Friday, October 1, 2010

Organizing Your Clothes Closet

by Eileen Koff

Are you playing Russian roulette when you open your closets; afraid of what might come crashing down? Taking back your clothes closet is easier than you thought if you adapt simple strategies and techniques. Here are my top tips that will have you singing instead of moaning when you enter the dark and mysterious space that was once your closet.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Closet

• Start with a bright light. How can you see anything in the dark recesses of your closet unless you shed a little light on the subject? Have no room for a light fixture or hanging bulb. No problem! There are ingenious stick-um up lights sold online or at your local hardware store, and while you’re there, check out the new true–color light bulbs now on the market.

• Create more hanging space. If you’re clothes are crammed together like a can of sardines, the best approach is to get more hanging space. No, you don’t have to bump your son out of his room and make that your closet; all you need is a double hanging rod. Hanging rods that hook over existing rails are a smart, inexpensive, and an instant way to create extra room for short hanging clothes.

• Consider an over-the-door organizer. If you have a small closet, take advantage of the space on the back of the door. There are a lot of “over-the-door” organizers that can help you maximize storage space.

• Use a valet rod. When designing my own closet, adding a valet rod was the best decision I made. A clothing valet is a sturdy telescoping rod that can be installed into existing melamine or closet partitions. The valet slides out to create an instant nine inches of hanging space and can hold up to 30 pounds. I love putting my clothes choices together for the next day. This helps me to not only save time in the morning, but it allows me to see the many choices I have. Basically, it releases my inner fashionista.

• Replace wire hangers. Count the number of wire hangers in your closet. If you have more than 10, then you win the frugal award. You may say, “They’re free, so why do I have to pay for expensive hangers?” There's a good reason wire hangers are free: they're basically worthless. If you want to prolong the life of your clothes, keep them on wood, padded or felt covered hangers. Your clothes will thank you by maintaining their shape.

• Add hooks to your closet. Hooks for your scarves and belts are another organizing wonder for the closet. Until I installed my belt hook, my belts and scarves invariably got tangled or lost on the floor. Remember these also work great for ties. The 3M Company has a great product called Command Hooks. No longer do you have to worry about holes and scratches your walls. These hooks come in all sizes, finishes and when you no longer need the hook, they easily remove without leaving a scratch!

What to Do With All Those Clothes

• Sort your clothes into piles. Start with broad categories at first so you can see the amount of clothes you have for any one category. Some categories may be: work, casual, dressy and sporty.

• Identify what to keep. Try on everything and keep only the clothes that fit you now and make you feel good! If it doesn’t fit or you don’t feel excellent in it, get rid of it!

• Watch out for the “obstacle illusion.” Don’t let the mere fact that you paid a lot guilt you into keeping something. Your closet is prime real estate.

• Donate clothes you don’t wear. The next time you're putting away laundry or dry cleaning, grab an armful of clothes that you haven't worn since you can't remember when and try them on in front of a full-length mirror. Putting on just a limited amount of clothes keeps your wardrobe current and in style. Put the ones that you love back into circulation; donate the rest.

• Hang your clothes by type and then by color. For example, hang all of your short sleeve shirts or blouses together starting with white and moving through the colors of the rainbow to black. If the fabric is patterned then choose the dominant color. Do the same for your jackets, pants, skirts and dresses. It makes it so much easier to put an outfit together when you are able to quickly mix and match colors.

• Care for your sweaters. If you have sweaters that sit folded on shelves, make sure you cover wire shelves with a liner. It can be very frustrating to put on your favorite sweater and them look in the mirror and see wire shelf creases throughout.

• Keep a hamper nearby for clothes that need laundering or dry cleaning.

Eileen Koff is the founder and president of To The Next Level, a professional organizing business based on Long Island, NY. Eileen presently serves NAPO (National Association for Professional Organizers) as Publication Chair and is also Faithful Organizer’s Devotion Director. Eileen’s passion is speaking to Christian groups. Her unique teaching methods combine proven organization fundamentals with the inspiration and advice from God’s Word. Eileen’s organizing workshops stir audiences to immediate action, motivating attendees to put an end to years of frustration and clutter build-up.

For further information contact her at or

Cast Your Cares Upon Him

By Micca Campbell

My oldest son Mitch, and his friend, Jamie, had spent the afternoon at our house watching movies up until it was time for Mitch to go to work. It wasn’t ten minutes after they left the house that the phone rang.

“Mom, I just wrecked my car. I’m okay, but Jamie is hurt. We’re just down the road from the house. Can you come?”

Can I come? What kind of question is that? I was already sitting in my car after he said the word “wrecked.” I just needed to know what direction to turn out of my driveway.

It’s one thing to hear that your child has been in a car accident, but it’s another to witness the scene. The first thing I saw was his car upside down and smashed between two trees like a pancake. An ambulance and fire truck were already at the site. Cars lined the road and people came out of their homes to view the accident. Once my mind absorbed the scene, I realized Mitch and his friend were nowhere in sight.

“WHERE ARE THEY?” I began to shout as I turned in a circle scoping the area for any sign of them. A paramedic took me by the arm and led me toward the ambulance. I felt my body go numb from fear of what I might find inside.

The first person I saw was Mitch. Our eyes met, and without exchanging words, I could tell he was scared, but okay. Jamie, on the other hand, was strapped to a straight board with her back, neck and head secured. Tears of concern filled my eyes.

“Jamie’s hurt bad,” Mitch said as if I could fix it. At that moment, if I couldn’t fix it, I was sure going to find someone who could. I bent down close to Jamie and took her hand in mine. “I’m here, Sweetie. It’s going to be okay,” I said trying to reassure us both. However, my motherly authority took over when Jamie shared her needs with me. I tried to relay them to the paramedic as calmly as I could.

“I can’t breathe,” Jamie whispered.

“SHE CAN’T BREATHE!” I shouted to the paramedic.

“I’m in pain,” she begged.

“SHE’S IN PAIN!” I demanded. Suddenly, I felt as if I needed to lie down on the other side of the ambulance from the adrenaline rush surging through my body. Fortunately, we all survived the incident and arrived safely at the hospital. Mitch only received a few bumps and bruises. Jamie dislocated a few ribs, but after several weeks she, too, was as good as new.

My son may not have been thinking about me before the accident occurred, but immediately afterward, he knew who he needed. That’s because children are bonded to their parents by a love relationship that they don’t often think about, and really aren’t even aware of. Yet, in times of trouble, worry or fear the child appreciates and reaches for that union. The same is true of our relationship with God. We should be eager to “cast our cares on Him because He cares for us” (1 Peter 5:7).

I often take for granted the awesome privilege of being God’s child. As His child, I have the privilege of casting my worries on the Lord with strong confidence that He cares for me. Worry is unnecessary when our God is able and willing to bear our burdens.

When you and I worry, we are denying the wisdom, love and provision of God. Like my son, I should be quick to call out to my heavenly Father for help. I need to run to God for comfort and reassurance instead of worrying myself sick. Often I do the opposite. I try to be the adult instead of the child. I truly want to do better. I want to be so aware of God’s abiding presence in my life that I fall asleep in His arms at night and awake to His presence in the morning.

When everything had settled after the accident, Mitch could no longer contain his worry and fear. Burying his head in my chest, he burst into tears. It was his way of releasing his anxieties and casting them on me. Because I love my son, I gladly supported him in the midst of his pain. Wrapping my arms around Mitch, I reassured him he was safe.

In the same way, our fears and worries should drive us into the safety of God’s arms. Those who trust in Him have tremendous security. We find support in God’s presence when we cast our cares on Him. No worry is too big for our Father to shoulder. Because of His great love for us, He gladly takes away our fears and quiets our hearts with peace. “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3). The Lord picks us up out of our wrecked lives while we are still scared and afraid and He comforts us. It’s in God’s loving care that our spirit is renewed and we know for certain there is no safer place on earth.

Micca Campbell knows the unpredictable nature of life. As the twenty-one year old mother of an infant son, her world was shattered when she lost her husband in a tragic accident. Yet in her darkest moment, God began teaching her His remedy for our deepest fears. Let Micca encourage you to lay down your worries, trust God, and embrace a life marked by peace and joy. Micca is also a national speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries and writes regularly for their on-line devotions, Encouragement for Today. In 2004, she was named ‘Mother of the Year’ by ParentLife Magazine. Micca and her family reside in Nashville, TN.

Click here to purchase Micca's book, "An Untroubled Heart: Finding Faith that is Stronger than My Fears".

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer is a fight we can win together. This month, show your support for those currently battling cancer and those who have survived it, by getting involved in an event near you. You can find information on these and other reputable sites:
Please create links for these

American Cancer Society and

Susan G. Komen for the Cure and

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month