Eliminate Residential Chaos
Eliminate Residential Chaos




Kitchen Design by Provanti Designs – Gail Monica Dent ⚬ John G Wilbanks Photography

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In This Issue:

Cheryl Ford HS


New Year, New Closet, New You

by Cheryl Ford, Designer and Organizing Specialist™

Are you planning a move this year or just thinking about one? Have you thought about what your “dream” clothes closet might be like in that new home? I bet you could immediately point out features of your dream closet in one of your favorite design magazines if given the opportunity. Although you may live in your current house for the next umpteen years, it may be time for a closet refresh. I’m not talking about just going through your clothes and purging, or updating your wardrobe or shoe collection.  I’m talking about physically making your closet function for you and the way you live, whether you are moving into a new home or just staying put.

Recently our team relocated a client to Los Angeles. We assessed the volume of furniture to be moved, the contents of the kitchen drawers to be packed, and coordinated the logistics of every last detail you can imagine.  We were also tasked with assessing whether or not the clothes in her current bedroom closet would fit into the master closet in her new home.  The answer was a big fat “NO.”

One option was to turn a bedroom into the “master” closet. Unfortunately the nearest bedroom was down a long hallway and not convenient for running back and forth between the master bedroom/bath area. Another option was to convert a small alcove of office space in the upstairs hall into some additional closet space. This option gained a small amount of extra closet space but was still not the best solution.  The third and final option was to relocate the master bedroom entry door, making it possible to enlarge the existing master closet by using the office alcove space, and stealing some space from the large hall adjacent to the bedroom. Bingo!  We now had more space to create the closet of our client’s dreams.


It was my job to create a closet plan, for a new space that was not yet built, and that I was not able to see in person. I needed to design an area that would efficiently accommodate the client’s variety of clothes and shoes including; long and short hanging items, seasonal items, folded sweaters and tees, purses, boots, flats, heels, sandals, running shoes, and drawers for accessories.  Like most women, she had lots of shoes, and a good portion of them were residing, and hiding, on the floor underneath the hanging items or built in shelves.

To “measure” the number of shoes that she owned, we got out pencil and paper, listed them by type and then just started counting…like chalk mark ticks on a blackboard in groups of five.


Then we measured how many linear feet of space she was currently using for long hanging, short hanging, shelf space, drawer and floor space. She previously purged her closet so we didn’t need to factor this into the measurements.  When I started the layout and design, I converted our measurements to roughly calculate the “cubic volume” of space that everything would consume including walking pathways and reaching room.

In preparation for packing the closet we did a few tasks prior to moving day. We purchased enough “huggable" hangers to swap out all of her clothes currently hanging on wire, wood, and plastic ones. By doing this, we gained extra space taken up by the thickness of the hangers. We used a portable garment rack to place the clothes on temporarily into groups of like items (i.e. short sleeve tops, long sleeve tops, skirts, pants) and like colors together within each category. By doing this work in advance, we shaved hours off the project during the time of the move when the clothes were being placed in the closet in an organized fashion.  Each area of the closet was packed according to the design of the new closet, right down to the types of shoes that would be placed on each shelf!

Fast forward a few weeks to moving day and the enlarged master closet.  The question remained, did it go according to the plan/design? Or, should I say the plans as shown on paper, handed over to a contractor, a cabinet maker and actually built? Was there enough room for all of the client’s clothes and shoes? What were the discovered “good” and “not so good” things, and the lessons learned from the whole process?


Overall the project was a success and even though we had some construction delays, the client was extremely pleased. We ended up with a few half empty drawers and slide out shelves available for any new things she might buy. The best part was, when she unloaded her two large suitcases that she had been living out of for the past 10 days, everything slid easily and logically into their new spots!  How great is that?

Whether you are moving across the country, across town or just moving clothes and shoes around in your existing closet, there are ways to get the maximum function and organized area out of whatever space and budget that you may be allotted. For some great tips and ideas have a look at our blog titled “Inexpensive Closet Improvements to Maximize Space “ posted on RealEstate.com  and see how you can turn your new year and new closet into a new you.



~ Cheryl Ford

Eliminate Chaos Opens Satellite Office in Eastern Washington

We are excited to announce that we opened a satellite office in Eastern Washington in 2012.

Brandy Hickey joins our team as an Organizing & Productivity Consultant, working primarily in the Tri-Cities area.

You can learn more about Brandy here.

Phone Number: 509.392.7064

While the team at Eliminate Chaos is still headquartered in Western WA (Seattle-area) we continue to serve a national and international clientele. If you'd like to know how we can work with you in your area, just give us a call at 425.670.2551 or toll free 877.342.8592.

We look forward to working with you - so you have "More Time for Life®!"

Organizing with Laura Blog

Keep up with our new blog on Real Estate.com. Here is a list of topics from December that you might like to read:

Organizing Your Pantry for Shopping Efficiency and Quick Meals
Inexpensive Closet Improvements to Maximize Space
Are You a Digital Hoarder? - It's Time to Clean Out Your Computer

It's Get Organized Month

"Like" us on FaceBook for more fun tips and bursts of inspiration or "follow" us on Twitter.

Upcoming Classes and Seminars


Topic:Eliminate Chaos: The 10-Step Process to Organize Your Home & Life
Date: February 12, 2013
Time: 7:00-8:30 pm
Sponsored By:Master Builder's Association of King and Snohomish Counties
Place: Renton Highlands Library
Address: 2902 NE 12th St.  - Renton, WA 98056 Investment: FREE

Topic:Eliminate Chaos: The 10-Step Process to Organize Your Home & Life
Date: February 25, 2013
Time: 7:00-8:30 pm
Sponsored By:Master Builder's Association of King and Snohomish Counties
Place: Richmond Beach Library
Address: 19601 21st Ave Northwest  - Shoreline, WA 98177 Investment: FREE

Topic: Right-Sizing:  Less Stuff = Less Stress
Date: February 27, 2013
Time: 6:30 -8:00 pm
Place: 21 Acres School
Address: 13701 NE 171st Street | Woodinville, WA  98072
Investment: $22 by 1/31/13 or $29 after 1/31/13
Sponsored By: 21 Acres School- Center for Local Food & Sustainable Living  

Register HERE

NEW CLASS for 2013!

Topic: Eliminate Paper & Information Chaos:  How to Securely Organize and Store Files
Date: Saturday, March 23, 2013
Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Place: 21 Acres
Address: 13701 NE 171st Street | Woodinville, WA  98072
Investment: $69 by 2/8/13 or $79 after 2/8/13

Register HERE

Click HERE for additional classes being offered in 2013!

Bookmark this page and check back often for places where Laura will be speaking that you can attend at no charge or for a nominal fee.

Do it Yourself Closet ? Why Not?   


Custom closets like the one above do not come without a substantial budget of time, money and space. If you are a little shy in any of those areas, you might want to give the DIY route a chance. The children's closets in our client's new home were of average size and configuration for a home built in the fifties. We could have loaded all of the clothes onto the one standard 65" height clothes rod, lined up the the big and small toys onto closet floor, placed the shoes into a few bins and called it a day. Instead, we designed the girl's closets using the Elfa closet system from the Container Store.  This flexible, customizable, affordable, space-saving system was designed and cut in a day and we had it picked up, installed and organized the following day - with beautiful results at a fraction of the cost of a custom solution.

Put us to Work 

You may not have a relocation, remodel, or even a closet reorganization project in your near future, but  perhaps you are seeking a few small ways to freshen up your surroundings on the way to becoming a "new you." Give us a call and tell us what is on your project list, big or small, and we'll let you know how we can quickly accomplish your organizing projects so you will have "More Time for Life®".

Give us a call at 425.670.2551, 509.392.7064 or 877.342.8592 to discuss your needs and see how we can put together a team to help.

Happy New Year!

Laura Leist

You may reprint this article in its entirety with the following credit: © 2012 Eliminate Chaos. Reprinted with permission from Laura Leist, CPO of Eliminate Chaos. To receive Eliminate Chaos eNewsletters, click here.

© 2000-2013 Eliminate Chaos


  • Business Services
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new client special smA great way to try us out and get some organizing done at the same time! For a limited time, we are offering an amazing NEW client organizing special. If you are not an existing client this is a great way for us show you how we can eliminate your chaos.

Call 425-670-2551 and ask us for details.

  • Business Services
    • Paper Flow and Information Management
    • Workspace Organization and Space Planning
    • Productivity Assessments
    • Microsoft Business Contact Manager
    • Microsoft Exchange Migrations
  • Visit our business services site