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Clutter control organizes closets and more

February 19, 2014

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Most closets come equipped with just a rack for hanging clothes. That can lead to jammed-in clothing, shoes and storage items. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

“We’ve all got only so much space,” said Barb Baker, one of the owners of Elder Living Construction in Farmington Hills. “Think how you will use space, whether it is a closet or a garage. What do you need to keep, and how are you going to use it?”

Baker said out-of-control clutter can be controlled with the help of a professional.

“Work with someone who can help you get focused,” she said. “If this is an important priority for you, it is an investment that is worth the time and money.”

Rooms designed for one function can be repurposed, she added.

“I quilt,” Baker said. “My office was overrun with quilting stuff. So I turned it into a craft room. It was liberating. Now, I don’t think of it as an office.”

Closets are handy spots for clutter collections, featuring doors that can be shut to hide messes. But an uncomplicated track system can organize everything from the smallest closet to the largest walk-in.

Greg Oman, owner of Macomb Ace Hardware in Macomb Township, said a track system sold at their store is easy to install.

“It can take as short as an hour or less,” Oman said. “It has a designer look, but you do it on your own. The system doesn’t touch the floor. It is modular, so it can be customized.”

The track uses a hanger method that delivers much more usable space to any closet, he said.

Bins and over-the-door hangers can turn unused space into functional storage areas, Oman said.

“We sell a lot of over-door and over-cabinet hangers for towels and coats,” he said.

Preparing a storage area is a key element to keeping things uncluttered, Baker said.

“I am currently redoing my bedroom and closet,” Baker said. “We actually took the time to think through closet colors and asked things like if it would make sense for me to add a light at the back of my closet.” 

Kitchens should be organized according to use priorities — cooking for a family, doing a lot of entertaining or doing a lot of baking.

“In a kitchen and pantry, think about it carefully and design the kitchen space so it will work for you,” Baker said.

Getting rid of clutter can improve your quality of life and state of mind, she said.

“It is about how you live your life,” Baker said. “If you have something that is bringing you joy and you are not able to get to it — you can’t use it.”

About the author

Staff Writer Linda Shepard covers Rochester Hills and Oakland Township for the Rochester Post. Shepard has worked for C & G Newspapers since 1998, graduated from Oakland University and is a past winner of the Michigan Press Association award. Shepard takes an avid interest in Detroit’s history and current rebirth.


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