Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Not Enough Closet Space? Garment Racks to the Rescue!

garment racks, two sizes

If you need more room for your clothes than your closets provide, you can compensate with hooks, coat stands, wardrobes or garment racks. Today, let’s look at garment racks, also sometimes called garment rails. The ones above come from Normann Copenhagen; you can see the two sizes, and they come in gray or white. It’s also sold by [via Remodelista]

garment rack

This one comes from Zilio A&C in Italy; it’s called the Tra-ra. You can purchase it from Heal’s or Pure Deco, both in the U.K, although Heal’s is out of stock at the moment. You have four color choices. Added note, in response to an email comment: The lightbulb is not part of the rack; it was just placed there for the photo. You would never want an unprotected bulb where it could come in contact with some clothes; that's a fire hazard!

mobile garment rack

The Clothing House, designed by Ola Giertz for Essem Design, looks like a delightful new product. It’s so new, though, that I don’t yet see it on the Essem website. It comes in white and black. [via Musings: Flor’s Blog on Design]

red garment rack

Want more choices of colors? Caraselle has garment rails in yellow, red, pink, blue, chocolate brown, silver gray and white. There are two sizes: 3 feet and 6 feet. The company is based in the U.K., but delivers throughout the world.

stainless steel garment rack

The Diplodocus, from Kayiwa, is a fun design, but it’s also quite expensive. [via Furniture Fashion]

clothes rack

The Mercantile Clothes Rack from Restoration Hardware provides a unique look, too.

store fixture - spiral clothing rack

Sites selling store fixtures can have some interesting clothing racks, too.

luggage cart

And you could use a luggage cart as a garment rack, too.

garment rail that hangs from the ceiling

And here’s a different approach, from Ferm Living. As Better Living Through Design explains, “An iron rod hangs from the ceiling by harness leather belts.”

clothing rack that hangs from the ceiling

Annaleena, in Sweden, is another source for clothing rails that hang from the ceiling; there are three different shapes to choose from. The Minimalist Store in Australia is another source for these products. [via Better Living Through Design]

Sunday, November 17, 2013

What Do You Do With Four Gold Teeth?

gold tooth
Photo by frau-Vogel, found on Flickr, licensed through Creative Commons

You can inherit some strange things from your relatives — and someone I know (who gave me permission to share this story) inherited some gold teeth from beloved family members. These weren't the only things she inherited, but they were certainly the oddest.

For 16 years, she kept them tucked away in a drawer. But then I told her about a local jewelry store that buys gold, and she decided to check it out. The store is closing soon — the jeweler is retiring after many years in the business — giving her an incentive to not procrastinate. So, with a bit of trepidation, she took the teeth (and some broken jewelry) to that jeweler — and he did indeed buy the teeth from her, for a nice amount of money!

silver and gold pendants, each with a diamond

And now she has this pendant, which she bought with the proceeds of her sale — a much better way to honor her relatives' memory.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

In Memory of Angela Wallace

Angela Wallace

I may never have become an organizer if it wasn’t for Angela Wallace. So I was heartbroken to hear this morning that she had died of “a sudden and tragic brain infection,” as her family explained.

Angela was a force to be reckoned with within the world of organizing. She was the immediate past president of the National Association of Professional Organizers, and was always very active in the San Francisco Bay Area chapter.

I met Angela when I took some classes from her and Rhonda Elliott, over nine years ago, when I was just getting ready to launch my business. In one class, we got to observe Angela working with a client; I remember listening to her and thinking “I can do this.”

And in another class, Angela helped me get over my stumbling block of picking a business name. “Your name, Professional Organizer” will work just fine to start, she told me. I could always change it to something else later, when I had a better idea of the type of organizing I wanted to do, she said. And here it is, over nine years later, and my business name is still Jeri Dansky, Professional Organizer.

I was just reading an interview Angela did with the New York Times in March 2012, while she was the NAPO president. I loved reading this part, which I can just hear Angela saying:
Q: How do you feel about the Container Store, or any store that sells organizing supplies?

A: I think it’s given more options for solutions. And yet the average person buying stuff in there is just going to become more cluttered. I never take anything with me to a job. They already have enough boxes. My biggest tool is my brain.
Angela, we will miss both your brain and your heart, so very much.

Photo courtesy of organizer Julie Bestry, taken at the NAPO 2013 conference in New Orleans.

Update later on Nov. 13: Here's one more photo of Angela, courtesy of Rhonda Elliott, and also taken in New Orleans, at her presidential reception. It's a photo that Angela really liked; she had asked Rhonda for a copy.  

Angela Wallace

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

One Idea for an Uncluttered Holiday Season

greeting card that says Fabulous Father
Greeting card from Knockout.

My dad is coming out to California to visit me and my brother, Michael, at Thanksgiving. He lives in Florida, and is often cold when he comes out here. I was talking to him just today about the upcoming trip. “Bring some of those nice sweaters Michael’s given you,” I said.

And that seemed to remind him of something he’d meant to say. Let’s stop exchanging gifts, he said.

He said he still wanted to recognize special days, but thought a nice card was plenty. And I immediately agreed. Dad’s not in an acquiring mode — and the few things he decides he does want, like an iPad Mini, he goes and buys for himself. (Dad has become quite a fan of Facetime.) And I'm not in much of an acquiring mode, either — and like Dad, I buy the things I need.

This follows a pattern I’ve established with most of my friends. If something screams “Karen!” or “Helen!” or another friend’s name to me, I get it — and there’s a decent chance I’ve made a good guess. And I might do that at any time of year. None of us feels any pressure to get one another gifts just because it’s Christmas or a birthday.

And I know my dad and I are not the only ones who are moving in this gift-skipping direction.

Dinah Sanders has a lovely post on the subject on her Discardia blog. Here’s a short excerpt:
I tell you, holiday gift buying is optional. It is possible to have a happy family gathering without breaking the bank. You can have a blessed season without shattering your peace of mind. You can make it the season of giving without it being the season of shopping.

You don’t have to buy presents. Really. You just don’t have to. Most people don’t need more stuff and no one needs more debt. ... There are lots of alternatives to the holiday shopping madness, many other ways to remind people you care about them. ...

Each year now as I enter my holiday vacation time, it’s clear that the biggest gift my family has given each other is freedom from obligation. The real gift and the real focus is being together. We have traded presents for presence.
Mary Robinette Kowal writes about believing those who say they don’t want gifts, and honoring that request. Again, I recommend reading the whole post, which includes this:
My grandmother is 107. She doesn’t want anything. My desire to give her a gift is really just because I want to have a tangible way of saying, “I love you and I thought about you.” So, I call her instead. I write her letters instead. I do not crowd her tiny house with things she doesn’t need or want.
If you really like giving gifts, and the people you give them to like receiving them, then by all means go ahead. I have plenty of non-clutter gifts to suggest. But if you'd like to focus your holiday energy on something other than gift-giving, that’s OK, too. Make the choices that work for you and your loved ones.

Me? I’m off to find the perfect birthday card for my dad’s December birthday. Maybe even two.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

2014 Calendars for Dog and Cat Lovers

cartoon with dogs taking over the bed
cartoon with dogs, as part of a wall calendar

As an animal lover, I’m always attracted to wonderful calendars featuring cats and dogs. One of my new favorites comes from Rupert Fawcett. Fawcett does a delightful series of cartoons, called Off the Leash, and he’s gathered some of them into a calendar. He’s graciously allowed me to share an image with you.

2014 Labrador Retrievers calendar

Molly Poole is your woman if you’re into watercolors and Labrador retrievers. She donates “a portion of the sales of these calendars to support the rescue and foster efforts of Southern California Labrador Retriever Rescue and Save A Lab.”

2014 Canine Companions Rescue Center calendar

And another way to have a lovely calendar and help dogs in need is to get your calendar from the Canine Companions Rescue Center. Orders must be received by Nov. 28. You can also get them through Rachael Brown Art of Etsy; the same deadline applies.

2014 calendar - I Am Maru

Prefer some cats? You can get a calendar, imported from Japan, with the famous cat Maru.

2014 calendar with cats - showing October

If you’d prefer drawings to photographs, you could get the cat calendar from Animals in Color, which also has a dog calendar and a bird calendar. These are limited editions, which often sell out. They're the work of Sebastiano Ranchetti from Florence, Italy — and readily available via Etsy.

2014 Kittendales calendar, for Hull Seaside Animal Rescue

Finally, here’s one more calendar that raises money for a good cause — in this case, for Hull Seaside Animal Rescue.

Related Post:
First Look: 2014 Calendars for Good Causes