single hanger.
Children's chalkboard with hanger
Anyone with children will appreciate fun, kid-friendly storage solutions. Marissa
Phelps, an architect-turned-children’s designer has just launched a series of
customized chalkboards with hooks and storage boxes with chalkboard labels.
Attached to the inside of a closet door, this chalkboard makes hanging up towels,
shirts and ball caps a breeze. And, with a little reminder from mum or dad, it acts
as a message centre too. Chalkboards and boxes can be specially designed to
suit your child’s room theme and colours
Over-the-door hook
Perfect for a quick fix, this hanger by Umbra is a fantastic storage solution and
the best part is that you don’t need to haul out the drill or hammer to install them.
Hang your clothes for work over the door and save some much needed time in the
morning. Or, install a peel and stick hook system and find your bathrobe
in a breeze.
Ideal for apartments or for closet doors that you don’t want to drive nails into,
these portable pieces are perfect for the professional on the go.
Don't delay. Get your clothes in order today with these closet organizing ideas; it will be a welcome relief.

What a difference a day makes. That's about how long it will take you to totally refurbish your clothes closet. A
weekend, perhaps,
if you have to shop for an organizing system. So why do you keep putting it off? I spoke with Toronto-based
professional organizer Estelle Gee of Orderly Lives, who shares her five-step game plan.

The five-step game plan

Assess your needs
List the categories of items that will go in your closet. “Some people have very little storage space, so they might put
other things in the clothes closet,” says Estelle, like sports equipment, an iron and ironing board, extra linens and
photo albums.

Purge
“Be ruthless,” says Estelle. “Women wear only about 20 per cent of their wardrobes. We tend to wear clothes that are
comfortable, make us look good, and fit.” Yet many of us keep clothing that doesn't fit, we don't look good in, isn't
fashionable, holds old memories and so on. If purging sounds tough, hire a pro for a supportive, objective opinion, or
ask a friend to help.

Deal with roadblocks
Your closet should reflect who you are now – both your self-image and your lifestyle. The purging stage can bring up
regrets about yesterday (Why did I buy that?) and hopes for tomorrow (Maybe it will fit again). When dealing with those
items that bring up emotional stuff, Estelle suggests you ask yourself these questions:

Do I feel comfortable/good in this?
Does this fit?
Does this make me look good?
Is this still stylish or does this accurately represent my personal style?
Is this easy to maintain?
Does this suit/reflect my lifestyle (for instance, if you've had a career change or become a mom)?

If you answer no to any of the above about a piece of clothing, let it go.

Design the space
The infrastructure of your closet should accommodate your clothes and other items so that they're visible and
accessible, as well as flexible enough to change as your wardrobe changes. The design of the space should take into
account any physical limitations, such as back or knee problems, that will affect the height at which your clothes should
be stored (in order to avoid reaching up or bending down).

Begin by sorting your clothes into shirts/ blouses, pants, skirts, sweaters, jackets, long dresses and so on. Estimate
both the amount and type of storage you need – shelving, drawers/cubbyholes for foldables, rods for hanging items,
and assorted accessories like tie hooks and shoe racks. You can also sort your clothes by colour, season (store off-
season items elsewhere), use (work, casual, formal) and person (for shared closets).

Then, it's time for you to go shopping. Closet-organizing retailers often offer design services, as well as a variety of
organizing systems for different budgets, and many nifty organizing accessories. Estelle works with Toronto's Space
Age Shelving. For DIYers, Estelle says, “Don't overlook stores such as IKEA, Home Depot, Zellers and Canadian Tire –
there are lots of organizing tools out there.” Some of her favourites include wooden or good-quality plastic tubular
hangers (all in the same colour); a valet rod or hook, so you can put an outfit together the night before; IKEA's
hanging nylon shoe organizer (it can also be used to store baby clothes, accessories and kids' toys); a slide-out tie
and belt organizer; and clear bins and boxes (if you're using opaque ones, paste a picture of the contents on the
outside of each box).


“Do a major purge once a year if the structure is working, your closet is meeting your needs and you're not a
compulsive shopper,” says Estelle. “If you're more ambitious, do it twice a year when you're doing the switchover of
the seasons. Do a little every day – take five minutes to hang up clothes and throw the laundry in a hamper (preferably
in the closet) – then it doesn't seem like such an onerous task.”
end
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