(Savannah / Buffton) Closet Specialist Professional Organizer Susan Tobelman



(SAVANNAH/BLUFFTON)  When you step back and get a full view of your closet, what do you see?  Do you see a well organized, well maintained storage area?  Or do you see stacks and piles of stuff?  For most people, the answer is the latter.  Having an organized closet takes patience, time and effort.  But once it’s done, all it takes is a little maintenance.
Enter:  Susan Tobelman, Professional Organizer.  She’s been honing her organizing skills for more than 20 years. 
“It’s amazing how much being organized can affect your everyday routine.  It can mean the difference between a stressful, chaotic day and a well-balanced productive one,” Tobelman says.
As the in-house organizer and closet designer for Closet Specialist in Savannah and Bluffton, Tobelman advises the clients of Closet Specialist owner Jeff Klein, on how to make the most of their closet space.  She says there are a few simple steps you can take to get your closet, and many other areas, looking like a pro came in and took over.
Klein adds that a person who is successful in business is usually organized when planning their time, money and resources.  What better way to start the day than to have all your clothing ‘standing at attention’ in your organized closet.
To get started, think ahead and schedule it in.  Handle this project just as you would a date or a business appointment.  Take it seriously, and on your scheduled date and time, don’t make excuses… just do it.
“This is where you take that step away from procrastination.  Sometimes, that’s the hardest thing to do.  Once you get over that, the rest will come easily. Taking baby steps is very important.  Start with a small project, preferably one that is visible to everyone.  You’ll experience an immediate sense of accomplishment if you can readily see your organized space,” Tobelman says.
When that chosen date and time comes, here’s your game plan:
First, assess.  Take a few minutes to step back and really look at what your about to tackle.  It may need a little work – it may need a lot.  Either way, think about your task and commit to what you’re about to do.  Also, if you have a camera, take a “before” picture.
Next, visualize.  What is it that you want to do with your closet?  Organize it, yes.  But, what do you want the end result to be?  Do you want your closet to be for clothing and shoes?  Or do you want it to be for different items?   The answer might seem simple, but if you don’t have a plan for this project, your closet could end up being just as cluttered as it already is.
“Having a plan in place is key.  You have to know what you want before you know how to get it,” Tobelman advises.
Now, she says, is the time to take action.  Turn on some up-beat music, grab a beverage, and dive in! Find a clear space and depending on how much stuff you have, expect to spend an hour or more sorting.  Make four piles:  Keep, Store, Donate and Toss.
“This is not the time when I come in and throw all your stuff out,” she says.
“And I don’t believe that’s what you should do.  Getting organized is about getting real.  Don’t throw something away if it has serious sentimental value.  Just find a better place for it.”
Keep:  These things are the items you use regularly that you will store in the closet.  For example, that white shirt you wear to work.   You get good use out of it, so of course, keep it.  But, that bridesmaid’s dress you wore 8 years ago?  Really consider not keeping it.  Ask yourself, “Do I REALLY need this?”
Store:  Now, you know that dust buster does not belong in your closet.  Or, how about those ski boots?  Do you really want them in your closet or is there somewhere else they can go?
Donate:  Obviously, this is for items that are still in decent shape, but you just have no use for them anymore… like that bridesmaid’s gown.
Toss:  This is for well worn items that are of no use to others.  Or items that are torn and you just aren’t going to repair.  Toss ‘em!  You don’t REALLY want them, and no one else does either!
“Believe it or not, this process can actually be therapeutic,” Tobelman says.
“Not only are you tackling a project, but you’re also taking the steps to make your home and your life less cluttered, which leaves you time to enjoy the things that really matter in your life.”
Once you have culled thru your possessions it’s time to maximize your space by using it efficiently.  Closet Specialist utilizes the 32 mm system which was developed in Europe more than 50 years ago. By spacing 5mm holes at 32mm (1-1/4”) intervals, your closet or storage system becomes completely adjustable as well as interchangeable and expandable.
Spacing adjustable shoe shelves will accommodate footwear from flip flops to knee boots without wasting valuable space.  Shelves for folded items, like sweaters, allow you to organize your belongings in comfortable organized stacks without creating ‘leaning towers’.  Double hang rod sections are adjustable between floor and low rod as well as between low and high rod.  Lower garments don’t ‘sweep the floor’ and higher garments provide clearance that doesn’t ‘snag’ the lower hanging clothing.
Another great advantage of adjustable storage is when your needs and uses change, so does your closet.
“ Imagine your customized closet being just right for the initial user, maybe 5’-4” tall and also being perfect for the next person who buys your home, who may be 5’-10”high,” says Klein who is starting his 24th year as Closet Specialist.
The closet organizing and home storage industry has erupted these past few years and organizing peoples lives has grown into a 10 billions dollar industry.  The newly created trade association ACSP (Association of Closet & Storage Professionals) at www.closets.org is setting the pace for major expansion of the organizing business. Jeff Klein is on the Board of Directors of ACSP.
When it’s all said and done, getting more organized is something we could all stand to do.  It certainly doesn’t hurt to be able to find things a little faster, or to not trip over those odds and ends that could, believe it or not, have their own designated area.  And, whether it’s making your spare room a little more structured, your closet a little less cluttered, or even that home office a little more ordered, go ahead and make it a project… chances are, you’ll feel a lot better.
Klein has given new meaning to an old adage, “When she says she has nothing to wear…..it’s probably because she can’t find it.”
Closet Specialist, LLC is located at 1204-A Highway 278 in Bluffton.  There is also a Savannah showroom at 7701 Waters Ave and a Jacksonville store and St. Simons store will be opening in the near future.  For more information, call (843) 837-9944 or log onto www.closetspecialist.com.
In addition to her work with Closet Specialist, Susan Tobelman is also the owner of Top 2 Bottom Organizing.  To learn more, log on to www.t2borganizing.com.

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