Page 1

Volume 1

Art of Organization Quarterly

Italian Home Design

Crosses the Atlantic


Declutter Your Life

Find out what being DISorganized does to DISorganized your body

Make Your Life Easier With These Organization Tools

Art of Organization Volume 1

PUBLISHER Closet Factory


DIRECTOR Paris Bernhardt

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Keerthi Chandrashekar


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Keerthi Chandrashekar Don Lee Dan Moyer Carlos Lopez

CONTRIBUTING DESIGNERS Ignez Simoes Eden Heftel Joanna Forbes

12800 South Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90061 Locations nationwide

CALL US 1(800) 838-7995 EMAIL US ONLINE

DESIGN/LAYOUT Keerthi Chandrashekar Carlos Lopez

FOLLOW US @ Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest Houzz

ARTWORK Keerthi Chandrashekar Carlos Lopez


COVER DESIGN Keerthi Chandrashekar

table of contents


Click on any of the stories to go directly to the page!

FEATURE 36 — DECLUTTER YOUR LIFE (TRUST US) How organization affects your stress levels ... which affects everything else


“while Do the difficult things they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.


- Laozi (Lao Tzu), ancient Chinese philosopher and writer

Dear Reader, Here at Closet Factory we believe in the art of organization. Now, what exactly does that mean? In a nutshell, it’s how we approach the process of meeting our clients’ needs and helping them get organized. Whether it’s a small home office or a massive custom walk-in closet straight out of The Great Gatsby, the art of organization is what we use as a company to better our clients’ lives. To us, the art of organization involves collaborating to bring a transformative vision to life. The ultimate design should be innovative and inspire, all while being actually custom and personal to the client’s needs. That’s our approach to the Art of Organization. Organization, quite plainly, is the skill of arranging items in such a manner that they are easily found. However, organization in real life manifests itself in many forms — it could be a filing system for receipts or it could be a 15-minute session to meditate on personal thoughts and emotions. No matter how it’s expressed, organization is an extension of us trying to rein the chaos of the world into manageable portions so we may better execute our lives. Since we at Closet Factory aren’t just interested in improving people’s homes, but also in improving people’s lives, we’re launching a new quarterly magazine. Art of Organization is meant to be an extension of all of the above, as well as a breeding ground for new discussion. We hope some of the organizational tips and design insights found in this first issue will be of use to you. The world is an ever-changing place, but there are always ways to stay organized and focus on making it the best possible experience for you.

Keerthi Chandrashekar Editor-in-chief



Wall Unit: 1 1/2” thick EGGER’s Driftwood Grey Designed by: Ignez Simoes, Closet Factory Miami

“My clients wanted a ‘conversation piece’ wall unit where they could prominently display two of their favorite art pieces and their collection of art books and objects. We spiced up the symmetry of the squares by using shelves with different thicknesses and careful curation of the art.”


Marrying Organization and Art by Keerthi Chandrashekar

A design that creates harmony



MIAMI — There are few better examples of the marriage between organi-

zation and art than Closet Factory designer Ignez Simoes’ design for a wall unit down in Florida. Her clients had a vision: displaying their vast collection of art and art books around two large paintings. Collaborating with the clients and using the two paintings as centerpieces, Simoes designed a 20 ft. by 20 ft. wall unit largely comprised of equally sized square cubbies. A rather pedantic design, admittedly, however, with the use of her imagination, she was able to transform the unit and breathe life into it with little touches. She varied the thickness of certain shelves. She installed a rolling ladder so books and objects higher up wouldn’t just be eye candy — they could be accessed and felt, adding substance to the otherwise visually stunning result. Of course, she had a little help. Simoes was lucky: her clients had spent years carefully curating their collection and had accumulated a number of interesting objects. With a minimal, clean design, she was able to appreciate the aesthetic value of the wall unit’s contents itself. The unobtrusive wall unit keeps the focus on the art and acts as a vessel, rather than a centerpiece. After all, there are two magnificent paintings. What goes into a unit can be just as important as the design of the system. As great as a design is, if you stuff it full of clothes or bring in clashing elements, it loses the identity of what it’s trying to convey. Curation is important. By designing around the art collection, Simoes designed a wall unit that was actually custom — it was built for their art collection — and was able to transcend expectations. No easy feat when priceless pieces are at play.


“What was challenging to me was to keep the proportions interesting while having all the square openings with the same measurements.




Cache Your Closet


The key to successfully organizing your closet — and your life — may lie in the way a computer organizes its memory

by Keerthi Chandrashekar t Closet Factory we spend

“Your closet presents much the same

a lot of time helping peo-

challenge that a computer faces when

ple get their lives organized.

managing its memory: space is limit-

Whether it’s living rooms or bedrooms,

ed, and the goal is to save both money

we’ve sorted them all out — especially

and time,” write Christian and Griffiths

closets. Wardrobe organization isn’t as

in Wired.

easy as it sounds, and there are a hun-

tional closet lies in your computer?

In essence, a computer’s cache is one of the ways it organizes itself. A hard drive is like a closet: it gets messy over time as information (clothes) is added or deleted. The way a computer’s memory cache works is intended to be reflective

dred philosophies out there to follow. What if, however, the answer to a func-

— allowing for a much faster load time.

Fast Access to Important Items

of the user’s most-needed items (favorite pieces of clothing).

Cache? What’s that, you ask? It’s a por-

It is, however, limited by space, and

That’s exactly what the authors of “Algo-

tion of a computer’s system memory that

when it’s full, it needs to decide what

rithms to Live By: The Computer Science

is dedicated to storing information it

to remove, or “evict.” This is not much

of Human Decisions” propose. According

believes will be used the most. Instead

different than diving into a messy closet

to Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths,

of having to access the hard drive every

to reorganize and make space for new

the best system for organizing closets

time a program or document is requested

items of clothing.

could be similar to the way a computer

by the user, the computer can quickly

There have been many theories on the

caches memory.

pull up these queries through the cache

best way to cache. According to László


“Les” Bélády, author of a famous 1966 paper on caching al-

means is store items close to where they’ll be used. Putting

gorithms, the best cache eviction policy is to “evict whichever

your workout gear behind your evening gowns isn’t just a

item we’ll need again the longest from now.”  Makes sense. Of

hassle — it makes no sense (unless you attend galas more

course, without knowledge of the future, otherwise known as

than you exercise).

“clairvoyance,” this can be a bit tricky. How are you supposed to know what you’ll want to wear in a few weeks?

A doctor mentioned by Christian and Griffiths stated she stores extra vacuum cleaner bags behind the living room couch despite

Some propose using a “First-In, First-Out” (FIFO) policy. For

her kids thinking she’s wacky for doing so. Why? Because the

wardrobes, this basically means throw out the oldest stuff in

vacuum is used mostly in the living room, and when a bag is

the closet. There, is, however, a mathematically more effi-

full, another is quickly on hand, in the same room.

cient way: the “Least Recently Used” (LRU) method. This one

Lastly, they point out that just as computers have different

translates to: “When was the last time I wore it?” Although it may not seem like a big difference, LRU significantly outperforms FIFO. Using this policy in your closet should theoretically reduce your time spent looking for items, as well as present you with your most desired options (you

cache levels, so should you. “Where your belongings are concerned, your closet is one cache level, your basement another, and a self-storage locker a third,” write Christian and Griffiths.

shouldn’t have to hunt for your favorite dress or jeans every single time).

Supplement Your Hard-Earned Cache Of course, simply caching your closet and evicting unused

Work Your Closet Like a Hard Drive

clothing won’t solve all your organizational needs. It’s still

Christian and Griffiths offer tips on implementing LRU cach-

coordinating, utilizing vertical space, and properly storing

ing into your closet. It’s not necessary, they say, to throw out

different types of clothing.

your old college t-shirt that you wear often. But if you’ve got plaid pants sitting around that you haven’t worn in a while, dump them. Second, they advise you to “exploit geography.” What this

important to implement other important tips such as color

In the end, however, remember that the challenges you face in the morning are apparently not that different than a computer booting up — perhaps there’s a thing or two to learn from our digital many-times-removed cousin.



a Boutique for Everyone

by Keerthi Chandrashekar


— Closet Factory designer Eden Heftel

why not,” says Heftel. “Why can’t an everyday, aver-

faced a not-so-uncommon challenge: to turn a spare

age working person get to feel like they are a celebri-

bedroom into a full-scale personal boutique. Her cli-

ty in their own closet?”


ent was trying to surprise his wife with her dream closet — only this time, he wanted the emphasis on her collection of handbags rather than on the clothes. Requests like these are common in the custom clos-

So what exactly makes a boutique closet? According to Heftel, it’s categorization that can put a closet over the top and into “boutique” territory.

et business. Boutique-style closets are rapidly gain-

“The key is keeping your sections dedicated to what

ing ground as more and more Americans are opting

that section is meant for. If it’s just tank tops, then

to style their personal closets in a “retail” manner.

make sure it stays just tank tops,” Heftel explains. “If

I mean, after all, why not? Thousands of images of

it’s just high heels, make sure you don’t throw sneak-

celebrities in their personal heavens have left a lot of

ers in that section too. You have to maintain the look

people wondering, why not me?

of being organized.”

“I think more people are choosing their personal

In addition, Heftel suggests that if you really want

closets to feel like a boutique because it’s doable, so

the boutique feel, you’ll have to make it clutter-free.



Boutique closets are great because, as Heftel points out, they are incredibly organized. Their very nature makes it easier for someone to pick out an outfit they can be proud of in a way that isn’t stressful. Think of the last time you went to Nordstroms and perused the handbag section or the way the inside of a Prada store is set up. You don’t exactly see handbags or dresses stuffed together in piles that take wading through. So how can you go about starting to make your closet boutique-worthy? Don’t have hanging sections on top of other hanging sections, and don’t blend different areas together. Keep your shoes and clothes separate. “My favorite thing to do is separate everything into categories, and some people even go as far as separating colors. I love having everything in one place,” says Heftel. “I think having everything separated into its own categories just makes it that much easier to go into your closet and pick out your outfit. And that makes your day-to-day life that much easier.”


Design by Closet Factory Houston

Show off your accessories As Closet Factory Houston shows, sunglasses don’t have to stop making you look good once you’re inside. With a simple cubby system, glass shelves, and LED light strips you can easily display your sunglasses indoors. Top it all off with a glass display case for handbags and a quartz countertop island and you’re guaranteed to feel glamorous before, and after, you step out the door.



Boutique Walk-in: White and Brushed Aluminum Melamine Designed by: Eden Heftel, Closet Factory Tampa Bay

This room-turned-master closet was built as a surprise present for the client’s wife. Designed to display her accessories and emphasize her collection of handbags over clothes, this melamine closet was built around a pink ottoman and floor mirror that had already been picked out. Heftel chose to utilize slanted shoe shelves to help accentuate the boutique feel of the closet and one of her personal favorites: L-shaped shelves to make use of corner spaces. Beveled edges and brushed aluminum melamine accent the closet, giving it a sophisticated, yet modern feel.




1) A Folding board: Just three flips and


a fold is all it takes to achieve the perfect boutique-style stack of clothes in your closet with a folding board.


2) A Valet rod: A valet rod simplifies planning outfits by providing space for temporary hanging. It’s also the perfect spot to hang clothes back from the dry cleaners.


3) A Sliding belt/tie rack: Organize your belts and ties on sliding racks that tuck neatly into hanging sections, maximizing storage without adding space.


4) Jewelry trays: Tired of looking for that missing earring? Jewelry trays come with compartments sized to hold specific pieces of your collection.


5) A Wired Shoe rack: Wired racks not only help organize the heap of shoes at the bottom of your closet, they’re great for mudrooms and entryways too.

6) A Slatwall: Since slatwall can be


mounted onto any existing stable surface, it’s one of the most versatile organizational tools out there. Slatwalls are also more durable than alternatives like corkboard, making them the go-to choice for garage storage.


7) Dividers: Keep stacks of clothes from toppling over in your closet with the simple addition of a few dividers.

Make Your Life Easier With by Dan Moyer



13 8

8) Fabric boxes: Incorporating fabric boxes in your closet is a stylish way to keep seasonal items like gloves and scarves out of the way yet within reach.

9) Pull hooks: Motion sensor pull hooks are activated in low light, keeping your electricity bill down and your clothes hung up.

10) A Folding station: A slide-out folding station creates a temporary spot to sort through your laundry before it gets put into your closet.


11) A Pull out hamper: Conceal that


pile of laundry that’s been building up in your closet with a pull-out hamper that disappears into the wall.


12) LED closet rods: Shine light right where you need it (and not where you don’t) with LED closet rods.

13) Pull down rods: Pull down closet rods allow you to utilize the space in your closet up to the ceiling, while still giving you access to your entire wardrobe.





Daniella Monet’s Closet Makeover

Much Needed

by Dan Moyer photography by Carlos Lopez LOS ANGELES — Actress Daniella Monet (Nickelodeon’s “Vic-

torious,” “Baby Daddy,” “The Fairly OddParents Movie”) had just moved into her new Los Angeles home when she realized the current closet space wasn’t going to cut it. She decided to remodel and contacted Closet Factory to design a 10 X 10 dream closet for her and her live-in boyfriend. “All I wanted to do was have a really cool walk-in functional closet that Andrew and I could both share easily and house both of our stuff,” Daniella said, referring to her live-in boyfriend. “We were spreading our clothes and shoes and storage throughout four closets in this house, two of them being coat closets. So what we did was an add-on, and then allocated 100 square feet just for the closet.”



Before Daniella’s closet features floor-to-ceiling slide out shelves for her collection of Vegan shoes, a velvet-lined drawer for all her jewelry, valet rods for her and her boyfriend to be able to plan their outfits for the next day, and even a pull out ironing board. She worked with Closet Factory designer Joanna Forbes to create the space, as well as professional organizer and best-selling author Regina Leeds, who helped “Zen” Daniella’s wardrobe.

After “Every little detail that you would have no idea to think about goes into this process,” Daniella says. “And for that I’m so grateful because at this point, I’m just throwing things into the closet. So to have a space that’s just so organized and has like that Zen element to walk in and go, ‘OK, this is what’s going on, this is what I’m going to do,’ is going to help make [life] so much less stressful. I mean — pinch me! It’s going to be awesome!”


Daniella finally has an organized space for her jewelry, including a one-of-a-kind Fairly OddParents bracelet.

Taking her boyfriend’s needs into account, the closet contains space for his clothes as well as a pull out ironing board.

Daniella proudly shows off her collection of vegan, animal cruelty-free shoes.

Daniella’s closet contains enough space for all her accessories and more, thanks to the handy use of storage bins and vertical space.




Walk-in Closet: White Melamine

Designed by: Joanna Forbes, Closet Factory Los Angeles With clothes sprawled throughout the house, actress Daniella Monet knew it was time to reign in the chaos. Working with Joanna Forbes and “Zen Organizer” Regina Leeds, she converted a 10 X 10 space into a fully functional walk-in closet with amenities for her, such as a jewelry drawer, and amenities for her boyfriend, such as a pull out ironing board. “Usually when you move into a home you kind of just inherit whatever closet there is,” Daniella says. “So now to have something that’s really true to me and suits my style, my lifestyle, my clothing, and shoe needs — it’s amazing. It really helps save time and space and gives everything a home.”

Click on this photo to watch the full video of

Daniella Monet’s Custom Closet Makeover 25


The Zen Organizer interview by Keerthi Chandrashekar

Professional organizer Regina Leeds shares her tips on using Zen philosophy to stay organized and stress free



egina Leeds began life not as the Zen Organizer, but as a professional actress. However, her passion for spiritual studies, psychology, and human behavior eventually led her down a different path. She’s now a professional organizer and the author of a New York Times best selling book, “One Year to an Organized Life.”

on How

She Got Started:

I started organizing 28 years ago when there were precious few books in the marketplace and no one knew what a professional organizer did. Getting organized was viewed as a mechanical task with no emotional, psychological, or spiritual elements. I’d been studying meditation, yoga, and Feng Shui for many years and understood the common element to be energy. I noticed that a newly organized space literally felt different than it had when it was mired in chaos. I wondered how I would describe this shift when I wrote my first book (I’ve written ten). One day a client said: “Oh! You mean it’s Zen-like.” I knew instantly I had my book title (“The Zen of Organizing,” now out of print). From that book title I also had “Zen Organizing” to describe my specific approach and my title “The Zen Organizer.”

on Zen: It’s a holistic approach taking all aspects of your life into account. Its ultimate goal is to help you achieve your potential and live (as Oprah likes to say) your best life. Chaos is noisy. It interferes with our ability to focus. It can adversely affect our health. It can compromise our relationships and our careers. I can’t think of a single positive aspect of chaos. Zen Organizing helps you achieve environments that nurture you rather than sabotage you. It’s a complex and, dare I say it, delicious exploration of who you are in space and time.

on Common


People tend to jump into big projects without a plan. They also ignore their bodies. I don’t know of another organizer who will ask you to eat a good meal before

you start a big project and insist that you stay hydrated. The engine that drives the organizing train is decision making and low blood sugar and dehydration are the enemies you want to keep at bay. If you have long-standing, deep-seated issues with getting organized, Zen Organizing will help you unhook from the unrecognized issues that keep you stuck. Every book in the “One Year to ...” series has questions to help you understand your attachment to stuff.

on What

it Means to Be Zen:

A Zen Organized person gives up being chronically late for appointments. She starts the day in a calm fashion and sets the tone for the hours that follow. She has an agenda for the day and knows the power of saying ‘No’ and establishing boundaries when it’s in her best interests to stay on task. She (or he, of course) doesn’t waste time searching for items. There’s no disappointment because a desired item is out of stock, damaged or in need of cleaning. A Zen Organized parent understands that a calm environment is a gift to any child and a skill that will enhance the child’s life as much as an understanding of money or how to excel at a sport.

on Organization: Never believe that you can’t get organized. It’s just a skill you acquire like playing an instrument or mastering a sport. The magic ingredients are a desire to succeed, the willingness to practice, and the right tools. Zen Organizing makes you powerful, confident, and secure in your physical spaces, whether that’s at home or at work. My company slogan says it all: “Inner peace through outer order.”

Tips: After three years I noticed that every project followed the same three steps. The items in my hand changed but the steps never did. I call the steps “The Magic Formula” and you can apply them to any challenge you face from a messy closet to a sea of papers on your kitchen counter. Here they are: eliminate, categorize, and organize. In other words get rid of what no longer serves you, keep all related items together, and once you have your categories set, organize them so that they are beautiful to look at, completely functional, and easy to maintain.



Curate Your W Fine A Modern Floating

by Keerthi Cha


Wardrobe with esse: g Shelving System


Closet Factory’s new system draws inspiration from Italian home décor to bring minimalism and curation to American households.


ustom closets used to be all about maximizing every inch. Every corner, every angle, every vertical space was utilized to create a storage solution that could, well, store an entire person’s (or persons’) wardrobe. Times are changing, however, and more and more people are

opting for a cleaner modern look not only focused on fitting everything in, but also on showing certain things off. How to achieve this? One popular route is floating shelves. That’s right, shelves and cabinets and drawers that look like they’re suspended in mid-air. Floating shelves open up the area and present wardrobe pieces in bright, vivid ways — much like a sophisticated retail space. This allows the closet’s owner to show off their collection by coordinating outfits, showcasing color choices, and highlighting accessories such as handbags. It’s all very boutique, and it’s all very modern. Traditional custom closet designs are still popular and offer a functionality that can’t be beat, but for those looking for the next trend in home design, floating shelving systems are an exceedingly proper option.



Closet Factory’s new floating system, Finesse,

Storage becomes a lifelong, expanding aspect

is designed to address those needs. Drawing

of American life.

inspiration from Italian home design, Finesse is designed around the concept of curation, with hidden hardware and various shelving depths. “We started developing a system over a year

Floating shelves and wardrobe curation has been trending over the Atlantic for years, but it’s taken some time for Americans to catch on. “As with all things fashion, I think a lot of

ago that would not just appeal to the curator but also to those that have a fair amount of items that they need stored in the space while requiring a modern look that blends with adjoining rooms such as the bedroom and bathroom,” says Paris Bernhardt, Closet Factory’s Vice President

“If you can hang all the clothes the typical American woman has on these shelves, I don’t think a TV will be a problem at all.”

of Digital Marketing. Closets are uniquely American, with America

times they do start in Italy and move coun-

being the largest market in the world for clos-

terclockwise here to the United States, and I

ets, by far. Europeans lean towards armoires,

think this is just doing that same natural flow,”

and even the closets they do have aren’t the same. Americans prefer large closets, often

Holler says.

times devoting entire rooms to function as one.

“I think that an obstacle we have in the United

According to Mae Holler, a product marketing

States is that we have more stuff to store so it

manager at hardware supplier Hafele America

makes it a little bit more difficult to integrate

who helped bring Finesse to life, this is usually

a system like this because it has a nice, clean,

because Americans love to accumulate things.

minimal look that you typically don’t want to


store or put a lot of stuff in it. It’s a lit-

different shelving depths instead of

tle bit harder to achieve the balance

the industry standard of two, meaning

between design and functionality here

there’s more options to display differ-

in the United States.”

ent types of clothes. Finesse also uses

Bringing a European flare to U.S. closet design required looking outside of typical closet systems, because, well,

clean alternative brackets that do not show unlike other systems so you won’t be able to tell what’s holding every-

“There are a lot of things behind the scenes that are happening to make this

Italians don’t have typical closet sys-

thing up, adding cleanness and sleek-

tems like Americans do. Rather, Holler

ness to the overall presentation.

and Closet Factory found inspiration

“I think that for some of us in the hard-

realizes and appreciates.”

ware world we get used to seeing this

Finesse wasn’t designed

in Italian bathrooms and kitchens. It’s in those areas of the house, along with entertainment areas, where the minimalist, modern floating designs can be found. The result is Finesse, which offers three

over time but I think consumers think

look achievable that I don’t know if everyone actually

just for clothes, however,

it’s kind of amazing: ‘How are you hold-

and can be used for enter-

ing up this vanity on my wall?’ kind of

tainment centers and more.

thing. That, to me, is my favorite part,”

The system’s integrity was

says Holler.

built to fulfill various needs around the house. Almost anything that needs to be displayed in a modern fashion can be by Finesse. “I think an entertainment center is a great application for this and even a home office. If you can hang all the clothes the typical



an has on these shelves, I don’t think a TV will be a problem at all,” says Holler. Europeans prefer textured materials for their floating systems that add a splash of elegance and depth to go along with the minimalist design. Finesse, which supports



nets, and drawers, can also be embellished with LED strips, U-shaped rods, and even an optional platform base for extra support.



14 Organizational Tips by Carlos Lopez

Life got you feeling messy? Try these tips on for size and unfrizz yourself. After a long day at work, coming home to a clean and tidy house is something that can turn it all around. Here are 14 organizational tips to help ensure you get your peaceful reprieve when you return to your king/queendom.

04: See most what you wear most. The clothes you wear the most are what you should see the most. Cubbies and shelves can help remind you of that.

05: Keep home office surfaces clear of clutter. A clear

01: Cubbies. Cubbies help you organize items like paper- surface in your home office will make you feel organized, work in a highly visible and accessible manner.

02: Gather your shoes in the same area. Get accustomed to taking off your shoes and putting them away in the same area as your other shoes. This will prevent you from misplacing a pair and creating a mess.

even if you’re not. Put away your documents inside a drawer or shred the documents you no longer need.

06: Avoid tangles. When organizing your closet, separate items that can easily tangle, such as laces and jewelry. Same goes for computer wires.

03: Utilize unused small spaces. Small openings along 07: Hang your pants. Most pants hang at roughly the same entryways are ideal for organizing hats, sunglasses, and handbags using coat hangers or an old decorative ladder.


height. Consider hanging them for a more cohesive feel to your closet.

08: Separate large coats. Keep larger coats in a hallway your laundry habits, a large hamper will allow you to pile up or entryway closet to free up more space for your wardrobe.

09: Hide your cleaning supplies. Don’t let detergent bottles, dryer sheets, and other chemicals make your laundry room look cluttered. Keep those bottles you use for that special shine hidden away.

your clothes for a few days. This will keep your home from giving away how long it’s been.

13: Don’t ignore the garage. Garages aren’t just for cars anymore. Utilize sliding racks and hanging storage in the garage to make it into a viable storage and work area.

10: Don’t hoard. Start to think about the stuff you have 14: Organize your pantry. Doing this will not only help around your house and decide whether you actually need it or not. If you don’t, chuck it!

11: Use key organizers. Keys are among some of the most misplaced items around the household. Save yourself countless headache by keeping them in the same place.

12: Buy the right-sized hamper for you. Depending on

you access your ingredients faster, it will give you a better look at your health. Maybe you’ve subconsciously been putting your chips in the back because you’re eating them too much. Remember, there’s no substitute for diligence. Try incorporating these tips into your life for more than just one day and see how much smoother your everything becomes!




How aff or lev ects gan aff els . you izat els ects .. w r str ion e ever hich ess yth ing

Declutter Your Life (Trust Us) by Don Lee






Maintaining an organized lifestyle not only boosts productivity levels in everything we do, but also lowers our stress, leaving us feeling happier and healthier. And as with all life changes, it starts with an awareness of the possibilities. So…why should you declutter your life?

It Can Reduce Stress and Depression One of the most glaring benefits of maintaining an organized, clutter-free life is that it reduces stress levels. In a study conducted by Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, organization and stress were found to have a strong relationship with our brain and the release of cortisol (the stress hormone). The researchers followed 30 dual-earner middle class families in a west coast U.S. city in a week-in-thelife style study. The study was designed


means that our daily routine, produc-

to assess whether people’s percep-

askew? Ever get the insatiable urge

tivity, and overall wellbeing end up

tion of their homes had an effect on

to put that thing back in its “proper”

being affected by several chain reac-

their everyday levels of stress and


tions incited by clutter.


Yes, we as humans have an inclina-

According to a Huffington Post sur-

The spouses of each family were

tion to hate discord of any kind, and

vey, “worrying my home isn’t clean or

required to complete questionnaires

in this case, it’s clutter. Introducing

organized enough” was the fifth most

before and after the week when they

order, whether through throwing away

common stress trigger, with 47 percent

or putting away, is exactly what we do

reporting they’d felt stressed from

when we decide to organize.

that in the past month. If clutter can

Our decision to combat discord has

so many people still live relatively dis-

a visible short-term effect, namely a clean space, but it also has long-term

influence our lives so greatly, why do organized lives?

gave tours of their homes. During the weekdays, spouses completed a mood assessment and submitted saliva samples for brain cortisol analysis. Studies found that women with a higher stressful home score, calculated off

The answer can be quite simple: not

the subjects’ use of certain words such

everyone is aware of the potential

as “messy,” “unfinished,” and “disorga-

Seeing clutter and discord with our

benefits and pitfalls. Disorganization

nized,” coincidentally had higher lev-

own eyes has a direct effect on our

also often stems from deeply-rooted

els of cortisol than those who report-

brain that translates to the rest of our

behaviors that take some real time to

ed that their homes felt “restful” and

body and its natural processes. This



scientific and health benefits as well.


Coming home to a big mess or

poor food choices that ultimately

to release large amounts of cortisol

unfinished tasks prevents the natu-

cause our health to deteriorate. Make

(stress), but how does it affect our

ral decline in cortisol that happens

no mistake — your diet affects just

appetite and our motivation to eat?

throughout the day, leaving our bod-

about every part of your health.

Clutter and a messy space contribute

ies feeling stressed and weak into the

to stress, confusion, and a sense of

evenings and nights. As a result, our

Unlike a few decades ago, Americans

mood, sleep, and overall health take

today spend almost 50 percent of

a huge hit.

their food dollars on food outside the

vents us from devoting time to taking

home, including takeout. Experts

care of ourselves.

Taking the time to rec-

being overwhelmed. All of these feelings come together in a way that pre-

ognize that clutter leads to stress is a major first step. It’s then far easier to begin incorporating organizing into your daily life. After all, why not

Ultimately, excess visual clutter can cause people to remain stuck in the past, instead of living in the present and building a future.

spend the extra few minutes tidying up before

When stressed, we tend to




like chips, or ice cream, or pizza that are loaded with fats and sugars. Why? Cortisol, our stress hormone, depletes our

leaving the house if it means an eve-

across the board agree that eating out

energy reserves (largely made of fats

ning of freedom and relaxation?

and getting 30 percent of your calo-

and sugars) when released, induc-

ries from restaurants with little inter-

ing hunger. Cortisol then, naturally,

est in healthy or fresh ingredients is

sends a signal to the brain asking for

It Can Help Us Eat Better For many Americans with the usual 9-to-5 workweek, making the com-

largely detrimental to our health.

more fats and sugars, since as long as it’s around, it’s going to burn away at

mitment to eating healthy can some-

Turns out clutter and disorder play a

our bodies. In simpler terms, comfort

times feel like an insurmountable

major part in why we resort to eat-

foods counteract the energy loss from

struggle. Unable to overcome this

ing unhealthy foods. We know that

stress, which explains why people

helpless feeling, we start to make

being unorganized causes our brain

“crave” these foods.


FEATURE These comfort foods have a devastat-

major human connection in your life

ships we hold dear, and this can have

ing effect. Many comfort foods con-

can be influenced by clutter.

lasting effects down the line.

Couples trying to share the same living

Staying on top of clutter can be a

space know this all too well.

glue that helps keep our connections

“For couples, clutter can create tension

together. Failing to do so can cause

tain Trans and saturated fats that have been linked to weight gain, leading to stress, leading to more comfort-food eating — a vicious cycle. This claim is further substantiated by a study from the journal Psychological Science. According to the study, physical order in our lives promotes health-

and conflict. And the time you spend

bonds to slowly wither away, either

looking for missing items can also take

naturally or by choice.

away from time you could be spending

It Will Boost Our Productivity Levels

together,” says Selhub.

ier choices. People who do their work

According to Dr. Selhub, quarrels with

in a clean and organized space as

our partners can stem from something

opposed to a messy one were twice as

as simple as a couple pairs of socks on

likely to choose a healthy fruit such

the ground, or, more commonly, look-

as an apple over a comfort food like a

ing for something for the other person.

chocolate bar.

We’ve most likely heard of the follow-

Dr. Eva Selhub M.D., author of the

ing conversation sometime in our lives

bestselling book “Your Health Destiny:

personally or through someone else:

How to Unlock Your Natural Ability to

Honey! Do you know where my tie is?

Overcome Illness, Feel Better, and Live Longer,” states that “clutter is stressful

Did you check the closet?

for the brain, so you’re more likely to

No, it wasn’t there!

resort to coping mechanisms such as

The kitchen table is covered by four weeks of mail, the laundry basket is overflowing, and our work desks have piles of papers, empty coffee cups, and chip crumbs. Sound familiar? Clutter is distracting, and science confirms that it hinders our ability to focus. Professional organizers who are contacted to come to cluttered homes frequently hear their clients use the same words to express their situation: “drained,” “overwhelmed,”

choosing comfort foods or overeat-

Then I don’t know where it is!


ing than if you spend time in neater

How could you not know? You’re the one


Home businesses often have this

who put it away!

problem. Professional organizer Tyra

“When they feel their life is organized,

Are you calling me a liar?

Johnson, CEO of Posh Life Enterprise

they feel less stressed. Less stress leads to less cortisol and better health, as well as less binge eating and other behavior patterns one uses to cope,” Selhub told Closet Factory. The next time you find yourself reaching for that Milky Way at work, take a look around your space. You might be stressed.

As we can see, a small incident involving a missing tie can lead to a huge argument, or worse.

describes a client who wanted to follow her dream of being a small business owner but was struggling. She recognized that in its current state, the

Being unorganized can make us feel

home office was more of a hindrance

ashamed and embarrassed about our

than help.

living spaces and about ourselves. This usually leads us to establish a physical and emotional boundary around ourselves that turns away the people we

“The clutter and disorganized space made her feel overwhelmed. She just couldn’t do anything in the dumping ground that once was a home office

It Can Improve Your Relationships

care about.

Our physical environment can also

come to our house, however, we nev-

have a major impact on our interac-

er end up inviting them over because

tions with other people. From family

we’re ashamed of what they’ll think. In

“Now, she feels renewed every day

to friends to significant others, every

essence, we are pushing away relation-

because she has an organized office


We might have friends who want to

prior to our services. She had no energy or desire to tackle the clutter alone,” Johnson explains.

space in which to create her products, store them methodically, correspond with clients, and fulfill custom orders.” Such situations can quickly snowball, with more and more negative side effects accumulating on top of each other (much like the clutter!). Ultimately, excess visual clutter can cause people to remain stuck in the past, instead of living in the present and building a future. According to a study in the Journal of Neuroscience, having to look at too many things at once overloads our visual cortex and interferes with our brain’s ability to process information. If we fail to stay organized, our mess slowly eats away at our minds. Having to constantly worry about clutter uses up mental energy that could be used to do better things. Keeping our spaces, especially workspaces, clean gives us access to more mental energy, allowing us to be more productive.

It Will Help You Sleep Better While sleep remains one of nature’s greatest mysteries, there’s no doubt it plays a critical role in our health. In the United States, 40 percent of Americans get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep. This has been medically linked to numerous adverse effects including cognitive impairment, heart problems, and even obesity. According to a survey done by the National Sleep Foundation, people who made their beds every morning were almost 20 percent more likely to get a good night’s rest. In addition, 75 percent of people who slept in fresh clean sheets reported that they slept well because they were physically more comfortable. This makes sense, because a made bed, at first glance, looks comfortable which leads us to believe that we’ll have a chance to recuperate. A lot of the fight to fall asleep


FEATURE and stay asleep happens in our heads. The image of a clutter-filled bedroom before we close our eyes interferes with our sleep. Christa O’Leary, author of “Home in Harmony,” says that bedroom clutter “weighs” on us both consciously and unconsciously, preventing us from getting a good night’s rest. This carries on even after we wake up. Our clutter-filled surroundings deplete us the moment we wake up and make us feel tired throughout the day.

Take a step back

In order to ensure you get adequate rest, you need to

and consider these areas of your life: your

of the main culprits of sleep prevention include the

health, your family, your career, your friends,

following: electronics, documents, books, bright art-

your wellbeing, and your happiness.

work, bright lights, and dirty clothes.

To recap, when you apply organization prin-

Removing such discord in our bedrooms loosens the

ciples to your life, the following things occur:

chains on our minds, resulting in a refreshing sleep.

Stress goes away. Unpleasant workdays can

At The End Of It All

become better. Getting rid of that stress helps you sleep well at night and motivates you to make healthier choices in terms of your diet. You might even want to go out

identify sources of clutter and get rid of them. Some

Of course, becoming more organized isn’t easy. While you might feel like amping up your efforts, you might also having some lingering doubts such

and jog a mile or two. Staying organized


improves the quality and length of your life.

“Does it even matter that much? What if I’m able to

Your productivity will rise. The quality and the quantity of your work will improve, lead-

work with a little clutter? Why bother cleaning if it’ll just get dirty again anyway?”

ing to a more satisfying career or a boost

The answer to that is that it does matter. Like many

in your business. By being a reliable and

of the factors tied into our physical, emotional, and

organized employee, you will be non-ex-

social wellbeing, it’s part of larger picture. Little

pendable, and if you are a business owner,

steps are important, and when it becomes hard to

you will be able to stay in business and grow

see the rewards in picking up that jacket on the floor

your earnings.

or removing smartphones from the bed, imagine

Your relationships will improve. Organization will minimize tension and conflict with the people you care about. This has the power to help you maintain happy, healthy, and long-lasting relationships. Stress from clut-

the negative effects they have on you. One cigarette won’t kill anyone, but for many, recognizing and imagining the path it leads down is enough to deter them. The same train of thought can be used to not engage in “cluttering up” your life.

ter prevents you from being happy, and if

The next time you put away something, just remem-

you’re not happy, then you won’t be able

ber that it’s the start of a more productive and

to make others feel the same.

healthier you.




Decision FATIGUE: Forget the Outfit


Having trouble making the right choices for yourself? You’re probably wasting your “good” decisions on trivial matters. Save ‘em up. Make ‘em count.

few decisions as possible about anything except

by Don Lee

ave you ever wondered why Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wears the same gray t-shirt and jeans combo everyday,

or why President Barack Obama is seen only wearing a blue or gray suit? It’s simply a matter of making fewer decisions every day so they can make better ones. President Obama told Vanity Fair in 2012 that managing his life as a president requires him to “cut away” the mundane, frustrating decisions like what to wear. Mark Zuckerberg further added, “I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as how to best serve this community.” It’s not just these two leaders that believe in not worrying about what to wear. Others like Apple’s Steve Jobs and billionaire John Paul DeJoria also live(d) the same “single outfit” lifestyle. However, why make this choice? According to Roy F. Baumeister, a psychologist and co-author of the book “Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength,” this stems from an idea known as “decision fatigue.” Decision fatigue is the result of making too many decisions such as saying no to drugs, pizza toppings, waiting your turn, or choosing something off a restaurant menu. All of this adds up and actually drains the brain from making decisions later on. This means that your ability to make healthy decisions can be affected simply because you used some brain power in the morning trying to get dressed. Whenever you find yourself wondering what to wear, remember that trying too hard could affect you later on in the day. Now, we’re not saying you should wear one thing every day for the rest of your life, but… Keep it simple, so you can tackle life’s tougher problems, not the small fry.




Drawers and Cabinets Can Feel Pretty Too

With precious stones and Swarovski crystals, Richelieu proves hardware doesn’t have to be boring, and can be trendy.

by Keerthi Chandrashekar photos provided by Richelieu



ho said you can’t buy your drawers and cabinets nice jewelry? Hardware vendor Richelieu’s latest Precious Materials and Swarovski handle line includes cutting-edge designs from abroad: mainly Europe, and especially Italy. Every year the company selects a few European designers to come up with new concepts for their special custom order line — 2016 is no different. The handles are all manufactured by hand and exude “custom.” Available in a variety of precious stones and even Swarovski crystals, these handles prove that hardware is no longer an afterthought. Much like rings and necklaces that show off a person’s personality, these elements add that extra, soulful depth. Ultimately, they’re not only eyecatching, they also provide the final cherry on top to truly make something yours.



“ We started with luxurious materials of excellence in the world of interior design: marble, precious and natural stones and crystals. The goal was to offer 100% madein-Italy glamour products characterized by the unmistakable preciousness, class, and elegance of Italian design.

“ The precious stones used are natural amber, Mother of pearl and onyx. The combination of elements with the linear, elegant design of the handles, creates unique and glamorous products. Handles and knobs become real pieces of jewelry, making furniture more refined and sophisticated.





“ Richelieu focused on classic and vintage lines, reworking and enriching them with the brilliant purity and magic of Crystals from Swarovski. It’s a winning dreamlike combination: the quality and excellence of 100% made-in-Italy products, combined with the preciousness, brilliance, and refinement of Crystals from Swarovski, the finest on the market today. Richelieu handles and Crystals from Swarovski are a waterfall of light and emotion for everyday life objects.

” 51

Find Your

1(800) 838-7995

Outer Peace.

Profile for Closet Factory

Art of Organization Volume 1  

Discover the latest design trends, lifestyle tips, and storage solutions that mold organization into art.

Art of Organization Volume 1  

Discover the latest design trends, lifestyle tips, and storage solutions that mold organization into art.