40 Hanger Closet Makeover

Organize Your Closet with 4 Steps & 40 hangers

40 Hanger ClosetHow to do the 40 Hanger Closet

Have you heard of the 40 Hanger Closet? Forty hangers is not a lot. When I counted all the items I had in my closet, it was over 80. And I promise you, I do not have a big closet. My stuff was so jam packed there was no wiggle room to even move one hanger. And I sure wasn’t wearing the vast majority of what was in there. The worst part was I’d actually forgotten about some of my clothes that had gotten lost in my closet. It was time for a major closet organization.

The goal of the 40 Hanger Closet Makeover is to make your closet your very own boutique. Everything you have in your closet you’ll love, you’ll be able to find, and you’ll be able to see what matches with what. Basically it’s a way to turn the closet you already have into the closet you dream about without buying a single piece of clothing.

That’s a lot to ask from 40 hangers. If you’re up for the challenge, here’s how to do it.

The 4 Steps to Create a 40 Hanger Closet

1. Get all matching hangers. I bought forty of the velvet-covered “huggable hangers.” They are available online and just to warn you, forty can cost about $40 (but check discount stores like Ross or Marshalls as they occasionally have some cheaper). This is a lot for hangers, I know, which will make you grateful that this is called the 40 Hanger Closet and not the 100 Hanger Closet. These hangers are worth the extra money because they look amazing, keep your clothes firmly on the hanger, and aren’t as bulky as the plastic kind. Of course, you can always use matching hangers of a different type, the velvet kind are just what worked best for me. Matching hangers might not seem important, but the appeal it gives your clothes will make you feel like you’re shopping in a boutique which is exactly what you’re going for here! Here are a few kinds I like.

2. The next step is to purge your wardrobe down to only 40 hangers. This is an ongoing process for me, as I have a lot of dresses and jackets that I keep hanging up no matter what the season in order to keep them wrinkle-free. I exceed the 40 hanger limit for one type of hanger–an accessories hanger to keep scarves and belts organized!.
You can find something like this for $7 at Nordstrom Rack

3. Stick to it! The important part is not to cheat and sneak in more hangers, or add even one mismatched hanger. If you don’t have enough hangers, ask yourself if there’s something hanging up that you aren’t currently using. Find a spot for it somewhere else or consider letting it go. For more ideas on how to give away or re-purpose your old stuff, I have posts about that too.

4. Enjoy your new boutique of a 40 hanger closet!

If you have tips about closet organization I’d love to hear them. What works for you?

For more information on the 40 hanger closet, visit Ruth at Living Well & Spending Less.

 

4 Ways to Get Ready for Spring NOW

Periwinkle ScarfSorry to be blunt, but March is here and spring is not. But I’m pretty sure that it’s coming…eventually. Here are some things I’ve found to help put spring in your mood, if not the weather forecast.

1. If you can’t bring yourself to stock up on short sleeve blouses yet (just looking at the thin fabrics on the shelf makes me shiver), pick up an affordable new accessory in the coming season’s hot colors such as orchid and peach. Target’s selection of fun spring accessories yielded the scarf in the photo.

2. Do some spring cleaning to make room for new things in life. Getting organized and clearing clutter is refreshing in more ways than one. It signals that you’re embracing changes to come, whether that’s a new season or a new chapter in your life. To make room for the new, host a stuff swap or donate to a worthy charity.

3. Bring a little spring inside with a new plant. I especially like succulents because they’re self-sufficient and look cheery in the bright sun. Or try terrariums, which have enough whimsy for all seasons.

4. Make a tropical dish, like my Pineapple Pecan Dip, that’s sure to make you and your friends believe that warm temps are right around the corner.

Host a Free Stuff “Sale”

vintage 047One of my co-workers is moving to a smaller apartment and needs to downsize her life. Lucky for us, as we all benefited because she followed in a long tradition at our workplace of hosting a Free Stuff Sale. A table or counter is designated as the gifting spot, and the giver brings in their wares and sets them out. Then the vultures descend and have a mad feeding frenzy and fight over the discarded goods. You know, normal day at the office. If anything is left over, it gets donated to a local charity or thrift store.

To me, this is about as good as it gets. As a green fiend and writer for a green living magazine, I fully support re-homing unwanted stuff instead of throwing it away. And as a bargain aficionado, I fully embrace getting free stuff. As I write this I am wearing my favorite cold weather wool blend sweater that I got at a clothing swap a couple years ago that I am SO grateful for on super cold days like today.

Accessories are the best candidates for Free Stuff Sales, but pieces of designer clothes and new or close to new beauty products sometimes pop up too. Here’s a guide to what’s usually popular:

-Scarves

-Jewelry

-Hats

-Wallets and small purses

-Trinkets

-Books

Go through your stuff and make sure it’s something someone might actually want. Used makeup is best left out, since you can’t even donate that due to hygiene considerations.

I was inspired to take some photos of the Free Stuff Sale that happened today for examples of popular items. This stuff is so cute I couldn’t help but share it on the blog.

owl bottlecap necklaceIf the shoe fits...Love Will Save the DayWhat are your favorite ways to give stuff away? Would you do a Free Stuff Sale?

Easy Craft: Painted Pots & Sunny Succulents

Succulents 3 Need a late-winter pick-me-up? Today’s DIY project brings a little desert warmth to you. This beautiful blend of modern and rustic is so simple you don’t have to be crafty at all to attempt it, but it will look expertly created once you’re finished.

It’s perfect for wedding favors (it was featured in my Green Weddings article for Second Opinion), party favors, birthday presents, or to keep on your desk at work or windowsill at home.

SucculentsMaterials To start, you’ll need everything in this picture:

-Painter’s tape

-Twine

-Optional: gift tags-I made mine out of brown paper grocery bag for a rustic touch.

-Scissors

-Container of acrylic paint

-Paintbrush

-Terra cotta pot(s)

-Succulent plants, available at home improvement and garden stores. Mine were $3 each. I swear, choosing which variety of adorable miniature succulent to use is the hardest part of this entire project.

Step 1: Using two strips of tape, mark off a off a triangle on one side of the pot, as shown in the picture. Run your fingernail along the inside edge of the tape until it’s secured as firmly as possible. This is important because if you skip this step you will get paint bleed instead of crisp lines. Pay special attention to the apex of the triangle, as bleed is most likely at this point.

succulents 2Step 2: Paint inside the triangle. Use several coats until the paint covers cleanly and completely. I had success with Patio Paint (available at craft stores) in metallic gold. When paint is completely dry, peel off the tape.

succulents 4Step 3: Pot your succulent in the new pot. It’s best if you mix in some sand, rock and gravel to accelerate drainage. Succulents can go a long time without watering, making them ideal plants for the brown-thumbed among us. Drenching your plant about once a month should be sufficient, but it will need lots of direct sunlight, or at least a mixture of fluorescent office lighting and indirect light.

Step 4: Attach your gift tag, if desired, with a twine bow. Gift your plant to the lucky recipient or enjoy it yourself. Gaze at your happy little succulent plant and remind yourself: summer is coming soon!

Love DIY? Check out Quirky Homemade Postcards.

To Use or Not to Use?

Violet Days CartoonWhen I saw the “Violet Days” comic strip about keeping untouched decorative soap, I couldn’t help but relate. Thanks to a childhood passion for collecting and parents who haven’t moved, I was able to dig up my own collection of unused, dusty, nearing-antique-status decorative soaps. The whole menagerie, from the l’Occitane bar that was a party favor at my friend Susan’s birthday to the partially deteriorated Aunt Jemima Puddleduck, are pictured here.SoapsAs attested to in the cartoon, decorative soaps can be pretty confusing! Are they soap? Are they toys? Are they decorations? As a kid I clearly thought they were some combination of the latter two, since they are (mostly–Snoopy is missing part of his face) intact after more than 20 years. It reminds me of something I heard once about fingertip towels–you know, the doll-sized towels that you see in guest bathrooms that are almost always decorated with kitschy embroidery or lace of some kind. It’s said that almost no one uses these because they are, like decorative soaps, confusing. Does your host intend for you to actually use them, or are they meant to be looked at and admired while you shake your dripping hands and then pat them dry on your dress pants?

I once had this dilemma while a house guest in Switzerland. The only soap available in the guest bath was a completely untouched, wrapped l’Occitane bar as if I were in a five-star hotel. Almost wincing, I forced myself to peel open the crisp paper and mar the pristine surface of the smooth soap with water. “You are the guest,” I pep talked myself through the harrowing experience. “They want you to use this.”

Why do we have resistance to using nice things? Is it our upbringing when we were taught that the good silver only comes out on holidays and not to nibble on the dessert until the guests arrive? We deserve to use nice things. Like Chris Monroe says in the comic strip, “I should have just used it in the first place.” We are deserving of the fingertip towels and the good soap. So I’m going to put Snoopy in my bathroom right now and go use him to wash my han–on second thought, never mind, I can’t quite seem to bring myself to do it.

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